A really terrific romance that I felt was very strongly grounded in the real world and dealt with some really heavy issues. Tess (Angel) and Axel (Arion) seem to connect in a way that keeps you entranced and curious as to what will happen to these two individuals who have major trust issues. I think “Trust” is the thing that both Arion and Tess have a problem with given what they both have experienced in life, but from very different perspectives.
One of the most interesting things is that even though they met through a role playing game, their conversations always ran much deeper than they thought they would. Plus neither thought that they would ever really meet in person, but something happens to Tess, aka Angel that makes her seek out refuge with Axel aka Arion. Tess is running from her past and hoping that she can start over and rebuild her life. She goes to Axel because he’s the person she feels the most comfortable around.
When Tess and Axel meet for the first time, it’s a very intense meeting. One that Axel never expected. Yet he embraces her and helps Tess rebuild her life slowly. I mean Axel is everything that Tess needs at a time when she is wrestling with the abuse she suffered from her ex-boyfriend who lets say it, is one scary individual. She feels like her life was stolen from her and in some ways it was because her ex, Nick took away the things that were precious to her. It’s not always easy to get those things back once they have been taken. Trust is something that abuse victims have a hard time learning how to trust someone. Tess exemplifies this and the writer does a good job showing just how much work Axel is going to have to do to win her trust.
Through out this whole book I felt like Axel aka Arion was wonderful to Tess and Tess starts to feel like with Axel she can be herself and doesn’t want to be afraid to commit to someone else. Also love how he trusts her and shows her through small gestures, but they are never the less huge for Tess. Tess slowly starts to let go of the past with Axel. Axel starts to want things for himself as well, but has never gotten over his own abandonment issues. When a parent abandons you, you never get over it. For Axel, he worries that Tess will leave him like his mother did. Yet, for some weird reason they start to open up to each other in a way that I didn’t expect. It really was very nice to read this kind of conversation.
There are some really scary moments towards the end when Tess has to confront the demons of her past quite literally along with Axel as well. I really liked how both Tess and Axel really found the strength to move past their pasts and embrace what the present has to offer and maybe even the future. An enjoyable contemporary.