Brianna Garcia once was a spirited woman with an infectious smile and loyal heart. She was the most devoted mother, totally the opposite of her abusive husband. She felt at her lowest when she thought the only way for things to get better was for one of them to die. Eventually push came to shove, the decision had to be made, and Brianna chose to live.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was recommended this book through a reading group I am in. Although it's not in my normal, preferred genre, I decided to give it a try. I did enjoy it though.
Brianna Garcia is a character that a lot of women who have been in abusive relationships can relate to. She has an inner strength that gets hidden deep inside when her marriage becomes a waking nightmare. To save her children and herself from more pain, she will have to dig deep to reach that strength.
This is a deeply emotive story, which I cannot relate to much as I have never been in such a relationship. However, I could certainly empathize with the character of Brianna. I could feel her hurt and confusion as she struggled to find a way to escape from Mike, her husband. What intrigued me about the story is that it got me wondering about relationships, and what it was in men's lives, like Mike, that created the switch from a loving husband to a bitter and angry man. In this story, this aspect was not explored by the author much as she focuses mostly on Brianna. Certainly, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship in the real world and this story reflects this. However, there is usually a motive or reason for this change in attitude. Yes, alcohol plays a part in many abusive relationships, but there is usually something else lurking in the background like stress, dissatisfaction in a job or in a situation. In Mike's case, his attitude changes due to a perceived alcoholic injustice, which quickly spirals out of control.
I liked watching Brianna grow and flourish in her new life. I also liked meeting Officer Ryker Danner. He seems like a nice man, but felt his character wasn't as well developed as it could have been. I'm all for instant attraction and all that, but I didn't feel the chemical spark between the characters; instead of a raging inferno, all I got was a glowing ember. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. There are many different types of love, and passion is only one aspect of this mysterious emotion. Other readers may disagree with me, but you are welcome to read this book and decide for yourself. I loved meeting Dominique, the hairdresser. She is a wonderful character, full of warmth and wisdom. She made me laugh at times too.
Cheryl Seagraves has written an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish, but I feel that this book could be made better by having a professional editor or proofreader go through it to give it a bit of "spit and polish". Her writing style is not especially fast paced, but the story's flow was wonderful and it made the book seem shorter. I would definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.
I recommend this book to readers who love women's fiction or contemporary romance. - Lynn Worton
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