"I sit here, on the bottom of the shower, and everything I know about myself, everything I love, everything I am begins to fade."Rape and physical assault are hard topics to write about, let alone portray sincerely and accurately. E.K. Blair does an amazing job at presenting the topic with grace and respect. A senior in college, Candace Parker, has a very hard time connecting with people, especially guys. She is determined to change that. She decides to exercise her freedom. What's life if you aren't living it, right? So she starts taking chances. She gets a tattoo on a whim and says yes to a date with a supposed frat douche. Her period of risk taking doesn't last very long, however, and she is left completely destroyed after a brutal rape and beating. This book. This book. This book! I cannot say enough good words about it. There aren't words for it. Blair effortlessly depicts the aftermath of the attack with sharp honesty. I liken this to [a:Tammara Webbers] [b:Easy|16056408|Easy|Tammara Webber|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1349370267s/16056408.jpg|19113823], but much more dark and realistic. Though Easy was wonderful, it had a much lighter tone to me than Fading.While working through the mess she is left with, Candace meets handsome, nice bar owner Ryan (who has a secret!). Having once believed that she could never be with anyone else again, she finds herself opening up to Ryan. He is absolutely perfect (well aside from that pesky secret). He is very, very patient with her, very kind and extremely understanding. He makes her trust herself again, believe in herself. He also understands about her fucking unsupportive, demeaning parents. They literally tear her down every time they see/talk to her. Having grown up with a relationship like that it's now wonder she was so withdrawn before the rape. Her willingness to work on her feelings showed her determination and strong will. I was in awe of Candace. Despite all of his good intentions, secrets do not a relationship make. Once Candace finds out what he's been hiding, will their love be enough to hold them together? Gah! Plus Ryan is a total alpha male, which is so unbelievably sexah. He's like Hector from Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick Regret, my favorite of the Rock Chick series. He pushes her just enough to make her realize that she doesn't have to always be scared. That she can get some sense of normalcy back. Plus, a lovely HEA always helps! Visit my blog for more reviews and recommendations!Join the Miss Construed Review's Facebook community!