A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Around The Bend by Britney King- Spotlight + Review

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Title: Around The Bend Author: Britney King Book Blitz: January 5-7 Hosted by: SBB Promotions Add to Goodreads

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If you were to pass me on the street, you probably wouldn’t even look twice. I’m that normal. I’m just like you, only wealthier. I have it all. The kids, the family, the dog, a house on the hill. Hell—I’m so cliché, I even have a white picket fence. I guess you could say that I’ve dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s. But what I also have—what no one sees in yoga, or at Nieman Marcus, or during the dreadful Ladies Who Lunch charity events I attend (because only God knows why), and perhaps most importantly, in the school pick up line—are secrets.
Deep, dark, deadly secrets.
We all keep secrets, don’t we? We all have thoughts in our heads, things we do, things about us that if people knew, they’d be shocked…right? Well, what if one day we just decided to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak. What if we decided to let the whole world in on our dirty little secrets? And what if along the way, as we were spilling those secrets, we realized that things aren’t always what they seem and with that knowledge, it changed the whole story? In this book, I’m laying it all out there. The unraveling of my life. My coming undone. What one might’ve seen had they been paying attention. What I’ve found in life is people often believe lies before they’ll believe the truth. Well, here it is, in a nutshell. I’ll let you decide which is which.
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Myles didn’t wait for a response. He simply grinned, grabbed her arm just above the elbow, and led her out of the bar, and back to his room. Pain was a given, she’d just realized. And sometimes, you just needed to give into it—no matter what form it showed up in.
Jessica watched him go as she dug her toes further into the wet sand and squeezed them, watching as the muddy water poured over her feet and enveloped them. She let him get a ways ahead before she allowed herself to smile—just a little. All along she’d let him think he was breaking her, but maybe, just maybe, they’d actually been breaking each other.
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  Around the BendAround the Bend by Britney King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Around the Bend by Britney King is a 2014 Hot Banana Press publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, this book was nothing at all like I expected it would be. I have to be honest and say this is a really good book, but I will have to put on my critical thinking cap for this one because it will be difficult not to step on certain plot landmines that could give too much away. I will also confess there are a few developments in the story I had a hard time with , but I can't really expound on those in the review. So, here goes...

Jess is wealthy, fairly comfortable with her marriage and the mother of two wonderful children. The only sad thing in her life was her father's dementia and dealing with that was very difficult. But, in an instant her life veared off course and was never, ever the same again.

Six months pass and Jess's husband decides to leave her alone while he takes an extended business trip, when she needs him the most. Due to a horrific situation, Jess becomes addicted to pills and alcohol and her children are being raised by the help. It is obvious that someone needs to be there for her. Enter Myles. A Navy SEAL who is hired to watch over Jess, who has no idea what his assignment will involve. When he arrives to start his new job he finds a woman deep into her addictions and having suicidal thoughts. This plumb assignment may be the biggest challenge Myles ever faced.

From the moment Myles enters Jess's life things begin to improve for her. Myles was tough on her and at times I didn't know if I liked him or not. But, he takes charge of her and opens her eyes and forces her to face her addictions, her marital state and the neglect of her children. She has setbacks and many trials, but slowly begins to grow as a person, to face life's issues without a drink, to stand up to her rat of a husband, and to become a real mother to her children, and maybe find true love in the midst of all that.
This novel was as heartbreaking as it was inspirational. Now, I have already told you there were developments in the story I could have done without. I did understand what the author was going for and in some ways this book put me in mind of a classic movie I saw once. However, despite the vast progress our female protagonist makes , the independence she forges and confidence she gains, there was still an imprint of sadness left behind and I would have rather have had things work out a different way.
So my final thought are this:
This author can really write a good story. This book is placed in the Romantic Suspense category and yes, it does belong in this genre, but this book is much more than that. It's a story of courage, faith, growth and the grit and determination a person found within themselves to climb back up from rock bottom and do something with her life. Jess is a true hero in some ways and should give inspiration to anyone going through a rough patch in life. Life is hard and Jess didn't ask for any of the things that happened to her. Although she got handed a big bag of life's lemons and she sucked on their bitterness for a while, with the help of a good, strong man who never gave up on her, she saw her way out of her bleak situation and learned to stand on her own two feet and take control of her life. She came out on the other side a stronger and better person and that was what made this book so good. I recommend this to romantic suspense lovers, but also to contemporary fiction and literary fiction readers as well. 4 stars

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Britney King
For those of you who prefer it straight up, no chaser: Mama to five. Writer. Juggler extraordinaire. That just about covers it...
The extended version and in third person no less ;): Britney is married to a man she adores (when he isn't driving her crazy) and is the mother of FIVE pretty amazing kids, who (surprise!) also have a habit of driving her crazy. Her best guess is that it's genetic. She is the author of two novels, Bedrock and Breaking Bedrock, with plans to release a third and fourth in 2014. In addition, she founded a local network for women in 2012, which has grown to over 1200 members. Currently, she occupies a job she enjoys--serving and running Austin Women's Network. To further prove that she may in fact be certifiably insane, she decided to pursue her dreams and published her debut novel in May of 2013. Then and only then, could she consider her training to be an expert (life) juggler complete.
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