For all those who have suffered in silence, no matter the hardship. Everyone deserves a voice. Marriage wasn’t bliss—not for Marilee. Instead of finding contentment with the handsome son of a sovereign duke, she found betrayal and neglect. And fear. A fear that finally lifts when her husband dies, freeing her from his domineering hand. But freedom alone can’t give her peace, and she must battle to regain her love for life, rebuild her happiness, and reclaim the ability to trust.
When her charming neighbor intrudes on her quiet life, she must determine whether his interest is genuine, and whether he deserves the fragile bit of trust she has managed to scrape together. However, trusting is a risk, and she has vowed never to put herself at the mercy of someone else’s whims. Can Marilee take that chance, knowing how terribly she’s chosen before? She doesn’t know if she can survive being wrong again.
When is it safe to love?
Vivacious and naive Marilee was quick to fall head over heels in love – only to find out her husband was a controlling, manipulative monster who steadily broke her down until she little more left of her than a shell, empty and aching. Thankfully, less than a year after their ill-fated wedding, he is killed, leaving her to pick up the pieces of her once-happy life. if only she knew how.
As Marilee stuggles to set her life to rights, a good hearted neighbor, a Mr. James Sutton, goes out of his way to help her and get to know her better. Marilee is loathe to trust him. She fears he is only out to manipulate her again just as her husband had. Though he seems legit, she doesn’t dare open her battered heart again to him or anyone, not even her brother in law who has recently shown up claiming he wants to take care of her and right the wrongs done.
Abuse is such a delicate subject, but Annette K. Larsen skillfully describes both it and the lingering emotional effects and challenges as well. Marilee is such a strong girl. Though she is broken emotionally, she vows to rise again and fight for herself. Her husband may have beaten her, but she will not let him defeat her. She also surrounds herself with a wonderful group of friends and her large but loving family for support.
Mr. Sutton was a great guy as well, loving and patient with her, always seeming to know when to push and when not to. He is willing to give her the time and space she needs to heal, yet he is also there for her no matter what.
The story, though simple and slightly predictable in plot, is very enjoyable. I finished it in one afternoon. I just wish I had read the first two novels before this one. It would have given me a lot more insight into Marilee’s family. As it was, I had a slight bit of trouble keeping track of everyone and got lost whenever they started mentioning the other sisters’ stories.
My Rating: Four Flames
Romance: Very clean. Mild kissing only.
Drinking/Drugs: Some wine is consumed – and used as a fire starter.
Blood / violence: Very little. A few blows are exchanged and Marilee’s husband’s abuse of her is mentioned occasionally.
Other: this book deals strongly with the subjects of abuse, emotional/psychological manipulation, and mild depression.
Happy Reading y’all!