If you’ve read Skye Warren, then you know about Tanglewood, the fictional city of the Warren Universe. Now, this book is not necessarily set there. However, the h of this book, Samantha, will find herself there. Why does this matter, you might ask? Because Tanglewood has become synonymous with tortured heroes. It doesn’t matter which Skye Warren book you read, the hero is a tortured soul who is seemingly emotionally unavailable to anyone, instead choosing a solitary, alpha existence devoid of personal connection.
This is true of Skye Warren’s latest book, Overture. Now, firstly, you should know that this book ends on a cliffhanger. There is another book coming, Concerto. I, for one, am anxiously awaiting the second book, given the end of Overture.
This story follows Liam and Samantha. Liam is Samantha’s guardian, although he is not related to her. Liam takes on her guardianship after the death of her father as a way to protect her. You see, Samantha is a violin prodigy. There are many ways that she could be exploited, and Liam brings structure and protection to her life given her talent.
However, over time, Samantha has developed an attraction to Liam. She wants him as something more than a guardian. As she is turning eighteen in this book and beginning a tour post-graduation, she wants Liam. Similarly, Liam has very strong feelings about Samantha, but he struggles with not acting upon them because he knows he must let her go, and he is not emotionally available to her due to his past. These two are tortured from the outset of this book, and it is deliciously painful to read.
Now, I imagine there are people who would struggle with this relationship. Yes, they are attracted to each other, but there is no action between them until Samantha turns eighteen. Even more, Samantha is an old soul because, when her father was alive, he did very little to adequately care for her. She had to grow up fast. Her character seems so mature in this book that it never feels horribly forbidden for them to investigate their feelings for each other.
Unfortunately, Skye Warren’s heroes must struggle to claim their heroines. The torture of Liam and Samantha is palpable in this book. I know as I was reading it that my stomach was clenched in knots. It wasn’t from the forbidden aspect of the book; it was mostly related to Samantha’s need for an emotional connection with Liam and his unwillingness to give it to her. I think one of the most heart-wrenching truths of this story is Samantha’s relationship with Liam as her guardian. For the years that she lives under Liam’s guardianship, she lives a life of stoic obedience to Liam’s rules out of fear of losing her safety. Her life with him, for her, feels contingent upon blind obedience. This truth felt heavy for me. It was the one aspect of the book that sat with me the most. I cannot imagine living with the fear of disownment that one feels it necessary to live beyond expectations. My heart felt heavy for Samantha throughout the story.
There is something always deep within a Skye Warren book, a truth about the darkness of human nature. It’s one of the reasons I love to read her novels. I know I will have to work for the “happily ever after” at the end, and, even then, there will be sadness mixed into the H/h’s relationship. I am fairly certain this will be the case with Liam and Samantha, if they find a HEA for themselves. However, I believe, much like the other characters in Warren’s Tanglewood, these two will torture themselves and their readers before the end comes.
P.S. I loved this book, even more so than her last series.
In love and romance,