Tied (All Torn Up #2) – review

“I can almost believe this girl could love me, scars, damage, ugliness and all.
And oh, how ferociously I would love her back if given the chance.”

Tyler

Synopsis

Holly Daniels had her life stolen at only 8 years old, when she was abducted. After being held captive for almost 11 years, the prince from her stories saves her. Contrary to all expectations, when Holly is rescued, her parents send her to a therapeutic facility instead of welcoming her home. Traumatized and scared, she also feels abandoned.

Tyler Grace, Holly’s savior, is anything but a prince. He is an outcast, a freak and a former junkie. His reputation is so bad that after saving Holly, people’s first reaction is to accuse him of being the abductor. Tyler hasn’t always been this way; he once had it all, but after a fire left him disfigured, he took the path of self-destruction.

Tyler is almost as damaged as Holly. One year after rescuing her, Holly finds Tyler and so their healing process begins.

Tied by Carian Cole – book review

Tied is the second book in the All Torn Up series and it can be read as a standalone. This novel is not a conventional romance story, it is much more than that. It is a story about pain, abuse, loss, friendship, love and healing. Given the fact that Holly was abducted and sexual abused, the story is angsty and pretty dark, but there are no descriptive flashbacks for you to worry about. Furthermore, as Carian Cole is a great animal lover, she created two cute little pets to help lighten the story.

The Main Characters

Holly and Tyler are damaged people, each passing through some traumatic events. Holly spent more than half of her life as a captive, being subjected to an indescribably treatment and abuse. Moreover, after she is saved from the pit where she lived for over 10 year, her parents send her away, instead of taking her home. Their actions make her feel abandoned and replaced. Her life becomes a constant struggle, as common things and actions bring back flashbacks from the hole and trigger panic attacks.

“But this isn’t home, not anymore, and it scares me inside to realize that I really don’t belong
anywhere. I’m still lost and alone, living an illusion, a ghost haunting my own past.”

Holly

Tyler has his own demons to fight. After an incident left him disfigured at the age of 16, his life took a downward path. He started drinking and taking drugs and his actions led to even more serious consequences. Thus, he became a loner, a social outcast, loathed and avoided by locals. The people think he is mentally unstable and they see him as a monster. Wanting to avoid any human interaction, Tyler lives in a small cottage in the woods. Just like Holly, he struggles to cope with everyday life:

“My physical scars were easy to see, splayed out across my flesh for people to stare at, back away
from, and question endlessly. The scars on the inside, though, managed to go unnoticed as they snaked
through me like a poison.”

Tyler

Conclusions and similar recommendations

Reading about the beginning of the friendship between Tyler and Holly is really satisfying, because I loved them both and I wanted to see them happy. Their love story is really sweet, but it is also suuuuper slow-burn, which made me pretty eager to finally see them together.

Tied is a novel which depicts the healing process of two broken souls; it is a novel about two kindred spirits who are given second chances to save each other. This book is the most emotional writing of Carian Cole and one of my favourites.

If you are looking for a book with similar tropes and themes (friends to lovers, damaged characters, healing through love), I recommend reading Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan.