Lizzie and Tom have been best friends since childhood. They grow up together with similar hopes and dreams for their future, until one day when they’re not kids any more, Lizzie realizes that she’d like to be more than just ‘friends’. Whether Tom notices that Lizzie’s feelings towards him have changed is irrelevant, because he’s a classic narcissist! Everything is all about him and what he can gain from the situation. The same goes for people – if he can get something out of having any type of relationship with you, he’ll use you any way he can, until you’re no longer useful! Sadly, Lizzie is blind to all of this, and willing to do anything and everything for Tom, which results in disaster!
Ten years on from said ‘disaster’ Lizzie (now calling herself Beth) is living a quiet, unassuming life in the house she grew up in. She hasn’t heard from Tom since ‘that’ day, and the events which she’s done her best to erase from her mind and her life. And then, out of the blue, Tom arrives on her doorstep, wanting to pick up where they left off … assuming he can just waltz back into her life after breaking so many promises and walking away from her all those years ago. Will she allow him to do that?
The story is told in a split timeline between ‘now’ when Tom returns, and the events of years ago that led to the end of their friendship. It would be easy to put Lizzie down, calling her spineless, easily led, possibly even silly or naive. But when one delves into how a manipulative narcissist operates, it makes things a lot more complex. Individuals like this choose their targets carefully and in this situation, Tom had many years during which he could groom and mould Lizzie into exactly the type of meek person he needed her to be. He craved her adoration and adulation, even though he was popular with most people who didn’t see through his fake charm. And eventually, he also knew that despite being warned off by her mother, she would ignore any negative comments made about him. Make no mistake, this isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. It happens all the time and Alex Stone has described the situation in all its dark and sad detail, stretching out as it happens over many years!
This is a quick read, and although the subject matter isn’t light, it would probably make a good holiday read! Readers will find themselves torn between frustration, anger and compassion as they race to the conclusion, anxious to see how it will all end. It’s a solid 4-star read.
Thank you to RaRa Resources for the blog tour …