It had been quite some time since I read the first two ‘Roman’ books, but I remembered the startling brutality and gore. They were two of the darkest books that I’ve read. So, naturally, I expected the third book, ‘Where the Ivy Hides’ to be equally terrifying.
Instead, this third book had a completely different feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, there was some disturbing content, but nothing like what you’d expect. The few dark topics that were brought up were addressed in a roundabout kind of way, leaving much to the reader’s imagination vs. describing every disturbing act in vivid detail the way it was in the first two books.
This book is focused on the life of Winter Ivy, the kidnapped daughter of Roman and Mac/Mouse. From childhood onward, her life is filled with tragedy and suffering. Unsurprisingly, she turns to alcohol and drugs to escape the pain of her daily existence.
Time and time again, Ivy succumbs to the numbness that her drugs provide. She repeatedly pulls herself up, only to fall again, plummeting further each time. She wrecks nearly every relationship she has, in addition to ruining her health.
Through it all, Ryker is her constant. He rescues her over and over again, only to have her rip his heart out. Why he put up with her was beyond me. If Ryker had an addiction, it was Ivy.
When an accident lands her in the hospital, she is suddenly reunited with her long lost parents and younger brother, Rome. If you’re expecting the Rome and Mac from earlier books, you won’t find them here. Apparently, they’ve settled down, resembling the Cleavers more than the homicidal duo we loved and feared in equal measure. The word “domesticated” comes to mind.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that there were a lot of issues left unresolved. Many things, like how her parents suddenly showed up in her hospital room, or how her brother supposedly knew where she had been for years, were left unexplored. I’m a details person, so that really bugged me. I wanted those holes filled in.
While Ivy was a tough character to love, she did grow on me. I couldn’t help but feel for her, even as I was frustrated with her addictive behavior patterns. I wanted to shake her often, but I also wanted to hug her.
As a whole, I thought this was a great book, even though it was quite different from the first two books in the series. There were several grammatical errors and editing oversights, which were distracting at times. However, I still enjoyed this story.
If you’re a fan of the ‘Roman’ series, I’d recommend this book. Just don’t expect this story to be similar to the earlier books. It is entirely different, but does provide closure.