Monday, July 29, 2013

Finding Bliss by Dina Silver

4 Star

Chloe Carlyle has always longed for the perfect family. 

Growing up with an alcoholic single mother, she has seen her share of heartbreak and disappointment, and is striving to build a new legacy for herself. After graduating from college, she takes a job working as a summer girl for the Reeds––a wealthy, accomplished family that personifies her American dream. Her summer takes an unexpected turn when the Reeds’ eldest son Tyler, the star quarterback for Notre Dame, shows up and turns her life upside down.

An ambitious young woman with a wry sense of humor, Chloe never imagined herself as the type to succumb to the looks and charms of the hometown hero, but she falls hard for Tyler, and is devastated when they part ways at the end of the summer. As she heads off to law school, Chloe tries to convince herself this was just a fling, but she can’t quite get over him. It’s not until Tyler contacts her out of the blue late one winter night that everything changes. 

After doing everything in her power to build the perfect life, Chloe soon learns that there are things beyond her control. She must draw on inner reserves of strength as her life takes unpredictable—and sometimes heartbreaking—twists and turns, and she finds herself faced with decisions she never thought she’d have to make.

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

I want to say that I loved Finding Bliss from start to finish but I can't say that I did which made me sad. I love Dina's previous works so I was a bit disappointed in my reaction to this book. That being said, I did read it in one evening, which having a small child makes it an actual feat of nature!

If I could skip through the first part of the book, like about the first third or so, and just get the Coles Notes version or one or two chapters instead, then I would have loved it. I just didn't feel like so much time and energy needed to be devoted to such an insignificant part of the story. There was an abundance of detail in the first section of the story, whereas the meat, the dirt, the nitty gritty of the story, what it was all about came afterwards. I just didn't see the point of a lot that happened in the beginning. Well yes, I saw the point, I just didn't see why so much time and effort and detail had to be devoted to it.

The last two thirds of the book I did devour, however. This is where the true story lies. So many heartbreaking and heart-wrenching moments but a lot less detail. But just the right amount. The book really gained momentum and got its stride from the point that Tyler and Chloe began their life together. The story felt more natural from this point forward and I eagerly read on, hoping for, and getting, the ending that I was wanting all along.
I hope that the beginning of the book doesn't distract from what was, in the end, a great story. I almost felt like the beginning and the end were written by two different people or at least in two different time periods. They didn't seem to fit well together in my opinion and the story went from college to three years later in a matter of pages which felt odd considering the short amount of time detailed in the first third of the book.

Aside from a bit of pacing and overzealous amount of detail in the beginning, I did love this book very much. It was, in my mind, a classic example of things turning out right in the end, despite difficult things having happened. The sort of book that makes you cheer for the heroine and rejoice in her finally finding bliss.

Thank you to Amazon Publishing  for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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