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Book Review: Reckless Refuge (Wrecked #4) by Catherine Cowles.

Synopsis: There were shadows I was running from.
Ones that haunted and taunted.
Ones that made it so I had no choice but to disappear.

I’d spent years hiding from the world.
My little island haven, the only assurance of safety.

It all changed the moment he showed up at my door.
The hint of pain in his eyes told me that something haunted him, too.
And I couldn’t help but be drawn closer.

But finding the person I needed most came with risks I never expected.
And when our ghosts find us again, neither of us may make it out this time.



Reckless Refuge (Wrecked #4) by Catherine Cowles.

Publication Date: May 11, 2021

Publisher: Pagesmith LLC

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Pages: 326

Purchase on: Amazon,  
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


TW: Murder of parents by brother, PTSD, death of loved ones, serial killing, panic attacks, stalker, killing inspired by art pieces (artist is MMC), manipulation/gaslighting from agent, violence, physical and verbal assault, callous-unemotional psychopathy, kidnapping, finding dead bodies


This is a beautifully emotional love story that captured my heart and swept me up in a world of swoon as two darkly traumatized characters finds something incredibly special together, and then fight like hell to hold on to it. It’s another wonderful addition to the Wrecked series, and I loved it!

Something told me that if I let myself fall, Brody James could make me feel more alive than I ever had before.

Shay is a young woman who has endured unimaginable heartbreak and torment, but she has found peace on a small island in the Pacific North West, where she literally hides away from the world. She is the caretaker for a privately owned island that is a short distance away from the larger island where the first three books of this series take place – there is some character crossover in this book, but nothing too spoilery so you could read this one as a standalone (the other books are amazing though, so don’t miss out on those!).

Brody is a successful artist living in NYC who has just come through his own trauma. Desperate for a fresh start, he buys the island where Shay lives and moves to what he is hoping is his own private hideaway, where he can find his artistic inspiration once again.

“I missed hugs.”
My arms spasmed around Shay at the knowledge that she had missed this simple human contact.
“I’ll give you one anytime you ask.”

Shay is wary of Brody when he first arrives, but with Shay continuing her caretaker duties, the two of them strike up an easy friendship and become a part of each other’s daily lives – sharing meals, quiet walks, and conversation. They slowly start to open up to each other and gradually share the secret horrors from their pasts, and their friendship slowly, naturally, and easily blossoms into something neither of them expected.

God, I love these two characters! They’ve both been damaged by what they’ve been through, and there is a vulnerability to both of them, but there is also incredible strength. They’re both putting the past behind them and working to find joy in their lives rather than falling into a hole of despair, and I love that about them! And when it comes to accepting what’s happening between them, there’s no holding back.

“There’s something between us. It pulled at me from the second I got off that boat. A strand of something weaving us together. And I’m not cutting that cord. And you could try, but I don’t think it would work.”

But it’s a slow journey. Shay has lost so much, and she’s been able to keep going by protecting herself, literally going into hiding and not forming connections. Brody has easily become a part of her life, but she’s terrified to let him in fully only to lose him, but Brody is the most beautiful, gentle soul who knows exactly what Shay needs – supporting and caring for her, while gently pushing her to start living again… with him. And oh, I fell hard for him and all of his sweetness.

Anything new is a little scary, and this just feels like one giant leap.”
Brody tilted my chin. “Then let’s leap together. I want you, Shay. In any way you’ll let me have you. As a friend. A companion. A lover. But we go at your pace.”

Swoon! It’s sweet, sexy, and blessedly functional, and it’s a wonderful journey for both of them as they find the courage to grab hold of each other and move forward.

But while Brody and Shay and figuring themselves out, the horrors of their pasts are still very much present. Shay is receiving threatening letters, and people are being killed, and with the danger seemingly getting closer, there is a strong suspense storyline in this book that kept my heart pounding, wondering who was after them, and what was going to happen. And there’s an exciting and dramatic climax that brings the story to a head, and oh, my heart!

As I said earlier, characters from the other books in the series all appear, and I loved catching up with them again. They accept Brody and Shay into their world openly, and it’s beautiful to see the two of them get to experience friendship like that. And of course, the crew is there to take their backs when they need them.

I loved this book. It’s an exciting romantic suspense with a gorgeous love story and a great addition to the series. I’m so excited for Hunter’s book up next!


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