I was lucky enough to receive a copy of HM Shander’s Ask Me Again, a follow up to her previous novel Run Away Charlotte. She told me that I didn’t need to have read the first book to follow along, but now that I’ve finished Ask Me Again I definitely want to pick up Run Away Charlotte to see how it all began.
From the very beginning we got hints of how bad Charlotte’s life was with her husband, but it seemed like it could all be put down to a couple who was falling out of love with one another. Once we got a glimpse of who Jack really was, I was hoping that she’d leave him and every time she talked herself into staying I was frustrated.
Shander really portrays the character of a woman who is a victim of domestic violence, both verbal and physical, honestly. While it made the story hard to read at times it felt very real and I was frightened for Charlotte on a lot of occasions. Everything seemed to happen to the poor woman, from a flood in her kitchen to the death of someone very dear to her, and I didn’t blame her one bit for trying to escape into the past with Andrew.
Andrew, the man she never really fell out of love with, was everything Jack wasn’t and he was a breath of fresh air. I loved how relaxed Charlotte was able to be when she was with him, and it made her going back to her husband all the sadder. When things came to a head later, I honestly wasn’t sure who she would choose and for that I give Shander a huge thumbs-up.
All in all, I really enjoyed Ask Me Again. The characters were flawed but likeable (except Jack, who was just the worst), the story was paced really well, and when I was able to let out the breath I’d been holding for two chapters the ending was satisfying. Charlotte really grew as a person and I was proud of her. Definitely recommend this book to fans of women’s fiction and romance.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)