What do you do when you wake up with no memory of what you did last night?

Lucas spent the first half of his life protecting himself from others, but now his own mind is his biggest enemy. He doesn’t know what happens when the blackouts overtake him, but he can recall the feelings—the rage, the confusion, the fear. Thankfully the quiet life he’s found in Payson, Arizona has kept the darkness at bay. Until his boss’s estranged daughter shows up in town, asking questions she shouldn’t and sparking a desire Lucas can’t control. Getting close to Shyann is the best thing that’s ever happened to him, but when his blackouts return, unleashing the truth he’s battled so long to hide, he may just lose her forever . . .

**WARNING** The following review contains spoilers. If you prefer to avoid all spoil-ery content, please watch the video above for a Spoiler Free Review. Thanks!

The heroine of Split, Shyann, begrudgingly returns to her hometown to find that her mother’s dream house is occupied by an employee of her father’s, Lucas. Initially, this is reason enough for Shyann to dislike the introverted resident and want to push him out. However the more Shyann gets to know Lucas, the more attracted to him, she is. Likewise, Lucas develops an attraction for Shyann as well, however, while she tries to get closer, he desperately wants to push her away.

Lucas experienced a painful past at the hand’s of his mother, and as a defense and coping mechanism, he developed Dissociative Identity Disorder or multiple personality disorder. As such, whenever he feels threatened, especially by a female, Lucas blacks out and Gage takes over. Gage will stop at nothing to protect Lucas. There are a few brutal scenes between Gage and Shyann that involve physical abuse and threats of murder. Gage also employs tactics of mental abuse against Shyann, at one point inviting another woman into Lucas’s bed to exhibit how unimportant Shyann truly is to the both of them. And yet, Shyann does not back down and is determined to get Gage to interpret her, not as a threat, but as an additional protector to Lucas.

The book is very enjoyable, thanks mostly to the suspense and exquisite character development of Lucas. The biggest obstacle for me was Shyann’s character. At times, she isn’t very likable. She’s selfish and cruel towards her own family and obsessed with her career in television journalism. Only once she pursues happiness and peace for Lucas, does she become a character I grow to care about. In that way, the reader can be compared to Gage.

Marketed as a contemporary romance, the book doesn’t actually contain any sexually explicit content until the last half or so. That said, be warned that the themes of this book, the violence, and abusive content are only appropriate for mature audiences. Not only could readers become triggered by Gage/Lucas’s behavior towards Shyann, but the catalyst for Lucas’s condition is detailed near the end of this book and includes child mental and physical abuse on behalf of a mother who demands her children kill each other.

JB Salsbury has released a Christmas novella that follows up with the cast of Split.


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