I left him behind because I had no choice…
That’s what I keep telling myself, but it doesn’t make it any easier to sleep at night… or to drown out the words he kept repeating over and over the day we’d met: I just want to go home. That was eight long years ago and I’d only known him as Billy, a terrified fourteen-year-old I’d had to leave behind to save someone else.
But his name wasn’t Billy and he’s no longer a frightened kid lost in a world where he was nothing more than a possession. His name is Remy, and while I didn’t recognize him upon meeting him again, he sure as hell remembers me.
It would be easier just to turn my back on him a second time, especially since that’s exactly what he wants, but there’s no way I can let the tormented young man go. At least not without trying to make things right first. The problem is, even if I can make up for leaving Remy behind so long ago, I’m not sure I’ll be able to walk away from him twice.
I don’t know what that means, but I do know that it scares the hell out of me.
Because needing in my world comes at a heavy price… one that not even I can afford to pay.
He gave me hope when I’d had none left, but he forgot about me just like all the others…
I fight. That’s what I do. It’s who I am.
But when Luca Covello walked into the dark, dirty room my captors were keeping me in so long ago, I’d already decided to do the one thing I hadn’t in the three years since I’d been taken from my home and family.
Then he’d been there, like a bright light in a sea of darkness, and I’d had something new to fight for, to stay alive for… the day Luca came back to get me like he’d promised.
Except he never came.
And now, eight years later, he’s decided he wants to play the hero and save me. Well, I don’t need saving.
Not anymore… not ever.
Along with two years of sobriety under my belt, I’ve got a good job, a decent apartment, and I’ve managed to put my past where it belongs… in the past. No one, not even the gorgeous, mysterious businessman, is going to mess things up for me. If he’s come seeking forgiveness, I’m fresh out.
And if he’s come seeking something else… well, let’s just say that when I’m done with him, there’s no way he’ll forget me this time around.
Forgotten: Luca has all the things I’ve come to expect from a Sloane Kennedy romance: amazing writing, complex emotions, dynamic characters, and well developed plots. It’s not a light read, but it’s not mired in darkness either. There is a lot of angst and grief, but there are also giggles.
I have a lot of respect for Kennedy’s writing. It’s smooth and delves into complex emotions in a way that is all-encompassing. She drags you into the heads of her characters and there’s nothing jarring to jolt you back into your own. Her setting descriptions are usually snuck in so quickly and subtly that you don’t notice them until you realize that you know exactly where you are and what the environment looks and feels like. All of this is true in Forgotten: Luca.
Luca and Remy don’t start out in a good place. They’re haunted by pasts full of tragedy and the complicated aftermaths. There’s a lot of guilt and anger being flung around and internalized. However, as the two men spend time together and bond over the care of a little girl that’s stolen both their hearts, a lot of better and happier things start getting flung around instead. It was wonderful to watch them grow and heal, both together and independently.
Sloane tackles some heavy issues in this book, including sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Readers of her Protectors series probably won’t be surprised to see this content surfacing again. I thought that she handled the subjects with delicacy and respect. Though the characters discuss abuse and past trauma, none of it happens on page and none of it is gratuitous. It shapes the characters and their reactions and is never brushed aside when it becomes inconvenient.
All in all, I thought Forgotten: Luca was an excellent book and I enjoyed reading it. You don’t need to have read previous books in the universe to enjoy this one, but if you have you’ll enjoy cameos by past characters. Earlier books will give you a bit of a head start on the main characters’ backgrounds, but you can just as easily find most of the relevant information in the first few chapters of Forgotten: Luca.
Trigger warnings: Discussion of addiction, drug use, sexual and general abuse, sex trafficking.
I received an advance copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.
Find Forgotten: Luca on Amazon. It’s available for purchase or you can borrow it through Kindle Unlimited.
Visit Sloane Kennedy’s website.