Bound by Guilt

( 41 )

Overview

A botched robbery at a used bookstore sends a guilt-ridden teen girl on the run.

Foster kid Roxi Gold longs for a family and will do anything to fit in—even if it’s against the law. Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work. One fateful night a man’s innocent blood changes both Roxi’s and Abby’s lives forever. One searches for justice; the other finds herself fleeing with a stolen first edition of The Great Gatsby. Will the power of ...

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Bound by Guilt

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Overview

A botched robbery at a used bookstore sends a guilt-ridden teen girl on the run.

Foster kid Roxi Gold longs for a family and will do anything to fit in—even if it’s against the law. Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society, and not just at work. One fateful night a man’s innocent blood changes both Roxi’s and Abby’s lives forever. One searches for justice; the other finds herself fleeing with a stolen first edition of The Great Gatsby. Will the power of forgiveness set them free or will they both remain bound by guilt?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As a foster child, Roxi Gold doesn't have much choice about the direction of her life. She either travels with her foster parents across the country stealing rare books or gets tossed out onto the street. What she wants more than anything is a real family to claim her. Abby Dawson is a policewoman in Carol Stream, IL. Having lost custody of her daughter to her ex-husband, she also longs for a family. The two cross paths when a crime wounds an innocent man. VERDICT Darlington's Thicker Than Blood won the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild's 2008 Operation First Novel contest. Her second novel will appeal to readers who enjoy suspense in which the characters overcome doubts about their faith.
RT Book Reviews - Chandra McNeil
You will forget you are reading fiction as you follow these deeply drawn characters on their desperate journey to find truth and acceptance. Darlington's stellar storytelling rivals that of any seasoned pro! (4.5 star rating)
Booklist - Elizabeth Ponder
Peppered with intense moments of suspense as well as grace, Darlington's latest provides fans of Christian women's fiction with a solid page-turner that may also intrigue readers interested in rare books and fans of inspirational crime fiction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780989162173
  • Publisher: Mountainview Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/9/2013
  • Pages: 402
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

C. J. Darlington is the award-winning author of Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a paint horse named Sky.
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Read an Excerpt

BOUND by GUILT


By C. J. Darlington

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 C.J. Darlington
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-4012-8


Chapter One

"Don't you ever feel guilty?" Roxi Gold cracked open her icy can of Dr Pepper and took a long sip.

Diego fell into the seat across from her at the RV's dinette table, opening his own can. Fizz erupted over its side. He licked it away and took a big gulp. "Not like we're hurting anybody."

"No, we're just stealing thousand-dollar books."

Diego eyed her. "You getting cold feet?"

She bent the silver tab of her soda can back and forth until it broke off in her fingers. A warm breeze blew through the window screen and filled her nose with the scent of dry pine needles. Could that be it? She just didn't have the guts?

"Any idea how lucky you are?" Diego leaned back, lacing his fingers behind his head. "Nothing but the wind at our back, the open road before us ..."

Roxi managed a smile. He was right. For the past three weeks she'd been traveling with her seventeen-year-old second cousin and his mom, Irene. The thirty-foot RV was like an apartment on wheels. She'd been to places other people only saw on the Internet, experiencing things she'd never forget. Not all of them were earth-shattering, Grand Canyon moments, either. In Flagstaff, Arizona, she'd seen her first bald eagle perched high in a rustic pine, majestic and totally unreal. She even rode in an Amish buggy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

"This is our life," Diego said, raking his hands through his black hair. "And it sure beats standing in line at a book sale for three days like we used to."

"Doesn't it ever bother you?"

He chugged down more soda, then belched. "Nope."

"What if we get caught?"

"Come on, Rox."

"They'd send me back to juvie."

Diego leaned forward, both hands holding his drink. "Listen, we're okay. We're not gonna be caught. Ma's careful."

She downed half of her Dr Pepper in one shot just to keep herself from blabbing. She didn't want Diego to know how she really felt.

"Why the change?" he asked. "I thought you were into this."

"I am; it's just ... I don't know."

"Well, you better get a hold of yourself before Ma comes back."

Roxi blew air out of her mouth in frustration. Why couldn't she be more like Diego? Hungry for adventure. Strong under pressure. More than anything she didn't want to disappoint Irene. Because of her, Roxi had seen half the country this summer. How many sixteenyear-olds could say that?

"I've got a surprise for you," Diego said.

"You're making dinner?"

"Surprise, not shock." He pulled a slip of paper from the back pocket of his Levis, handing it to her with a grin. "I was gonna wait till your birthday, but I think you need it now."

"Wow. I've always wanted a piece of paper."

"Just read it."

Roxi unfolded the sheet. Marie Greeley. 1264 Poplar Lane. Amarillo, TX. She looked at Diego. "Is this supposed to mean something?"

He got serious. "Remember when we were talking about your mom? how you wished you knew where she was?"

Marie. That was Mom's name.

"I did some searching online, and I think I found her."

"But her last name ...?"

"Looks like she married a guy named Tom Greeley."

Roxi's mouth went dry. She hadn't heard from her mother in eight years, and she wasn't sure she wanted to now. Mom was married? Roxi didn't even know who her bio dad was, and now she had a stepfather?

She got up from the table and rested her back against the fridge a few feet away. The RV was designed to utilize every inch. Even the table where Diego still sat folded down to become her bed at night.

"She ditched me. Why would I care where she is?"

"Because she's your mom."

"Like that meant anything to her."

"Hey, people do dumb stuff." Diego crumpled his empty can with one hand and pitched it into the plastic trash bag they kept rubber-banded to a cabinet knob.

Roxi crossed her arms. "Not even a phone call?"

"You don't have to do anything with it now, Rox." He slid out from behind the table and opened the microwave, pulling out a bag of chips. With space at a premium, they used it more for storage than for cooking. And Irene never used it. She swore microwaves were bad for their health and mutated food.

Roxi stuffed the paper into her back pocket. Sometimes Diego could be annoyingly macho and cocky, but other times he surprised her. Like now. She'd tried to dig up this information herself a few years ago and found nothing.

"Thanks," Roxi said.

Ripping open the chips, Diego held them out to her, but she shook her head. She definitely wasn't hungry anymore. "I'm taking a walk."

"Ma should be back soon."

Which meant Irene would want to talk to both of them about tomorrow's plans, something Roxi didn't want to think about. She'd get some fresh air. Maybe things would look better after that.

She swung open the RV's door, bounded down the three metal stairs, and slammed the door behind her. This was one of the nicer campgrounds. No screaming kids or low-life slobs leering at her from their lounge chairs. The Fall River was within walking distance. Up here in Rocky Mountain National Park, late August was usually the height of tourist season, but for some reason, today there weren't many other campers. Just a few full-time RVers with satellite dishes mounted on $200,000 rigs. The place would probably be packed over the weekend.

She headed for the river and sat at the water's edge, knees to her chest. Living with Irene and Diego was better than any of the foster homes she'd been placed in over the years. The last one had two other guys her age living in the house. One afternoon she'd come home from school to find they were the only ones home, as usual, since both parents worked. The moment she walked into the kitchen and saw their faces, she knew what they planned to do to her. That split second of intuition saved her. She dropped her backpack right there and ran away. Never went back. Three days later the cops picked her up for shoplifting from a grocery store, and she'd spent a month in juvie. Finally her caseworker placed her in a group home. Only after she got beat up for the third time did they manage to find a relative willing to take her in. Irene Tonelli was her mom's cousin, and Roxi thought living with the Tonellis was the best thing that ever could've happened to her. Diego wasn't like those other guys, and she finally felt like she belonged somewhere.

Roxi heard the trill of a broad-tailed hummingbird's wings, then caught sight of the bird diving toward the rushing stream. All her life she'd prayed for a family. She used to imagine she'd wake up one morning and find everything had been a dream, and she really did have a mom and dad who loved her. Straightening her legs, she stared at the deep blue sky visible through the treetops. But no, this was her life. She shouldn't complain. Irene needed her to be a team player.

Swallowing back her emotions, she unbuttoned the cuff of her left sleeve and slowly rolled it up. With each flip of the fabric, more of her scar came into view. From wrist to elbow, a thick purple line wormed across her arm. She'd been eight when the glass had etched her with this eternal reminder of the night she lost Mom.

The night that changed her life forever.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from BOUND by GUILT by C. J. Darlington Copyright © 2011 by C.J. Darlington. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Bound By Guilt

    This is one emotional read!! Please don't read Bound By Guilt until you've read Thicker Than Blood. You will be greatly depriving yourself of emotions that I think should be felt when reading Bound By Guilt. CJ's writing has shocked me more than any fiction I think I've ever read. In both books, I've been so shocked at something, I had to walk away from the story just to digest what happened or what was revealed. I found myself wanting to cry just thinking about it later!

    While this book has several of the same characters from Thicker Than Blood, there are a several new characters brought into the mix. The story mostly centers around Roxi. My heart just completely went out to Roxi. It's so heartbreaking that her story is true for so many teens out there! It really makes you think about all the foster kids out there.

    My favorite new character was Jan, though! Jan and her husband, Keith own a ranch close to May(a character from Thicker Than Blood). They've lost their only son, and this excerpt is one of my favorite lines ever!

    ""It was the quickest of flashes, but it made me realize my grief wasn't doing me or Keith-or anyone-one lick of good. Trae was in heaven. Even if he could come back, he wouldn't. In fact, if anything, I should've been envious he'd gotten there before me. I realized Trae isn't in my past. He's in my future.""


    Truly amazing !!

    While I don't read a whole lot of the hard, emotional reads, I will definitely reserve a spot in my reading for any of CJ's future novels. And I do hope there are many more!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    I was very happy that Darlington included Roxi Gold and her fost

    I was very happy that Darlington included Roxi Gold and her foster parents in this book, and would love to see more about Jan and Keith. I have to admit, though, that I was a little tired of the first edition books being so great a part of the books in this series: I mean, I love to read, but I could care less about first editions. More on ranching for me, and especially about horses! Anyway, it was a good read,. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Great

    Deep. Real. Very good.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Bound by Guilt symptomatic of

    Roxi is a victim of the Child Protective Services and her circumstances who is seeking to be loved and accepted. Because of this she allows herself to be manipulated and used. Her guardian/cousin uses her and her cousin to steal rare books. When the plan goes wrong they break in at night which results in a tragedy.

    Roxi goes on the run from her cousin and the story gets interesting. It is a good book however I fell the end was wrapped up a little too easily and possibly less plausible. I do recommend BOUND BY GUILT, it is still a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Great book!

    This book really shows you what God's love can do if you open your heart to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Ok

    For a free book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    I could not put the book down .I loved it!

    I could not put the book down .I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Awesome!

    This book was so good. It had a great story line and was almost impossible to put down!!!

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    where do you run when you're Bound by Guilt?

    facing off with tough issues of foster care, injustice and child custody when relationships disintegrate, Bound by Guilt takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions. tight reader/character connxns that exude responses and reactions - set against a unique backdrop of antiquarian bookselling, this is one story you won't put down til done...

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An atypical choice that paid off!

    I'm not normally a fan of contemporary fiction, but the back cover synopsis of this book intrigued me. Having a far-less-than-perfect protagonist ~ a teenage foster child named Roxi Gold who has turned to a life of crime ~ being one of the most intriguing aspects of this book.
    As I started reading "Bound By Guilt," I fully expected to not only dislike the main character, but I figured I'd dislike the book as a whole as well. However, before I even finished the first chapter I realized I was quite wrong. The author, C.J. Darlington, weaves a wonderful story, one that is heart-wrenching at times and heart-warming at others. Darlington not only is able to get you to sympathize with the juvenile delinquent that Roxi has become, but as you learn her back story and witness the hard life she is now essentially forced to lead, that sympathy grows to true empathy as your heart breaks for and with her.
    Sadly enough, as you read the book, you realize there's probably more truth than fiction in it, and I believe it will open people's eyes to the plight that so many children in our foster care system face day in and day out.
    Consequently, I believe this takes "Bound By Guilt" from being merely a good read to a great experience, as its not only entertaining, but educational as well. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for either one of those categories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    Bound by Guilt Review

    Bound by Guilt is a story filled with lots of suspense. It has you on your toes through the whole thing. Thanks to C. J. Darlington the book was written in a great way. The plot was amazing and so were the characters! I highly recommend this book to all readers that enjoy suspense! Roxy a girl with no home lives with her Aunt and her Aunt's son. Her Aunt's career is that she steals used books and sells them. Roxy is tied into this career and helps her Aunt. But one night turns into a disaster when the store owner catches the robbery.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Forgiveness is hard work!

    Before even cracking the book open, the praises of notable authors on the back cover make the reader want to find a comfy recliner, and soon! Ms. Darlington has a superb story of the ins and outs of forgiveness. She artfully weaves a tale of a young woman's life on the run, stealing rare books with 'family' just to survive, with the story of another woman, grieving the loss of her brother, searching for Truth. Both woman carry loads of guilt from past and present experiences, but learn after 'coincidentally meeting', that God is One of love and forgiveness, and He removes our burdens of guilt just for the asking. This is definitely a must read novel. This was a book I reviewed for Tyndale House Publishers.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    A Good Sophmore Novel!

    CJ Darlington has a unique voice and style that I have enjoyed reading these two times now. First with her debut novel and now with her second book, "Bound by Guilt".

    I enjoyed the cast of characters put together in this novel. You have a range of ages from 16 to late 40's, but each character completely works and shines with conviction in their actions. The plot is well laid out and a couple of times I was stopped in my tracks by an unexpected turn of events.

    I would have liked a little more follow through with Abby and her daughter--though it was a minor situation, I would have liked a teensy bit more closure there.

    Overall, the author has a unique way of putting words on paper that I'm attracted to. Her novels are quick reads, but they have a good plot, great characters and takeaway value. I enjoyed my journey through "Bound by Guilt".

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    GREAT story and characters!

    I was hooked on the very first page of C.J. Darlington's "Bound by Guilt!" A new author to me and one that I am sure to read books by again!

    Roxi is living with her aunt and cousin and trying to make her aunt Irene happy, Roxi participates in stealing rare and antique books from bookshops. This is not something Roxi feels right about doing, but Irene took Roxi in when her own mother could not care for her and she is better than living in foster homes. One night, Irene's plan does not go as planned and Roxi cannot live like this any longer, a man is dead and she cannot get the image of him dying out of her mind. Abby is suspended from her job as a police officer when she receives the call from her dad that her brother has been shot, presumably a result of a robbery gone bad. Abby and Roxi's lives will intersect and neither one will be the same as they forgive, find forgiveness, and find unconditional love.

    Darlington has created a wonderful story! I have found her first novel, "Thicker Than Blood" and cannot wait to go back and read it and learn more about Christy. The characters are all so wonderfully created and ones that the reader will empathize with throughout the tears, joy and growth. Unfortunately, there are many hurting teenagers in the world just like Roxi, and also not enough adults like Keith and Jan. I would love to read another book that picks up where this novel left off as there are so much more that could be shared about Diego, Roxi, Abby and Christy as there lives were all at crossroads at the end of this book. I highly recommend this novel and author!

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Page turner!

    Guilt can eat you alive! In Bound by Guilt, two of the characters have to deal with guilt in their life. Roxi is traveling the country with her aunt and cousin, the only family she has left. Starved for approval from adults, she will do anything, even if it is illegal. Roxi, her aunt, and cousin travel around the country stealing rare books from various bookstore and try to sell them. Entering one bookstore, they see several rare books and decided to go back after hours to rob the store. In doing so, they kill the manager who hears them in the store. Abby, the manager's sister, a police office, along with the manager's fiance seek out the killers by trying to hunt down the missing books. Both Abby and Roxi have the choice to be destroyed by guilt or set free by forgiveness.
    This book has been one of my favorite reads so far this summer! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    How do you break the bindings of your guilt?

    BOUND BY GUILT By C.J. Darlington What would you do for love and something to call your own? This is the question that haunts 16 year old Roxi Gold. Forgotten by her mother, passed through the foster care system, and scarred by her life Roxi may finally have found a place to call home. But life with her aunt and cousin goes wrong, so wrong that Roxi is Bound by Guilt. Will she ever find the life she seek? Meanwhile Abby Dawson and Christy Williams are reeling from the murder of Hunter Dawson. Abby is determined to find her brother's killer, but at what cost? When Roxi, Abby, and Christy are brought together what will happen? Will they forever be Bound by Guilty or will they be set free? A thought provoking story that will cause the reader to look beneath the surface. What truths lie behind the faces that you see each day? Dig deeper and show that you care, it may save a life!

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect!

    Irene and Diego were as close to a family as Roxi has ever known, trouble was they are not the typical kind of family. Traveling in an RV scouting out bookstores stealing rare copies of books to earn a living. Roxi is starting to have second thoughts about their little business. Christy store clerk discovers a collection missing then something goes terribly wrong.
    Abby a police officer puts her life in jeopardy everyday. When she is notified of a shooting she vowed she would find the perpetrator wherever they were. But what she finds is not what she sought after.
    A suspenseful invigorating read that I highly recommend a perfect book to spend the afternoon with. A book that kept me plowing through the pages and on the edge of my seat guessing to the end. Took me less than 8 hrs to read it. I was able to follow the story quite well because of the excellent character development. Definately 5 stars well done!

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Impressed

    C.J. Darlington has another winner with this book. I read the first one ("Thicker Than Blood"), enjoyed it, and could hardly believe two things: 1, it was her debut novel, and 2, she was sooooooper young when she wrote it. :) That said, I was looking forward to reading Bound by Guilt, and it did not disappoint. I liked the conflict -just enough tension for my personal tastes!- was thankful for the examples of unconditional love shown to Roxi even when she made serious mistakes, and loved the theme of redemption throughout. I especially enjoyed learning more about Dealers of Rare Books/Antiquities. I recommend both this and its companion book (I think they can be read independently but personally love to know the 'backstory'....so I must recommend reading Thicker Than Blood first!)

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    A superb read

    I tried to win this book from Tyndale when they were having their giveaways and was not able to. The storyline intrigued me so much I picked this up from the library. This book by CJ Darlington is one of my top 5 books-it was fabulous. The book centers around the plot of rare books and what people will do for the rarest of books. I never realized that first editions of books claimed huge monetary rewards which makes them a thief's greatest prize. This story deals with complicated characters that you won't soon forget, but it also deals with guilt, rejection and loss in a storyline that offers hope and healing through forgiveness. Your heart will be broken by Roxi whose life is in shambles when someone comes in and offers love with no strings attached. Just like God does with us with forgiveness. This was hard to put down because I wanted to see just how Roxi would end up and the ending did not disappoint me. I now have her first book Thicker than Blood on hold at the library. That book deals with a few characters in this book but you can read them on their own.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    An Awesome Read by Darlington!

    As I read through this book, clutching the pages in suspense at times, I was enthralled with Bound By Guilt. Even though I haven't read the first book in the series, I was able to jump right into the story, though enough history is given of Thicker Than Blood that I now want to dive straight into that book. The opening scene, with Roxi and Diego, sucked me right into this story and didn't let me go until I had read the last word on the epilogue page. What a story this book told!

    Bound By Guilt is filled with a host of believable, three-dimensional characters. Sixteen year old Roxi was my favorite person to read about, but Deigo, Christy, Abby, and Jan were just as endearing. Even though Diego had made a huge mistake in his life, he realized his wrong and wanted to face up to the consequences of his actions. I really came to like this older-brother figure of Roxi's. Christy and Abby were perfect together--they were more alike than they realized. Survivors of similar evils. I really enjoyed watching their friendship bloom. And Jan. Wow. She was just one amazing lady. The way she cared for Roxi and loved her in a way that no one ever had, was touching. I always looked forward to scenes between these two, knowing they would be powerful.

    This story was refreshingly unique. With the whole plot revolving around The Great Gatsby book, Roxi's life as an accomplice to a mother and son business of stealing rare books, and then her struggle to survive on her own, isn't a normal plot. It was amazing! Just when I thought Roxi's trouble would be over, something is thrown into her plans and she finds herself worse-off than before.

    Gifted with a wonderful, engaging writing voice, CJs skill with words is amazing. Reading this book was so easy and I quickly found myself getting lost in the story almost the instant I began reading. She made the scenes come alive. There were times that I looked up from Bound By Guilt and was surprised not to be in the middle of a used bookstore, holding an antique copy of The Great Gatsby, or a R. R. Tolkien book. A very neat, and unique, experience that doesn't happen often.

    There were some points in this book that I really wished I had read Thicker Than Blood first and had been able to connect with the characters there first before reading Bound By Guilt. This was probably my only negative thought as I read through this book--everything else was amazing and wonderful! The message this book gives, about being weighed down with guilt and the story of one very lonely girl just yearning to feel loved, was powerful. There are many teenagers out there in the world today that are in her same plight. It makes me pray that each of these teens will find a "Jan" in their life to show them how much they are loved by their Heavenly Father. Bound By Guilt is packed with adventure, suspense, mystery, and a powerful message that you are not soon to forget!

    I reviewed this book for Tyndale House Publishing. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.

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