ARC Review: The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

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Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a young house flipper. But when her sister disappears, she can’t focus on anything but finding out what really happened. Blood on the floor might indicate that MacKenzie was killed and her body was removed.

Ellie is at odds with Grayson Bradshaw, the handsome Coast Guard intelligence officer who thinks MacKenzie faked her own death and is off enjoying her ill-gotten gains: billions of dollars in cocaine.

They both want the truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it may first appear.

Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Going into this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I am not an avid reader of “Christian fiction”, so I was a bit wary, even though the synopsis sounded very interesting. However, I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I was getting into a slump whilst reading The Night Women by Sara Blædel, but then I picked this one up and finished it in just a couple of days! The writing is so pleasant, it reads like a dream 👌🏼

There are two main points of view: Ellie’s and Grayson’s. Ellie’s sister, Mac, disappears, leaving a trail of blood on her boat. Ellie is worried sick and thinks her sister might be hurt. Grayson, a Coast Guard, is following a lead on stolen cocaine and is convinced that Mac is involved and that she faked her own death. Besides these two, there are occasional POV of other characters as well, which shows us what is happening on all sides of the story.

She pressed her ear to the latch and heard the faint trickle of water. No amount of screaming would lift her voice out of this deep hole, so she didn’t waste her strength.

I really liked the main group of characters that we follow, they were a joy to read about. Oh, and I finally found a character who thinks in tricky situations and doesn’t just act out of their overwhelming emotions. Thank you, Colleen Coble, I love me a smart character🙌🏼

This story involves drug trafficking, terrorism and assassinations, and that makes for a super gripping story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Also, a lot of current themes and issues we’re facing right now are mentioned, which just makes the book even more real and relatable, in a sense.

I’ve never really met anyone who tugged at my heartstrings.” He kissed her palm again, then moved up to her wrist. “Until now, that is.” He lifted his head and reached for her at the same time she moved toward him. His lips covered hers with a gentle yet masterful touch, and she was lost.

Throughout this year, I have barely read anything with romance in it and, to my surprise, this is a mystery with romance!! Oh my, I really missed reading about people falling in love – and now it’s all I want to read… Additionally, this is very good romance. No insta-love, no mental abuse, no manipulation, none of those tropes! The only “trope” that is present here is the “girl who doesn’t realize how beautiful and amazing she is” – but there’s a reason behind that! It was just so wonderful to read about the couples in this, I’m so happy I picked this up 😍

I did find an issue with consistency, namely regarding a character’s eye color. Most of the time, she has “golden-brown” or “amber” eyes but, out of nowhere, someone mentions her “blue” eyes. I won’t hold that against the book though since this is an ARC and I’m sure they corrected the mistake. Also, we’re human! But I did notice it, so I thought I should mention this tiny lapse.

One of my favorite parts of this story was the secrets that were revealed, stuff from the characters’ past. I’m always a sucker for a good book with tragic backgrounds and shocking revelations, and this was no exception, loved it!

I also loved the setting, it takes place in Lavender Tides, which is a coastal area. This makes for a wonderful background, full of houses right by the water, giving us summer vibes. This book is downright refreshing – in every sense of the word!

In conclusion, I am now a fan of Colleen Coble’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. I might pick up the first book in this series, which follows one of the great characters I met in The House at Saltwater Point. I hope my review gets you pumped to pick it up, it’ll be out in the US in just a couple of days! 🎉

4 4/5 stars

Have you read any of Colleen Coble’s books? Which one(s) do you recommend?

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The House at Saltwater Point and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

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Review: This Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

thisdoesnot.qxp_dont try coverThis Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

Goodreads rating: 4.00

Pages: 186

Genre: Adult, Non Fiction, Religion & Spiritualism, Self-Help

Date published: January 13, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

How does a little girl survive an abusive mother, Catholic school, rape, and a near-death experience? Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave. Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life.

This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse. Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse. Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom. So can you. This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank the author, Julie Coons, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

So often I felt so completely alone during so many struggles in my life. I was raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother. I was raped in college by a stranger. I married an abusive man that threatened to kill me if I ever tried to leave. His abuse nearly killed me anyway. My mother tried to trick me into having an abortion.

Reading this book was not easy. Julie’s life is quite a rollercoaster, as you can probably tell by the synopsis and the excerpt above. When I got the book in the mail I thought it would be a very quick read, since it’s less than 200 pages long – but I was wrong! It took me a few days to finish, I was very moved by everything I was reading and I couldn’t bear to read the whole thing at once 😅

Although it is not an easy read, I HIGHLY recommend this little book to everyone – and I mean everyone. This is a story about abuse, and how Julie overcame it, how she broke the cycle. She broke two cycles, actually – growing up, she was abused at home, and she was later abused by her husband as well.

Julie is such a strong woman, I really admire her. She shows that it’s possible to be happy even after you go through hell, you just have to find your strength (in her case, her biggest strength was her daughter) and finally make a move, taking a step towards a better life. This being said, I would love to know her opinion of a couple of Colleen Hoover books, specifically the ones that include abuse and domestic violence. I’m very curious as to what she would think as she read them 🤔

The author also tells us about her experience with spirituality and religion. She had an out-of-body experience when she was still a kid, and she believes that made her receptive to spirits – meaning she regularly has paranormal experiences. She said something that was very interesting, although it really freaked me out: there are spirits that immitate people. She says one time she heard her husband come home and call out her name, heard his footsteps, but when she thought he was about to come in the room she was in, there was nothing. He was never there. Isn’t that fascinating but also extremely scary? I’m not quite sure how I feel about the paranormal, whether I believe it or not, but I do love to hear about people’s experiences! 👻

If you’re expecting a beautifully-written and lyrical book, that’s not what you’ll find. This is a very raw and unfiltered testimony, and it goes straight to the point.

It’s not just a book for people who have gone or are going through abuse, it’s a book for absolutely everyone out there. It might help you plan your own escape. It might help you in the future, prevent you from allowing abusive behavior. It might even open an abuser’s eyes to how their actions affect their victim.

This Does Not Leave This House is an incredibly important testimony. I have no words to describe what the author went through, and how this book made me feel. I also can’t express to you how important her story is, so I’ll leave you with some of the quotes I highlighted as I read.

Another lesson here is, don’t settle. Don’t marry someone thinking you can fix them or change. Protect your happiness, but don’t block the wall off too high either. Don’t miss out on that really good person because you are too blocked off. You don’t have to choose to hate or fear anyone or anything. It’s a fine line and a really intense journey. Just don’t distrust all men or all women. I used to have to remind myself not to paint everyone with the same brush. Abuse throws the abused into this real of feelings of fear and rage all at the same time.

I saved every penny for college because I knew my father was going to help my brother and not me. He felt it was more important for his son to go to college because his daughter could “just get married”, as he told me. I wasn’t raised to feel very strong as a woman. (…) After all this happened and I came out the survivor, I realized: I am powerful, not despite, but because, of my gender.

I hope nobody else knows what this feels like. If you have experienced anything like my experiences, I stand with you. You are not alone. You are not the rape. You are not the abuse. You are not the illness. No matter what it is, you are not that thing you carry around. You are a special person with a sensitive soul who deserves to be acknowledged. You are never alone. I stand with you.

You can’t change anything if you don’t ackowledge it. One person really can make a difference. I want to be that person and create a domino effect, so everyone will join in. I hope we can all join together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to plant the seed and watch it grow. Life is a beautiful thing when there isn’t any abuse in it. Stop making excuses for the abuser. Stop continuing to enable them. Get it out there and get on with it.
Don’t you cry no more.

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Have you read any books about abuse? Are you planning on giving this one a try? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on This Does Not Leave This House and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡