Escape and Freedom – Claire Highton-Stevenson & Sarah Sampino (narrator)

4.5*
I liked this book much more than I thought I would. I had only read two books by this author so far (the first two in the Cam Thomas series) and they didn’t really work for me. This one, though, totally did. I listened to it on audiobook and Sarah Sampino’s narration also played a huge part in my enjoying it so much. Each character has their own voice, the children’s especially are very good.

It’s really not an easy story, and should probably come with a few trigger warnings. It’s about the meeting of two broken women and there are a few scenes of violence and abuse. They are not gratuitous and they are thankfully short. I felt the author dealt with them very carefully, sharing only as much as was needed but they can still feel quite intense.

So, the story. Lucy lost everything in an accident: the love of her life, her career, her friends. Even if she could forget, the scars on her body keep reminding her. She has left the UK for a very solitary life on the shores of Lake Tahoe, where, years later, she meets Nicole and her three young daughters, who are running away and hiding from an abusive husband and father.

One of my favorite things in this novel is the relationship between Lucy and Storm, the oldest child. I’m usually annoyed by too smart kids in books but with everything that little girl has gone through, I can see how that would make a child grow up fast. The interactions between Storm and Lucy melted my heart, I love how the child got Lucy to open up and come out of herself, beyond her pain.

Another thing I loved was how natural everything felt between Nicole and Lucy. It’s a slow burn romance in a relatively short time and it’s working. Each woman brings the best out of the other, and what else can you ask from a relationship?

There’s a lot of heartache in this novel, but love and life and hope win in the end, as they should.

Escape & Freedom @ Lesbian Audiobooks

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