Author: Natasha Madison
Series: Heaven & Hell #1
Release date: October 31, 2016
(Sub)genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
I received this book from Gossip GirlsPR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Meeting him was a fluke. Dating him was a mistake. Watching him become a drug addict put me through hell. Running was my only option.
I'm running from my demons and when I find out she's trying to escape her past, I know what I have to do.
One broken cop. One woman fighting for her life. A fragile love.
Sinister secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
They've been to hell. The hard part will be finding their way back together.
Earlier this year I’ve read Natasha Madison’s debut book – Something so Right – and I loved it. Hell and Back is her second book and tells the heartbreaking story of Bella and her daughter Lilah and their chance at a normal life with Jackson. Hell and Back is written in a different style then the first book, and is much more an Alpha book; a somewhat over-the-top Alpha falling for the sweet heroine. I do like the story, but it wasn’t what I expected based upon the author’s first book.
“Hope, hope for change. Hope for the future. Hope for the end of the nightmare I have been living the last four years.”
Bella has escaped hell. After years of horrible abuse by her boyfriend she finally has found the courage to leave him, to save herself and most importantly to save their young daughter Lilah. Being with her ex-boyfriend has cost Bella her relationships with all family and friends she had, and to her surprise her grandmother left her a house and some money to get back on her feet. All Bella wants now is to heal, to build a normal life for her and Lilah. She isn’t looking for another man in her life – her ex made sure of that – but refusing neighbor Jackson is not possible.
“It’s almost too perfect. I have to stop myself from dreaming, from thinking this is what I’m supposed to have. I made my deal with the devil, and I got out. I don’t deserve anything more.”
Jackson is a police officer with a troubled past. After the death of his father his family fell apart, and to this day Jackson feels responsible for the aftermath. He did all he could, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. In his line of work Jackson sees the worst of humanity, and the moment he sees Bella and Lilah he instinctively knows they’ve been through hell. Jackson also feels he is the one to protect and cherish them and steadily he works his way into Bella’s life.
“She has to trust me. She has to give me a chance. I have to show her she can be safe here. I have to show her not every man is evil like the devil. The only thing is how the fuck am I going to convince her or make her let me?”
Having been through hell with her ex-boyfriend, Bella isn’t looking for a man at all. She’s glad she and her daughter are alive, and that she finally can give her daughter a normal childhood with toys and regular food on the table. Bella hasn’t counted on the persistent Jackson, but slowly he breaks down her walls and she lets him in. Jackson has had a normal life with normal relationships with women, but what he feels for Bella – and her daughter Lilah – is something much more. He wants to protect them, love them and be with Bella in every way.
It’s hard to read about Bella’s previous relationship. What her ex did to her is horrible to read, my heart breaks for her and Lilah. I’m so happy she could get away and that the girls have a chance at a normal life. Not only a normal life in safety, but also with a good man who is willing to protect them at all costs. But unfortunately, this man – Jackson – is also my main issue with this book. As a police officer, he knows Bella comes from a very bad place, but instead of taking it slowly, he almost steamrolls himself into her life. He doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and doesn’t listen to Bella. I know Jackson is an Alpha and that he means well, but in my opinion it was a bit too much. Despite the horrors of Bella’s past, Hell and Back is an easy book to read, besides the twist it’s a bit on the predictable side.
“Marry me?” I look at this man with the crystal blue eyes, who has personally chased off every single one of my demons. The man who showed me what it was like to love and to be loved. The man who shows me tomorrow will be better than today.”
I love how Bella and Lilah find their Happy with Jackson, but due to my issues I give Hell and Back 3.5 stars.