Charlie’s Pond by C.L. Heckman

This is Samantha’s story. It is moving, gripping and horrifying. What do you do when you grow up in a dysfunctional family and don’t know anything different? C.L. Heckman has brought Sam alive and whether you had a family that was like hers or not, you relate to her pain, because somewhere, at some point in your life, you have felt some of the pain. The agonizing part is that underneath all the anger and pain, she still loves her family and just wants to be loved back. She wants that moment by Charlie’s Pond again.

Right through the book, every time she sees the good in Charlie, you hope that this is it. This is when Charlie changes, and this is when it all gets better. The character of Sam and her feelings have been written with such insight that you feel her. You want to reach out and hug her and give her the strength to say Stop! And walk away. An amazing book, Chris and an incredible experience! I thank you!

Brooklyn and Bo – Brenda Perlin

Burnt Promises is a great sequel but is also a riveting stand alone novel. Brenda Perlin has delved into many topics that surround relationships, marriage, and the aftermath. This novel is Brooklyn’s perspective of her relationships. It is the character of a strong woman who has dealt with illness, death, dishonesty and come out stronger each time. Her relationships with the men in her life are varied, from her complete devotion and love for her dad, a messed up one with Joey, a dark time married to Gerard to hopefully a successful one with Bo. Fingers crossed!

I liked the way the author hasn’t just made Brooklyn and Bo’s relationship ‘a happily ever after’ story. They’re still working at their relationship and learning about each other, while they deal with each other’s past as well as their own. Brooklyn grows from strength to strength as she deals with the hurdles that life throws her way, though she is still battling with her own perception of herself. Is she a good person or not? I think she is and I hope soon she will too. For those who enjoy an intimate, introspective read, this is a must. Brenda Perlin, waiting for more on Brooklyn and Bo!