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Stained (Carpetbaggers, Rebels, & Yankees, #1) by Elizabeth Marx

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Published August 20th 2013 by Elizabeth Marx Books

Summary: What happens when your darkest truth is revealed to the world?

Scarlett Marbry was just sixteen when her mother, an acclaimed Sacred Harp singer, committed suicide in front of her, sending her running from rural Alabama and the darkness that pushed her mother over the edge. Now, after five years of building a fragile cage around her heart to protect herself, she must return to Crossroads for her grandparents’ funeral. There, she’ll not only be forced to deal with the reality of her deep Southern roots, but she’ll have to face the one she left behind.

Revell Marshall is used to working with fragile objects. He’s built a life and career around reassembling the delicate stained glass windows that have put Crossroads back on the map. He’s also been pining for Scarlett all these years . . . Determined to win her heart, he helps her piece together the facts of her mother’s past. Except these revelations, once exposed, could set Scarlett on the downward spiral she barely escaped the last time. Especially when the truth that stained the past may be the same one that shatters her faith in the one person she thought she could trust . . .

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Seven times I went down
six times I walked back.
And I don’t fear the dark anymore
’cause I’m become all that.

I will be rocks, I will be water.
I will leave this to my daughter:
lift your head up in the wind.
When you feel yourself grow colder
wrap the night around your shoulders
and I will be with you even then
even when I cannot see your face anymore.

Don’t forget the time
I wooed him with red wine.
The devil he wore such a fine, fine shirt
and it stayed so clean while he dragged me through the dirt.
Now, honey, don’t trust anyone who looks you in the eye
don’t take any kindness, it’s a demand in disguise.

I have seen such things child
on this, and the other side.
Words cannot show you
the midnight owl it does not know you.
You will see for your sweet self
by and by.

And I will be rocks, I will be water
I will leave this to my daughter.

This book ought to be read with the Sacred Harp song humming in the background. Here’s my favourite:

What I loved the most in Stained is the southern theme, southern wisdom and southern charm. It’s South – a place where the sweet southern belles are crafty and greedy, chivalrous gentlemen are sneaky and perverse, and righteous preachers are manipulative and evil.
Elizabeth Marx created the beautiful story about suffering, guilt, redemption and forgiveness.

6 stars. Seriously.

 

Rating: 5/5
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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in reviews

 

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Give Me Reason (Reason #1) by Zoey Derrick

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Published September 8th 2013 by Zoey Derrick

Summary: Vivienne Callahan has known only hardship. As if growing up with an alcoholic, drug addicted mother wasn’t traumatic enough, she’s escaped from her physically and verbally abusive boyfriend only to struggle every day to make ends meet as a waitress in a Minneapolis diner.

Along comes Mikah Blake, a handsome stranger who quickly takes an unexpected and persistent interest in her. On the surface, “Mr. Suit” seems to be Vivienne’s opposite: rich, well-fed, successful. As Vivienne will learn, Mikah is more than he seems, and for reasons unknown, he’s determined to be her knight in shining armor. But after having finally found her own two feet after years of abuse, it’s difficult for her to accept Mikah’s help.

Will her body’s unexpected response to Mikah’s touch be reason enough to overcome her pride and traumatic past and learn to love and trust? Or will her past, refusing to be left behind, come back to claim her?

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What is wrong with all those indie writers? Or with all those indie publishers? I just hate that common and newly founded strategy called be-sure-you-buy-the-next-installment, since we provided you with the cliffhanger of the year.
Seriously, wtf?
It’s all about the money, sing a-long.
Well, they just gave me a reason (heck, there’s no “a” in this title…) to buy the next book in the series.

And now I’m not sure if I liked this book or not.
I liked it.
I didn’t like it.

But I want to read part two.

So, back to the book. I can’t say a bad word about the writing, even if the prologue left me pleased – it is written in third person. But the story goes and hey, first person, Viv’s point of view reigns… Too bad.

The heroine is a starved, abused waitress – got your sympathy yet? Then she meets a handsome CEO with a hint of paranormal feel. Sounds familiar?
I bet the answer is yes.

It’s a good story, true tearjerker.

Alas I can’t stop myself from adding: If you’re abused in any kind of way, please don’t wait for your prince charming. Take care of yourself, you won’t spot your CEO on the street or he won’t spot you. Sadly, there’s too few of them.

 

Rating: 3/5
 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in reviews

 

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