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Book Reviews by Lynn

I am a copy editor and proofreader and an avid reader. Some would call me a bookworm. My favourite genres are: Romance, Romantic Erotica, Mystery, Thrillers, YA, Paranormal, Supernatural, Science Fiction, General Fiction and Children's Books. I also have a Facebook page where I put all my reviews: Book Reviews by Lynn. You are welcome to join me there too. You are welcome to follow, comment and enquire.

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Audio/Book Review of Devil's Lake (Bittersweet Hollow Book 1) by Aaron Paul Lazar

Devil's Lake - Aaron Paul Lazar

After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family's Vermont horse farm - only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother's cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm. The man Boone has become frightens her to near paralysis, but she's too traumatized and physically devastated to put up a fight.

 

Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a 12-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can - try to help her heal. He summons the town doctor and Portia's parents, and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again.

 

Through her family's love and Boone's gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself, and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way. But one thing threatens her fragile hopes for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he'd kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her...waiting to make a deadly move.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Bittersweet Hollow series. I really enjoyed it!

 

This audio book is narrated by Gwendolyn Druyor. I must admit that although I found her reading voice to be clear and understandable, I had trouble with her interpretations of the characters' "voices". Due to this, I had to stop listening to it for a short period before going back to it. This, I feel, broke the story's flow so I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have. Other readers/listeners may not have the same issue.

 

Portia Lamont is a woman who has been kidnapped and held against her will for two years before managing to escape. I really liked this character. She has been through hell and has a lot of courage. I am not sure if I would have survived in her place.

 

Boone Hawke is a wonderful character and I really liked him. He is sensitive to Portia's situation, and since he's been in a war, he knows how emotionally fragile someone who has been in a traumatic event could be. I love how he gives her space to come to terms with things, but is close enough to offer support when needed.

 

Devil's Lake is definitely a bittersweet story. Having read/listened to other books by this author, I knew that I would be in for an emotional ride. However, I didn't realise how much this story would touch me.

 

The author wove an incredibly suspenseful, thrilling and thought provoking tale that sent shivers up my back. He dedicated this story to the women kidnapped and held hostage for ten years in Cleveland, Ohio. I cannot imagine what they went through, but they were incredibly brave to survive through their ordeal. My heart goes out to each and every one of them and their families.

 

This book is told through the eyes of both Portia and Boone for the most part, though there are scenes through the eyes of Portia's father and sister. I found myself gripped with the terror that Portia lived with for two years. Her captor is not exactly sane in my opinion. His actions are not excusable, though his past made me pity him. I cannot imagine living with the fear every day as Portia did, no wonder the trauma can cause PTSD. I have to admit that Grace (Portia's sister) has got to be the bravest (if not potentially stupidest) character in the whole book. I loved the way she handled Portia's kidnapper, but thought she was incredibly stupid at the same time as things could have turned nasty rather quickly.

 

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings. I was sad that the story ended, but happy with the way it concluded. I am now looking forward to reading/listening to the next book in the series, Devil's Creek as soon as I can.

 

Aaron Paul Lazar has written a fantastic tale that captured my imagination. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and entertaining. The story flowed wonderfully (apart from my issue with the narrator). I am a huge fan of this author. I am now looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.

 

Although this book doesn't have any bad language, there are some explicit scenes of a sexual nature. Therefore, I recommend this book to older teen readers and to adults who love contemporary romance or romantic suspense genres. - Lynn Worton