by Nicholas Sparks
Published by: Hachette
Narrator: Christopher Ryan Grant
Length: 14 hours and 23 minutes
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
See me just as I see you . . .Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship. Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed. A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface. As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria's life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they've begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour? Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.
See Me by Nicholas Sparks is a romantic suspense that is heavy on the suspense, but offers up a sweet romance with character growth for our somewhat gruff but likeable hero. Narrated by Christopher Ryan Grant See Me began slowly and had a few bumps but ultimately was a listen that kept me engaged.
See Me is a departure from the tear-inducing novels that Sparks typically writes and I appreciated the mystery, thriller and suspense angles. While I pieced together things, thanks to some carefully placed clues I nonetheless enjoyed both the characters and the twists.
A chance encounter has Colin Hancock and Maria Sánchez meeting and thanks to the help of another character, these two meet yet again and begin a friendship that quickly moves to romance. These two are opposites, and I loved the slow-paced romance.
Colin Hancock is not your typical bad boy. He has anger issues and has made some sad choices in the past. However, when we meet Colin he is well on his way to improving himself. He is impulsive and flawed and while I did not agree with everything Colin did, I held to the fact that his intentions are honorable. Thankfully, we see growth in this quiet, damaged hero. Colin is the type of character you will either like or struggle to find a connection to. Having a sensitive son who speaks few words, made it easy for me to identify with Colin, although I abhorred his violent nature.
Marie Sánchez recently suffered some trauma when a victim’s brother blamed her when the murderer was set free. She has recently moved back to her hometown and is lonely and deeply dissatisfied with her current employment situation. Maria was a bit of a contradiction at times. She is intelligent, educated and unwilling to settle, but sometimes she annoyed me with her behavior.Thankfully she was strong when it came to Colin and refused to short change herself.
Secondary characters included friends, family and the law. They all added an interesting mix to the story. Friends and family grounded the characters and created normalcy against the suspenseful plot. A detective who hounds Colin provided tension. I worried he would royally screw up his chances. Questions of mental stability made our villain scary and unpredictable. Subtle threads of prejudice and preconceived conceptions were weaved throughout and gave the reader food for thought in a natural showing not telling way.
The romance while present was secondary to the intense action. I loved the slow-build but felt it got a little lost in the middle. Their connection felt realistic and I appreciated that they found growth from within because of their interaction.
Plot twists, action scenes and near death experiences ramped up the tension as the story progressed. Sparks added red herrings and clues along the way. For me the clues revealed things to quickly and made the tale predictable.
Christopher Ryan’s narration of Colin felt spot on and he handled the female voices equally well. His pacing was well done and I didn’t feel the urge to speed up the audio.
See Me was an interesting romantic suspense that leaned more towards a mystery thriller, but was one I that I found entertaining.
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