About Something Sacred I Lost by Emmy Vine
“Choosing to heal is one of the hardest decisions you can ever make…”
When horse trainer Damian Bradley agrees to work for wealthy Richard Watts, he doesn’t realize that the protective mask he wears is about to be destroyed.
Since leaving home at seventeen, doing his best to forget the horrific trauma he endured, he prefers the company of horses to that of people. Horses accept him for who he is, and they never bring up the painful memories that he has so carefully tucked away beneath his prickly exterior.
Lila Watts, Richard’s cherished daughter, is immediately drawn to Damian, but he does his best to push her away. However, she starts to break down his walls with her authenticity and compassion, and she begins to tap into the vulnerable parts he’s desperate to keep hidden.
The arrival of Lila’s predatory aunt Kat sets in motion a collision of past and present, forcing Damian to confront demons long since buried. Can Damian choose to let go of his limiting beliefs so that he can begin the arduous process of healing? Or will he remain hidden in the shadows, and lose his chance at love?
Something Sacred I Lost Review
I was compensated for my time reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the author in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.
Something Sacred I Lost is a story that offers an intimate portrayal of a young man’s arduous journey towards healing from a traumatic past, and the woman who makes it her mission to guide him through this challenging process as she grows out of her own shells.
At the story’s core is Damian, a talented horse trainer burdened by the weight of his painful history, clinging to it like a relentless ball and chain as he strives to build a life of his own. Lila, on the other hand, is a recent college graduate who becomes inexplicably drawn to Damian. After uncovering the darkness that shrouds his past, she makes the extraordinary decision to stand by his side, encouraging him to confront his deepest scars.
The novel deftly navigates the complexities of loving someone scarred by past traumas, and how one can overcome this challenge and establish trust despite how it has already been brutally shattered.
Something Sacred I Lost does not fall within my typical reading preferences, but it still managed to captivate my attention from the very first page. You know that feeling when you crack open a book and immediately feel the urge to keep reading? That’s precisely what this book delivered. One attributable reason for this is the narrative style. While I typically lean towards first-person narratives, the third-person point of view in this book was executed exceptionally well. It allowed for a nuanced exploration of the myriad perspectives and experiences of the two central characters, Damian and Lila.
Lila’s character development is another quality of the novel that I found enjoyable. In the beginning, she was portrayed as extremely sheltered, a stark contrast to the world-weary Damian. This stark introduction sets the premise to accentuate just how much Lila evolves as the story progresses. This reminds me of the character arc technique, where a character starts from a less favourable beginning to emphasize their growth throughout the narrative.
As Lila’s character goes through her transformation, she sheds her sheltered upbringing and embraces the complexities of Damian’s world. This made me root for her more since she became more likable as she evolved into a more compassionate, understanding, and resilient individual.
The heart of the story lies in the gentle, healing romance that blossoms between Damian and Lila. It’s a relationship that feels organic and deeply rooted in mutual support. Their interactions and dialogues are so natural that you can’t help but root for them. Despite that, I feel like the romance sometimes overshadows more important aspects such as Damian’s trauma. This was particularly noteworthy because a significant draw of the book lies in its exploration of the male sexual assault experience.
Therefore, at times, the romance between Damian and Lila, while significant, could overshadow the crucial message that Damian’s narrative aimed to convey. In a story where such an essential theme is at play, maintaining a careful balance between romance and trauma narrative becomes imperative to ensure that neither loses its impact.
Another caveat I had was that I did come across a few typos and weird word choices which appeared to be mistakes. It’s important to note though that these issues might be attributed to the advanced reader’s copy (ARC) version I read, and I anticipate that they will be resolved in the official published edition. So take this with a grain of salt.
In sum, About Something Sacred I Lost, Emmy Vine takes us on a journey of healing, love, and confronting one’s inner demons. It’s a story that tugs at the heartstrings and leaves you pondering the profound impact of choosing to heal. Despite the minor editorial hiccups, the book’s compelling narrative and well-drawn characters make it a worthwhile read. And I really appreciate the representation of male sexual assault victims!
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Growing up is hard! Reading helped me disappear from everything I didn’t like about myself (a lot). I could imagine being anyone, doing anything, and I didn’t have to worry about meeting anyone’s expectations. I could just be ME.
Somehow I managed to grow up and pull my head out of the clouds long enough to go to law school (surprising even myself), open a photography business, teach a couple AP classes, and then become a Life Coach. Also, I’m married and have five children.
One of my favorite messages for people is, don’t limit yourself. You don’t have to be one thing–the world is out there. There are so many parts to us.
I started writing Something Sacred I Lost when I was in 11th grade. Then a lot happened (see above). All along, Damian hovered in the background, patiently waiting for the opportunity to tell his story.
I hope you love him as much as I do.