Review: Split by J.B. Salsbury


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There are hearts big enough to love those who are different than them, who are hard to understand. And I, by some freak accident, found her.

4.5 uniquely beautiful stars

Wow, this book took me by surprise, and I absolutely loved it! Deeply emotional and beautifully romantic it is a unique, heartfelt and hopeful story. Don’t go looking for too many details before starting this one, just dive in and experience it.

Shyann is a hopeful young television reporter who has just blown her one big shot at her dream job. Blacklisted from public media, she has nowhere else to turn so she returns to the small mountain town where she was raised. Shyann hasn’t been back home since ran away to attend college. Following the tragic death of her mother, her father pretty much checked out and it was just her and her younger brother, and now she is back in her old room, working at her father’s construction company and desperately trying to figure out how to escape again.

And then she meets Lucas. Lucas is a quiet, mysterious man who works with her father, and from the moment she sees him, she feels a pull to him. More than just an attraction, she is intrigued by Lucas and she wants to know more about him.

Lucas is a man of many secrets, part of which is the fact that he suffers from blackouts – he loses time and wakes up with no idea what has happened while he’s been ‘gone’. It can be hours or even days, and it’s terrifying for him. But the life he has created for himself in small town, Arizona is a peaceful one and he has had less and less episodes. But then the boss’ daughter arrives in town and sends his calm and careful life into turmoil.

Lucas wants Shyann. He’s never felt for a woman the way he feels about her, but when she starts to show interest, his demons start to resurface, hurling him back into an unknown and terrifying situation. But for the first time, for her, he wants to fight it.

I want her to like me. I want her to see me as brave. I want to know what it’s like to be normal.

This is such a beautiful love story. It’s paced really nicely – slow and steady as Shyann and Lucas feel each other out, which is absolutely perfect for their situation. Lucas can’t keep his issues a secret for long, however, and when Shyann learns the truth about him, it makes their story even more intense, and I absolutely love the way it all played out! It wasn’t exactly a surprise, but it made for a captivating and complex story, and I could not put this book down and I was frantically flipping pages to see what was going to happen…. and how it was going to happen.

“I don’t deserve you, but I’m going to keep you.”

I really liked Shyann. From that first emotional outburst I was fully on her team. She has moments of whininess, but the way she falls for Lucas – her patience, understanding and acceptance of him was absolutely gorgeous!

“You’re right. I’m safer without you…but the thought of living without you is worse than my fears.”

And Lucas completely won my heart. His backstory is devastatingly tragic and his life has been one battle after another, but I love that he is brave enough to take a chance on having something more with Shyann, and their openness and honesty with each other is fantastic.

“If at any time what we have causes you too much stress, you walk away. Okay?”
A humorless laugh bursts from my lips.
“That’s the problem, Shy. Don’t you get it?”
I dare a touch, reach forward and run a strand of her silky black hair between my fingers.
“I can’t. I’ve tried, and…” I lick my lips and force the words from my mouth no matter how pathetic they make me sound. “You’re impossible to walk away from.”

But Lucas still has secrets… will Shyann stand by him when she finally learns it all?  And what about her career, and her dreams of escaping?  And in another twist, there is violent attacker targeting women in the area, and when the attacks start to get close to home, Shyann’s naturally investigative nature starts to ask questions. It adds a wonderful sense of suspense to the story, tying in well with the romance, but not overpowering it, which I really appreciated.

The book is written in multiple-POV and it’s really cleverly done. I felt like I got right to the heart of the characters, and the dynamics are wonderfully explored. The side characters are great and bring a lot of depth to the book, but it’s Lucas and Shyann that steal the show and I loved every moment of their unconventional but still absolutely beautiful romance.

A wonderfully written story, I absolutely loved it!

4.5 stars


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