Sunday 8 May 2016

Review ~ The Devil's Playground and The Lion's Den (Faraway Duet 1 & 2) by Eliza Freed

Book Description:

Former U.S. Attorney, Meredith Walsh, took some time off to raise her children. But the time took away everything she once trusted about herself. She’s lost within the mundane confines of her children's schedules of lacrosse, soccer, Cub Scouts, and math facts. Desperate for a sliver of her former passion, and isolated in the small town her corporate husband relocated her to, she counsels herself on risking her family for the rush of a fling.

But Vincent Pratt, the local chief of police, weakens Meredith’s abhorrence of affairs and her dedication to her family. With him, she finds a new version of herself, one capable of contributing in her new world, and thriving in her lonely home. In spite of the fact, she’s not the kind of woman who has an affair.

Book Description:

An injury stops the bleeding of Meredith and Brad Walsh’s fractured marriage. As Meredith recovers and tries to regain her memory, Brad fights to convince Meredith their marriage was perfect, even if it barely existed. 

But with Meredith’s memory comes clarity, and Meredith is faced with the reality of a husband and a lover. A husband who will do anything not to lose—his family or anything else, and a lover who will set her free to see her happy. Breaking up her family is not an option, but neither is staying hidden inside her mind.

Buy Links:

The Devil's Playground (Faraway #1)

The Lion's Den (Faraway #2)

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna
The Devil's Playground ~ 4 stars
The Lion's Den ~ 4.5 stars

“This was nothing but a dangerous distraction. It was the devil’s playground.”

These two books are a duet and ones that I read one after the other, only taking the mandatory toilet breaks and of course feeding the husband and kids, they were that addictive. Yes, this book does contain cheating which I know is a major turn off for some readers, however, the way that Meredith’s story is delivered is sympathetic, understandable and totally consuming.

“I’ve stopped time and have you all to myself, and in the moments I’m quiet, I’m trying to figure out how to never start it again.”

The Devils Playground is totally told in Meredith’s point of view and brings to the forefront just how lost she feels. Having been forced to move to the suburbs by her husband, to a house that she didn’t want and an area where she knew no-one she had never felt so isolated. Once a high flying attorney Meredith’s life is now monotonous, predictable and totally orbits around the lives of her two hilarious children. Meredith’s kids are the light of her majorly dim life and if it wasn’t for them she would have given up a long time ago.

Meredith’s husband, Brad, still lives the single life. He “works” all the hour’s god sends and is never ever around. Leaving the house in the early hours and rarely home before 10pm. Always attending happy hours, company dinners and a plethora of parties, leaving Meredith and the kids behind. “Work” invades his weekends and he really is a stranger in the night. I had my suspicions about Brad from the very beginning, he tried to come across as perfect and being the bread winner for the family, but when someone is so perfect, more often than not they are not, they are always hiding something.

“He’d wanted me so much back then, and I’d wanted him to have me. I just hadn’t realised how much he would take.”

Vince, I ADORED this man, he was the Colonel, the head of police in this little community and everyone loved him. He was the one stable person of authority that everyone relied upon and he was selfless. He helped everybody, was a volunteer for all school and community functions and was a real pillar of the community. He had a wife and family too, but in the past two years he had really been at the point of his life where he was re-evaluating everything.

“He was magnificent. A souvenir I hadn’t paid for, the vacation I didn’t earn. He was stolen goods, and I never wanted to return them, but I also knew I wouldn’t do the time to keep him. The cost was too high.”

When Meredith and Vincent’s paths cross the attraction is undeniable, the chemistry is palpable and the kindle literally combusted. But Meredith is a woman of morals and was adamant that she would never have an affair. Eliza Freed really captured that push and pull of attraction, that back of forth of conscience over emotion and the true fight to do what is right and to try and make the right choices.

“This won’t work if you’re in love with me. A mistake will be made.”
“It isn’t a mistake.”
“It’s worse. We’re a tragedy.”

As much as I should have been rooting for these two to steer clear of each other there was no denying their attraction and it really was a foregone conclusion. This was not just an attraction of lust but they had an undeniable friendship, a soul mate connection that grew and grew the more and more they spent in each other’s company. It is this intense connection that managed to shift my moral compass firmly in their corner. I would never condone an affair, however, these two were perfect for each other and with such a crappy husband who showed her no affection, no attention and literally used her, it was no surprise that she strayed. However, it was not an easy choice and one that she battled with for a long time.

“Brad didn’t realize I wasn’t some twenty-five-year-old he was fucking. I was his wife, and I was already gone.”

The Lion’s Den was fast paced and action packed and was told in three POV’s, Brad, Vince and Meredith. Eliza Freed really delivers an epic conclusion to this duet that will have you on the edge of your seat while delivering curve ball after curve ball.

“Just follow your heart. It’ll lead you home.”
“What if my heart lost its memory too?”

Everyone’s story is told in this book and finally you get to see the behind scenes, warts and all which only added another dimension to the twisted that Eliza Freed has penned.

“When a married man had an affair with a young girl, he was the only one having an affair. She was dating.”

This duet was totally addictive, unputdownable and for me, an easy, quick read. Meredith’s kids really add the fun factor to this story and created many a laugh out loud moment as I sympathised with the endless, monotonous unanswerable questions that kids manage to pluck out of thin air and of course you cannot beat their unique fashion sense. Meredith was the epitome of a mama bear, her kids always came first and foremost and she would lay her life down for them, her life was her kids until someone showed her that she deserved a life too.

“I was unhappy-horribly unhappy-and lonely. I let you fix what you never broke. I let you fill a spot you never vacated. I slipped into the darkness, because I’d follow you to hell if you asked me to.”

This was a beautiful story that will have you heart swooning, while the suspense will have your stomach tied up in knots. It’s emotional in places but perfectly balanced with wit and humour that will also have you laughing out loud. For a cheating story, it worked, it wasn’t illicit, it was two people that found love when they weren’t looking. I cannot wait to read more from this author, my only complaint…I WANT AN EPILOGUE!!!!!

"I'm Daniel, and my marriage is the lion's den."

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