Author: Sigal Ehrlich
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 6th November, 2014
Nia Martins believes a fresh start will help her leave her traumatic past behind. Moving to a different country, she seeks to shake off her demons by doing the one thing that sets her free from her destructive thoughts – teaching dance. But change doesn’t come easy, and all Nia really wants is to take the next breath without the perpetual suffocation that follows.
Reeves Mitchell has looked death in the eyes so many times it’s become habitual. That is, until his best friend’s life was on the line. When the one thing he feared the most turns into reality, all he can do is pick up the pieces of his loss. As Reeves tries to live with the constant thought of “what if” gnawing at the back of his mind, he persistently and steadily builds a thick wall around himself.
Their solitary lives are all they have—until fate brings them together. Nia and Reeves’ new friendship helps make life, shadowed by the ghosts of their past, more bearable. But as their relationship deepens and new, suppressed feelings emerge between them, are they willing to retrace their steps back to where wounded hearts can be broken once more?
*THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.*
Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Loss. Pain. Hope. Courage. Love. These are the words that, I feel, best describe “Retrace” by Sigal Ehrlich. It is a story of two people fighting to break free of the darkness in their pasts. And it is a story about how incredibly hard it can be to find the courage to do so.
Nia and Reeves meet each other in a less than typical way – and I might as well tell you that this part made me giggle – and despite having a strong, physical attraction, they both seem to hold back from acting on it at first because they instinctively know that it will only bring trouble. Both are so closed-off from their feelings because of past heartaches, and they both struggle with simply moving forward in their day-to-day lives.
However, they soon come to the same realization: that this attraction will not simply go away on its own. It does not exactly help that they live in the same building, of course. And why should they not just enjoy themselves in each other’s arms for as long as this flame is burning bright? So an agreement is made: why not simply be friends-with-benefits? It seems to be the right decision, but when is anything ever truly simple?
First of all, I would like to say that I truly enjoyed this deeply emotional romance; I admire Nia, despite the fact that she has chosen to run away from Brazil and her parents instead of facing her issues, because she believes that it is the only way for her to find some semblance of a life free of her past. Furthermore, she shows some very endearing character traits: she can be funny, she feels confident about herself sexually, and, little by little, she finds the courage within herself to let the past go, allowing herself to feel again.
As for Reeves…His past just about broke me to pieces. He is definitely a victim of survivor’s guilt, and he has major issues with trust; his demons and the pain they bring is always close to the surface, but I love how he actually seems willing to open himself up before Nia realizes the extent of her own feelings towards him. Reeves is most definitely struggling just as much as she is, but I find it refreshing to see a male protagonist able to be honest with himself over a rather short time frame.. And once this alpha male comes to the conclusion that Nia is the woman he wants to be with, he is definitely not afraid to go after her.
These two characters are very easy to like, actually. At no point in time did I find their actions, or reactions, for that matter, to be over-the-top or annoying. No, quite the contrary: the bond they share, the broken pasts they struggle with, is very powerful and lovely to experience. And the fear of letting go is understandable and genuine.
The writing of Miss Ehrlich is very engaging, and you can truly feel how much she cares for her characters; she has also managed to create some very interesting and quirky secondary characters – including a rather wicked witch – and I truly hope that the author chooses to give us their stories in the future.
There are only two reasons why I am not giving this book a full 5 star rating. One is due to the fact that there are a couple of spelling and grammatical mishaps that I found hard to ignore, because they made me wonder about the meaning of a certain phrase or scene. And the other reason is that I would have liked a bit more background info about Nia; the relationship to her parents and her brother was very well written, and it provided a lot of insight about her character, but I cannot help but sit back with a feeling that something is missing.
Nevertheless, I strongly recommend that all lovers of emotional, heartbreaking romance novels to buy this book, and I feel confident that you will enjoy it as much as I did. I love the journey Nia and Reeves go through, separately but also together, and I dare you to not be moved by their story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By teen age, Sigal already lived in three different continents where she was lucky enough to experience and visit varied places, meet unique people, which only helped fuel her overly developed imagination. Currently, Sigal calls Estonia home where she lives with her husband and three kids.
Not exactly sure where they will end up next…
When she is not hiding in her office, writing, she enjoys music, reading and taking care of her little clan.
With a great believe in “don’t wait for things to happen – make them happen,” she enjoys anything exciting life has to offer.