My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: I Purchased this one
Genre: Clean Romance
Book Description: Marriage wasn't bliss—not for Marilee. Instead of finding contentment with the handsome son of a sovereign duke, she found betrayal and neglect. And fear. A fear that finally lifts when her husband dies, freeing her from his domineering hand. But freedom alone can't give her peace, and she must battle to regain her love for life, rebuild her happiness, and reclaim the ability to trust. When her charming neighbor intrudes on her quiet life, she must determine whether his interest is genuine, and whether he deserves the fragile bit of trust she has managed to scrape together. However, trusting is a risk, and she has vowed never to put herself at the mercy of someone else’s whims. Can Marilee take that chance, knowing how terribly she’s chosen before? She doesn’t know if she can survive being wrong again.
My thoughts: This is not your typical romance story. Marilee's story deals with a woman who is living a life after being abused by her husband. The story begins after he dies, liberating her from her life as a prisoner in her home. She is not unhappy about her change in circumstance and welcomes the opportunity to prove to herself that she does have worth.
Marilee is trying to pick up the pieces of her broken life. She is trying to become a strong woman again and take control of her situation. She tries to reconcile her life before her marriage to who she is now and I love her process of learning that she cannot go back to living as she once did. Her life experiences have made her a stronger person and she can create a new life for herself that is fulfilling.
Part of her new life is learning if she can trust others. Her neighbor has been friendly and helpful, but she is unsure if he has ulterior motives. Is James a person who she can let into the barriers erected to save herself from new abuse?
This book deals with a hard subject. It is written in a way that brings hope to a bad situation. I never felt like it brought me down as a reader. The book forged ahead as Marilee saw the truth about herself and created a new version of herself. Annette K. Larsen did a wonderful job at not glossing over battered women. She was able to craft a book about living life after abuse and making it better. Marilee finds hope, love, and acceptance.
Saving Marilee is the third book in companion books about a Royal Family. The first two Just Ella and Missing Lily tell the story of two of the sisters. You do not need to read them before this one, but I highly recommend them. They are wonderful books.
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.
I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.
I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
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