Never Tear Us Apart

Never Tear Us Apart

by Monica Murphy


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The first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again—the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now—beautiful, quiet, composed—and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.

I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe.

Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.

So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.

My father.

Praise for Never Tear Us Apart

“All the best parts of romance and betrayal . . . I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover

“A powerful story that left me raw yet hopeful.”USA Today bestselling author K. A. Tucker

“A powerful story of friendship, trauma, coping and betrayal. The characters jump off the page into real life and will have readers gasping and feeling every emotion that they go through. Another amazing book to add to Murphy’s already stellar library!”RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)

“Murphy has written a compelling and emotional love story of two severely broken people, each of whom can be healed only by the other.”Booklist

“Murphy imbues these characters with genuineness and plausibility. . . . [Readers] will look forward to the promised sequel.”Publishers Weekly

“It’s poetic, addresses difficult themes, and captures the essence of our fragility as humans and the strength love provides.”Heroes and Heartbreakers

“Beautiful, poignant, and perfectly written . . . It’s a book that burrows into your very heart and grabs hold. A book that’s different yet unforgettable. A book that touches on a deeply emotional and dark subject and yet gives you the light at the end of the tunnel for it.”—Dirty Girl Romance

“Emotional, beautiful, devastating and fascinating . . . To say I loved this book is an understatement. . . . I truly recommend this story if you’re looking to read something different and out of the box.”—The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Boyfriends

“A beautiful kind of heartbreak . . . the kind of heartbreak that keeps you flipping pages, holding your breath and on the verge of tears. All in the hopes that what you know is going to happen, deep down in the darkest parts of your heart, will actually all work out and these characters you’ve come to care about will heal and love and live.”—Black Heart Reviews

“Had me tangled in knots emotionally with the compelling plot, dark and twisted romance, and heartbreaking past Ethan and Katherine had to endure.”—Harlequin Junkie

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101967287
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 1,066,402
Product dimensions: 5.15(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Monica Murphy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of One Week Girlfriend, Second Chance Boyfriend, Three Broken Promises, Four Years Later, Owning Violet, Stealing Rose, Taming Lily, and the eBook novella Drew + Fable Forever. A native Californian, she lives in the foothills of Yosemite with her husband and three children.

Read an Excerpt



The lights are bright and hot and I feel little beads of sweat form along my hairline. I don’t touch my face, though. I might ruin the makeup that someone just spent the last thirty minutes carefully applying, so I dip my head and wring my hands together instead, noting how clammy my palms are, though my fingers are like ice. A fitting contradiction, considering how I feel.

Nervous. Excited. Terrified. I make no sense. What I’m doing makes no sense, especially to my family.

I’m about to go on camera. Ready to tell my story.


The reporter is one I’ve seen on TV since I can remember. She’s famous. Everyone knows her name. She’s pretty in that broadcast news way. Perfectly coiffed dark blond hair, bright blue eyes heavily made up. Slashes of peachy pink define her cheeks and her lips are a subtle berry color. She’s efficient and knows exactly what she wants. I can tell by the way she commands the room, by how fast the network employees do her bidding. She’s strong. Confident. Flawless.

Reminding me that I am most definitely not. All of my flaws mock me, remind me that I’m not perfect. At one point in my life I thought I was pretty close to it, when I was young and ignorant and believed myself untouchable. But perfect is hard to obtain. And once you lose all sight of it, it’s impossible to gain back.


“Are you ready, Katherine?” The reporter’s voice is soft and even and I glance up, meeting her sympathetic gaze. Humiliation washes over me and I sit up straighter, schooling my expression. I don’t need her pity. After feeling hollow inside for so long, unable to dig up even an ounce of bravery, unable to face . . . any of this, I finally feel strong enough and I can’t forget that.

Only took me eight years and my father’s death to make it happen, but I’m doing it.

“I’m ready,” I tell her with a firm nod. I hear Mom off to the side, murmuring something to Brenna, and I refuse to look at them, too afraid my strength will evaporate. They came with me, I told them I needed their support, but now I’m wondering if that was a mistake. I don’t want to hear Mom’s sobs while I’m trying to talk. I don’t want to see them watching me spill all of my painful, ugly secrets with horrified expressions and tears in their eyes.

Everyone’s shed enough tears over this tragedy that is my life. I should celebrate that I’m alive, not hide in the shadows. I haven’t been allowed to talk for so long and I feel almost . . . liberated. Yes, despite the awful things I’m about to reveal, I’m relieved. Free. From the moment I came home, Dad demanded our silence. Particularly mine. He was too embarrassed, too ashamed that he’d failed his daughter.

I heard him say that once, when he and Mom got into a huge fight pretty soon after I came back home. They thought I was sleeping safely in my bedroom but their yelling woke me up, not that I slept much back then. I still have a hard time. But I remember that moment like yesterday, it’s burned so deep in my brain. The despair in Dad’s voice, that’s what drew me out of bed first. That and my name being mentioned again and again, their voices rising.

I slipped out of bed and crept down the hall, my heart racing. I pressed my body against the wall of the hallway and listened, unable to turn away when I realized they weren’t just talking about me—­they were fighting about me.

“You can’t keep her under lock and key,” Mom had said. “I know I was always the overprotective one, but I think . . . no, I know you’re taking it too far.”

“I failed her, Liz. I failed our baby girl and there’s nothing I can do to change that.”

But he could have changed that, if he’d just accepted me. Hugged me like he hugged my older sister, Brenna, without thought and with plenty of affection. If he’d stopped looking at me with so much shame and humiliation filling his eyes, as if I were some sort of mistake returned home to them, sullied and disgusting. I went from being Daddy’s girl to the daughter Daddy didn’t want to touch, all in a matter of days.

It hurt me then. It still hurts me now. And he’s been dead for over six months.

“We can stop taping at any time if you need a moment to compose yourself while you’re telling your story,” the reporter reassures me in her smooth, professionally comforting voice, and I smile and nod, thinking in my head that won’t be necessary.

I need to tell it, and I don’t want to stop, or come back at another time. I need to purge it from my soul once and for all.

More than anything, I need to set the record straight.

There have been endless reports on what happened to me. Countless one-­hour documentaries devoted to my case. Two made-­for-­TV movies and about a bazillion true crime shows. My face was on the cover of People magazine when I was first found eight years ago. Wearing a drab gray sweatshirt and matching pants a female police officer gave me that were two sizes too big, my eyes full of tears as I stared at the camera while they escorted me out of the police station. They were taking me to the hospital so I could be examined.

A shiver moves down my spine at the horrific memory.

I kept that magazine, stashed away in a box. I saved it. My so-­called claim to fame. Why I don’t know. Not like it documents a pleasant memory.

But it’s mine. My life. I can’t change it, no matter how much everyone who loves me wants me to.

People magazine wants to talk to me now, especially once they found out about this interview. They want to put my face on the cover again, but I haven’t said yes. I don’t think I will. Publishers want me to write a book about my experience, but I don’t think I’ll do it. This one time, I will tell my story from start to finish. The scheduled interview will air for one hour, but I’ve already been reassured that if I have more to say, the network will give me two.

Must be a slow week, but I don’t argue with them. I think I will take the two hours. I have a lot to say. This is my time. My moment.

And then I will never speak of Aaron William Monroe in public again.



The sun broke through the wispy tendrils of fog right about the time we left the hotel. Its intense rays caressed my arms and warmed my hair and face as we headed west down the sidewalk, and I regretted wearing the bright red lifeguard sweatshirt Mom bought me last night at a gift shop. I’d begged her for it, pleading with big eyes and my hands together in mock prayer. She’d reluctantly agreed, griping about the price the entire time.

Despite my love for the outrageously red sweatshirt, it was bulky and would look really stupid if I tried to tie it around my waist.

But I was stuck with it.

The sky was this incredible blue that looked almost unnatural, like out of a painting. The wind was cool, bringing with it the scent of the ocean. Dampness lingered in the air, from both the Pacific and the fog, and I could feel it on my face, taking the edge off the heat of the sun. Pure, unfiltered joy seemed to wash over me and I couldn’t remember a time when I’d felt so excited.

Never again would I feel that same innocent excitement.

When we finally arrived, the boardwalk was as crowded as I’d ever seen it and the rides had only just opened. Immediately I launched in, begging Mom and Dad to let us go on our own, and I pulled out all the stops.

“Brenna gets to take off with her friends all the time!” The whine in my voice was unmistakable. I’d been pleading my case, claiming I was old enough and could handle it, but I sounded like a total baby.

“That’s because I’m fifteen, not a whiny little child like you,” Brenna said condescendingly, glancing over at her best friend, Emily, before they both started to crack up. I hated Brenna sometimes. Didn’t really like Emily much, either. They always picked on me. Made me feel dumb.

My best friend, Sarah, glared at the two of them along with me. We seriously didn’t need Brenna’s commentary to screw up what we wanted so desperately.

To hang out at the amusement park all day by ourselves, not having to tag along with Mom and Dad. Sarah and I were both turning thirteen next month, our birthdays only six days apart, and we were eager for a taste of independence.

“Sarah has her cellphone,” I continued, staring at Daddy, pleading with him with my eyes. I could see his gaze waver, the flicker of hesitation, and I needed to latch onto that quickly. “We’ll check in every hour, I swear.”

“I don’t know . . .”

Chancing a quick glance at Mom, I could see that she really wasn’t too big on the idea at all. She wasn’t the one I needed to convince, though.

Daddy was.

“Please. We can meet every two hours if you want. Get together for lunch. It’s only ten. We can meet at noon, right over there.” I pointed at the nearby food court. “Please, please, please.”

“We’ll be on our best behavior,” Sarah said solemnly, her expression serious. So serious I almost wanted to laugh.

But I held it all in. No way would I blow this, not when we were so close.

“No talking to strangers,” Daddy said, pointing at the both of us. I could tell he was this close to agreeing. He was such a softie. “And no leaving this boardwalk, not even to go to the beach.”

My heart threatened to burst from excitement. I knew we almost had him.

“Jim, really.” Mom’s voice was full of disbelief, but I ignored her. Something I’d grown quite good at doing the last few months. We hadn’t been getting along. She was always trying to tell me what to do. I was sick of it. Desperate for independence, wanting to forge my own way, not follow after her. What did she know about my life? Things had changed so much since she was a girl, I knew she couldn’t have a clue.

“Ah, come on, Liz. She’ll be fine,” Daddy reassured her before he turned his sunny smile on me. “We gotta let her go sometime, right?”

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Never Tear Us Apart 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a true crime buff, I always wonder about those who are left behind in the aftermath. As a romance reader, I always love to read about people who find their soulmates. This book made me smile and cry. Beautiful story. Lovely characters.
JosephinesLibrary More than 1 year ago
Breathe. I need to breathe. Ok. I may be a little emotionally distraught at the moment. Intense cliffhanger endings tend to do that to a person. And Never Tear Us Apart just ended in the most intense cliffhanger ending ever. E. V. E. R. I've read many of Monica Murphy's books. Like almost all of them, and this one....this one just takes the cake. Hell. I'm pretty sure this one resides in a whole other ball field. She's known for her witty and sensual writing style. But NTUA, man...I've never read anything like it before. It's dark and riveting, and so very intense. Ethan and Katie's story is hauntingly beautiful. I absolutely loved the dual points of view, and how the author took us from the present into the past seamlessly. It's definitely not a story for the faint of heart, being that it touches on some very sensitive subjects. But it's a story about the bond between two people, its a story about a love so strong , it's all-consuming. And how love can bring hope. I really enjoyed Ethan and Katie's story and look forward to book two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very careful with the subject which was great. I dont know if someone in that situation would feel that way, but ive been in part of that situation and i could understand some of those feelings. I thought the love story was odd, but kind of made sense as only a few people can understand these things. The book was great. I just immediatly bought the 2nd book right now.
JoannaDursi More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you think a book's subject might be to hard to handle but WOW NTUA was told in such a delicate way that despite the despicable things done to Katherine as a child you can't help but be sucked into the story. Katie was kidnapped and brutalized at age 12. She has been trying to put the past behind her but it hasn't been easy. Then she meets Ethan. A man who saves her in more ways than one. A man who also has the ability to break her again with his secret. The only other series I've read of Monica's was The Fowler Sisters and I really enjoyed how much of a departure this was from it. At the time I finished it's only days until book 2 is being released and I can't wait to find out how their story will end.
Musings_of_Madjy More than 1 year ago
I will admit that this book took awhile for me to start seeing the romance, since so much of the book is about such a serious subject (There's a trigger warning on this for sexual abuse). It didn't stop me from enjoying it in the least - It was just intense. That said, this really drew me in. The details of what happened to Katie are visceral (though not overly graphic), and you can feel how empty her life has been as a result. I think it's also that emptiness for both her and Ethan that makes the love and romance between the two feel questionable, at first. Then, Ethan sort of creeped me out with his lust, seemingly too interested in sex. It took a long time to get past feeling like he was obsessed in a bad way, but it definitely comes out. The characters felt like they were in their own heads A LOT, consumed by insecurities and their past. It makes sense, but gets a little tedious. I also didn't necessarily care for the flashbacks in the middle, feeling like it slowed things down. But then the last 3rd felt like everything hit its stride. Ethan was patient and Katie was brave... And my realizing that their shared trauma bonded them, and also that maybe a bit of - albeit twisted as f*ck - Fate brought them together made me root for them. The letters they sent also helped convince me. I do wish that Katie had friends or social experiences with other people. I think that her sexual awakening is huge for a sexual assault survivor, but so would becoming friends with others. Maybe internet friends? More of a bond with her neighbor? A granddaughter of the neighbor? Ethan being her only person besides family seems a lot less healthy. This is a 2-parter and has a huge cliffhanger. But it's lengthy and feels like it ended on the right note. I am eager for the rest of the story!
teetee1968 More than 1 year ago
Never Tear Us Apart is heart wrenching. Gut wrenching! Is that too many wrenchings?? I read this book and Never Let You Got back to back, so it's hard to review this one individually. The story of Katie (Katherine) and Will (Ethan) made me feel so many things. I was heartbroken for both of them as children. I was hopeful for them as adults. No, their love was not expected, or conventional, but it was understandable. Some may think that their love shouldn't or couldn't happen, but I believe it could. They definitely have a lot of hurdles to overcome, but I believe every couple does. I think that Katie does get too caught up in having a hero, especially Will as that hero. I would like to think in time, she learns she can save herself. I really love this two part series. It has left me thinking a lot - even now after I'm done reading them both!
NadineHunter More than 1 year ago
I'm going to start off by stating non-con with children is a Hard Limit for me and when I read the Author's Notes and she says "This Book deals with he rape of a child and I want to make that clear upfront. If this sort of thing disturbs you, please don't read it. I'm not trying to glamorize this subject and I tired my best to handle it with sensitivity and care. Thanks to the stories written by Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, and Michelle Knight, I received insight into what it's like to be a kidnap victim and survive. These women are so incredibly brave for sharing their stories - they are true heroes in my eyes" it definitely gave me pause, did I really want to go on and read this knowing what was going to happen, did I push past my Hard Limit and pray that it wasn't a bad call. I could always stop reading if it became to much to handle and I would I know that - push only as far as I am comfortable with and then take a break, step away and read something light and fluffy if needed. But knowing the way Monica Murphy writes I had a gut feeling that it wouldn't become a book that would fall into my DNF Shelf...and thankfully I was right. This was a hard story to tell but with the amount of compassion that clearly shows in every page Monica Murphy did a wonderful job with it. Will never knew the horrors that his father inflicted on his young female victims until that one fateful day when he found Katie chained up in the storage shed, she had been physically and sexually abused at the hands of his father and being a kid himself he was horrified and scared at what he had just witnessed. In my opinion Will suffered great abuse from his father himself, it may not have been visible for all to see but there is no way anyone could argue that he hadn't been mentally and emotionally abused for years before he found Katie and then seeing her just made everything come to a head. Katie was only 12 years old, a few weeks shy of her 13th birthday when she was kidnapped, just a child with her whole life ahead of her. She didn't know about the monsters that lurk around in the shadows, she was an innocent little girl and it was all taken away in the blink of an eye. This book did take me a bit longer to read then books normally do but there were a few times that I had to stop reading because I couldn't see past the tears in my eyes. But I am so glad that I had decided to go ahead with it because Monica Murphy did a wonderful job with this extremely delicate subject. The way she went from "Then" to "Now" (with an eight year span in between) helped mold the story and had me hoping for the best outcome for both Will and Katie (then) and Ethan and Katherine (now). We were left with a cliffhanger and I am off to read the next book Never Let You Go to see what happens next. I hope for the best but I am prepared for some more rough/tough patches. Katie will get he HEA she deserves....She has to!
LisaR0 More than 1 year ago
Not only was this a very well written story, it was full of surprises. It's a shocking story full of twists, turns, and some very unthinkable situations. I was also quite stunned with the way things turned out, but really taken aback by each character. Each character unfolds a little more of what we are given in these pages. They hold a key to the present, but most importantly the present. They help to tell this story.... I felt like this book started out super strong, and trickled to a much slower pace as the story flowed. Yes the writing may have been very strong, but I needed a little bit more. This is a story that is highlighted more and more in our local news broadcasts or plastered all over the front pages of any newspapers. It's sad and tragic, and most importantly eery. I would have liked to have more of the details unfold, but also more from the kidnapper. It would have given the story more depth needed to show the vulnerability from the heroin. And to shed a little more light on her, and not just the her of today, because we get plenty of that. I am talking about the girl of yesterday. The one who continues to lurk within todays shadows and stalls her from what could be. I feel as if this book was like an onion, the more you read the more the layers were peeled back to understand what could happen, and where things could lead. Each of the characters mentioned in this story give us a little sliver of hope, but they also give us the realness of what took place. There is an undertone that lingers throughout the story, it is devastating and heart-wrenching. Each chapter is filled with more of todays and yesterdays shadows, and sometimes it's filled with the wish of tomorrow. I can say without a doubt, that this is a story not made for everyone. It is seated with deep issues and undesirable circumstances. It is a story that will break you. But, I also feel that it is a story that can give you a glimpse into what lies deep within each of us. Strength.
Dimaris More than 1 year ago
This story just reaches in, grips your heart and squeezez just enough for you to feel worry and desperate. The situation the characters go through is awful, they don't catch a break and you know it in every chapter because the worry, pain and struggle is ever present. It was even hard for me to read about their past, scared of the details I would get. Thank the heavens the author knows exactly what she is doing... You wish things were simpler for them to go on. I loved the effort to protect and love, to find a sense of normalcy. I can't wait for the next one and hope it gives me much more of them dealing with the present obstacles to move forward, be finally happy. That's what I want to see, they deserve it.
EllenH More than 1 year ago
In this book we learn about Katie, what she has survived and the person she is striving to become. It is a dark, highly emotional story that will suck you in and not let you back out.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
My rating 3.75 of 5 stars After reading Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy it's hard to put my feelings into words. This book overwhelmed me. The subject matter is as haunting as it is heartbreaking. No one deserves what Ethan and Katie had to endure. What stuck out most in my mind are the first person narratives. It made the story come alive and the experiences more real. The fear, the brokenness and the slowly developing connection built from the unbelievable sorrow and pain. I don't gravitate to these type of stories but when they happen to find me I don't shy away either.
JennC2630 More than 1 year ago
Some spoilers ahead - Wow... I was not expecting this. I am going to be completely honest and say that I do not agree with Ethan's actions. You could see that it was not going to be good, no matter how it all played out. That said, is 8 years really enough time for someone to change so completely that she wouldn't have recognized him? And she didn't recognize that drawing she drew of her guardian angel? I just had a hard time believing that. Then again, she had just been through a major part of me can understand it a little. I appreciated Murphy going back and forth between past and present and the way the flashbacks weren't in order. Had they been, I feel like they would have been a little too distracting from the current story. Also, I really liked the fact that Murphy didn't get too graphic with the past. Even just the little bit we got was hard to stomach. I'm intrigued to see how this all plays out and if Lisa and the father are going to make things even more difficult for Katie and Ethan. Can't wait for part two!
MaryJoMI More than 1 year ago
Impressive. That’s the best word I have for this story. Katie and Will are survivors. They both ended up in situations that many would crumble from and found each other along the way but then life pushed them apart. When Katie surfaces again, Ethan needs to see her to know she is really ok but can he face her as Will? Katie has always wondered what happened to Will as she works to find her way out of the trauma and back to the land of the living. When she meets Ethan, she finds someone that doesn’t judge and is just there for her. The approach Monica Murphy used in this book is very honest and real – how do you move on after surviving an intense traumatic event? The blending of the now with then is seamless and reveals the story in just the right way. I love that as Will was a hero for Katie, he was a hero for himself and ultimately saved them both from a monster, at least that is how I see the story. Now, of course, secrets were kept which left us dangling at the end, what happens when Ethan/Will’s identity is revealed? How will Katie cope? Anxiously awaiting book 2 to find out how this incredible journey ends.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most powerfully emotional books I've read in a while. A connection that couldn't be diminished by time comes to life when two young souls who shared a very dark experience eight years ago are reunited. It's a story of a truly forbidden love that could not be contained. Will the lies and half truths tear Katie and Ethan apart for good?? While the subject matter of this book is a tough one, the author did a great job of handling it with sensitivity and kindness while still getting us to feel the pain and anguish that Katie went through. This is only the first half of Katie and Ethan's story. It will be continued in book 2 when the whole truth comes out. This is definitely a book I recommend.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Reading this book has been such an emotional roller coaster for me. We find out what happened to Katie and how she's dealing with all of it. We meet Will and Ethan and see the roles they play in Katie's life. I didn't really feel the "love story" in this book. It may have gotten lost in the serious drama of Katie's story. It's difficult to explain the connection between Katie and Will. He was her hero and he rescued her. Eight years later, after some lies and deceptions, they reconnect and their bond snaps back into place. Only now, they're adults and the attraction between them is there. I felt that the lies and deceptions when on way too long. And then everything comes crashing to a halt. CLIFFHANGER!!!! Yes, it's a cliffhanger but the story is compelling enough that I MUST come back for book 2. I love the writing style of this author and can't wait to see what happens to Katie! 2602
Queenbethanny More than 1 year ago
What an emotional tearjerker! Unique storyline told from 2 points of view, now and then. A pre-teenager is kidnapped and raped for three days before being rescued by the son of the kidnapper. These two forge a life long bond that cannot be broken even through time. Ending definitely has been eagerly awaiting book 2.
asgoodrich More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. Not having reread the blurb before starting this book kind of left me reeling as I really wasn’t expecting the story I delved into. I read one of Murphy’s books a few years ago, so I suppose I was relying on that experience and the new adult genre as a vague guide of what to expect. While the author’s writing has only gotten stronger since then, Never Tear Us Apart wasn’t what I was expecting when I began reading, but I’m actually glad I didn’t reread the blurb because it gave me the opportunity to experience Katie and Ethan’s story without any expectations – except knowing that it is the first book in a two-book series (at least I think it’s only two). By opening the book with Katherine preparing for her first ever interview to discuss what happened to her eight years ago, Murphy hooked me completely because she does such a good job of making Katherine real. The way the book jumps from the past to the present is seamless. I would have expected the way the past jumps around – with it not being told in the sequential order of events – would have made it difficult to keep up with, but it wasn’t. Because parts of the story are told from Katherine/Katie’s point of view, and parts are told from Ethan/Will’s point of view, trips to the past are recollections of events that are typically triggered by something in the present. So even though the past is presented out of order, it’s done within the context of present events and this helped me prepare for some of the revelations better. Getting both characters’ points of view helps immensely because even though you know Ethan’s secret will eventually come out and it won’t end well, it’s hard to fault him for it. While his intentions might not be pure, they don’t come from a bad place and the more time he spends with Katherine, falling for her, caring for her, and wanting to protect her, it’s abundantly clear that his fear of losing her makes it that much harder for him to tell Katherine who he is. Now with this kind of storyline and knowing it’s book one, it wasn’t difficult to see that Katherine would eventually discover who Ethan was, but I really wasn’t expecting it to play out the way it did. While Never Tear Us Apart certainly deals with some dark subject matter, Murphy doesn’t force the reader to relive it in detail through Katie’s memories. We know what happened because of the bruises, because of the details Katie can admit to (i.e., being slapped), by what her memory shies away from, and because of the conviction. This doesn’t mean that if you are sensitive to the subject matter that you won’t be affected because you don’t have to read the details. In fact, I suspect it will be quite the opposite because not knowing the details of Katie’s abduction leaves the reader’s imagination to fill them in and that coupled with how effectively Katherine’s emotions come across the page means that it may be even more of a trigger for some readers. Never Tear Us Apart was a thoroughly engrossing read for me and even knowing that it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, I still wasn’t prepared for it. I cannot wait to start Never Let You Go and am beyond relieved that I don’t have to wait for its release – just until I can find a “free” day in my review schedule (and that’s actually laughable).
bookharpy More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story about hope and survival after facing extremely traumatic experiences. This was my first time reading a book by Monica Murphy, so I can't compare it to any of her earlier works, however it really covers a lot of deep issues and is very emotional, and evocative piece. As the summary states, it is a dark contemporary dealing with rape and the after effects it incurs. It explores both Katie's difficulties with coping with the trauma and her rapist's son's hardships with accepting himself. The writing and switching point of views makes it easier to understand what is going on in the character's mind and allow for more heartfelt emotions. A great dark and angsty read!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog NEVER TEAR US APART is an unconventional romance story, even forbidden if you will. The heroine Katie was abducted as a 13 year old by a man who kept her chained in his garage and raped her for 3 days. Until the man’s son finds her and rescues her. The connection from that point between Katie and Will was strong but they’ve been apart for years. She’s tried to move on with her life, he’s reinvented himself as a different person. Until they meet again. I recently read a book with sort of this type of storyline (HOLD ME CLOSE) but it did develop differently. However, having read that book so close to this one I kept drawing parallels or wanting other things to happen. As crazy as this may sound, I wanted this to be darker if that makes sense. All in all though, this was an interesting read. The way Ms. Murphy tells the story going back and forth in time gives us enough of a glimpse on what happened to Katie and how that’s affected who she is now. What I didn’t think I was buying as much was the connection between Will and Katie THEN and how that small glimpse of a connection was so impactful on them especially for Will and how she’s always been the woman for him. This is a two book story, so this book obviously ends in a cliffhanger. I was aware of that going in so I was prepared for it when it happened. I think it was a good stopping point for the author and I will be interested to see how their story finishes.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Gripping, touching, thought provoking I wanted to read Never Tear Us Apart because the cover & book description had me thinking of M. O’Keefe’s Everything I Left Unsaid series. In my enthusiasm to read the book, I missed the last line of the description, “My father”. Monica Murphy starts Never Tear Us Apart with a letter to readers about why she wanted to write this book. She adds a note about content found in the book that could put readers off. I have to admit, it had me second guessing my desire to read the book. However, my belief that this story was going to be amazing, with a remarkable couple is what sealed my desire to read this book. 8 years ago, Katie Watts & Will Monroe met under less than ideal circumstances. In fact, fifteen-year-old Will saved twelve-year-old Katie from a horrible situation. He saved her from her kidnapper & tormentor, his father. In that moment, his actions lead her to view him as her guardian angel. The 2 share an unimaginable bond no one else could ever possibly understand. Over the years, the 2 were forced to forget about the other, but in the back of their minds, the other was always there. The story starts off w/ Katherine, as she likes to be called now, doing an interview on what happened to her & what her life is like now. One of the many people watching the interview is Will, who goes by Ethan Williams now. The interview awakes a strong desire for Ethan to find Katherine & make sure she is truly okay. Truth be told, in the short time Ethan was with and knew Katie, he fell in love with her. Now, he doesn’t only want to make sure she’s safe, he wants to claim her as his own. NTUA is told in first person, from the point of view of both Katherine/Katie and Will/Ethan. It gives you glimpses into their lives both present day and eight years ago. I will admit that I did skip one past chapter, regarding Katie and the events of her torture. However, in my opinion, my skipping a chapter/scene didn’t take away from the book. There is never a time when you as the reader doesn’t know what Katie went through. This installment of the duology didn’t have as big of an effect on me as I thought it would. I think it had more to do with the fact that I was mentally prepared for the events. What you get with Never Tear Us Apart is a young couple who has survived. They share a very nice, unimaginable, forbidden love story. I’ll admit this is a little weird. But I completely understand it. Ethan had a horrible childhood. He was abandoned by his mother and abused by his father. He was accused of heinous acts that he didn’t commit. But somehow, he managed to turn his life around. Katie has desperately tried to overcome her past. But how can she, when no one around her understands what she’s been through. She’s a shell of the person she could be. She has no idea what it means to be happy for more than a moment. She doesn’t view herself as a victim, but a survivor who’s damaged. I HATED that Ethan kept his true identity from Katie. There were plenty of times he could have told her the truth, but was too afraid to lose her to do so. He brings her out of her shell. She unknowingly becomes more comfortable with herself. Braver. NTUA ends in a cliffhanger that will have you shaking your eReader or hitting the book a couple of times. I desperately have to know what happens next for these two. *Received a copy from Bantam in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Story pulls you in from the beginning. Couldn't put it down and can't wait for more..
Emily-SBDR More than 1 year ago
Never Tear Us Apart is the most unconventional, non-cookie cutter book I have read in a very long time. The subject matter is a terrifying one to swallow, yet the author handles it with eloquence and a tastefulness that does not lessen the blow of the fear it evokes, but allows the reader (or at least me) and the character to see the light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. This book will make you uncomfortable, it will make you head spin, and it will crush your heart. It's not a lighthearted book to flip lazily through. No, it one that will gut you, capture you, and haunt you. The best way I can explain this book is this: it's not easy. Nothing about Katie's life since her kidnapping has been easy. Nothing about Will's life has ever been easy. Nothing about the feelings they can't help but feel are easy. It's damn hard. For everyone, the reader included, to read such a torturous yet compelling love story. Because I do believe, that at the very heart of this book it is a love story. It has to be. That is the aspect I had to glom onto while I was living through the hell Katie and Will experienced at the hands of his father. They were meant to be. In the most unconventional and final way. They saved each other as children. With an emotion emerging that they couldn't even ebgin to understand. And now as adults they have accepted that connection and built on it. Yet, one big secret lies between them, and it may change everything. A trust that was tenuous to begin with ends up shattered, and my heart right along with it. Never Tear Us Apart is for the dark, twisty, gritty reader that enjoy seeing the ugly parts of life become beautiful and lively as they were always meant to be. As I said before, it's a hard read, but I was entranced by the story, the flawless back and forth of the time jumps, and the achingly beautiful relationship that Katie and Will have is one that is full of strength neither one of them thought they had. I'd recommend this book for the reader that wants out of their comfort zone and into the fray. It was a must read for me and I'm sure the sequel will be equally as stunning and heartbreaking, but hopefully with a happy ending. After all these two deserve it. Happy Reading! *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
ScandalousBlogSanne More than 1 year ago
***ARC received in exchange for an honest review - Sanne / Scandalous Book Blog*** A bittersweet story about agony and pain and the road to finding yourself again. Katie my sweet sweet girl. Who thought a trip to the fair could go so terribly wrong? Ethan the son of a ruthless man. Will he conquer his demons and get his happy ending? What do these two have in common? One is the captive, the other the savior. It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this review. This story has really touched me to point I simply can’t find the words. What I do know is that I’m already highly anticipating the sequel! Note: *This story is told in multiple p.o.v.’s and switches between the past and present.