I wasn't going to read this series, as I find the whole subject of domestic violence incredibly upsetting, but this is a great start to the three book series. Lou is an engaging character, who bravely makes the decision to run from
her abusive boyfriend and seek refuge with an old friend in her home town in Cornwall. The book is about her recovery and lack of confidence, after a controlling man has taken over her life.
And it IS upsetting in places, because her ex is still out there, edging closer. Meanwhile, Lou finds her bond with Jay, who has offered her a safe home, gets deeper every day. Their childhood friendship is slowly deepening into something more, but Jay is infinitely patient, aware that Lou is not going to fall into his arms straight away.
This is a slow burn, but with the subject matter, it couldn't really be anything else. The author has handled a difficult subject sensitively, and has written a woman of quiet resilience in Lou, who is at once likeable and fragile at the same time.
The book does end on a cliffhanger of sorts, but the whole series is available, if you're invested in Lou and Jay's story. There are no easy answers or neatly tied ends, which again, is right for the subject matter. It would have sounded trite if everyone live happily at the end. This is more a Happy For Now, with evil lurking just out of view.
This series is compelling, with relatable characters and enough cosiness to give the reader a sense of safety. You get the sense that things will be okay in the end, but I'll be reading the second book soon in order to find out.
I remember like it was yesterday, how he promised he would find me if I ever tried to leave him...
Lou has only one plan-run as far away as possible from her abusive boyfriend. She chooses the only place he wouldn't think to look. Seeking refuge with the only person who has ever made her feel safe. As Lou tries to put the broken pieces of herself back together, a need for her best friend reignites.
Jay has loved Lou since they were building sandcastles on the beach. When fate throws them back together, he is determined not to let her go a second time. Can he keep her safe and convince Lou that she belongs on the Cornish Coast with him?
Escape Beyond the Tide is a friends-to-lovers, second chance romance and book one in the Beyond the Tide trilogy, which should be read in order.
Trigger warning: This book contains references to and some scenes of domestic abuse and violence.
See also: A Bridge to Forever