Can a childhood pact affect the lives of three adults?
Love and betrayal surrounds the lives of lifelong friends Lanie Rhodes, Grant Bennett, and Dane Voight. Years ago, they made a pact to remain together as friends forever. The boys also made another secret pact that same day—to never vie for Lanie’s love.
Grant and Lanie have secretly been pining for one another since they were children.
Now grown up, they finally admit their feelings for each other and what ensues is a twisted tale of deception as Dane does everything he can to stop them.
The story weaves around this uneven love triangle. What will happen to the pact? Will friendships be destroyed? Will lovers emerge?
“The Cliff is a heart pumping romance that will draw you in from the first page.” – Lacey Wolfe, Sarah’s Chase and Finding Home
“With a clever twist to her cliffhanger chapter endings, Christie A.C. Gucker has written an emotionally compelling novel about love and betrayal.” – Sarah Carr, Revealing Hamilton
The Cliff by Christie A.C. Gucker is a story about pacts, passion and betrayal within a distorted love triangle. Think scalene: no equal sides and no equal angles. In a matter of sentences, I was pulled into the book by both an invisible “fate” and “Cupid” as they played a complex game of tug of war with the characters heartstrings.
Ms. Gucker painted a vivid story filled with a satisfying blend of suspense, romance and humor. The voice is fresh and the dialogue is witty, giving the novel a pleasant flow from the beginning until the end. The setting is comfortable and informal, pulling the reader in like being wound with a comfortable favorite blanket. From within the pages, I could feel the weather and see the beautiful imagery: both in scenery and with the sexiness of the characters. It felt like I stood next to Lanie, Dane and Grant throughout their adventures.
The author portrays a fresh plot, with twists different from what I’ve read in the past. The story flowed well; the voice steady and strong, keeping me engaged from one disaster and miscommunication to the next. Her characters were three-dimensional and I felt like I experienced their emotions along with them. I could sense Lanie’s love, disappointment, happiness and anguish. On a side note, readers may develop a newfound love for hazelnut spread.
With the title echoing throughout the pages, the end of each chapter ends in a unique cliffhanger and each will have you grasping from one ledge to the next. At 52,000-words, I found myself being propelled along at lightning speed because I wanted to know what would happen to Lanie, Dane and Grant.
I struggled to locate major criticism within this story; therefore, here are my few minor critiques. Number one: When I reached the end, I felt I didn’t know enough about the profession of the three main characters. Number two: Putting myself in Lanie’s shoes, I waffled with accepting “forgiveness” in a particular scenario. Yes, this is vague; however, I don’t want to give away any of the story. All in all, was it a necessary component to the story? You bet. Number three: When the parents were first introduced, I found myself re-reading a couple of passages as I had minor difficulty keeping up with ‘who was related to whom’. After a short amount of time this resolved itself.
This author evoked many emotions within me, ranging from one end of the spectrum to its polar opposite. I laughed, I cried and most importantly, I empathized with Ms. Gucker’s characters. The Cliff stirred something with me and the story will haunt me for a while. In my opinion, this book leaves me with high expectations for the next one I read, regardless the author.
On a scale of five stars, I gave it four. Why? Because I believe there is always room for growth and there were a few minor criticisms. All in all, it’s a compelling read from a debut author and I highly recommend it. Job well done, Christie A.C. Gucker!