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Never Tear Us Apart    by Monica Murphy order for
Never Tear Us Apart
by Monica Murphy
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2016 (2016)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Never Tear Us Apart, a 'darkly sexy, emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love' (to be continued in Never Let You Go), Monica Murphy gives readers a tale about (in her own words) 'two people who are so deeply broken when they're alone, that they only make sense when they're together.'

Katherine was kidnapped, chained, beaten and raped (by a serial killer) when she was an innocent, carefree twelve-year old named Katie. Life has not been the same since. She felt rejected by her beloved, guilt-ridden father and her once best friend; her mother and sister Brenna have been smotheringly over-protective ever since; and she has had no peace from the media. But now that her father has died, she decides she must move forward in her life, and accepts a television interview, in which she tells her story to flawless TV reporter Lisa Swanson.

Ethan sees that interview, which awakens his strong feelings for Katie. Ethan was once Will, son of Katherine's rapist. Though he saved her life, he was treated harshly by police and later by the foster care system. Katie tried to tell everyone that he was her guardian angel and hero, but was not believed and her parents forbade her to keep in touch with him. This hurt them both as they 'were the only ones who really got it ... only ones who really understood each other.'

Obsessed with Katie, Ethan tracks her down - and then saves her once more from a robbery. But he doesn't tell her who he is. Of course you can see where this is heading. Despite his reservations about entering her life again, Ethan is strongly drawn to Katherine, who is also attracted to him, despite her fear of most men. They become very close indeed, until she discovers what he has kept hidden.

Monica Murphy tells her story of two traumatized and badly damaged young people very well, making the reader hope for a happy ending. But we don't get it in this first book, which ends on a cliffhanger of a phone call. We'll just have to read Never Let You Go to find out how all of this evolves.

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