Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review - Sierra by Taylor Dean - Part II

by Taylor Dean
Paperback, 342 pages
Published June 13th 2012 by create space


Alyssa Fontaine's life, loved ones--everything familiar and dear--are brutally taken from her. Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name. Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.

Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.

My Review:

This book begins with a shocker right out of the gate. I was gasping and instantly in denial while gripped with the first scenes. The premise gives fair warning: "impossible circumstances and severe losses" and it's not kiddin'.

I did not cry. I am curious if anyone felt the "horrific nightmare" of the first few chapters. I was aghast, but completely in denial. I was right in the moment with Alyssa and her will to not cooperate with the kidnappers.

Alyssa has a strength of character that is unwavering despite her suffering, and I loved that about her. I have no idea if I could be as strong in the same situation - I have no desire to determine the answer to that. But I would hope I could, which made me feel like her strongest fan, cheering her on every stumbling step of the way.

She is not a kick-butt heroine, though... oh, no. She is innocent, kind, gentle, loving... the pain she goes through digs deep trenches in her mental stability. Sometimes I wished she was more of a fighter, that it wasn't just her strong will holding her together, but the result is bittersweet.

Alex is amazing. We get to see snippets from his point of view that reveal his heart and passion. He has quite the willpower, too, I'm gonna say. Three years isolated in the mountains and then he resists making romantic advances on the gorgeous woman who stumbles into his home? These two... well, I just don't want to say too much, but they are alike in so many ways. She couldn't have stumbled upon a better guy.

Despite the shocking circumstances, I grew comfortable with the author's commitment to Happily Ever After and the neat tying up of loose ends. I started expecting things to work out even when it looked impossible. Like the way Alex is so perfect. And the mountain cabin is sooooooo perfect.

I love, LOVE this cabin. Oh, my.... there is no place ON EARTH I want to visit more right now. Alex has hand-built the most beautiful place in the middle of nowhere. It's a short walk from beautiful forest glens... clear lakes... gorgeous canyons. It has a huge storage room for everything you might need. A fancy shower, an old wooden stove, enough fireplaces to be romantic and cozy during the snowed-in winter months. The cabin is a living, breathing dream-scape. This book is worth reading to go to this cabin. Lol.

I didn't cry during the horrors... but I did cry unexpectedly. Since I was in denial through the first half of the book (practically), when the opportunity arrived to say 'goodbye' to lost loved ones, it brought it all home at once and I burst into tears right on the soccer practice field where I was reading that scene.

I needed that acceptance to fully grasp the romance because... truly, two people who know the pain of losing what they love... they know how to live in the moment and appreciate what they have while they have it.

My Rating: 4 - My Breakdown:  The story is a gripping 4, the writing is a 3 for some repetitiveness & periodic phrasing that pulled me out of the story, the high level of "cute" coincidences is a 3, the romance is a sweet 4.5, the pace moves right along at a 4... and the cabin, that cabin is a 5. The kidnapping is bad, but it's PG-13 bad - realistic, for sure, but within boundaries - 4.5.

Read an EXCERPT of Sierra on Colorimetry!!

More about the Author:

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you'll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up. 

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Sept 24  For The Love of Films & Books Review/Excerpt
Sept 25  Mary Ellen Quigley Guest Post/Excerpt
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Oct 4 My Cozy Corner Review 
Oct 6  Mrs. Mommy Book Nerd  Author Interview 
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Oct 8   Colorimetry Excerpt 

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