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Posted October 2, 2013
<b>Solid 5 stars!</b>
I had to take a few days before I could write this review. I'm pretty sure this book killed me. It was raw and gripping. I started it Monday morning and couldn't stop reading until it was done (Monday afternoon, I really had a hard time putting it down). I don't feel like I can say I loved the book because of the content, something in me just feels like that isn't right, but <b>OMG</b>
was it amazingly written. My heart hurt for her, my throat hurt from keeping everything inside (I wasn't going to cry at work), there were times where I was literally shaking in anger. I know that no other book has pulled so many emotions from me and I find it hard to believe that any other book could after this one.
Violet Moore is being verbally and physically abused by her husband, Rob Moore. Even though she knows it's wrong, she like a lot of abused people, take it because they feel they are to blame. All of that changes when she meets Tucker McCloud. He helps her realize that she can be happy, that she deserves to be happy.
This book was beautifully well written. Ms. Toni wrote something so raw, gritty and real that it amazes me. You can't help but hope that anyone who is in this type of situation has someone or finds someone like Tucker in their life to help them. All I can really say is WOW!
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 30, 2013
In most stories dealing with an abusive situation, we usually see a heroine tentatively trying to rebuild her life after already having had the courage to leave an abusive situation. In this book we are confronted with the realities of everyday life, living under those circumstances. It is not always a pretty picture, but it is the picture. The story here is not necessarily the why or how we got to this point, but more about a growing awareness of how wrong the situation is, and how to mentally and physically untangle ourselves.
"We all want the same thing here.
We all want you to get away and be happy, like you want but I'm telling you, you're never going to leave if you keep waiting until you're ready.
Because, honestly, you'll never be ready.
You have to just go. You have to do this.
You're ready in our eyes. If you weren't you wouldn't be here.
You can do this. You can leave. Just do it.
Don't let him hold you back. Go!"
In LET IT BE ME, Toni Aleo is showing us something different, she shows us the process of leaving. The moment when the apathy is broken through by something or someone. When the awareness that what is happening to you is not ok, finally starts settling in. The craving for a little slice of peace, or perhaps even happiness is born, and the slow and painful gathering of courage and self confidence needed to extricate yourself from your situation, begins.
We travel along inside the mind of a young, rather naive and initially apathetic and powerless Violet, who fell head over heels in love and was quickly overwhelmed and controlled by the much more savvy and powerful Rob. As is often the case in situations like that, she was methodically cut off from friends and family until Rob was the only one filling her vision, her life. But when she finds a job she loves, in an environment that makes her feel good about herself, she very tentatively starts building up a sense of self worth.
Then Tucker comes along as a catalyst. A little older, a little more world wise, very insightful and interested in Violet's well being. He continues to put himself squarely in front of her, availing himself to her as a lifeline. Not forceful, not overwhelming........just there. A safe haven, something Violet hasn't known in recent years. Tucker has the wisdom not to push, even though it goes against every instinct, realizing the importance of Violet's own victories.
Reading LET IT BE ME was painful and frustrating at times; being who I am, I wanted to jump in and knock some heads together, but I realized that this was Violet's story. It had to play out in a way that was best for her. Tucker saw that, even if I didn't always until her story was done.
An amazingly insightful, and compelling story of a young woman's journey through hell finding her own strength in the process. Toni Aleo has done a phenomenal job with this extremely sensitive and painful subject and made it into a beautiful story of overcoming. She has stepped out of her own comfort zone, to tackle a story that is precariously balanced between utterly depressing and innocently hopeful. Because of the way Toni has written the POV, like a narration from Violet to us, the readers, she has made our connection with the heroine a very personal one, right from the start, and has given the story that light touch of innocence that is as heartbreaking as it is hopeful......
¿A courageous, inspiring and empowering story of rebirth.¿**ARC courtesy of the author in return for an honest review.**
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
There are talented people, there are gifted people, and then there are remarkable people. Toni Aleo is all three. In this gut wrenching novel she breaks away from her hockey line-ups and goalie creases to gift us with a love story like no other.
Violet is being abused, not just slightly, though no abuse is slight. She is being abused in the way that makes your fingers curl, your heart twist, and your own ribs ache. And she's trapped, wings clipped, her sense of freedom taken from her long ago.
In comes Dr. Tucker McCloud, Violet's new boss. Aleo paints us brief and sweet pictures of Tucker and his beautiful whiskey colored eyes but it's enough to make you want a Dr. McDreamy of your own. And it's more than enough to make you want to fight alongside Tucker and help Violet and her turbulent journey toward freedom. It doesn't take long for Dr. McCloud to realize when Violet's light dims. He quickly turns into the hero and guidance you want so badly for Violet.
Toni Aleo did her research. She writes from personal experience (not her own she assures me) and from a collected series of women and men in support groups she attended. Aleo took the effort that most writers may have been too scared or unprepared to make. Every time Violet's abusive husband Rob passed a hand or an unkind word, you felt it. With raw emotion and grief you are able to follow the journey. So many times I had to put the book down in fear of my frustrated yells turning into the toss of my eReader ;)
The most important attribute that Aleo gave this story was the gift of friendship for Violet. In this, our heroine is able to pull herself up and construct her own own life and feel, once again, her wings expand. In so many stories like this you find the girl reaching our for the boy as a crutch. Kudos to Aleo for showing women (and men) in these all too often real life situations that you can do this with support and most importantly you can do it for yourself.
It was a love story like no other, with an ending you couldn't predict, and a second coming of a demon you wanted dead 3 pages in. The ride was worth it, every true tear shed, entirely worth it. The love was palpable and the situations real. 5 stars for one inspiring writer and her brilliantly crafted story.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 30, 2013
I have, not so patiently, waited for the release of this book. When it went live, I stopped working, purchased it and went to lunch. I had to finish it, even if I have to work 2 extra hours today.
Amazing, truly amazing. Toni has taken such a sensitive topic and made it draw you in completely. It shows the pain and anguish every abused person faces daily. The point of view, from Violet, was amazing because it's sucks you in and makes you think about how you would handle the situation. She knows she's strong and knows it's not right but can't come to terms with getting out. Until she gains some breathing room with a new job. This gives her some hope and sparks her determination to make a huge change. She still has to come to terms with the abuse and she does.
The support Violet garners from Dr. T and his staff helps and gives her strength to make things happen. This book is for everyone. People need to know that things like this happen behind closed doors. The best assistance anyone can have is support and love. Toni shows how both of these come through and win in the end.
Thank you for writing such a poignant book about a subject that people shy away from.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2013
Wow! The second I finished this story I was just...wow! If you have been lucky enough to read one of Aleo's stories, you know how incredibly sexy and hot they can be, right? You know that her male characters are absolutely swoon worthy and enough to make you weak in the knees. Well, throw all those notions out the window and let’s start over. Aside, from sweet as hell, sexy as all get out Tucker, Rob is a pile of dog poop, that shouldn't be allowed to grace the grasses of God’s green earth. He is vile, he is disgusting, and he should be subjected to the same horrendous crap he put Violet through.
I can't say I know what Violet was going through because I don't. Never have I been in her circumstances so I have no earthly idea how I would be or feel or act. I’d like to say I’d fight back. But no one knows until they are put in that place how they would react. I cannot judge her on her actions or for staying so long in a relationship that was full of beatings and misery.
I will say that I absolutely loved Tucker. He could see what others couldn't and what Violet thought she was hiding. They had a connection from the moment they met and it was undeniable. He fought for her and only wanted what was best for her. He saw what her husband was doing even before she admitted to him. He saw how it was slowly killing her and it killed him in return to have to watch it day in and day out. This guy is something else and I got a bit emotional a time or two with him. As a reader, you can tell he truly cares for Violet. And it warmed my heart.
"I understand that, but sweetheart, there is this huge universe, nine planets and two hundred and four countries and out of all that, I met you, I fell for you and have had the pleasure to feel your lips against mine. You are the piece of me that was missing. My heart and soul. Nothing will ever change that. My love will never fade because you have me. All of me.”
Yep, this is not your typical Aleo story. But it is still wonderful and emotional and it needs to be told. Women go through what Violet does every single day. Hopefully someone will read this book and it will give them the encouragement they need to fight. A definite must read that I recommend to anyone and everyone. You won't regret picking up this one that is for sure.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2014
Posted August 17, 2014
What a great read. Such a well written emotional story. I loved every bit of it, I never rooted so much for a character before. So good. I loved how the author made a important topic like domestic abuse and wrote a great story to help promote support groups and to encourage women to get help and how that they are worth it. I will be reading more from this author:) So worth the moneyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2014
Posted June 27, 2014
This is one of those books that had me swearing out loud throughout the entire book. It grips the raw emotion that comes to the surface when in an abusive relationship, but the author did an amazing job keeping it real. Very emotional read. The world is lucky to have men like Tucker :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2014
Posted December 19, 2013
Posted December 18, 2013
A change from all her other books. Depressing, but well written and gave us a deep look into domestic abuse. Loved reading all Toni's books but this was well worth the time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2013
This was a very real story that hits home for many women out there and i felt myself really feeling what Violet was going through and how terrifying that would be.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 8, 2013
Posted October 16, 2013
This is a story about someone being in an abusive relationship. It's hard to read but its you get so uplifted throughout the story and you keep putting faith into thinking that she is going to make it. Most people can relate to the main character in several ways and find a way to feel empathy for anyone in any complex relationship even if its not an abusive one. Check out Toni's hockey series, it is awesome and completely different than this story, And check out Toni of facebook too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2013
Let It Be Me was so different from Toni Aleo's Assassins series, but I still really enjoyed it. :) I liked the characters, the story, and really admired Toni's efforts as she tried new things in this book. The style was extremely different, and I especially enjoyed the occasional conversational tone that the narrator picked up. I'm trying to avoid spoilers in this review, but since the blurb kind of tells a lot of what happens in a general sense anyway, I think anything I'm talking about isn't a spoiler anyway, and hopefully you all will agree. :)
The main character of Let It Be Me, Violet, seemed so fragile at times, but I really liked seeing her get stronger and start to realize that she didn't have to take, nor did she deserve, her husband's abuse. I wasn't a fan of her husband...but we really aren't supposed to be, and I was so glad to see Violet find the strength to stand up to him. She had a lot of moments where she went back to him and was so afraid, but it felt so realistic and authentic, that while I wanted Violet out of there, I knew that her inner struggles were something that a lot of women really do struggle with. I thought that Toni Aleo did an amazing job with the abuse aspect and with Violet's growth and her ultimate decision to get away from her situation. I also loved that she included support groups and real methods that women in Violet's situation use.
Then there was Tucker...holy cow! I definitely understood Violet's attraction to Dr. Tucker, and I really enjoyed their banter and seeing them get to know one another. It did feel like their relationship moved really fast because we didn't get to see all of their conversations, but I did still see the chemistry between them, and I loved seeing Violet realize through Tucker that she was worth loving and that she didn't need to be treated the way that her husband Rob treated her.
Overall, I really enjoyed Let It Be Me. The story was fast-paced and felt very realistic. I love Toni Aleo's Assassin series, but it was great to see her branch out, and I look forward to reading more of her books as she tries out new things with her writing!
* I received an ebook of Let It Be Me to participate in its blog tour and give an honest review. All opinions are my own.
* This review also appears on my blog and on other social media sites.
Posted October 9, 2013
Conveys a really great message
Let it be Me is not your normal contemporary romance story. It's also very different from Toni Aleo's other books. Let it be Me is a more of a message conveying one woman's story of survival, of overcoming fear and abuse, of making the journey from the pit of hopeless and despair to the place of finding safety, happiness, and love as it is meant to be, and it' a message that needs to be heard. Violet Moore met her husband Rob while in RN school. Rob was also a RN. She quickly fell in love with him, and he became the center of her world. She married him when she was only 20. She quickly also found that Rob was anything but the man she thought she married. The abuse started suddenly. Of course, he was sorry....he was always sorry....and she believed him, at least for a while. When it started to get to the point that her mom was questioning some of the injuries she was experiencing, Rob quickly moved her from Colorado to his home town in Tennessee, where things only got worse. You may be wondering why she didn't tell someone. When you read Violet's story, you will understand from the viewpoint and the mindset of a victim of abuse. Things may seem black and white to us, but they are far from that in the victim's mind.
Thankfully, Violet went to work at doctor's office where she met Tucker McLeod, and she began to slowly see a flicker of light and hope in the tunnel of darkness that was her life. She began to experience those feeling of love once again that she never thought she would. The journey she goes through to get there is hard, it's scary, it's dangerous, and it will break your heart, but it is well worth reading. My heart broke for Violet. I can't imagine going through some of the things she did. I hated Rob, just hated him. He was truly a monster. Then there is Tucker McLeod, the knight in shining armor who supports and loves Violet, doing anything and everything he can do, that Violet will let him do, to help her get free from her current situation. Their's isn't a relationship where Tucker comes in a just sweeps her off her feet. They both have to go through a lot of hurt and pain to get there, but love finds a way...it always finds a way. Let it be Me is a wonderful story that not only chronicles the life of a beautiful young woman as she overcomes abuse, but it is a message that will bring a new level awareness to those who read it that have never experienced abuse, and it will bring hope to those that have and/or are in the middle of a similar situation.
Posted October 9, 2013
Posted October 7, 2013
If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would!! This was such a risky book to write because it deals with domestic violence and is nothing like Toni Aleo’s hockey romances!! I was COMPLETELY blown away!
This book is raw, disturbing and very emotional to read. It is a realistic account of an abused relationship, without any fluff. It is written in Violet’s voice, explaining what her life has been like and why as a young, strong woman, she is unable to leave her abusive husband. It really shows that domestic violence can happen to anyone, even to Violet Moore, a beautiful blue-eyed blonde. This book is heart wrenching and you feel like this is one of those “based on an actual event” movie you would watch on Lifetime. It is written that good!
The abuse begins during her “horrible honeymoon.” Everything she does annoys her new husband, Rob. Violet has learned the art of lying and giving excuses. “I know it’s horrible, and I know I shouldn’t believe him, that I should love myself before anything. There used to be a day when I did, but rob sucked it out of me.” “I should have run the first time I heard I’m sorry…” These quotes really put it in perspective for me. But through everything she endures, she asks herself the questions I always ask when I hear of such awful abuse; “Why the hell do I stay? Why do I take this and why do I allow this to happen?” She has hit rock bottom. She is scared to leave and she feels like she will never find someone else to love her. How powerful our words can be! When you knock someone down enough times, the bad stuff you fill their head with is sometimes easier for them to believe.
Circumstances have Violet working with Dr. Tucker McCloud (and I really think Tucker’s father hired her to set her up with his son!) Tucker becomes her night and shining armor! I loved Tucker. He was patient with her, never forcing her to leave or seek help but making sure she knew he was there for her with a helping hand for whatever she needed. I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to stand by and watch someone you love go through something like this! Violet knew she got herself into this mess and she wanted to get herself out. Tucker may not have agreed with it, but he respected her wishes and made sure he helped from the sidelines.
Violet is a true SURVIVOR! Her story is of hope, bravery and courage and how with the love of the right man, anything is possible.
Posted October 7, 2013