By Callie Hart
Twelve years ago, I ran to stay alive.
Port Royal, South Carolina, was my home. I was born there. I fell in love there. And I nearly died there. I never thought I’d go back. Now, after so many years, I have to return to bury the man who made my life a living hell. Some nights, I used to cry myself to sleep, praying my father would die. Other nights were different. Other nights, there was him.
My first confidante. My first kiss. My first love. My first everything: Callan was the glue that held me together when everything else was falling apart. He was my savior. He was there for me whenever I needed him…
Until he wasn’t.
Every night, I’ve seen the love of my life in my sleep.
I just never thought I’d have to face him again.
Twelve years ago, I f*#@ed up big time.
Living life through a camera lens is sometimes easier than dealing with it head on. Scratch that. It’s always easier. For over a decade, I’ve been a master of my art, taking photographs all over the world. Yet despite all of the countries I’ve visited, the amazing things I’ve seen, the beautiful women I’ve screwed, my heart has remained in pieces.
Coralie’s the only woman I’ve ever loved, will ever love. And I’m determined to show her that we’re meant to be together. Even if it means unearthing the bones of the past in the process.
A lifetime and a thousand miles have stood between us.
Now, there’s no length of time I won’t wait, no distance I won’t travel, in order to make her mine.
With the great ratings and reviews CALICO has on both Amazon and Goodreads, as well as how interesting the blurb sounds, I thought this was going to be a slam dunk of a great read for me. Sadly, it was not. The first and last 20% of the story grabbed me, but the 60% in the middle was, for lack of a better word, boring. It took me a few days to finish and there were several times I considered not finishing it at all, which was really disappointing.
I noticed several spelling mistakes, incorrect word usage and missing words throughout the story, which I’m surprised haven’t been fixed since it was published eighteen months ago.
What Callan and Coralie have been through and endured, especially Coralie, is truly awful, but apart from one flashback scene towards the end, I didn’t experience the strong emotions I was expecting to with this kind of story. Whether that’s because I was bored or because of the storytelling, I honestly can’t say.
I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that at least two adults knew Coralie’s father was beating her, but neither went to the police to report it. Neither of them were willing to help a teenage girl get out of a terrible situation, especially Friday, a mother figure who was clearly very fond of Coralie.
Finally, the second time they were intimate—in the present—had the potential to be a truly beautiful scene, but it changed so quickly I felt like I had whiplash. One minute they’re loving and emotional and declaring their feelings, and in the next, Callan is asking Coralie if she can handle a good fucking before taking photos of her in sexual poses. Then he starts telling her about all the women he’s had sex with and how they don’t compare to her. I think it was supposed to be a romantic gesture on Callan’s part, and if that is the case, it missed the mark spectacularly.
CALICO is told in dual POVs and in both past and present time. It is a stand-alone and it does come with a HEA for Callan and Coralie. It contains scenes of physical abuse, suicide and bulimia that may be triggers for some readers.
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