A Life Less Broken by Margaret McHeyzer
****CONTAINS DISTRESSING CONTENT*****
Only suitable for 18+*STANDALONE*
On a day like any other, Allyn Sommers went off to work, not knowing that her life was about to be irrevocably and horrifically altered.
Three years later, Allyn is still a prisoner in her own home held captive by harrowing fear. Broken and damaged, Allyn seeks help from someone that fate brought her.
Dr. Dominic Shriver is a psychiatrist who’s drawn to difficult cases. He must push past his own personal battles to help Allyn fight her monsters and nightmares.
Is Dr. Shriver the answer to her healing?
Can Allyn overcome the broken?
Kelly - 5 Crowns
A life of opportunities was given to me the day I was born, and those opportunities were taken from me the day they killed my will to fight. - Allyn Sommers
Firstly, I'm going to say that this book is no easy read. In-fact, the pre/prologue was downright horrific; those warnings given by the author are there for a reason, so I suggest you go in knowing that the subject matter is going to be dark, raw and disturbing. Although, as I say this, please know that this story in its full entirety is one that will stay with me for a while to come because it’s also one of the most empowering reads of 2014.
A horrific crime, a broken girl and a dedicated psychiatrist who finally opens the door to salvation leaves a deep, lingering peace with the reader, because love in its most truest of forms proves it has the power to conquer all.
The darkness, fear, self-deprecation, the nightmares of a crime so abhorrent that the colour is stripped from Allyn’s world; dark clouds and beige walls depicts what is left of a young woman's soul, one that carries deep scars and the burden of being the only surviving victim of an organised crime ring who subjects young women to the horrors of gang rape, knife play and murder.
Allyn cannot leave the house, her windows have bars and her panic alarm is always held tightly within her palm. One day, a televised interview of three females held captive for many years tell their story of their recuperation after finding freedom and integration back into society, their answer comes in the form of a name… Dr. Dominic Shriver.
Dominic is a psychiatrist and an expert in kidnap/victimisation/sexual crime. Dedicating his career into helping women overcome their fears, Allyn realises that after three-years of imprisoning herself in her home, that time has finally come to seek help.And all it takes is one phone-call to change everything.
"My body is a walking keepsake, holding memories I can never get rid of. Scars that tell a story I’d rather forget.”
But Dominic doesn’t want her to forget, she never will fail to recall what happened to her that stormy day as she was taken from the clothing store; the problem is moving on and trying to find absolution and strength in pushing forward. Now, if only she will just answer the fucking door…
The only colour that Allyn has seen since the crime is that of the blue-jay that sits by her window, but Dominic is about to show her a new way and his methods work, his kind and supportive manner soon builds a trust that Allyn never thought she would have with anyone ever again but what comes next surprises them both when rehabilitation turns into growing mutual attraction.
“What is it?” I ask as I step on the front porch.
“You gave me the courage to open the door.”
Dominic is enamoured by her strength, her mind and her beauty. Her scars are only skin deep, he can see the beautiful girl who lingers beneath.
“I don’t see scars. I see a beautiful, strong, courageous woman who’s lived through hell, and who’s choosing to fight back.’
The feeling is alien but liberating, and with it comes hope and the notion that second-chances may be possible, for them both…
Liberating, empowering and deeply compelling. A Life Less Broken tells a very honest and, at times, distressing tale of a young woman overcoming a devastating crime but who eventually finds hope in trust and freedom in love.
Told in alternating first person POV, Allyn and Dominic’s journey is emotional but beautiful nonetheless. The darker elements are disturbing but its deliverance is powerful and the writing, spectacular. You will have your moments of uncertainty in the early chapters but I advise you to stick with it because by the end, you will be happy that you did!
This is not erotica! This is a love-story told sympathetically, one that nurtures and grows into something undeniably beautiful, go in knowing that and it will give you the strength to ‘move forward,’ just like Allyn. <3