by M. O'Keefe
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #1
Published by Bantam on October 13, 2015
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic, New Adult
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.
And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.
His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.
Everything I Left Unsaid is an intense and emotionally raw book. This story sucked me in and wouldn’t let go.
Fair warning: this book contains a cliffhanger ending. Thankfully, the next book (The Truth About Him) releases next month, so that’s not too long to wait.
I’ve read Molly O’Keefe’s contemporary romances before and enjoyed them. Her latest book, written under the name M. O’Keefe, feels like quite a departure from her usual books. It’s an erotic romance with elements of suspense. And I can’t emphasize enough just how intense the story is. There are dysfunctional relationships, family problems, phone sex, angst galore, more phone sex, heartache, actual in-person sex, but it all works within the context of the main characters, Annie and Dylan.
No one had worried about me. Not in a very long time.
When we first meet Annie, she’s on the run. She has fled her abusive husband and traveled across the country to North Carolina, where she’s now living in a trailer park. When she first moves into her trailer, she finds a ringing cellphone and answers it. The person on the other end of the line is Dylan, who is mysterious and cryptic, but to whom Annie feels inexplicably drawn.
I went into this story without many details, so I’m doing my best to avoid mentioning any spoilers here. Suffice it to say that the first phone call between Annie and Dylan has enormous consequences that alter the course of their lives. It’s strange how something as seemingly trivial as a phone call can have such far-reaching repercussions, but that’s the case here.
Just the thought of his name electrified part of me, like a filament in a lightbulb starting to glow.
Don’t. Don’t think about him.
At times, the book feels like an emotional roller coaster. As Annie and Dylan’s relationship becomes more overtly sexual over the phone, the more apparent it is that they don’t really know each other. Annie’s curiosity leads her to discover part of Dylan’s back story, but there’s a whole world that she’s unaware of. Likewise, Annie works hard to hide her past from Dylan. So much of their relationship is built upon lies; or at least, sins of omission. Eventually, the truth will have to come out.
I was caught in that wide chasm between what I’d had and what I could have. What my life had been and what I wanted it to be, and every step, every huge step I’d taken away from what I knew and into the unknown, felt terrifying.
This is probably one of the vaguest reviews I’ve ever written, but for me, a large part of my enjoyment of the book came from discovering Dylan’s secrets alongside Annie. He’s such a mystery to her. Even though what they have seems temporary and destined to fail–how can they have a future when they’ve never even met in person?–the longer their relationship continues, the deeper they fall for each other.
“When you’re in danger,” he said, “I’m going to do everything I can to keep you safe.”
Additionally, I grew to like Annie more as she evolved over the course of the story. She’s fearful and unsure in the beginning, but the more she explores her independence, the stronger her spirit becomes.
I really dislike cliffhanger endings, but I’m super excited to read the conclusion to this story. O’Keefe has created characters who have so much to hide and so much to lose. I’m looking forward to learning more about Annie and Dylan, in addition to seeing how their story is resolved.
Rating: 5 stars