Entwine (Entwine #1)
by Rebecca Berto
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Sarah Langham’s life was the epitome of normal until her dad slept with another woman when she was sixteen. It ripped her family apart.
Twenty-two-year-old Sarah has it together, though.
Waiting at the train station to go home from her first day of her first proper job out of university, she spots a man.
He is an enigma to her. She’s drawn to him, with his square jaw; buzz of hair; and his tall, solid frame, seen under the contours of his business suit. And he’s been looking at her, too. Fate pulls them together that night on a whirlwind date, exceeding anything Sarah’s experienced before. He’s even more into her than she’s into him. Finally, she wants to trust a guy for the first time since she was sixteen.
But then they discover something.
Something that meant they were never two strangers at a train station.
And it threatens to tear their future apart before it, really, ever begins.
I was only a few paragraphs into Rebecca Berto’s ‘Pulling Me Under’, when I knew that this author was about to take me on an unforgettable journey. So as soon as ‘Entwine’ was released, I downloaded it immediately and proceeded to devour it over the course of one night.
In Entwine, as always, Rebecca Berto has created some amazingly realistic characters that I find so easy to connect to. Sarah Langham’s introduction in this story gives us a clear indication of her, at first not overtly obvious, vulnerable nature through her internal dilemma of whether or not to make her attraction clear when she is confronted with the rather sexy stranger Malik on her train journey home. Her thoughts and actions immediately had me connecting with her as not a character, but a real person. Rebecca Berto set the scene perfectly, giving a sense of what the train commute home is like and this really had me invested in the characters and story due to the realism she created within them. One scene that really sticks in my mind was where Sarah agrees to spend the evening with Malik in the nearby shopping centre, but immediately begins to worry about going off with him. This was brilliant as it reminds readers that a nice hot fast-paced romance in a book is all well and good, but in reality going off with a male stranger can have dangerous consequences.
I loved the storyline in ‘Entwine’. I’m a bit of a sucker for a bit of an age gap between my hero and heroine, possibly because I like the idea that older men have more life experience whilst younger women can bring a fresh sense of fun to a relationship with an older guy. The relationship that developed between Malik and Sarah was beautiful, and I loved the instant connection they had. Something about them meeting on a train had the romantic in me squealing (I blame Harry Potter for this obsession I have with trains), and I really enjoyed the banter they shared in the not-so-pleasant predicament of being delayed on a train, which brightened the moment for them.
I really admire Rebecca Berto for the ease with which she pulls off tricky subjects in her books. This book dips into a few different issues showing the effects of alcoholism, abandonment, adultery and how these things don’t just affect the relationship between a couple, but also the relationships that their children will form based on what they have experienced from their parents. Sarah’s vulnerability and difficulty feeling content in her adult relationships gave a clear indication of what having a cheating parent can cause, especially when that parent becomes a less permanent feature in their life.
The author’s writing style is simply wonderful. ‘Entwine’ has a perfect blend of prose-like and matter-of-fact language which I absolutely adored. Something I find saddening with a lot of contemporary fiction today is that good old fashioned ‘showing and not telling’ is often ignored in favour of having the reader get to the nitty gritty drama of the storyline more quickly instead of pacing the story. The use of ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ for the flashback scenes to Sarah’s childhood was executed perfectly, and allowed us to have snippets of information about Sarah’s past at a more suspenseful pace, allowing the reader to become more intrigued about the reasons behind Sarah’s abandonment and trust issues, rather than giving away Sarah’s entire childhood story at the start of the story.
This was a clever, thought-provoking, emotional and hot romantic read. I absolutely adored it and can’t wait for the next in the series. I need me some more Malik!