Congratulations to Kendra Leigh on the release of her latest romantic suspense novel,
Jackson Dean is a changed man—at least he thinks he is—but when a brush with the past leads him back into territory he’s long since left behind, he finds himself at war with his conscience. Snatching Savannah Harper from a Brooklyn street may have been okay with the wild and reckless guy he used to be, but what about now?
Savannah is used to a life of brutality at the hands of her husband, but being stuffed into the trunk of a car by a brown-eyed stranger injects a fresh wave of terror into her heart.
What transpires between Jackson and Savannah surprises both of them. Despite the unconventional way they’re thrown together, they form a bond that begins to challenge everything they know.
His past. Her present. Their future.
Surrendering to the feelings they’ve unearthed will be a minefield, but it’s going up against the unknown that tests them to their limits.
As the lines between perception and reality blur, it appears that nothing is as it seems.
Perception is not reality… and reality can be soul-destroying.
Perception is a standalone romantic suspense novel featuring a favorite character from The Bound Trilogy. If you enjoy reading stories about strong women and their journeys from victim to survivor, and the men who will go to any lengths to fight for the women they fall for, then you will love this #MeToo inspired heart-wrenching romance.
Due to the nature of the story, it contains subject matter which deals with domestic violence, including physical and emotional abuse, and may be triggering for some people.
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My Review of Perception
A little over three years ago, I was fortunate enough to discover Kendra Leigh when she published her debut novel, Bound for Hell, the first book in the uniquely unforgettable Bound Trilogy. I fell deeply in love with Ethan and Angel, and as a matter of fact, Ethan still sets the standard for me when it comes to romantic heroes. It’s embarrassing how often I think of him, but not how many times I’ve indulged in a re-read of that excellent series – it’s like comfort food for the romantic soul.
Somewhere in the middle of the trilogy, I also fell in love with Jackson Dean, Ethan’s strong, enigmatic, intensely loyal friend and protector. He was an absolute treasure as a supporting character, but even more important, he was someone I wanted to get to know apart from his role in the trilogy. When I found out that Kendra was writing a standalone follow-up story featuring Jackson as a primary character, I was beyond excited. And when I had the opportunity to read it, I was utterly blown away, unprepared for its depth and left speechless by its power, not to mention by the unbridled passion in the narrative. It took me days to write this review and still I’m not sure I can capture it all. From its opening paragraph through its epic conclusion, Perception not only exceeded all my expectations, it left me wanting more — again.
There are a few words I probably use too often in book reviews. I’ve recently realized that “powerful” and “compelling” must be two of those words because, having used them to describe other novels, they now feel entirely inadequate to convey the impact of Perception. Perception is such an important, emotional, relevant, and meaningful story it isn’t simply another “must-read” for your late-summer reading list, it’s a mind-blowing, soul-searing experience in every sense of the word. It will grip your heart from the very beginning and sweep you away on a sometimes terrifying, always mystifying, poignant, passionate journey that will live in your heart long after the last page.
Jackson is a man with a gut-wrenching secret, a dark past overshadowed by a sense of guilt and a need for atonement that made him the strong, devoted protector he has become. Little does he know, as his story begins, that destiny has put him on a path that intersects with the woman who will not only become the love of his life but the one person who will finally help him face his demons and become the man he is meant to be.
Savannah Harper is that woman. She is also concealing a dark, painful secret, trapped in a loveless marriage to a cruel, violent, manipulative man who, fortunately, is so arrogant and narcissistic he fails to recognize her strength, her will, her determination to survive, her intelligence, and her patience. He mistakes her vulnerability for weakness, and grossly underestimates her willingness to wait until the time is right to conquer her demons and find a way to ruin him in the process.
When Jackson and Savannah are thrown together in a serendipitous twist of fate, little do they know that the series of events to follow will irrevocably change their lives. For a blessed few days, they find themselves living fully in the moment, experiencing joy, excitement, spontaneity, and passion; gradually awakening to what life might be like together, yet aware that this one moment in time will inevitably come to an end. Nor can they begin to imagine the treacherous, heartbreaking road they will have to travel to find their way back to each other — if it’s even possible.
If you think for a minute that you know how this romance will play out, you are gravely mistaken. There are twists and turns, triumphs and tragedies that will keep you guessing until the last word of the last chapter — and even then you’ll probably turn the page to make sure there isn’t another terrifying surprise hidden somewhere in the epilogue. I’m not sure I even took a breath in the final few chapters. I laughed, sighed, shouted, and ugly-cried, but I never lost hope, because even in the darkest moments – moments of utter betrayal and despair – Kendra kept faith alive through the strength of her characters and the power of her words.
Perception is a relentlessly suspenseful, sometimes intensely painful story, but please don’t let fear or avoidance of the darker side of life and love keep you from experiencing every scene to the fullest. Because of all the emotions that flooded through me, of all the impressions imprinted on my soul, empowerment is the one that lasts. It is in our darkest hours that we find our greatest strength, and this story is all about finding the strength not only to survive but to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Everyone has demons that often seem overwhelming and insurmountable. All men and women have flaws, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, but they don’t make us weak or powerless unless we hide from them, deny them, or lose faith that we have what it takes to overcome them. As this story so cleverly and intelligently points out, perception isn’t necessarily reality. Unchecked, our often faulty perceptions can make us believe our current reality is our only choice – and result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, if we are wise enough to question how we perceive our current situation – and how our perceptions lead us to make often unfounded assumptions about ourselves and others – we can alter our reality, forge a new destiny, and become the persons we are meant to be. This is the message I took away from Jackson and Savannah’s story, and it has already changed the way I look at my own life.
If you haven’t discovered Kendra Leigh, now is the time, and this is the book. If you love edge-of-your-seat suspense, passionate romance that leads to abiding love, and endings that will satisfy your every need, this book will own you. Having read this beautiful story, I am more than willing to wait as long as it takes for Kendra’s next book.
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Meet Kendra Leigh
Kendra Leigh fell in love with words and reading as a young child. She was at her happiest when Enid Blyton whisked her away up into the magical lands at the top of the Faraway Tree with Moon-face and the rest of the gang.
Now, of course, she has more of a fondness for chocolate, cheese and hot men in suits – not necessarily in that order.
Kendra devotes her life to her devilishly handsome partner, scandalously beautiful daughter and cute as hell Shih-Tzu. She believes in love at first sight, and as well as writing and reading, Kendra has a passion for great movies and brilliantly written TV.