Review: “Reckless Refuge” by Catherine Cowles

Series: Wrecked, #4

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: May 11th, 2021

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There were shadows I was running from.
Ones that haunted and taunted.
Ones that made it so I had no choice but to disappear.

I’d spent years hiding from the world.
My little island haven, the only assurance of safety.

It all changed the moment he showed up at my door.
The hint of pain in his eyes told me that something haunted him, too.
And I couldn’t help but be drawn closer.

But finding the person I needed most came with risks I never expected.
And when our ghosts find us again, neither of us may make it out this time.


This is my first Catherine Cowles book and good lord, it was beautiful. I loved the premise of the book, but I didn’t know what I was going to experience as I went into it. The characters were so well crafted and beautiful, and the story so powerful. I loved every minute of this book because it dug deep into my heart and soul and made me feel so much for these characters.

Shay has been running from her past for most of her life and in doing so, she’s made a new life for herself far away from everyone and everything. She’s working as a caretaker for a holiday home on an island off the coast of Seattle and it’s allowed her to stay clear of people, her past and acknowledging anything else that’s happening outside the comfort of her island life. Brody’s had enough of the big city life. He’s given himself to New York and his art, but when his art is being used to do something evil, he realises that he needs to get away. So he buys a house on an island, far from everyone else. And it just so happens to be where Shay lives and hides away from the world.

“Something I was sure came from pain and hardship. Some people simply wore it like a badge of honor. And Shay was one of them. But that pain had also birthed beauty. Something so deep it was infused into her very being. That went beyond skin and flesh and burrowed soul-deep.”

I loved this book and this relationship. Neither of them want or need attachments, they want to live their lives without having to get involved with anyone else. Shay has spent a long time protecting herself and now with Brody arriving and upsetting the balance, she’s not sure she’s strong enough to resist. But it’s hard to ignore the pull they feel towards each other, the desire to be wrapped up in each other and eventually, they give in to those feelings and take things to the next level. And boy, it is a wonderful level of intimacy that they cross.

Shay and Brody might be opposites, but there are some things they have in common. What I really enjoyed about their relationship was that Shay was unintentionally inspiring Brody to create new art, while he was helping her step out of her comfort zone to do more. They both motivate, encourage and push each other to become the people they know they are and that was truly so beautiful to me. I love when characters are not being entirely true to themselves, but allow someone else to push them past those barricades they’ve constructed.

I loved their love. It’s honest, open and all consuming. They take their time getting to that point, but Brody gives himself to Shay so completely and so wholly, that you can’t help but root for them. Their scars – physical and emotional – won’t stop them from loving each other, which only made the relationship and the romance that much more precious. Sure, they’re physically drawn to each other from the beginning, but their relationship is so much more than that. It’s about building a connection and making worthwhile memories.

“Something told me that if I let myself fall, Brody James could make me feel more alive than I ever had before.”

But because they’re both running from something, you know for a fact that the darkness and the ugliness in their lives will come rushing back for them. I didn’t know it was going to be a romantic suspense when I picked up the book, but I loved every minute of it. I felt the tension and the panic that the characters felt, I was gripping my Kindle so tight at one point because of how stressed I was! That’s the true sign of a good book.

Catherine Cowles had me hooked with this book and now I can’t wait to dig into the rest of the series and catch up. Because if they’re all going to be this immersive, I cannot wait!

Thanks to Catherine Cowles and Social Butterfly PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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