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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
N. Dune’s Escape Beyond The Tide is the first book of the Beyond The Tide Trilogy. It surprises Lou when her drunk boyfriend arrives home early with Chloe. While Damon disappears into the bathroom, Lou tells Chloe she will get her out of this as quickly as she can. She puts a pill inside Damon’s whiskey and takes it to him. Damon passes out after Chloe rushes out the door. Lou grabs the backpack she has kept hidden. She is leaving to get away from Damon’s abuse. She calls her mother from a payphone before boarding a train to Exeter. To her surprise, Jay is waiting for her at the next stop. Jay knows that his best friend is in trouble and takes her to his home. Learning what Lou has endured, Jay vows to protect her and hopes to rekindle their romance from two years ago.
N. Dune tastefully exposes the domestic violence of Lou’s relationship with Damon. Instead of details of the abuse, Lou’s escape and recovery are the main focal points. The emotional turmoil Lou experiences is vivid and realistically represents how Damon affects her self-esteem and confidence. Jay and Connor are protective of Lou and even shelter her from the vile jealousy of Mel. The plot is unpredictable with how many variables show up. They brought suspense into the story with a subplot that caught me completely off-guard. The subtle dropping of clues leading up to the dramatic conclusion kept me fully invested in reading. The end left the perfect opening for a sequel that I am eager to read. Lou and Jay narrate Escape Beyond The Tide in the first person. It will appeal to romance readers who like to connect with the characters.