Saturday 11 February 2017

Review ~ Mistakes of My Past: Escape is Just the Beginning by Emily James

Book Description:

What do you do when your relationship destroys everything good in your life? 
It’s simple, right? You escape - by any means necessary. 

Amber knew that leaving Tommy was going to be hard and quite possibly deadly. After all, she has things that he will stop at nothing to get. 
When Amber flees England to start fresh with her estranged father in Ohio she starts the process of rebuilding her life. 

Will is recovering from his own disastrous relationship, which has left him mistrusting of high maintenance women. And when he meets Amber, she seems just that. 

Getting off to a rocky start, Amber and Will soon realise they have more in common than they thought. 

Can Amber ever really free herself from the mistakes of her past? 
Or are they only ever one short step behind her? 

The Mistakes of my Past is a stand-alone novel. 
It is only recommended for readers aged over 18 due to dark, abusive and sexual themes.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“If I am going to die, I won't do it afraid of him.”

Mistakes of My Past is the debut book by author Emily James. This has a little of that romantic suspense vibe running through it but overall, is a book about fresh starts, recovering from the past and looking forward to the future, a future you never deemed possible.

Amber was living in the UK with her mum, her Dad was working and living in the US and since he moved out there their relationship had been strained and he had become an absentee parent. Since her mum died, Amber has been on a downward spiral, culminating in a suicide attempt. Having lost her mum and finding herself in an abusive relationship, everything got too much and not living seemed her only option.

“…open your eyes, you have to snap out of this.” I have snapped, just like you promised me I would.”

Amber’s Dad flies over from the States and seeing an out, away from life, the UK and her abusive partner, Tommy, Amber grabs the opportunity with both hands and soon finds herself in a psych hospital in the US but it seems Tommy’s reign of terror is far from over.

“Honey, I’d cross the whole world every day if you needed me. I thank God I still have you.”

Will lives next door to Amber’s dad and he and his sister have been looked after by him since their parents died. Will was the salt of the earth, had a heart the size of Texas and lived and breathe for his little seven-year-old sister. Will takes an instant like to Amber and although it was reciprocated neither of these two were really accepting of what was happening between them. Time heals all wounds, but some take more time than others.

“I love everything about you. You make me feel like I have something worth fighting for.”

Emily James delivers an emotional read and this book may contain triggers for some. While some of this book tackles some hard subjects, Emily James delivered it with empathy and realism. At no time did I not feel something towards Amber, her situation in the UK was the kind that serial killer films were based on and Tommy was definitely on a total different level of crazy.

Amber had been worn down mentally over a long period, had endured terrible things at the hands of Tommy, all of which had somehow made it onto social media. Tommy manipulated how Emily’s friends saw her leading to labels that were neither true nor warranted. Tommy was scum on the scummiest of levels, a man born with a sense of entitlement and had no scruples when attaining what he wanted.

Amber’s growth from victim to a stronger confident woman was great to read about, it takes time and her propensity to trust is shot to hell. With the help of her best friend, Roxy, Will, Cody and her Dad, Amber works hard in bettering herself and it is this journey that cemented this as a really good read for me.

“I chose you the second I walked into that house and found a frightened little bird and watched her turn into a fearless eagle.”

For a debut book the author shows she has talent, yes, it is in its rawest form but this story held its own and had my attention from the very start. For me personally, I would have liked a little more emotion, typically a book like this would have me in floods of tears and while I had that empathy for Amber, she wasn’t a character that had burrowed herself into my heart. I was more an outsider looking in rather than living and breathing it with the characters.

This author will definitely stay on my radar and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

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