The Girl in the Closet (A Southern Heroes Novel) by Michelle Heard
Released: November 25, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: MA Heard
Reviewed by Keyrsten
Escaping an unthinkable nightmare, I’m given a second chance at life. Cole Trenton is the first person to look past the broken girl. But the moment I give him my heart he leaves.
Secrets never stay buried, and mine returns with a vengeance.
Cole walks back into my life when I need him most. He shows me how to be strong, that monsters only have the power you give them.
But my biggest fear remains.
How do I silence the girl in the closet before I lose Cole again?
I always knew Birdie Liles was different, but that didn’t stop me from falling for her.
After years of being away, I return home to bury my best friend,
only to learn that Birdie’s in trouble.
If I had known about the monster from her past, I never would’ve left.
I went to fight someone else’s war while I left the woman I love unprotected.
But I’m here now, and I’m ready to send Birdie’s demon right back to hell.
*** Trigger Warning: This story deals with dark subject matter that could be triggering for some readers. ***
The synopsis had me hook line and sinker, therefore I came into the book expecting all the dark angsty feelings and ready to have my heart torn to pieces, but to also feel all the love. Coming out the other side of the book, I'm on the fence. The writing itself was beautiful and imagery was vivid. The dialogue flowed smoothly and didn't feel forced. Boy howdy was it dark, but there was beauty that came from the darkness. Where things fell flat for me was I didn't feel an authentic connection between our lovers and the pacing felt rushed towards the climax of the book.
The dark themes tore at your heartstrings and at times I had to take a breather to sort out my feelings about what was happening on the page. The trauma Birdie went through felt jarringly real and my heart hurt for everything she went through. That being said, I was hoping for more growth from her character throughout the story. I was waiting for her to take charge and see signs of her trying to learn how to manage her triggers, but instead she waded around in her suffering biding time for Cole to come be the hero. Of course Cole wasn't able to save her when they were teens, but it felt like he couldn't be the right fit for her until he experienced his on trauma and felt damaged as well. I would have liked her to be able to feel empowered on her own, instead of relying on Cole to make her feel empowered.
Cole and Birdie's relationship didn't have that all consuming it factor for me. Their love for one another felt more like I was being told they were in love instead of being shown they were in love, therefore my heart didn't fully believe it. I also wouldn't go as far as saying they were teenagers in love, more infatuated with each other and definitely had crushes ... heck they barely said 5 sentences to each other before they were separated from one another for 8 years.
The suspense of what happened to Birdie as a child and the events that lead her and Cole back to each other are bone chilling and keep you on your toes. I was more interested in the crime aspect of the book, than I was the love story in the book. Overall it was a decent read and was well written, but it just wasn't fully my cup of tea.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Give me an alpha male with a woman who aces all forms of sarcasm and I'm putty in you hands -- bonus points if a Reverse Harem is involved. Supernatural esque romance and power plays tend to make my heart go pitter patter. I haven't met a book I wasn't willing to try, so if you've got recommendations email them my way. I'm a foul mouthed makeup addict with slight wino tendencies.