Favorite Quote: “Wishes are dangerous, and they’re not for people like me.”
Reviewed by Tori
THE GIRL I LOVED IS THE WOMAN I CAN’T HAVE
It was simple: Pay the debt and I stay out of jail. Pay the debt and I stay alive.
But I sacrificed it all for Beth.
I didn’t pay what I owed. I’m sure punishment is coming, but I can take it – as long as Beth is safe. Away from her mother and everyone else who would hurt her.
I gave it all up for two days with her. And it was worth it.
She always was.
THE SECRETS WE KEEP ARE WHAT TEARS US APART
We’re supposed to be done. Over. Tommy goes his way, I go mine. Cue the heartbreaking music.
I’m supposed to forget him, but I don’t think I can. And when the danger closes in on Tommy, we’re on the run again. From Bates. From my mother. From our past. And there are no safe places to hide.
Except one. And it’s the place that will hurt Tommy the most.
But maybe it’s time for me to face my past. My demons.
Maybe it’s time for me to save Tommy for once. (Goodreads)
At the end of Lost Without You, we left Tommy and Beth on the run from Bates and Beth’s mother. Tommy knows they need a safe place to regroup and to explain things to Bates; especially when Beth’s mom goes on national television and claims Tommy kidnapped Beth. Beth has the perfect place for them to hide though once Tommy understands the significance of the place and it’s owner, he may never want to see her again.
“Rough was what I deserved from him. I needed him to punish me for the lies he didn’t know about yet.”
Where I Belong is the emotional conclusion to Tommy and Beth’s story and The Duet duology, though it is not the end of the arc. Remember, there are three more people who owe a debt to Bates for his help all those years ago. Tommy and Beth have reached a safe place and now it’s time for them to tell the truth to each other and themselves. We’ve already learned of Tommy’s horrific childhood in Lost Without You. In here, we learn Beth’s.
“You’re still that boy, waiting for your mom to come home, just like I’m still the girl waiting for my mom to hear me.”
Beth became Jada as a way to cope with the abuse from her mother and the horror she experienced at St. Judes that terrible night. Her mother, a famous child psychologist, used drugs and threats to keep Beth complacent and calm. When Beth bucked against her control and ran away, her mother had her arrested and sent to St. Judes. Afterward, Beth learned to hide and bide her time till she was old enough to leave without fear of arrest. Jada is tougher and edgier than Beth. She can handle anything thrown at her and allows ‘Beth’ the luxury of hiding and manipulating the truth in order to save her sanity.
“I was living on a wire that ran in a vicious circle. All at once.”
Focusing on the present, O’Keefe opens Beth and Tommy up with the skill and precision of a surgeon. We have played witness to their most painful confessions and now the fragile connection they have forged is threatened by more lies and omissions. Tommy and Beth’s journey broke my heart over and over though I admit to connecting easier with Tommy. His love for Beth is like a shining beacon of hope he clings to like a liferaft. He has signed his own death warrant in order to protect her. His every action and declaration slayed me a little more. He is definitely the more honest of the two though once you hear Beth’s story, the real one, I better understood some of the choices and decisions she made.
“We both screwed up. We were both scared. We lied and we kept secrets and we’re just…we’re going to stop.”
Sexually, this couple forges an unbreakable bond that in it’s lust and love will never be broken. No matter how many lies they tell themselves. New experiences and old resentments flow through them like a benediction.Though I enjoyed this aspect, I did feel that O’Keefe relied on it too much as building material and a growth chart of sorts for the story. We spend an inordinate amount of time with them in bed together and not enough time on the conflict. Which, in my opinion-resolved far too easily. Also, Bates uses the same threat in here as he did in the Bad Neighbors series with Jack which disappointed me a little.
O’Keefe ends on a positive note in terms of our hero and heroine. givings us the answers to most of the questions we were all asking, and leave us wondering on some others. Simon’s up next on the chopping block and I look forward to learning more about his backstory and who he will be rescuing. I have a feeling I know who his heroine will be but I think I’ll keep it to myself and see if ‘mI right.