Review: Push by Claire Wallis

pushReviewed by Carrie

I’m giving you fair warning that this is a total WTF book. You will either be intrigued by it or you will hate it. The main characters are extremely messed up. Their subsequent relationship is completely dysfunctional. To top it all off, there is a mother of a cliffhanger.  It just so happens that I like dark and twisted people and their stories.  The prologue reveals the end of the book and goes back to the beginning, so if you like to be surprised, skip it.

Emma Searfoss starts to believe that she might be finally be free of her past as she moves into her first apartment since graduating college with a few boxes of whatever was left at her stepfather’s home.  Emma is excited to finally begin her career as an electrical engineer and start her life without fear or judgment.

The maintenance guy who is repairing her kitchen intrigues her.  He shows up day after day, even after she tells him to go away. Suddenly, the sexy carpenter, with his full tattooed sleeves of birds, is a puzzle that Emma very much wants to solve.

On the outside, David Calgaro is a rather quiet self-deprecating, handsome man. He and Emma share an immediate link both growing up in abusive homes. However, they differ in personality – Emma is brash and has anger problems whereas David craves control in every facet of his life.  As they embark on a relationship, Emma and David begin to realize the depths of which their early childhood has shaped each of them as secrets begin to trickle out.

Both David and Emma’s stories are heartbreaking in obvious and in distinct ways.  Personally, I connected more with Emma because every person in her life failed her from her stepfather to her mother to both her brothers and she still survived. David was a bit harder to reach (possibly because readers aren’t privy to his POV much).  He was reserved, cautious and manipulative while still endearing.

Their overall relationship is what you might expect of two passionate, dysfunctional people. It’s a wild ride of emotions, hot sex and lots of co-dependence because they never had good role models to learn from.  They charge the future even as the past hangs over them as an ever present shroud.

What starts out as normal, if slightly askew, goes completely sideways up and down as points of view change and flashbacks become ominous portents to the oncoming train wreck.  The pacing is pitch perfect in keeping the reader engaged and questioning.  I have NO idea how the heck the author is going to pull off the sequel, but I’m biting my fingernails for it.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Claire Wallis
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

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