Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…
When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.
Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.
But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…
What a great great read! I also really can’t imagine a more aptly chosen title for this novel. All of the characters in this novel have something to fear, literally or figuratively. I loved how all this fear spat from the pages! Mike for example fears getting caught, being arrested and going to jail, although he quite literally fears for his life a few times in this novel as well. I thought it only served him right! For Lou it’s a whole other story. She feared him in the past when – as a young teenager – she was led on by him and ended up held captive in France. Although 18 years have passed since she came back from France, her fear has never really completely died. It’s awful to see how she still suffers the consequences after all these years, unable to hold onto a stable relationship. Even thinking of taking the ferry and going to France for a weekend with her new beau is enough to set her off fleeing and breaking all contact with him.
I admit it is quite a disturbing topic to read about but her story was told in a very touching and gripping way and I couldn’t tear myself away from these pages. I’ve never read about grooming in such a compelling, realistic and detailed way. Her feelings of love for him and his claims of love for her were equally hard to read and made me sad and angry but made me flip the pages to see how she ‘escaped’ him and how she had a change of heart. When things didn’t work out as she thought, the romantic weekend getaway nothing but wishful thinking, I felt my heart go out for her once again. My feelings were just as jumbled up as Louise’s. As if that’s not enough, there’s the horrifying realisation when she comes back in her hometown that he’s now interested in thirteen year-old Chloe. The further into the story, the more I rooted for Louise to really do whatever necessary to stop him, and with her determination becoming clearer and clearer with every page I turned, I was a whole cheering team on my own.
The route C.L. Taylor takes is unforeseeable and quite twisty. Nothing is premediated but everything that happens is formed more or less by sort of lucky or unlucky coincidences. It’s not made up of gasping out loud moments but The Fear was still a very surprising read from start to finish with lots of moments that could be pivotal for the rest of the story. You might have some ideas how this story is going to pan out but you might not expect how brilliant it’ll be.
This story reeled me in right from the start, it was a story full of emotion, love, hate and everything in between, with great characters, fast-paced and with the kind of action I can’t get enough of. The Fear gets 5 stars from me on Goodreads and Amazon!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Check back tomorrow because it’s my stop on the blog tour and I have an extract to share!