RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

Title: Keep Her Safe
Author: K.A. Tucker
Release Date: January 23, 2018

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

K.A. Tucker delivers a beautifully haunting tale of betrayal, secrets, and unexpected hope with her new novel, Keep Her Safe. I was riveted by the complexity of this storyline and found myself utterly entranced by the quiet love that grew between Grace and Noah as they explored the lies and loss that brought them together. Their love story was very much secondary to the mystery that unraveled within the pages of the book, and yet it was also absolutely essential to the plot. Grace and Noah’s relationship was understated and somehow so very vital and I couldn’t help but be moved by the power of their inimitable connection.

“Keep her safe, will you? For Abe.”

Noah easily captured my heart and I felt for him as he struggled to do the right thing in the wake of his painful loss. It was his persistence and dedication to the truth that had me so enamored with this hero. K.A. Tucker nurtured some fantastic emotional turmoil with this character as Noah discovered that the people we love the most often cut us the deepest. Grace was equally captivating and her personal evolution over the course of the story was probably my favorite part of the book. I loved how the author used her relationship with Noah to rub away Grace’s mask of indifference and self-preservation, carefully exposing the vulnerability and uncertainty that made this character so relatable.

“Since you showed up on my doorstep, you have been there for me, every step of the way, whether I deserved it or not. You are everything I could possibly have asked for.”

K.A. Tucker has once again proven herself to be a master of words. I knew that this story would be twisted, suspenseful, and utterly intriguing, but still, it constantly surprised me. K.A. Tucker explored humanity on many different levels, making the reader feel for each of the characters as Grace and Noah set out to piece together the truth. The plot was engaging and the mystery addictive. Drawn to the complex personalities, poignant social commentary, and moving emotional journey, I was hypnotized by this novel. Gritty, dark, and devastatingly real, Keep Her Safe is K.A. Tucker at her best!

I’ve been a fan of K.A. Tucker for a while now, but after reading Keep Her Safe, it’s brought my fangirling to an entirely new level. It is so unlike anything I have come across from her, but everything I adore about a fantastic read. This standalone novel was heavy on the suspense mixed with the perfect amount of romance, resulting in my favorite read of the year thus far. With superb writing, interesting characters, and a plotline that left me guessing at every turn, I could not put the book down and am honestly still left with my jaw on the floor.  

“But she’s got a haunted gaze in her eyes, the kind you get when life has disappointed you over and over again, when you’ve seen and suffered.”

Keep Her Safe is one of those books that is ridiculously difficult to review. Each reader needs to experience it for him/herself in order to get the full effect and appreciate it to the fullest extent. There are so many twists and turns that even when I thought I knew what to expect, it was never quite what it seemed. My only complaint about the novel was due to the pacing in the very beginning; it was a little bit slow given how quickly the rest read. However, once things picked up, house chores be damned because I could not put it down. I appreciated that it read almost like a puzzle, with most of the chapters being written in the present day point of view, but with glimpses of the past as well. Readers were given bits and pieces of information, never knowing where it would truly lead. Furthermore, Tucker infused the perfect amount of romance between Grace and Noah. It was such a natural, slow development that almost enhanced the suspense piece. While it felt important, it never overshadowed their own individual journeys. Tucker did such a fantastic job weaving all the elements together to result in such an amazing piece of art.

“I kiss her like I want her to pine over me. I kiss her like I want her to remember this moment in case we never have another chance.”

I honestly feel like this novel came at the perfect time. I had been aching for something different and unique to read, and Keep Her Safe fit the bill perfectly. It grabbed my attention and held fast until long after I turned that last page. The characters were so real, with genuine emotions and reactions to the things they were going through. The plot kept me guessing, even in the final five minutes of the book – which is not easy to accomplish. K.A. Tucker wrote the trifecta of everything I have come to love in books and definitely pulled me from my reading slump. I absolutely can’t wait to see what she comes up with next, but I hope there’s some more romantic suspense in her future!

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