Never Let You Go
This is the conclusion to Monica Murphy’s Never Tear Us Apart series and is not a book that stands at all well on its own. To gain a full understanding of the characters and their motivations, you’ll want to read Never Tear Us Apart first.
Never Let You Go picks up a few weeks after Katie and Ethan have broken up. Katie still can’t believe Ethan is really Will Monroe, the son of the man who kidnapped and raped her eight years earlier. She doesn’t understand why Ethan sought her out without telling her the truth about who he really was, but, beneath the hurt and the anger, Katie still has a strong bond with him. She can’t stop thinking about him, and finally, despite the urgings of her mother and older sister, Katie sets up a meeting with Ethan, hoping to find some peace.
For his part, Ethan is aware that lying to Katie was wrong, but in many ways, he doesn’t regret doing so. He wanted the chance to see her, and once he did, he found it impossible to stay away. Now though, Katie knows the truth, and Ethan knows he deserves her contempt. Still, he can’t let things rest. He’s surprised when Katie agrees to meet him for a cup of coffee and a chat, but he can’t help thinking he might be able to worm his way back into her life
Once they see each other again, both Katie and Ethan realize they can’t remain apart. Aaron Monroe, Ethan’s father and Katie’s kidnapper, has scarred each of them deeply, and they both feel an unbreakable connection to one another. Katie realizes people might see her relationship with Ethan as unhealthy, but she decides it doesn’t matter. Ethan doesn’t seem to care what anyone else thinks. Katie is all that matters to him.
In the coming weeks, Ethan and Katie face many obstacles as they work toward their HEA. Katie’s family tries to get between them. The media pesters them mercilessly, and, most disturbing of all, Aaron Monroe isn’t finished with either of them. He’s been making plans for the past several years, and he’s nearly ready to put them into action.
The story is told from alternating points of view so that we hear from both Ethan and Katie, as well as from Aaron. His chapters are deeply disturbing. The first book gave us a few glimpses into his mind, but here, Ms. Murphy lets us see into the twisted depths of his psyche. His hatred and rage were sometimes difficult for me to read, but they added a necessary bit of danger to Will and Katie’s story.
I had a hard time liking Ethan’s character. I didn’t like the stalking and the lying and there were times I felt he was more obsessed with Katie than he was in love with her. Also, his justifications for his bad behavior were very wearing. He redeems himself in the second half of the book, but even so, I never warmed to him as much as I had hoped to.
I admired Katie’s strength and determination. She was obviously deeply affected by her traumatic past, but Ms. Murphy allows us to see her move past what happened to her. I liked that her healing was a process, rather than a miraculous event. At first, I found her attachment to Ethan a little strange, but as the story continued, I gained some insight into why she felt as she did.
Never Let You Go is a story that deals with many difficult subjects, and Ms. Murphy handles them expertly. She shows the reader that love isn’t always simple and clean; that sometimes, it’s dark and complicated, but still worth pursuing.