Shadows You Left by Jude Sierra and Taylor Brooke
Review by Lauren
source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add to Goodreads):
The white picket fence.
That life was never meant for him.
For years he’s been bouncing from city to city—from one cage fight to another.
That’s his outlet. That’s pain Erik can control.
But in Seattle, everything changed.
River’s an artist.
He’s a pretty boy.
He does yoga.
Someone so soft shouldn’t be intrigued by Erik’s rough edges.
His life was quiet. He had a simple routine.
Designing tattoos, avoiding drama. Well, mostly.
Then Erik comes along—scarred and dangerous, shrouded in mystery.
A mystery River can’t resist trying to solve.
Maybe a secret as dark as his own.
Neither of them expected a relationship so complicated, so intense.
Neither of them expected…each other.
Erik and River are both trying to escape a shadowed past.
But the thing about shadows is: the faster you run, the faster they chase you.
Review: Shadows You Left is a bit difficult to review. I did like the book, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I wanted Erik and River to be together – not all the time at least. River has a lot of “issues” for lack of a better word; things he needs to work out and find healthier ways to cope with. He’s slowly getting there, but Erik can’t be the one that fixes him. I wouldn’t say this is a “love makes it all better” story, because it’s not, but it’s not always the healthiest of relationships either.
I will fight
I will fight for you
I always do until my heart
Is black and blue
And I will stay
I will stay with you
We’ll make it to the other side
Like lovers do
“Don’t Give Up On Me” – Andy Grammer
I definitely felt for Erik and River, and I wanted them to both heal enough to be with each other. Shadows You Left is a romance, but that’s not all it is. It’s not a romance where you idealize the relationship – but you still hope for a happily-ever-after.
I heard the song “Don’t Give Up On Me” by Andy Grammer while reading this book and the lyrics really reminded me of Erik, River, and their relationship. I included a video – with the lyrics – below.