Forgiven by Rebecca Brooke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Sometimes bad things happen to good people.”
A horrific event two years ago changed Caleb Jacobs and now he lives a secluded quiet life where no one really knows him. He doesn’t want anyone to know him or his past. Then Angie is paired with him for a school project and she starts to break down his walls, but he feels like he must fight his feelings to protect her. Angie Powers is damaged from a horrible childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father. She focuses on school and hopes that one day her knight will rescue her from the loneliness.
“What could have happened to her? She said earlier that she wanted to get away from home. Why, I wondered. Did that have anything to do with what Josh mentioned before? What could she be running from? She deserved to be protected and loved---things I would’ve loved to do for her. I wanted to be her knight in shining armor. The only problem was I wasn’t a knight---I was more like a demon trying to steal her soul.”
The tension and fighting between these two was palpable. You could feel the hatred, attraction, madness, and love flowing from the pages. From their first meeting to their admission of feelings, I couldn’t even begin to predict what would happen between them. It was a constant emotional tug of war and its unbelievable! Each character had their own demons, but essentially bad things have happened to them and they must realize that it doesn’t make them bad people. They each have a hard time believing that they deserve happiness. I cried for their turmoil and journeys. I’m talking the ugly, messy crying too. FORGIVEN affected me in a big way. The characters were lovable and the secondary characters were perfect compliments.
When I first read the title of this book, my first thought was either the main male or female character had to be forgiven for doing something awful to the other. Typical. I was wrong. I really wasn’t expecting the story to go the route it did and have such deep, meaningful themes. The twists and turns kept it exciting and there was no lack of heat between Angie and Caleb. Rebecca Brooke wrote a beautiful and thoughtful story that not only includes a complicated love story, but the journey two young people must travel to heal from traumatic emotional wounds.
“I spent my whole life hiding what my father said to me, and I never dealt with it, properly. I always talked about forgiveness, when I really should have focused on forgiving myself. The abuse wasn’t my fault, but not giving myself the release I needed was. It felt like he held me forever while I cried. I cried for the childhood I deserved, but never had. I cried for the parents I should have had. I cried for me.”
FORGIVEN was a great story that I recommend to those who generally read the happy-ending love story with a little extra complication. I was surprised and thought about the story for days after, definitely a sign of a good book.
✳✳ Copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
✳✳ Reviewed on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews by Tickled Pink for Book Ink