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I received a copy of this book from the author to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own, are honest, and are based on my observations while reading this novel.
I felt perplexed while reading a book called Bound By Love by Toni Sweeney. You can probably tell by the title that this book is a romance. But don’t stop there because there is so much more than just lovey-dovey stuff in this book. It also takes on paranormal vibes, southern living, and family drama.
I know, that’s a heck of a lot to throw in one book! Now can you see why I thought this book was strange but interesting at the same time? If not, no worries. In this book review, I’m going to be going through my thoughts while reading this book and telling you exactly why I had those thoughts. Lastly, I will go over if you are the type of person who should read this book.
- About The Book
- About The Author
- Thoughts I Had While Reading Bound By Love
- 1. This Book Was Good From The Start
- 2. The Plot Took A Detour I Didn’t Expect
- 3. There Were Discrepancies
- 4. The Paranormal Aspect Was Interesting
- 5. Bound By Love Is Quick To Read
- 6. The Ending Was Phenomenal!
- Star Review
- Who Should and Shouldn’t Read This Book
- Let’s Talk About It!
About The Book
- Bound By Love
- Author: Toni Sweeney
- Genre: Romance
- Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
- Release Date: February 19, 2019
- Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook
- 231 pages
- Book Summary pulled from Barnes & Noble
Dylan Roth is back home, and not by his choosing. After a nasty divorce, he wants to find his footing and his place in the world. He joins his dad and brother in the family construction business and is assigned to the renovation of the old Mercier house, which is being filmed for the TV show Dream Homes, Unlimited.The last thing Dylan wants is to fall for Scarlett “Letty” Mercier, but an undeniable attraction is making it hard for him to say no to the redheaded beauty. When he learns the Roths’ and the Merciers’ pasts are entwined, he starts digging, and family history can no longer stay buried. Dylan and Letty are bound by a haunting secret that threatens to tear them apart unless they can break the ties of the past.
About The Author
Author Bio pulled from Amazon
Toni Sweeney was born in Georgia after the War Between the States but before the Gulf War. Her writing career began during an extended convalescence following an automobile accident. Since her recovery, she has survived hurricanes in the South, tornados, and snow-covered winters in the Midwestern United States and currently lives amid the sunshine, earthquakes, and forest fires of Orange County, California. She’s now trying for her second 30 years as a resident of the Great Plains.
Currently, she reviews books for amazon and is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild. She was recently named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com. She is also promotion manager for Class Act Books publishers.
also writes Romances under the pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone.
Her novels have received awards from 2010 onward from both Preditors & Editors and Paranormal Romance Guild. In 2008, her novel Earthman’s Bride won 1st place in the Maryland Romance Writers’ “Reveal Your Inner Vixen” Contest, and Icy Snow’s Jericho Road placed 8th in the 1997 National Writers Novel Writing as well as 2nd in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice award in 2012.
Within 2014, her western NEBRASKA: Vengeance from Eden was voted #1 in General Genre by Preditors & Editors Readers Poll, and the romantic suspense novel Tuesday’s Child was voted best in contemporary romance by Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice. In 2015, NEBRASKA: Walk the Shadow Trail was voted 1st in Historical Romance by PRG, and her Western novel the Man from Tipperary finished in the Top Ten in General Genre in the 2016 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice awards.
While perusing Goodreads, I also found out that she also has written books under pen names T.S. Snow and Savannah Scarborough. Check out the links below to learn more about Toni Sweeney and her books;
Thoughts I Had While Reading Bound By Love
To keep it simple, the best way for me to talk about this book to you is to tell you what my thoughts were as I read the book. Of course, I won’t give away any spoilers. After reading Bound By Love, I found that there were 6 thoughts that I am compelled to tell you about.
Afterward, I will go over whether you are the right person for this book. Yes, you read that correctly. The book is not for everyone. I believe it will suit some readers better than others. Of course, you can always challenge me on that by reading the book yourself and telling me your thoughts!
1. This Book Was Good From The Start
I really enjoyed the start of the book. It captured me right from the get. The major character, Dylan, was easy to like. The writing flow was fluid, and I was enjoying the storyline too. All of this was a positive sign I was going to enjoy the book. There were more graphical phrases than what I’m used to reading, but then again, I don’t read a lot of romance novels.
I was also really enjoying the side characters. The brother was funny and felt very much like a brother. The dad was wholesome, and I loved Tony Sweeney’s depiction of his facial expressions. And the mother was just how you’d imagine a southern momma to be. She was a respectable woman who I think could probably talk to anyone. Put simply, the characters were likable and fit well into the story.
The second major character was Letty, who is the romantic interest in the novel (that much is apparent right from the beginning of the story). I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really care for her right from the beginning, but she grows on you.
I was 10 chapters into the book, and I thought I knew how the story was going to go. It was like going on a Sunday cruise down a smooth road with the sun shining. A nice simple book that I could just read and enjoy. But of course, my expectations never pan out the way I think they will. On to thought number two!
2. The Plot Took A Detour I Didn’t Expect
That Sunday cruise on a smooth road turned into a Monday morning bumper to bumper traffic real quick. I furrowed my eyebrows from chapter 11 onwards as I tried to make sense of where this book wanted to go. Dylan has to work on the old Mercier house because he works for his dad’s construction company. Of course, because of this, he will work alongside Letty (which is how all the romance stuff comes into play).
I thought it was just going to be a cute story about how the two characters fall in love as they work on their maybe future home together. Of course, add in some drama about how their lives intertwine (as the summary suggests) and you’ve got yourself a book.
Okay, well it goes like that, but the part about how their lives intertwine is what got to me. The plot seems to take a dramatic turn of events when Dylan finds out how his and Letty’s families are connected. He becomes borderline obsessed with the connection, and to me, it made little sense why he becomes obsessed with the connection. It didn’t feel like enough to push the story along.
When I read a book, I want to feel as invested in the problem as the major character. But I wasn’t. I agreed with Letty and continuously asked myself why does he care? And I spent the rest of the book wondering that.
3. There Were Discrepancies
Now, this was something I just couldn’t get past. There were 3 discrepancies in the book I noticed as I read the book, some minor and some not. I wouldn’t call them plot holes necessarily. Perhaps you could call them contradictory. For the sake of not giving spoilers away, I can’t say what they were.
But some things that happened just made very little sense. I would read said discrepancies and stop immediately to tell my boyfriend about them. Now, he hasn’t read the book, so he had no idea what I was talking about, but I told him anyway because I needed to say it out loud.
I will tell you that that the discrepancies weren’t so bad that the book didn’t make sense. They were just noticeable to be frustrating is all. The book made perfect sense. It was just that the flow became disrupted at certain points in the book.
4. The Paranormal Aspect Was Interesting
Again, I haven’t read a lot of books that have paranormal themes to them. But I liked the paranormal usage in this book a lot. It was new and creative and very visual. The author sprinkled paranormal aspects throughout the bulk of the book. Even with little usage, they were the most interesting and exciting moments for me. I could literally see what was happening, which was disturbing and fascinating. Tony Sweeney really went all in and I loved it!
5. Bound By Love Is Quick To Read
It only took me a couple of days to get through the book. I had to take a lot of breaks due to dedicating the bulk of my schedule to studying at the moment. But it was easy for me to pick up where I left off and I got through the book rather quickly.
What I really loved about this point is that the story didn’t suffer because of the page length. Usually, quick reads feel like they are lacking in depth, but that was not the case this time around. If you can’t pay attention long enough to get through a long book, then you can read this one.
6. The Ending Was Phenomenal!
Despite my negative thoughts discussed prior, I will admit that the ending was nothing short of phenomenal. It stirred so many emotions and has an ending feeling of finality to it. There was action, love, hatred, and resolution.
If there is one thing that readers hate, it’s reading a book with a crappy ending that makes you feel you wasted your time reading it. I’ll even settle for an okay ish ending to a book, but never a bad ending! Bound By Love had such a strong beginning and an even stronger ending that made it worth the read. Now if only the middle had been just as captivating as the end.
There were some aspects to Bound By Love that I liked and some that I didn’t. I liked that it was a quick read but still carried a lot of depth. I liked that the characters were all interesting and likable. The ending and the paranormal aspect of the book were lovely.
However, I did not like that there were discrepancies that I could pick out easily. I also didn’t care for the plot as it took a turn that didn’t seem interesting enough. When I combine these thoughts, I feel strongly about giving it 3.5/5 stars. If the plot had been interesting enough (particularly in the middle), I think it could have easily been a 4.5/5.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Read This Book
Alright, now onto the most important bit for you. I can tell you about the book all day long, but does it really matter if it isn’t something you would enjoy? The answer is no. So let me tell you if I think you’d like the book or not. It all depends on how you answer the questions below:
- Do you like romance?
- Are you a fan of the paranormal genre?
- Do you love powerful endings?
- Can you forgive discrepancies that don’t quite reach the point of being a plot hole?
- Can you get through a plot that is slower in the middle but great in the beginning and end?
If you answered yes to the above questions, then Bound By Love is for you. Conversely, if you answered no to the above questions, then this book probably isn’t for you.
Let’s Talk About It!
In today’s book review I went over the details of the book, who the author is, and the thoughts I had while reading the book. In summary, here are my thoughts:
- This Book Was Good From The Start
- The Plot Took A Detour I Didn’t Expect
- There Were Discrepancies
- The Paranormal Aspect Was Interesting
- Bound By Love Is Quick To Read
- The Ending Was Phenomenal!
If you like the romance and paranormal genre, and you love powerful endings, then you should get this Bound By Love. It is quick to read, so it is perfect for those of you who don’t have a long attention span.
However, if you don’t like those genres or if you are a bit of a perfectionist and can’t let go of discrepancies within a story, this book probably isn’t for you. Let’s talk about this in the comments though! What were your answers to my questions mentioned in the section “who should and shouldn’t read this book”?
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