*****5 ‘My Stolen Moon’ STARS*****

“If I could’ve, I would’ve stolen the moon from the sky.

Held it hostage.

And kept her with me.”

I’ve come to expect unique and carefully plotted story line dynamics from Leddy Harper and Silenced is no exception.  Intricate puzzle pieces tightly woven with undercurrents of anger, revenge, guilt, remorse, fear and above all second chances at love – this tale of a memory driven yet damaged young man and the woman from his childhood who banished his demons quickly stole my heart, ripped it to shreds, spit it back out and then carefully stitched it together again.

                “My eyes were held open by sticks that didn’t exist.”

As a child Killian Foster (H) knows he’s different.  Living his life in pictures he can’t forget the details.  It wouldn’t be until the middle of one terrifying night that the pictures in his head would go from annoying to horrifying.  Meeting Rylee (h) Anderson was his saving grace.  In the innocence of childhood friendship blooms young love and passion.  But as a young man Killian carries the scars of his past burning like an ember, just waiting for the right moment to stoke the fires of revenge for the past sins committed against his family.  Killian has to choose: Love or Revenge?  His choice will end up costing him the one thing he never thought he’d have to life without.

“When it’s nothing but you and your anger, the healing never comes.  If only I’d learned that five years ago.  Ten years ago.  Fifteen years ago.  It all would’ve been different.”

Rylee loves Killian with a soul deep passion that nothing can break.  Or so she thinks.  Defying her parents to love Killian she’s got no idea how deep Killian’s rage and anger really run.  After a night of difficult choices and misunderstandings she’s bereft and feeling betrayed when sun rises and Killian is nowhere to be found.  It’s the beginning of the end.  The end of childhood innocence, of love, of trust.  By the time Killian and Rylee meet again, it’s too late…she’s moved on.  And she’s not interested in rekindling any relationship with Killian.

                “You had your voice this entire time.  They didn’t take it from you.  You’re the one who silenced yourself.”

Deeply moving, this tale of redemptive love and forgiveness touched my heart with its message of healing and hope bound in the complications and choices of life.  As a young boy Killian’s tentative outreach of friendship with Rylee was a touching and tender coming-of-age account building the foundation of their eventual young love and tragic misunderstandings.  It evoked my own reminiscing of childhood relationships and simpler times when the pressures of growing up haven’t hit just yet.  My heart broke for the circumstances these two lovers would face and the hurt and pride they would let get in the way of the possibility of a future, of happiness, together.  It’s one of the characteristics of Leddy’s stories that I have come to adore for all it makes me yank my hair out – flawed, raw, real people.  For all Killian’s breathtaking devotion to Rylee, he made the wrong choice and lost years of his life working towards a goal that will ultimately end up breaking him.  And Rylee is so focused on not feeling the soul crushing hurt of Killian’s abandonment that she sacrifices her morals, her dignity, for the chance to numb herself and forget with an abusive man.  You can clearly see the train wreck bearing down on them and want to yell at them to grow up and talk – stop hurting each other.  But that’s not life, people have to hurt, they have to mess up – sometimes really badly – to learn from their mistakes and grow, move forward.  It’s as ugly as it is beautiful.  And it’s captured here with absolute adroitness.

“I listened to my anger and my resentment, when I should’ve listened to my heart.  My heart has always led me to you.  It always will.  I’m sorry.  For so many things, but mostly because I hurt you.”

Flawed and damaged characters seamlessly blended with real world choices, mistakes and lessons, it’s the best of both worlds for me.  Peppered with the gritty and realistic, a love story born of imagination with the second chance we don’t always get in life…laid out before me in nothing short of perfection, both ugly and beautiful.  Real.  Love.

“That’s when I was no longer silenced.”

K’s Category: 3rd date, read several novels by author to date.

Characters: M/F

OM/OW: Yes, h

Sex: Yes, descriptive

HEA: HEA

Standalone: Yes

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