“Dear Tabitha” (Forever Family #2) by Trudy Stiles – My Review

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Title: “Dear Tabitha” (Forever Family #2)

Author: Trudy Stiles

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

Release Date: 28th March, 2014

Synopsis

This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+). It contains strong language, adult/sexual situations and some violence.

Dear Tabitha is BOOK TWO in the Forever Family Series. Dear Emily should be read FIRST as this is NOT a standalone book.

You know me. You know who I am. What I am.

Damaged. Confused. Alone.

You feel sorry for me. You pity me.

You know what I’ve done. What I’ve given up. Who I’ve given up.

You try to understand what I’ve been through and how I can go on with my life. But you can’t possibly understand.

I’ve lost too much. Sacrificed too much. Given up everything so that I can find myself.

Well, I’m done.

I’m done walking away from everything that matters.

It’s time for me to heal.

It’s MY TURN to earn…

Redemption.
Love.
Family.

“Dear Tabitha” is the second book in the “Forever Family” series. This is book 2 of 2 and concludes the story that began in “Dear Emily”. It is NOT a standalone story and is meant to be read after Dear Emily.

“Dear Emily” is the first book and can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords.

Other books in this series will be companion/standalone and will explore the lives of various characters introduced throughout these books.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review

Ever since reading the epilogue in “Dear Emily”, the first book in the Forever Family Series, I have been very excited about reading Tabitha’s story. I remember thinking to myself that her relationship with Alex, her ex-boyfriend, would just have to find some sort of closure, but, most of all, I was looking forward to seeing her become a strong, independent woman, unafraid of her past and letting her heart fly again.

I cannot start my review without telling you that you cannot, under any circumstances, read this book without having read “Dear Emily” first. Like so many readers, I prefer reading a series from the beginning in order to not miss out on anything, but it is more than that: if you do not read the first book, you will fail to understand Tabitha completely, including the choices she makes. And that would be a crying shame, in my opinion.

In many ways, Tabitha is a much stronger person since we first met her two years ago when she gave Emily up for adoption. She has no doubt in her mind that this decision was the right one, and, thankfully, she remains close to the adoptive parents, Carly and Kyle. But that does not mean that she does not miss Emily every day – and her other daughter, Sara, who she was forced to give up when she was only 18 years old. Tabitha still works at the bookshop where she met the love of her life, Alex, who she also misses every day – and he walks back into her life now, wanting answers to her betrayal.

Now, since Alex knows nothing about Emily, Tabitha is distraught when he shows up on her doorstep. She fears his reaction, at the same knowing that she cannot keep such a big thing from him, however he may react, and even though the time of her telling him the truth is forced upon her, she tells him everything. Narurally, Alex feels betrayed by Tabitha, again, and his old hurt also springs to the surface. After a while, though, Alex comes to the same conclusion that Tabitha did about Emily: it was the right thing to do, given her circumstances at the time, but can her forgive her for not trying harder to contact him? Well, you will have to read the book in order to find out.

First of all, I have to say that I admire Tabitha so much: giving up your child must be the hardest and most heartbreaking decision you ever will have to make even though it is the right one. And what I love about this author is the fact that she, through Tabitha, makes her readers come to understand that such a decision can prey on your mind forever. And that life, in all its imperfections, is a beautiful thing and that, sometimes, you can find happiness even when you least expect it.

Like I stated earlier, Tabitha is stronger now, and it really shines through: she no longer shies away from confrontations – even though she wants to – and she loves her job and her friends; in all, her life is good now. And I must admit that I completely understand her reaction when Alex returns from touring with his band. Seeing him again, remembering how they were together, thus, in a way, relapsing to the weak and scared person she used to be when she was with Alex for short moments of time (at least in the beginning) feel incredibly real to me.

Getting Alex’ story was a real joy to me. His thoughts and feelings about Tabitha are rather conflicted, which is only natural, but experiencing how this man does not shy away from his feelings, how he longs to get Tabitha back made my romantic heart almost miss a beat from time to time. Alex has a beautiful soul, plain and simple, despite his horrible upbringing, and he has beat the odds, becoming a successful musician, doing what he loves.

Miss Stiles have a wonderful way with words, and I find it difficult to fully express how much I love this book because I am no writer myself. Every single page moved me, sometimes to laughter, sometimes to tears. My heart was hurting so much for both Tabitha and Alex, and my romantic soul could not stop hoping and praying that, despite Tabitha’s silence about Emily, they would somehow find their way back to each other again. Their path to happiness is not an easy one, but when is it ever when dealing with matters of the heart? Furthermore, I loved how the chapters changed between the past and present, for both Tabitha and Alex, and it truly made me connect with them as I got to know their thoughts.

I will finish my review now as I fear I will reveal too much of the story should I continue – there are many surprises and I really do not want to ruin them for you. But I will leave you with this: if you, like me, love books filled with emotions – both good and bad – which have a believable story line, great secondary characters, and if you also love it when you start crying while reading: this is the book for you! You will not regret it. I give “Dear Tabitha” my highest rating, firmly putting the book on My Favorite Books shelf, and I cannot wait to see what the author has in mind for us in the next installment of the Forever Family series.

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PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Interestested in reading “Dear Emily”, the first book in The Forever Family Series?

Click on the cover image below and you will get to my review.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Trudy Stiles is a New Adult author, mom to two beautiful children, and married to the love of her life. She is the author of the Forever Family series including “Dear Emily” and “Dear Tabitha”. There will be many more stories from this series and you never know who may have a standalone or novella written for them. Stay tuned!

Trudy is a music junkie and you’ll know that she’s writing when you see her plugged into her laptop with her earbuds in. Her playlist is unique and is a must for her writing sprints.

When she’s not writing, she’s carting her children to their various activities while avoiding any kind of laundry or housework. She also loves to run along the boardwalk of the beautiful New Jersey shore.

She’s always been an avid reader and frequently escapes into the fictional worlds of the many characters that she has come to love. Well, now there are some fictional characters in her head dying to get out!

This first story is called “Dear Emily” and was released in December 2013. “Dear Tabitha” will be released in March 2014. The Forever Family series will continue with several companion/stand alone novels.

SOCIAL LINKS 

Email: authortrudystiles@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortrudystiles

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/trudy_stiles

Twitter: @trudystiles

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