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ARC Review: Lies Behind the Woods by Bradley Cornish

TW/CW: kidnapping however, I ended up DNF'ing this book so please do your own research!

Synopsis: He thought he witnessed a kidnapping. He thought he did the right thing. He thought he was a hero. He thought, he thought. Until his thoughts came back to haunt him.

Steve Breiten is a college professor who has a long line of failed relationships behind him. All he wants is a long vacation in the mountains, free of drama and responsibilities, where he can relax, read, and maybe even start writing his book. He didn't expect a mysterious woman to walk into his office - not that woman, the one who had been kidnapped all those years ago and rescued after a tip he'd left at the police station.

Now, his plans for the summer have taken a dramatic shift. Tara Murphy is determined to show her gratitude for his actions that fateful day, and she won't take no for an answer. As the heat builds between them, Steve finds himself at a moral crossroads. He doesn't want to take advantage of this young, damaged woman. But he finds his resistance to her sexual advances fading fast.

It's only a matter of time before she leads him to the secret that lies behind the woods...

Thoughts: I've never read anything by this author before, but the cover and the synopsis drew me in so I requested an early copy to review. Right from the start I did not like the writing. I felt it lacked depth, and that's saying something from someone who prefers concise writing. I only managed to make it 17% into the story before I had to DNF the book and let me explain why.

Besides the horrible lackluster writing I felt like this was the authors idea of a sexy romp. I was able to move past his inner monologue constantly objectifying her at first, but when it got to the part where she wanted to spend the night at his place and “thank him” and he continued to objectify her in detail I just couldn't continue. Oh and this happened on the very first day of their actual meeting after the incident where he saved her somehow? From what little I know she was taken and raped and Steve had a part in saving her (but maybe not because the chapter after I DNF'd it started talking about some weird camera thing which I'll jump into in a moment).

As this is an ARC I will not directly quote, but suffice it to say things like: Steve telling Tara the problem is he had sex with her mom and saved her life so the relationship dynamics would be on uneven footing, Steve could not stay with a woman for more than a year and a half because he had daddy issues, and Steve wanting nothing more than to dive into Tara's "country-bred mounds" actually happened in the first 15% of this book. Even with as awful as that was I continued. The next chapter "The Flying Mirror" talked about a new type of intelligent traffic-enforcement camera that would be able to detect if something looked suspicious about an automobile, or anyone within the automobile. Are you crazy? You expect me to believe this crap? I think not. Basically I think I am reading a book of convenience where Cornish is jacking off the entire time. No thank you. Hard pass!

Rating: DNF

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