Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: Forgive Me (Lost Souls, #1) by Eliza Freed

Forgive Me (Lost Souls, #1)
Eliza Freed
Published: July 4, 2014
Publisher: Forever Publishing
Age Demographic: New Adult Contemporary
Pages: 368

When two lost souls find each other, are they still lost?

Charlotte O'Brien is lost in the devastation of her parents' death. With her foundation in ruins, she buries herself in an unlikely lover, Jason Leer.

When they're together it's everything, but when they're apart it's utterly frustrating. Can love survive when distance is measured in more than just miles?

Forgive Me is the first book in The Lost Souls Series.

To Order Forgive Me (Lost Souls, #1) 
by Eliza Freed 
please visit: Amazon & Barnes&Noble

(Note: I received a copy of this book via the publisher, in exchange for an honest review which I have posted here on the blog and on Goodreads.)

Emotionally compelling and incredibly intense, Forgive Me will leave you breathless and anticipating more. Eliza Freed has cornered the New Adult market on writing completely obsessive and dysfunctional romance. Jason Leer isn't one of my favorite characters, I found him to be completely controlling, manipulative, and an all around ass in the way he treated Charlotte. There were moments in the book where I wanted her to realize just how unhealthy their relationship really was. I swear, I just wanted to shake her shoulders and tell to wake up, because there was a much better guy staring her in the face and she never looked twice at him that way once.

Noble Sinclare is one incredibly hot, swoon-worthy guy that would be absolutely perfect for Charlotte if she would just open her eyes. He knows her and it's apparently obvious how much he cares for her. He's the one who could best take care of her, without expecting her to just completely uproot her life and be someone she's not. He certainly wouldn't do to her what Jason did over some stupid fight they had about which function they were going to.

Charlotte is an angry mess right now and that is understandable, given the fact that she just lost both her parents and then hopped into this crazy intense relationship as a way of avoiding the whole grieving process. I sort of have a love hate relationship with this character, but I do like her quite a bit. I'm just not necessarily crazy about some of the choices that she makes in the way that she lets Jason make her feel guilty. This is part of the charm in her character, because her faults make her a little more human and achingly vulnerable. It's a breath of fresh air to read a complicated love story as this one written so realistically that you almost feel a personal connection to it. That's always something that I look for in a book, something that grips me, and makes me reel back in a million and one different ways.

After Noble, Charlotte's friends were probably my second favorite thing about this book, because there were many of them and they each had their own facets and quirks that made me stand out and shine brilliantly on the pages. I love the way they rallied around Charlotte, knew what she needed, and wasn't afraid to tell her what they thought even if it meant an argument because they were doing it as means of having her back and taking care of her in the process. Good friends like family are hard to come by and the honesty that this lot showed was pretty amazing. Charlotte's relationship with her brother was also endearing to read about, because the level of care and love was so apparent between the two. I'll admit I might have chuckled a time or two, when he was trying to buy her a Hummer because he needed her to be safe and he couldn't lose one more person who was that important in his life. As over-protective as he was in a sense, he was really sweet and enjoyable as a character.

As hot and steamy as I like my romance books to be, I have to say that my only little minor frustration with this novel was the amount of sex that was written into it. For a second, I almost felt as if I was reading Fifty Shades and nearly put the book down. Luckily, I came to my senses and decided to keep on reading it. It's not that I have problem with sex written in books in general, with this particular story it was more to the point of it feeling like that's all that there was between Charlotte and Jason and that just didn't sit too well with me. I get that sex is an important and healthy part of a loving relationship and I'm completely fine with that and fine with reading it, but when it starts being all consuming with more of physical nature to the relationship and less about talking and actually communicating on an emotional level that's where I sort of start to draw the line. There needs to be a little bit more of a healthy balance there, in the relationship. As I mentioned before, Charlotte jumped into this crazy intense controlling relationship with Jason, without giving herself enough time to properly grieve the loss of her parents. I wish she would have taken a step back and let herself go through that experience, before deciding that she was all in whatever she was carrying on with that Leer boy.

Forgive Me isn't an easy read in the least little bit. It's messy, complicated, addictive, highly emotional, and definitely manipulative in many ways. It will drag your emotions through the gamut and then leave them gutted. If you are looking for a New Adult romance that will leave you burning in the darkest parts, then this is the book that you'll want to sink into. Eliza Freed does a brilliant job of illustrating just how addictive and emotionally intense a dysfunctional romance can be. Her characters shine on the pages, her writing is beautifully imaginative, and the cliffhanger will leave you gasping for more.

Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job. 

She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story...the more screwed up the better.

Please stop by and visit her on her Goodreads page and don't forget to fan her as well!

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