Review: The Ghost of You by Kristen Darling
Kaitlyn Vandere just wants to feel safe; safe from the panic attacks she suffers on a regular basis, safe from the ghosts of her troubled childhood, and safe from her damaged heart.
When she meets Luke Denevan, the new company IT Director with the dark eyes and the hypnotic smile, she finally understands the meaning of ‘love at first sight’. There’s only one problem: he’s married.
Fueled by mutual attraction and undeniable passion, Luke and Kaitlyn embark on a secret affair, until Chris Anderson, a handsome coworker who’s is madly in love with Kaitlyn, offers her a real chance at love.
When tragedy strikes without warning, Kaitlyn realizes the importance of taking a chance and following her heart, but discovers a secret that forces her to make the most difficult decision of her life; a decision that will both alter her future and keep her trapped by her past.
Lost love is a tragedy from which many people never recover. The memories that haunt will taint a heart forever, as the constant thoughts of “if only…” weave their dark magic through thoughts and dreams.
But what if you had a chance to reclaim your lost love? Would you take it, despite the obstacles you may face? Would you risk everything for the one that got away?
Kaitlyn Vandere had a childhood much like many other people, witnessing an alcoholic parent inflict violence on another. She has been left with the emotional scars of that experience in the form of an anxiety disorder which leaves her feeling unable to cope with much at all, and so she is plagued with panic attacks on a seemingly daily basis.
What hooked me about this character bio, before I knew anything else about the book, was how real it was. How much I could relate to it, and how instead of the perfect overachieving wonder woman. This book was going to have a woman who had faults, an illness, an emotional background, a great career yes, but one that caused it’s own issues given her mental state. This is reality for millions of women, and whilst it can be great reading about a wonder woman, sometimes knowing that someone normal can become a wonder woman in their own right is inspirational.
It’s important to pay close attention to this book, there is a lot going on and in places it can get a little wordy. Kaitlyn is a popular lady and has three male suitors, at times I felt it was maybe a little much to keep up with, but they did all have their place in her story and added and took away from her life in their own ways.
Luke Denevan one of the men I’ve mentioned is probably one of the characters to draw the biggest reaction from me in a book in several years. I find it’s very easy to like a character when you’re reading, it’s a simple job for writers to write someone who is adorable. But to write a character who is so attractive to the protagonist, and yet for your stomach to physically turn in disgust when he comes onto the page is an accomplishment. I absolutely despised him.
He was the kind of man, had a friend of mine been dating him I would have an unequivocal need to tell her to get as far away from him as possible. Just writing this about him now is making my blood boil.
The absolute accomplishments of this book are that you don’t see most of the big twists coming, especially the really big one’s, I guessed it about a paragraph before it happened, I am usually far more on my game than that!
Finally, the descriptions of Kaitlyn’s panic attack’s and feelings towards her father. As someone who has been in this position on both counts I can attest to how real and heart-wrenching these descriptions were, how what is described is so real. This is ugly-crying material right here!
The Ghost of You is a wonderful debut novel and a book I recommend to everyone who enjoys a good romantic read full of heart.
I thank Kristen Darling for sending me an ARC of the novel for reviewing purposes.
Title: The Ghost of You
Author: Kristen Darling
Genre: Romance, Mental Health
Publication Date: 5 August 2015
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback