Around memorial day each year, I begin stockpiling beach reads for the summer. Not working in the summer offers me plenty of time to catch up on books I didn’t have the chance to read during the school year, and indulge in whatever a books version of a chick-flick would be called [is there a word for that? chick-lit? Except that sounds like gum]. In high school, I worked as a badge checker on a local beach in Long Beach Island and was literally paid to sit in the sun and read all day. I tore through books during those summers, reading 3-4 books in a week. Danielle Steel’s books were some of my favorites, quick easy reads that captured your attention right away and often featured Paris, a city I hadn’t been to at the time and couldn’t wait to visit. I have been on a Danielle Steel kick for the past few weeks, as an homage to those carefree lazy summers years ago. I’m not quite sure how but somewhere in the middle of all that Danielle Steel I came across Into The Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haines. I’m just going to lay it to you straight. This book is some serious shit. As women we are so quick to judge other women in their relationships, from the short leash they keep their man on to the behavior they “allow” from their significant other. Every book I had previously read that featured domestic abuse was so cliched – the obvious red flags, the support and encouragement to leave from friends and family. Haines wrote her character Lee to be so charismatic, so utterly charming, that I found myself rooting for him almost until the very end. It was a horribly unsettling feeling, particularly after you later see how terrible he can truly be. I read the last page, mouth wide open, and promptly turned back to read the first chapter all over again. Fantastic.