By: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Published: May 1, 2012
When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.
I never thought it was possible to have so many confusing emotions while reading a book.
Naomi is kidnapped when she is hit by a car driven by two criminals. They take her back to their house which contains a deranged family atmosphere. Eric is the leader of the group and is the one that everyone seems to be afraid of. His sister Evelyn, her husband, Steve and Jessie all live in the house. During the day they lock Naomi in her room and head to work. After they feel they can trust her, they end up letting Naomi out to eat dinner with them and after time they leave the door unlocked and she is free to roam the house… of course Eric is always near by. Throughout her stay at the house she battles her emotions both old and new. He home life was pretty lonely with her parents job taking presidence over her and the fact that she was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. After staying in the house for a year she starts to view these people as friends and even finds comfort from Jessie.
A lot of people may look at Naomi and think, “oh she’s too weak.” but is she? If you were in her shoes, what would you do? Would you do what your captives asked acting submissive and biding your time until the perfect opportunity for escape presented itself. Or would you fight tooth and nail to the very end, which would be all of 2 minutes. Eric is a ticking time bomb, his own sister is afraid of what he would do to Naomi is she even twitched towards the front door. Which is why they broke her down emotionally locking her up in her room and rewarding her with time in the main house for good behavior. Do I think Naomi is weak? No, I do not. It takes her a long time to get comfortable around these people and she is still never 100% comfortable with Eric. But with Jessie, he is the only one that has ever shown her any kindness and at times it seems as if he is a captive in the house as well.
While all of this is going on with Naomi the book also follows her mother while she comes to terms with her daughters disappearance. At first she just assumes that her daughter just needed some space and has run off to blow some steam. However, by the time she comes to realize that something is wrong, it’s far too late. She keeps herself busy while working and pretty much shuts everyone out. You find out that she really cares for her daughter and was just trying to not smother her like her mother did.
Like I said an emotional roller coaster. I can see why Naomi started to feel like part of the family while captive, hell I started to forget that they were her kidnappers. However, you never forgot for long and neither did Naomi. However, by that time the kidnappers had humanized themselves by teaching her to cook and buying her birthday presents that even though you knew they were the bad guys you didn’t want Naomi to escape. Heck she herself didn’t want to escape anymore. And Jessie, he was always the solid rock in the story. There’s one instance where Naomi broke down and Jessie was the only one to get through to her and calm her down and then he ripped Eric a new one… well at least I hope he did with all the yelling that pursued afterwards.
Like I said the author wrote this story so well that it had me all twisted and confused and sometimes rooting for the wrong team.
“How can someone so smart and beautiful be so lonely?” -Jessie
Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She loves the seasons, but late summer and early fall are her favorites. She adores chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in whatever time she can grab between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life.
You can find more information about Michelle on her website.