Reviewed by Mandi
Back in May when I went to Dallas for the RT Convention, I heard Molly O’Keefe speak about her upcoming book called Everything I Left Unsaid. All she would say is that it’s a dark erotic book about a girl who answers a cell phone. I was hooked. And oddly enough, when I got home from RT, there was a paperback advanced copy waiting for me. I picked it up immediately and devoured.
Annie is in her twenties and on the run from her abusive husband. After being almost strangled to death, she flees to North Carolina and rents a mobile home in a trailer park. She thinks being out of a big city and basically in the middle of nowhere will help keep her hidden. The manager of the trailer park has offered her a job helping to keep the grounds clean, and Annie is desperate for that money. Right when she moves in, she hears a cell phone ring, and she digs in the crack of the chair and pulls it out and answers it. On the other end of the line is a man named Dylan. Dylan had asked the previous owner of the trailer to keep an eye on Annie’s neighbor, and Dylan was not aware the previous owner had moved out and left their cell phone. They start a conversation.
Let me pause a minute and say – It surprised me that Annie would pick up this phone, answer it and have a somewhat normal conversation with a strange man. Being on the run from her husband, I didn’t expect her to be so open this way. She guarded her name and why she was at the trailer, but it didn’t feel right for some reason. However, once I got to know Annie, the way her personality is, reflecting on this, it fits.
Dylan is a little more of a mystery to start this book. He is a recluse, living up on a mountain and building/creating a fancy engine for race cars. He is very wealthy. There is a big reason he is a recluse, but I think I’ll leave that out of the review. You discover it eventually in the book. Dylan is a good guy – we get his point of view so I never felt he was a creeper on the other end of the phone.
Dylan and Annie start an erotic phone relationship and it’s super hot and sexy. Annie is afraid of her husband, but she isn’t afraid of life. She still believes in herself and in people, and that really struck me. She is cautious, but she needs that human connection that she hasn’t had in the years married to her husband. She can’t help but make friends with her neighbor Joan, who is bitchy and blunt and a stripper. She can’t help but make friends with her neighbor Ben, who is elderly, abrasive, a little mean, yet gives her food from his garden. Even though both Joan and Dylan beg her to stay away from Ben (ooooh secrets and twists!!) she can’t help but lend a hand when he is down. The people at the trailer park play a big role in this book and this storyline is done very well.
Annie is not technically a virgin, but she is more of a virgin than most virgin heroines I’ve ever read. Yes, she has had sex with her husband, but she hasn’t experience pleasure. None. She has never masturbated. Pleasure is a foreign concept to her. She can’t even lie in her own bed naked. Growing up, her mother was a paranoid farmer, and she heaped her paranoid tendencies on Annie. That, paired with an abusive husband leaves Annie lacking in self-confidence and confused.
She suffers from shame and embarrassment, and that is a big thing she must work through in this book. And she eventually admits this to Dylan over the phone. He finds this hot and sexy, and he takes care of her, leading her to pleasure on her own with just his voice and some quiet commands.
Because what he heard in her voice told him everything he needed to know about her. That she was scared, but she was trying; in order to get what she wanted she was pushing past her own bullshit fears and being brave. In her voice, he could hear every dark and forbidden thing she craved. And he wanted to give it to her. Everything she wanted and the things she didn’t know to want, yet.
How far would she go?
She wanted dark? He had all the dark. All of it. And he’d show her every midnight corner of it.
Annie goes from being scared to talk to him on the phone, to excited for his next call. This author does such a good job creating a romance where the two of them are not physically together for most of the book. You kind of forget they are not in the same room at times.
I don’t want to give away too much about this book – but there are secrets. And twists. Annie and Dylan do meet at some point. And we end on a cliffhanger. But don’t freak out. It’s a cliffhanger you can kind of guess will happen. And I’m glad we aren’t done their story yet because they both aren’t ready for that solid HEA yet. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in book two, out at the end of November. Annie is such a cool heroine – I adored her.