Book Review: Collared by Nicole Williams

10 Apr 2016

Book Title: Collared
Author: Nicole Williams
Series: Standalone
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Sociology
When a seventeen-year-old girl vanishes,
A community is shaken.
Parents turn desperate.
Friends hold vigils.
And the boy who loves her searches.

When a year goes by,
The community is recovering.
Parents feel hopeless.
Friends feel helpless.
And the boy who loves her continues his search.

When ten years go by,
The community has forgotten.
Parents cling to the past.
Friends move toward the future.
And the boy who loves her . . .
Brings her home.

Jade Childs spent ten years in captivity, but now that she’s back, the real battle for survival begins. The media shadows her. Flashbacks haunt her. Her old life evades her. Her so-called new life rejects her. She spent too many years in the dark to recognize the light. She spent too long repressing her feelings to remember how to express them. She spent a decade abandoning hope and cannot dare letting it back into her life. Jade’s not just defined by what happened to her—she’s collared to it.

When the twenty-seven-year-old woman is found,
A community wants to know the story,
Parents want to forget the story,
Friends want to be a part of the story,
And the man who still loves her faces the greatest challenge yet: letting her go.

What a refreshing spin on the captive trope! Instead of focusing on captivity and intensive depravity, we follow the journey of Jade Childs through her recovery following ten years of captivity. This book did not give us hearts-and-flowers dancing unicorns, instead plops the reader smack dab in the intensive day to day struggle to recover from such an all-consuming ordeal.

At first I was a bit taken back by not really getting much time with Jade's captivity or her captor. But that's done for a reason. We get blips of flashbacks to her time with Earl Ray and the fine line between love and hate for him; the fine line between desire to move on and desire to go back to all she knows for the past decade of her life- her "normal." But one thing is constant, one thing is her beacon grounding her...Torrin Costigan. Her high school sweetheart and the man who never gave up the battle to find Jade.

Yes this is a romance but I found it more of a journey of sorts. The love story is there but the road to recovery is the main focus. I hadn't been spoiled a major plot twist around 25% and I'm so so thankful for that- so thank you early reviewers! I about fell off my chair when I read it!

Collared is a rather emotional, darkish book that captured my heart and caused reactions where I least expected it. One huge plug to the author's ability to provide the reader with understanding to her struggle between missing her captor and hating him when it's all said and done. There was one scene related to this that made me cry! I'm thinking to myself "Allison, you're crying for her missing her CAPTOR? What's wrong with you?" But in doing so, I realized, holy crapstick, Nicole Williams just stuck me smack dab in Jade's shoes. Unconventional feelings as they were, I cried right alongside of her. That is great writing. neither of us should've cried for that sick f@ck but we both did! Unconventional grief and attachment and I felt it as hard as Jade did.

This book has an ending that may not 100% make hearts-and-flowers romance readers all-together happy. I felt it was 100% realistic to the story and perfectly executed.

Well done!

Nicole  Williams

I'm a wife, a mom, a writer. I started writing because I loved it and I'm still writing because I love it. I write romance because I still believe in true love, kindred spirits, and happy endings. 

Nicole loves hearing from her readers. You can connect with her on:

Facebook: Author Nicole Williams
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Twitter: nwilliamsbooks

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