Bound by Guilt is the perfect title for this book. It's hard to post a review without giving away spoilers, but I'll try. There were some things at the end of the first book in this series that had me wanting more. Well, in this story I got to see what I wanted, then wham! My heart ached and the tension just kept building from there. I could picture the traumatic event because it was so well done. Every time the situation was remembered I had a flashback myself. The description of the horrible event was superb. The author did a great job showing a variety of situations that tugged on this reader's heart strings. I love how the author showed rifts in families and relationships in both books and showed how important it is to always keep a clean slate. What a great lesson.
The thing that intrigued me about this book the most was the foster care situation. I've worked with foster children for years as a child protective services worker and this author did a great job showing the inner turmoil that foster children go through. I loved how the author paired Roxi with a dog who needed someone and who had no one just like she did. Wonderful analogy and critical to her healing. The rest of the book continued in a similar manner until God hooked Roxi up with someone who truly cared. I was inspired by the themes in this book and loved the ending. I also love how the author isn't afraid to hurt her characters--a lot-- but that always makes for a better story. Great sequel!
A MUST READ! AN AMAZING STORY OF LOVE,FAITH &GUILT
March 26, 2011
BOUND BY GUILT by C.J. Darlington is an amazing contemporary christian fiction set in modern day America.It is this author's second book.Her first book "Thicker Than Blood".While this a sequel,this second book has no connection to the first book,and is a stand alone. This story has multiple intertwining stories with Roxie and Abbey the primary characters. Roxie,is a runaway,she thinks a throwaway,abandoned by her mother as a child,moved from foster home to foster home,and finds a friend in Diego and his mother.Who are actually book thieves of rare books.She joined them and when disaster occurs,she is on the run again,and she has lost faith in God and her fellow man until she meets a family who takes her in not only for shelter but also for love.Abbey,a police officer,a mother,whose ex-husband has been given custody of their daughter,her brother is murdered,and she has also lost faith in humanity and God.This is a story that will capture your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat while you watch each character in this multiple facet story come to life and some find their way. You will see how forgiveness can not only give you freedom but also remove the bound of guilt. Bound by Guilt is an amazing, positive story of not only God's love but of love,forgiveness,guilt,healing and inspiration with powerful characters and a powerful plot. Darlington is really an author to keep a watch out for,as I have read both of her amazing,powerful stories of love,faith and inspiration.This is a MUST READ and a keeper.I enjoy how she weaves faith and God's love into her stories without preaching and has intrigue,suspense,mystery in a powerful story.This book was received for the purpose of review from On Trakk and the publisher and details can be found at Tyndale Fiction and My Book Addiction and More. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
C.J. Darlington gives us strong and believable characters. Her vivid descriptions and settings put us in the moment of each situation. Conflicts keep the pace of this book moving and the reader turning pages. Alternately you may cheer Roxi on and then again you may want to shake some sense into her. Bound by Guilt's takeaway value is compelling.
I was quite pleased to see that this contemporary novel didn't depend upon the first book in the series for a set up. It included the main characters but was definitely a stand alone story. I wasn't quite as pleased with this one as I was with the first book, "Thicker than Blood". The first third was interesting and set up the characters with great hope for a good story. I found the middle third to be a bit blah and uninteresting, I just about didn't finish it; but the last third was exciting, full of action and twists and apprehension. I'm glad I stuck it out! In this book we meet Abby Dawson, Hunter's sister, a cop with a temper and an ex who has full custody of her teenage daughter and Roxie, a throw away child of a drug addict who is trying to please cousin Irene in any way she can because she so desperately needs a home and a family. Of course, that combination is bound to run into each other and create lots of tension. The story is totally believable, compassionate, and with a twist at the end.
Bound by Guilt by C.J. Darlington is the sequel to Thicker Than Blood. Roxi Gold has never felt truly wanted anywhere. Taken from her mother at the age of eight after suffering a terrible accident, she was shuttled from foster home to group home until a cousin of her mother's named Irene took her in. Life with Irene and her teenaged son Diego isn't what most people would consider normal. They live most of the time traveling across the country in an RV, which sounds like fun, but they make their money by stealing rare books from bookstores. Irene has trained Roxi to work as the distraction while Diego and Irene grab the merchandise. Roxi's conscience is starting to get the best of her, and when she fails to keep a store clerk distracted long enough one day, Irene insists they return at night to break in and get some real finds, including a rare first edition The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The night ends in tragedy, with Roxi on her own again, running away from the only family she's ever really known. Abby Dawson returns to her family home to deal with the tragic death of her brother. She seems to be failing at everything in life, her husband left her for another woman, her daughter is being raised by the newly married couple, and she's been suspended from her position on the police force for using unnecessary force. Returning home, she and her father seem to be stuck in the same rut of silence and anger they've been in for years. Four women will be brought together by the events of one night and each will have to face their past before they can move forward into the future God has planned for them. Darlington's writing is full of surprising depth. Each character is fully-fleshed and very real; at the end of the book, I was sad to be through with them. The plot is very pulled from the headlines with a message of faith for readers. Darlington keeps readers interested from the opening, with drama on every page, and lots of action at the climax. This isn't really a thriller or a mystery; it's a human story that should appeal to a wide variety of readers. Darlington's win as 2008 Operation First Novel is easily supported by this follow-up, and she is an author to watch in the industry.