There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras
Published January 10, 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Program
Genres New Adult, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Buy on Amazon http://amzn.to/1QBVtin
This story revolves mainly around the two main characters, Blake Brennan and Cole Murphy. Blake has a past that has been hidden from her and is filled with secrets, as is her present. Blake’s background story consists of her witnessing the violent death of her mother in their home and her father has also died, although she did not witness that. She is then sent to live with an Aunt, until the Aunt passes away and she is placed in a foster home until she turns 18. The violent loss of her parents still haunts her, causing her have nightmares and she lives in a state of constant fear and almost paranoia about things like locked doors. On her 25th birthday, her lawyer gives her a key to a safety deposit box which was left by her Aunt. It contains some information about her past, letters from her Aunt and family photos. After going through these personal items, her nightmares start revealing more and more details to her and she begins to question her past and try to put the pieces together. Cole Murphy, the other main character, grew up in the same foster home as her and they dated before they both headed off to college. They have a rocky history together, but a love that runs very, very deep. Cole comes back into her life, but she is unsure whether or not to fully let him in, for fear that he will be put in danger.
I really enjoyed this book, as well as the sequel. I have previously read books by Claire Contreras and loved the Hearts series. But I also really enjoyed this series as well. The book is a romance, but it is also a mystery. The author did a good job at balancing the two genres together. The book also deals with things such as family, friendship and loss. This is a book that I became very interested in from the first page and read it in 1 day. A large part of the book focuses on what appears to be Blake’s PTSD in regards to the death of her family. Cole is the only person who has ever made her feel safe and although she has dated many other people over the years they have been apart, she can never fully explain her past or let them completely in.
This book does flip back and forth between the present and the past, which can get slightly confusing at times. The author did a pretty good job with this writing style, except I got slightly confused when the chapter said “Present” but Blake was talking about the past; it took a page or two to realize she was recalling a memory or a dream. The characters in the book as all really developed, including Blake’s foster brother Aubry and her best friend Aimee. I felt like I really got to know Aubry’s personality as well as Blake and Cole’s. The book does contain sexual content, but the author writes in a style that I enjoy. I never once thought it was over the top or had those moments where I cringe and think, “People do not talk or act like this.” The book does end on a cliffhanger, which normally I am not a fan of (and the author states at the end of the book that she is also not a fan of cliffhangers, but she wrote the ending first) but since the second book is already out, I just started reading the second book right after I finished the first. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and between this and the first series I read, I am now quite a fan of Claire Contreras. If you enjoy contemporary romance and mystery, I would highly recommend this series.