Friday, February 21, 2014

Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun

Title: Unforgiven
Author: Anne Calhoun
My Rating: A 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Walkers Ford #1
Main CharactersAdam and Marissa
Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
For as long as he could remember, he wanted her… 

Raised by a single mother, Adam Collins resolved to take no chances with a girl’s future—or his own. That’s why, as hard as it was, he resisted everything he felt for Marissa Brooks. Then one night a reckless challenge left a fellow student dead and changed both their lives forever. As penance, Adam took the boy’s place in the Marines, where he could disappear into discipline and duty, and left Marissa behind to struggle with her dreams.

Twelve years later, Adam is back in Walkers Ford to serve as the best man in his friend’s wedding. The years haven’t diminished the electric connection he has with Marissa. But Adam’s mistake continues to haunt him, and Marissa is stumbling under the weight of her family’s legacy. Together they wrestle with demons and dreams, but if there’s any hope for a future together Adam has to not only find a way to forgive himself, but also ask others for forgiveness—especially from the woman whose heart he broke.
My Review:
A hot
There is so much to this book that makes it so good. And this is one of those moments that makes it frustrating for me as a reviewer because it's hard to describe the nuances of this book. This author has an incredible writing style. I have no idea if this is the norm for her or not, because this is the first book of hers that I've read. But there are so many layers to her characters and story. In this particular book there is so much going on under the surface that isn't being discussed or even really thought about. As I read the story, I knew there were things that I didn't know yet as the reader, but when they began to be revealed I was still shocked. There is a ton of emotion to this story. Some of it dates back to the ghosts of 12 years ago, some to more recent ghosts, and some with just the surprises of current life. 

Adam is back home after 12 years serving as a Marine. He's home to stay, but his arrival coincides with acting as best man to his best friend who is marrying Adam's ex-fiance. Yeah, there may be a few emotions going on in that part of the story line. Within 30 minutes of arriving, he's having sex with Marissa in the pantry. She's the girl he was involved with in high school until one destructive night blew them apart. Yeah, there may be a few emotions going on there...both current and past. 

The title of the book is Unforgiven and applies to ALL the different segments of the story. There's a lot of past and emotions to work through for all the characters involved but especially Adam and Marissa.

Marissa was the girl left home to deal with all the fall-out from that night 12 years ago and she's never recovered...from the destruction or the abandonment by Adam. To say that she doesn't trust him to stay now is putting it mildly. Over the years, she's learned to shield her heart and her emotions. Adam calls her "tough girl" and that is so apropos, because she is so tough. So tough it made me want to cry for her. She's had to be that way for so long, she doesn't know how to be anything else. She has dreams, but is so scared of them that they are crippling her. Normally I fall for the male characters in the romances I read, but this one was all about Marissa. My heart hurt for her. 

Layers...this book has tons of them...the characters have tons of them....the story has tons of them. It made for a fantastic, emotionally-vested read that I just loved. Now I am off to consume book #2, Jaded

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