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Cruel Water

(Portland ME #2)

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  415 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Innocence marked her…

Violation crippled her…

Love left her raw…

The life she carefully rebuilt is challenged when she is confronted with the sins from her past. The carefully applied protection is at once ripped away, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.

Her single night of indulgence with the silver-eyed stranger is only the beginning. He sees right to the heart of her and s
ebook, 388 pages
Published March 2016 by Everafter Romance (first published February 19th 2016)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A family member has damned you and the secret is out there all around you.

Viv has buried this secret so deep inside her that its like cancer eating away at her.
She has friends, she has a life, but no one knows her secret.

Although this kind of book plot has been written times before I found that Freya Barkers way of writing is indepth and takes the reader far deeper into roots beyound, deep roots that are so buried that they are rotten.

She meets Ike, hes a biker. Rough, ready etc

And that is wher
Spoilers ahead, 3.5*

Lord! This book has me emotionally drained, like the previous book it seems the hits just keep coming until the very end

This is Viv and Ike's story, we met Viv in the previous book as the person who found and befriended Syd and staunchly supported her. Viv is the manager of pub The Skipper and one night she meets Ike and has a passionate ONS with him ending in her receiving a call that her dad's in the hospital. Viv leaves Ike behind and goes to her family unleashing a host o

This is a very moving and quite the powerful read.
I did not love it (hence the rating), but I did enjoy it and I can totally see why everybody else adored it so much.

What I liked:
• Ike. Ike, Ike, Ike, Ike. Didn't think I could ever find that name sexy - but with a man like him carrying it... whew. Ike was absolutely dreamy and exactly my kind of alpha-hero. Yes, there were times I wanted to roll my eyes at some of his caveman antics, but all in all he was amazing. Protective and supportive, he a
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 01-signed
We first meet Viv in From Dusty, the slightly damaged woman who is rebuilding her life with the help of good friends. But we never got a chance to see all of her scars. Until now.

Ike can’t take his eyes off the firecracker behind the bar. Returning home to Portland, Maine, Ike finds himself starting to put down some roots – something he didn’t think he’d really ever find himself doing. But that isn’t the only thing he’s doing that is out of the norm.

Viv and Ike engage in a steamy one night stan
Nadia Debowska-Stephens (Obsessed by Books)
"to rage against the storm, face the whipping winds and cruel waters...I swear I wasn't looking to die."

Back to the warm and familiar setting of The Skipper where you immediately feel at home, this is Viv's story. Parts of her past leaked through in From Dust as her friendship with Syd grew yet if you haven't had the pleasure of that novel this can easily be read as a stand alone although I thoroughly enjoyed the progression of her storyline. Broken by her ex Viv turned to a women's refuge when
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

“‘Red Sox game on Owen’s sixty-inch tiny dick compensation.’ That earns him a slap to the back of the head. I swear, my brothers, in their forties, are no different than they were as teenagers.”

“I don’t think anyone can make the mistake of thinking you’re not capable of looking after yourself, that’s not a question. The point is that those of us, whose knuckles still occasionally scrape the floor, like to take care of what they consider theirs.”

“I’m forty-two years old and have b
♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡ Jeri the Romance Bibiliophile ♡

“Cruel Water” is not my first rodeo with author Freya Barker. So I had a pretty good idea what I was getting myself into.

In comparison to “From dust” the first of the “Portland ME” series her new book is a little “less” intense.

Which might be due to the fact that the characters are already familiar and the plotline is not as mysterious.

But do not get me wrong when I say “less” or “not as” .. there is still a lot more to that story than many other stories have to offer.

It is just that “From Dust”
Mindy Lou's Book Review
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Beautifully written! I've read books where the hero/heroine has suffered abuse in their past but I've never had a book leave such an impact on me as this one has. The author did such a beautiful job of bringing the characters to life that I felt like this was a friend of mine who was struggling on the road to recovery, trying to learn to live with such a traumatic past and to forgive the people in her life who let her down. And Isaac... Freya Barker could not have done a better job of writing in ...more
~Nichole~  Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews
Freya is absolutely one of my favorite authors hands down. Nobody injects emotion into stories like this talented lady. I had to take a break while reading this story due to personal experiences that just made it a rough journey for me. Having said that... It was still a beautiful healing and passionate read.
Petra Gleason
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Barker has done it again. Viv is so fucking strong, even when she feels anything but. And, oh my god, Ike. I need an Ike of my own! His compassion, understanding, support and love of Viv is what we all read romance books hoping to find.
Jezabell Girl
This is a breathtaking story of a damaged heroine supported by an strong man who is still recovering from his own emotional wounds. It takes you on journey towards happiness, forgiveness and above all a hope for a future lived free of a painful past.

I really enjoyed Freya’s writing style and storytelling in From Dust and couldn’t wait to read Cruel Waters. Set around The Skipper once again but this time telling Viv’s story and her “silver-eyed” stranger.

Viv’s story was as gruelling to experienc
~Steph K~
Wow, it's kind of hard to know where to start with my review. This book left me feeling full, satisfied, unbelievable honored that I had the chance to read this touching story. I absolutely loved this story. At times it brought tears to my eyes, other times it made me laugh and chuckle, and then there were those moments with Viv and Ike that made me all tingly. It's not an easy story at times to read at all - because there are a lot of things that come up that could cause "triggers" for some rea ...more
Aimee Shannon
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Please know, I'm not a professional reviewer, so understand that I don't have the right words to use here.

From Dust, the first Portland ME book, was my absolutely best read of 2015. And 2014, 2013, 2012... you get the idea. I love Freya's writing style and always feel like I'm right there. I was a patron of the Skipper, watching it all unfold. While there during From Dust, we met Viv, and knew she had a much deeper story to tell. Cruel Water is her story. Ok, and Ike's.

From the first chapter, I
April Johnson
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Innocence marked her…

Violation crippled her…

Love left her raw…

The life she carefully rebuilt is challenged when she is confronted with the sins from her past. The carefully applied protection is at once ripped away, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.

Her single night of indulgence with the silver-eyed stranger is only the beginning. He sees right to the heart of her and she is unable to ward off emotions that have been deeply buried. With the sting of betrayal still fresh in her soul, she’s sur
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-favorites
Freya Barker has done it again with an engaging, emotional and generally "un-put-downable" read! Cruel Water will put you through the wringer, but the anger and crumpled tissue pile are well worth it.

If you have read From Dust, you will remember Viv as the beautiful bartender at The Skipper who found Syd in the alley behind the pub and gave her a chance to get her life back on track. By all outer appearances, Viv is the epitome of self-sufficiency but she has painful past we can't even begin to
FMR Book Grind
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing

OMG at all the feels in this story! So emotional. There are so many things going on in this story. You have the two main characters, Ike and Viv. Their connection is instant. I mean, no talking needed. The attraction they feel to each other is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Both of these characters are on the 40 side of life. Ike has been lost in his grief and hasn’t been looking for Miss Right. Just Miss Right Now. Viv is on the other side of an epically bad relatio
Karen Hrdlicka
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while an author comes along and not only writes beautiful books, she touches the heart of the reader and forces them to think about issues that often times are hidden. Freya Barker is just such an author. I have read everything by this author and the variety of emotions that her books bring out in a reader is phenomenal. Her Cedar Tree series is suspenseful, sexy, and laced with humor. However, the Portland ME series tackles more issues that make people uncomfortable to talk about. The ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This book started off as a page turner from the first night Ike “meets” Viv at The Skipper and it held my interest until the end. Some of Viv’s story was brought out in From Dust but it was clear from the beginning of this book that her shitty ex Frank wasn’t the only thing that Viv has had to deal with in her life.

I was kind of shocked that her overprotective brothers never really knew what was happening and was disgusted at their reaction, specifically Owen considering it involved Lydia in hi
C.A. Miconi
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just when I think Freya Barker can't get any better she releases this book. Cruel Water is such a great story I'm not sure how to do it justice in a review.

Viv is tending bar at the Skipper when she meets Ike and has what she thinks will be a one night stand. Ike is convinced he doesn't do relationships and doesn't get her name even though he admits to it being the best night of his life. Fate is funny though, Ike ends up playing on a baseball team that hangs out at the bar after games and he a
Stephanie Phillips (Stephanie's Book Reports)
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

This was my initial review when I finished Cruel Water in January:

"Awesomely fantastic. Freya Barker has done it to me again! Sucked right into this book I finished at 3 AM. I even cried a little ... Which is darn near impossible to make me do."

So Cruel Water picks up with our favorite no nonsense character from From Dust the first Portland, ME novel - Viv. She kicks ass and takes names. Holds grudges and opens up to few. She
Lilian Flesher
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed-reads
OMG this story just rips at your heart strings. I loved my first visit to the Skipper via From Dust, which is where Syd, and Gunner's story was told, but Viv was mentioned in there. I loved that book, and when I was given the chance to read Viv's story I jumped at the opportunity.

Well I totally love Freya's skill at writing, she has you feeling how the characters felt, I was choked up at times, crying at others, laughing at others. Emotions get taken for a ride at the start and do not stop till
Angel Hatfield
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Viv worked at The Skipper - she was a manager there but also cooked and tended bar. Syd and Gunner are the owners Dino the chief and they all treat her like family although Dino id a man of few words. Viv lived with an abusive husband for a long time but after he put her in the hospital four times she finally left him and went to a safe house. Viv had four brothers and none of them knew this had happened. One night at stranger comes in while Viv is on the bar Viv has what she believes is a one n ...more
I loved the first book in the series – From Dust, and if not for the lack of an epilogue I would have 5 starred that baby. However, Syd and Gunnar’s story does continue in Cruel Water so I think I need to go back and up my rating because it’s one of those books that stuck with me months after reading it.

Now that I’m done with the waffle I just want to say that I absolutely adore Ike. To me, he epitomises the perfect hero. Strong, quiet, respectful of Viv, supportive, loving, carrying his own hu
Angela Lamb
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this free book in exchange for an honest review.

5 Stars

This book. Wow, this book…I’m not sure I can put into words how much I loved this book and how much it moved me and touched my heart. Freya Barker has really outdone herself with this one.

Viv is the epitome of strength in a female character. She has overcome so many obstacles in her life and still has several more to come. Ike has declared to be the lifelong bachelor who doesn’t need love in his life. Both of these characters have
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have only one thing to say about this novel… Inspiring.

Freya Barker has written a story that is gritty, raw and real. A story about what happens when you have the worst thing imaginable happen to you, and the people who should be your support system, don’t believe you.

Viv is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. She does not let what happened to her stop her from taking a chance on love. She is a survivor and NOT a victim. She is kick ass and sassy but with a vulnerability that sho
Jennifer Zamora
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OMG! Im not sure I can do this book justice! Freya Barker has done it again! I fell in love with her characters and first book, From Dust. I cannot believe how easily she is able to take very dark and serious issues and still give a happily ever after without watering down the issue, nor giving the story an ending that leaves you asking "How the hell would thaat happen?".
Everyone that meets Viv knows shes carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She cant imagine ever being happy. Shes
She's a Lip Biter
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From Dust, the first book in this series, was amazing. I didn't think that Freya could do it again, but she did. This book was so heartbreaking and really amazing. Freya's writing style is great, the way she tells the story and the passion and pain you can feel through her writing is great.

This story is about a broken woman who is supported by an emotional damaged man and their journey to rebuilding themselves. Viv is one of the strongest characters I've read in a long time. She has been through
Alice Hart
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
The Waters are indeed CRUEL here. Until Ike comes along. Sexy Ike tries his hardest to try and help Viv. A woman he thought he was having a one nighter with but just couldn't shake her.

Freya does a great job on writing about tough subjects. The ones that make your skin crawl. She doesn't go into great detail about the abuse Viv suffered in her past. The sick part of me wanted to read it. For anyone else with emotional "triggers", you will get the point without having to "go there". If that make
Nancy Huddleston
"Just as I spot a figure running towards me, a large wave crashes into me, catching me off balance. My eyes never leave the approaching man, even as my legs are swept out from under me, and I'm washed into the cruel water."
Freya Barker created a moving and emotional full story with Cruel Water(Portland, ME #2). It will take you on a journey to face the past and to reach for a future.
Freya Barker addresses tough issues that are usually glossed over . She wrote about them with compassion and under
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Viv is carrying a load and its all kept deep inside of her. Reading this book the author takes us on a tumultuous and somewhat candid look at the misfortune of Viv. How she mentally survived is awesome. And to be along for the ride to see her life and that of Ike's unfold is one of the most beautiful love stories I have had the fortune to read in a while.

While this book tells their story it also touches on a sensitive topic that I am quite ho
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USA Today bestselling author Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Driven to make her books about 'real' people; she creates characters who are perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills in their lives.

Recipient of the 2019 Best Book We've Read All Year Award fo

Other books in the series

Portland ME (4 books)
  • From Dust (Portland ME, #1)
  • Through Fire (Portland ME #3)
  • Still Air (Portland ME #4)

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When it comes to writing, Jocelyn Johnson is about that life.    The Virginia native—born, bred, and wed—has had aspirations of being a...
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