A Vivian Chastain Novel
Vivian Chastain is an adrenaline-addicted veteran transitioning to civilian life in Sacramento, California. She settles into a new routine while she finishes up college and works as a bartender, covering up her intense anxiety with fake bravado and swagger. All Vivian wants is peace and quiet, but her whole trajectory changes when she stumbles upon a heinous crime in progress and has to fight for her life to get away.
While recovering from the fight, she falls in love with someone who is tall in stature but short on emotional intelligence, and this toxic union provides Vivian the relationship that she thinks she needs. Given Vivian’s insecurities and traumatic past, she clings to the relationship even while it destroys her.
Vivian’s relationships are strained to their breaking points as she continues to seek balance. She turns to her best friend for support, only to be left empty-handed and alone until she finds comradery and care from the last person she would have thought.
I usually bounce between about six different books, reading them all at the same time, but Vivian's story grabbed me so hard and so viscerally that I literally put every other book I was reading aside so I could absolutely lose myself in the story. The genre isn't one I usually read, but holy heck, this book didn't let up and I couldn't put it down. This is the first book in a long time that I've sucked down by itself in less than a week and I am so drawn into the story that I bought the sequel and the third book AND bought copies for my little sister for Christmas. This is a rare gem. I could go on and on about it, honestly. I could go on and on about how the writing is so lush and crisp with detail that I felt like I was there, like I was Vivian, living through this stuff. Absolutely amazing.