Never Let You Goby Erin Healy
Losing everything has Lexi clinging to her daughter. Hell is determined to loosen her grip.
It's been seven years since disaster struck her family. Lexi Solomon has held it all together since then--just barely.
But now Lexi is losing it. The husband who deserted her is back in town, wanting to see their daughter Molly. Her sister's shameless murderer is/b>
Losing everything has Lexi clinging to her daughter. Hell is determined to loosen her grip.
It's been seven years since disaster struck her family. Lexi Solomon has held it all together since then--just barely.
But now Lexi is losing it. The husband who deserted her is back in town, wanting to see their daughter Molly. Her sister's shameless murderer is up for parole. An unsavory old friend is demanding payment for debts that Lexi knows nothing about and can't begin to meet.
And something else is going on--something Lexi feels but can't explain. A dangerous shift is taking place between this reality and the next. Forces beyond her imagination are vying for control.
A rare novel that will satisfy a wide range of readers, Never Let You Go explores the high-stakes decisions played out in the thin spaces between heaven and earth. As the enemy's grip tightens around Lexi, she will have to decide what's truly worth holding on to.
"Keeps you glued to the pages until the very last."--Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve
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NEVER LET YOU GO
By ERIN HEALY
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2010 Erin Healy
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFor seven years, Lexi Solomon had been as cold as the wind that raced down the mountain above her home. She was not ice-in-her-veins cold, or I'll-freeze-you-with-a-glance cold, but numb with the chill that came from being uncovered and abandoned.
Only the love of her daughter, a warm and innocent love that was so easy to return, had prevented her from dying of exposure.
At the back of the Red Rocks Bar and Grill, Lexi checked to make sure the rear stoop wasn't icy, then exited and pulled the kitchen door closed. The blustery elements had spent decades huffing and puffing on the backside of the local haunt with nothing to show for the effort but a tattered awning and a battered screen door. The stalwart cinder block, painted to match the russet clay dirt that coated Crag's Nest, was as stubborn as the snow that refused to melt before midsummer at this altitude. And it was only March.
At her throat Lexi clutched her ratty down jacket, the same one she had worn since high school, while she fumbled with the restaurant keys in her other gloveless hand. She'd forced her only pair of gloves into her daughter's coat pockets that morning because Molly had lost hers coming home from school.
Which could only mean she hadn't been wearing them. Chances were, Molly hadn't worn the gloves today either. Well, she was only nine. Lexi smiled at that and thought she might get them back. If only she could be a kid again, oblivious to weather and wet.
Lexi shoved the key into the cheap lock and turned it easily. That hamburger grease coated everything. Above her head a yellow bug light shone over a cracked concrete slab. Her tired breath formed a cloud in the night air and then a fog on the wire-threaded glass of the door.
It was 2:13 a.m. Thirteen minutes later than Lexi usually locked up, thanks to the frozen computer that she had to reboot twice before she could close out the cash drawer and lock the day's receipts in the safe. Thirteen minutes gone from the precious few she got to spend with Molly, curled up next to her in their one flimsy bed. Between Lexi's two jobs and Molly's school days, she figured they had an average of ninety-four minutes together, awake, per day. It wasn't enough.
Lexi closed the restaurant every Monday, Thursday, and Friday night. Restaurant was too generous a word for the greasy spoon a half mile off the main tourist drag, too far off to draw many out-of-towners. But the staff was familylike enough, and the locals were loyal and tipped fair, and the extra fifty dollars she got for being the last to leave three times a week didn't hurt. Every little bit put her and Molly that much closer to a better situation. A better home in a better part of town. A more reliable car. Warmer clothes.
Molly needed new shoes, and once Lexi got caught up on that past-due utility bill, she thought she'd have enough to buy the pair with sequins stitched onto the sides. Maybe for Molly's birthday. She'd seen her daughter bent over a picture of the shoes in the Sunday circulars left out by their roommate, Gina.
After jiggling the locked kitchen door for good measure, Lexi turned her back on the glare of the naked bulb and headed toward her Volvo. The sturdy old thing was parked on the far side of the sprawling blacktop, fender nosing a swaying field of tall grasses, because that was where the only operating lamppost stood, and Lexi was no idiot when it came to vacant lots and late-night lockups.
The wind cut through her thin khaki pants, numbing her thighs.
She fingered the can of pepper spray on her key chain as she passed the shadowy Dumpster behind the kitchen. A large man could squeeze between it and the trash can's cinder block cove easily enough. The dishwasher Jacob did this on his breaks to catch a smoke, because the manager wouldn't tolerate cigarettes, not even outside.
A dark form darted out, leaping over the long shadow of her body cast by the gold light behind. She flinched, then scolded.
"Scat, Felix." The resident alley cat carried something in his mouth. Lexi guessed a chicken bone, but it might have been a mouse. He jumped the wobbly wood-slat fence between the restaurant and the dry cleaner next door.
The grasses in the field, as tall as her shoulders, whispered secrets.
She stepped from the slab onto the asphalt lot. The spotlight over her dull silver Volvo, which tilted to the left due to a weak strut, went out for a second, then hiccupped back to life. It was only a matter of time before the lamp finally died, then weeks or months would probably pass before the property manager got around to resurrecting it. Each time she locked up, she found herself hoping the light would last one more night. She weighed whether she ought to start parking closer to the kitchen. Just in case.
Just in case what? Tara had been murdered in a bright shopping mall, in a bustling crowd. Maybe where a woman parked in the darkness of night didn't matter as much as she hoped.
Lexi's soft-soled shoes made an audible, squishy noise on the cold blacktop as she quickened her step, eyes sweeping the lot like some state-of-the-art scanner. Her keys sang a metallic song as they swung against the can of pepper spray. There was an extra can in the book bag slung over her shoulder. Another one in her glove box. A fourth buried in the planter outside her kitchen window at home, right by the front door. Lexi wondered for the millionth time how old Molly should be before starting to carry some in her backpack.
Glimpsing the dark glass of the car's rear doors, she wished again that she had one of those key fobs that could turn on the interior lights from a cautious distance.
The parking lot light gasped again and this time faded to black. The steady yellow light behind her also flickered once and died, stranding Lexi in black air exactly halfway between the restaurant and car. She stopped. A second later, two at most, the light over the Volvo staggered back to relative brilliance.
She gasped. The thin air knifed her throat. The grasses had fallen silent, and the winds were as still as if God had stepped between them and the earth.
All four doors of her car were flung wide. Two seconds earlier they had been sealed shut, but now they gaped open like Lexi's disbelieving mouth, popped open with the speed of a switchblade, with the flip of an invisible lever, the flick of an illusionist's light.
A heavy hand came down on her shoulder from behind. Lexi yelped and whirled out from under the palm.
Her hand was at her throat, her pulse pounding through the layers of the thin jacket, her breathing too shallow for her to speak.
A slim white envelope fluttered between the restless fingers of the man's left hand. A tattoo peeked out from under his T-shirt sleeve on the left, filling most of his upper arm. It was a set of keys, skeleton keys, hanging from a wide round ring.
He was middle-aged, sallow skinned, and his dark hair needed a trim. Oily strands flipped up in little curls that stuck out the bottom of a knit cap. The scrappy T-shirt looked thin across his narrow chest and sinewy arms, but he did not shiver in the low temperatures.
He said, "I half expected you'd be out of town after all these years."
Lexi's fright came off its startled high and settled into unease. She took a step back, glancing involuntarily at her car. Years ago, Warden Pavo had taken adolescent delight in pranks. She wondered how many people would have to be involved to pull off one like this.
"Why would I leave Crag's Nest if I thought you'd never set foot here again, Ward?"
"Yeah. I forgot."
He smirked. "How's the family?"
"Your mom's still globe-trotting?"
Lexi stared at him, finding his interest in her family new and strange, and perhaps offensive.
"Any improvement in dear old dad?" he asked.
"What do you want, Ward?"
Lexi crossed her arms to hide their quivering.
"What?" he said. "I heard that your old man fell off the deep end, and I've been worried about you."
"You've never worried about anyone but yourself. Besides, that happened years ago."
"After that whole thing with your sister. What a tragedy. Man, I'm really sorry about that, you know."
Ward removed a nylon lanyard from the pocket of his jeans. A small key chain weighted the end of it. Twirling the cord like a propeller blade, he wound it around his wrist, wrapping and unwrapping it.
Lexi looked away. "It's behind us now," she said.
"Is it? Von Ruden's up for parole. I assume you heard."
She hadn't. A shiver shook her shoulders though the wind had not picked up again. Up for parole after only seven years.
Norman Von Ruden had killed Tara, Lexi's older sister. He knifed her in a food court at lunchtime during the Christmas rush, when there were so many people that no one noticed she'd been attacked until someone accidentally whacked her crumpled form with a shopping bag. After Tara's funeral, Lexi's father raised the drawbridge of his mind and left her with her mother on the wrong side of the moat.
"Why is it that whenever you show up, I can expect bad news?"
"Aw, that's not fair, Lexi. I'm only here to help you, as always."
"One finger is too many to count the ways you've helped me."
"I am. You could have helped me years ago by refusing to sell to Norm."
"C'mon now. You know that's not what happened."
Lexi turned away and moved quickly toward her gaping Volvo.
Ward's voice chased her. "Norm was Grant's client, not mine."
Lexi kept walking. Ward followed.
"If you blame anyone, gotta blame Grant." Ward's keys clanked together as they hit the inside of his wrist. "You can blame Grant for a whole lotta your problems."
"I'd appreciate you not bringing Grant up," she said.
It was true that Lexi's husband had not paved the streets of her life with gold. The same year Tara was killed, Grant drove their only car out of town and never came back. Lexi, having no money to pay for a divorce, never received divorce papers from Grant either and sometimes wondered whether abandonment laws alone made their separation official.
Beyond that, she 'd managed to prevent her thoughts from chasing Grant too often. Only Molly was worth Lexi's wholehearted concentration. For Molly's sake, Lexi had made a vow to be more clearheaded than Grant ever was.
Lexi reached out and slammed the door behind the driver's seat. The metal frame was warm to the touch, sun-baked without the sun. The unexpected sensation caused her to hesitate before she walked around the back to the other side and slammed the other rear door. It, too, was unnaturally heated. She wiped her palm on the seat of her pants.
"If that's all you came to tell me, good night."
"But it's not."
Ward stopped twirling the lanyard and stood at the driver's door. She glanced at him across the roof of the Volvo and took new notice of the envelope he held and extended toward her.
"Picked up your mail for you."
"Intercepted the mailman."
"Save you the trouble."
"Seeing as it's no trouble, please don't do it again."
"You really could be more grateful."
She leaned against the car and lay her arm across the roof, gesturing that he give the envelope to her. He dangled it above her open palm. She snatched it out of his fingers.
"Thank you," she said, hoping he would leave. She lifted the flap of her book bag, intending to cram the letter into the side. "Open it."
"I will, when I get home."
"Now." Ward's keys cut the air on that whirling cord again. Rather than irritate her, the motion threatened. Those keys were weapons that could inflict serious pain if they hit her between the eyes with any momentum. She thought she saw them striking out at her and jerked back, then felt embarrassed.
"I read my mail without an audience."
"Add a little excitement to your life. Do it differently tonight."
"It's not a suggestion."
Lexi closed the third door and made her way back around the rear of the car to where Ward was waiting. She focused on maintaining a confident voice. "Ward, it's late. I'm going home. My daughter-"
"Molly. She's all grown-up and fresh to be picked by now, isn't she?" Heat rose up Lexi's neck. "I saw her at the school today. They're a bit lax over there about security, in my humble opinion."
The tears that rushed to Lexi's eyes were as hot and blinding as her anger. That level of offensiveness didn't deserve a response. In two long strides she reached the open driver's side door and, still holding the mystery letter, placed her left hand on the frame to balance her entry.
Ward's lanyard snaked out and struck her wrist, knocking her hand off the door, which slammed shut. The paper fluttered to the ground. She stared at it stupidly, not comprehending what was happening.
He stooped to pick it up. "Read the letter, Lexi, then I'll let you go home."
Her wrist bone ached where the keys had struck it. She took a step away from Ward, then turned the letter over to read the return address. The envelope was from the office of a neighboring county's district attorney. It quivered in her fingers. She held it under the light of the lamppost for several seconds. The beam flickered.
"The postmark on this is more than a month old," she said.
"Yeah, well, I didn't say I picked up your mail today."
Her perspiring fingers were tacky and warped the linen stationery slightly. Lexi tapped the short side of the envelope on the roof of the Volvo, then tore a narrow strip off the opposite side and let the scrap fall to the ground. She withdrew a piece of heavy folded paper, then spread it flat on the hood.
She thought it was a notice of Norman Von Ruden's parole hearing. She saw, at a glance, phrases like your right to participate and verbal or written testimony. But a red scrawl like a kindergartener gone crazy with a Sharpie obscured much of the text. A balloon poked by half a dozen arrows surrounded the date and time. Stick figures at the bottom of the page depicted a man coming out of an open jail cell, and a happy woman waiting for him.
Ward was breathing across Lexi's ear. She felt his body too close behind her.
"Isn't that nice?" he said, pointing. "That's Norm, and that's you!"
Lexi looked at the backside of the envelope to see if he'd tampered with the letter but it was still securely sealed. He knew. How could he know? She pushed off the car and shoved him away from her, leaving the letter behind. She snapped at him so that he wouldn't hear the fear she felt.
"You're sick, Ward. I'm going home."
"I'm entirely well, though I appreciate your concern. Aren't you going to ask me what it means?"
"It means you haven't changed one bit since the last time I saw you. I don't have time for your pranks."
She pulled the door open and dropped onto the seat without taking the book bag off her shoulder.
Ward picked up the letter and turned it over, holding it out to her. He propped his forearms on the open door and lowered the sheet, scrawled with another juvenile drawing, to her eye level. A red figure that looked like a child with x's for eyes was visible through the glass door of an oven.
"No prank, Sexy Lexi."
Lexi felt blood rush out of her head. She took a shallow breath and lowered her voice.
"Okay. What does it mean, Ward?"
"War-den. Warden. Get it right."
There was no sarcasm in her voice now. "Warden. What does it mean?"
"That's my girl. It means-if you love your daughter like I think you do-that you are going to show up at Norm's hearing next Friday and testify on his behalf."
"Because you love your daughter."
"I can't do that."
"You can't love her?"
"No! I can't ... Norman Von Ruden? He's insane."
"Don't do that. They diagnosed him with something."
"Nothing a fine shrink and a few bottles of pills couldn't handle."
"No." She shook her head. "No. I hate him."
"You loved him once. I'll wager there 's still whore in you."
Lexi lashed out, clawing the letter out of his hands and scratching the skin of his knuckles. His keys fell onto the blacktop.
"How dare you!"
Ward seized both her wrists easily and shoved her back down onto the seat of the car.
"He killed my sister! He wrecked my family! My parents-"
"Will be mourning the loss of little miss Molly as well if you don't come to the party. So be wise about it, or I'll tell your secrets to everyone you love-and plenty of people you don't."
"Why are you doing this?"
Excerpted from NEVER LET YOU GO by ERIN HEALY Copyright © 2010 by Erin Healy. Excerpted by permission.
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.
Meet the Author
Erin Healy is the bestselling coauthor of Burn and Kiss (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for many bestselling authors. She owns WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Academy of Christian Editors. Her novels include such thrilling stories as Never Let You Go, The Baker’s Wife, and Stranger Things. She and her family live in Colorado.
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I can't believe someone would lower the book's rating because they didn't like the way someone reviewed a book. You need to look up the word "Review".
"Never Let You Go" by Erin Healy is a great read. I usually don't read this type of book but when I read the summary it sounded so interesting that I had to give it a try. It's a story about a Mother raising her 9 year old daughter. Lexi is a Mom that will do anything to protect her daughter Molly even if it means testifying for the man who killed her sister. Lexi is also faced with the return of her ex-husband Grant who left seven years earlier and now has returned with intentions of re-entering their daughters life but Lexi is skeptical of his motives and decides that she can't let him near Molly. This is only the beginning of more hard and difficult times for Lexi and those around her. In addition to the return of her husband she is faced with supernatural events. I found this book to be riveting and so interesting that I couldn't put it down. This is the first book by Erin Healy that I have read but I don't think it will be the last. I found the story and plot easy to follow and the characters were interesting although at times I felt they were a little unbelievable or not very realistic. I think most people who enjoy mysteries and religious undertones will find this book a good read. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Plot: This was a very spiritual story. You can feel it from the beginning, but it's not confirmed until the end. The things that Lexi goes through in the week that this story takes place are nothing short of divine encounters and spiritual warfare. It's hard to say much without giving anything away. Characters: You learn about the characters what you need to know for the story to unfold, however, you don't really know the characters. Themes: The theme of this book was forgiveness. Lexi's biggest struggle in life is forgiving the people who have so greatly wronged her. She has to forgive herself, too, for she blames most of her problems on her own actions. Emotion: There were times during this book, especially in the beginning, when certain characters came in to play, I was honestly scared. I could feel the deception and confusion that the character brought jumping off the page. Overall: This book was very interesting to read and very hard to put down. I would sit down to read one chapter and found myself unable to stop. The spiritual side of the book made it easy to get wrapped up in and you always want to know what's going to happen next.
This was a pretty good read. It kept my attention and after i read this book I went ahead and ordered more of her books.
I rely on the sample, ratings, and the written reviews, to let me decide whether I want to read the book. I was really disappointed in the page long reviews. I don't need to know what the story is about, I can do that for myself. PLEASE LOOK UP THE WORD REVIEW IN THE DICTIONARY!
Lexi Solomon is no stranger to tragedy. After her older sister is murdered, Lexi's family fell apart. Her father retreated into his own mind, her mother disappeared to a new travel writer career, and her husband left. Now, seven years later, the murderer is up for parole, an old "friend" has come back to stir the pot, and her husband is back on town. From these beginnings, Erin Healy weaves a tale of intrigue and suspense, forgiveness and redemption. I wish that I could say that she was able to weave this tale cohesively. I was several chapters in before I was able to wrap my brain around what happened with the main characters. The story switched back and forth in rapid succession and most of those story lines were left incomplete. The story went back to those lines but didn't pick up where they left off. In the end, I just didn't get it. I understood the meaning she was attempting to convey (the classic tale of good vs evil where humans are used as pawns in this cosmic chess match), I just didn't care for the method used to convey it. I was looking for more in the way of character and story development. I wanted to know more about these people and how they managed to end up as they did. What drove them to the choices they made? How were they able to overcome the mistakes of the past to make new decisions? How did they get to the path of love and forgiveness. I know that the answer lies in God's hands, I just wanted to see more of it in this novel. As with any other book, I determine if I would recommend it based on how likely I am to read it again. Sadly, this book doesn't rate very high as I would probably not choose to read it another time. I am sure there is more than I was able to glean from the story; I just never did. This book was provided free of charge as a review copy. The publisher had no editorial rights or claims over the content or the conclusions made in this review. No payment was provided in return for this review.
Never Let You Go by Erin Healy is a poignant and frightening look at the harsh consequences of unforgiveness. Lexi Solomon is struggling to make ends meet as a single mom to nine-year-old Molly. When her estranged husband Grant shows up, followed by her drug dealer friend Warden, Lexi's life is suddenly thrown into turmoil, especially when Warren threatens to hurt Molly if Lexi doesn't speak at the parole hearing of her sister's murderer, Norman, in an attempt to get him freed from prison early. Lexi's history is complicated and she is quickly overwhelmed and trapped by the demands of Warden and her fears of losing Molly for good. Healy, who has written terrific thrillers with Ted Dekker, puts her experience to good use here. Readers will feel torn for Lexi's sake. She seems to be trapped by her past, and with every turn of the page, her situation just gets worse and worse. Warden is a terrifying villain who is always one step ahead of Lexi. There are spiritual elements, but Healy keeps them to just the right level. It keeps readers guessing and creates tension and fear without overusing it. Lexi is presented with a powerful choice, one that readers face on a daily basis, although not as extreme as hers, and there's an excellent message in it.
I've seen this labeled Christian fiction. I found it odd that just because a book quotes scripture, talks about good versus evil, and basic principles of faith and hope, it's labeled as christian fiction. But, that mentioned, I'm not sure what to think of this book. I felt sorry for Lexi. No matter what she did it seemed life was determined to keep her down. It was almost depressing to listen to. Even the ending didn't feel really uplifting. Yes, good triumphed, but it didn't seem like much of a victory. The circumstances that lead to the events in this book were kind of horrific. Drug use, an affair, and murder do not make for a very happy opening sequence. I had the most difficulty with Warden. I wasn't sure if he was always the character that appears in this story. It didn't seem to mesh with the back story Lexi gives of the Warden she knew in the past. So, I feel like I'm missing part of the story. The ending happened way to fast and felt very cliche. Overall this was just an interesting read. I probably will look for something else by this author. I think she has an interesting premise in this one, it just fell a little short of it's mark for me.
Erin Healy's book, 'Never Let You Go', takes you into the life of a single mother fighting to make it in this world. Along the way she encounters many people from her past, including her daughter's addict of a father, and she meets new people as well. The book has hints that there are battles between good and evil (that can go unseen or unexplained) which have an effect on the life of mere mortals here on Earth. When I first read the summary of this book, I expected a more realistic storyline. 'Never Let You Go' is obviously a fictional tale, but it is almost a fantasy. The tale of the reformed drug addict deadbeat father that comes back to prove he has changed, and all the related circumstances, are almost more unbelievable than the glimpses of the supernatural. The book is a very easy read, with a different tone than many books I've read lately. I finished the book in two sittings and enjoyed doing so. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
What would a mother be willing to do to protect her daughter? Would she betray the memory of her sister? Would she help her sister's killer? Would she sacrifice herself for her child? In Erin Healy's book, Never Let You Go, Lexi confronts these life altering questions. As a single mother, Lexi puts the well-being of her daughter first and foremost in her life. Although her methods may be unorthodox, her purpose is full of love. Throughout the twists and turns of the story, Lexi lets love guide her decisions. Whether it's dealing with her ex-husband, a crooked drug dealer, or her sister's killer, the love Lexi has for her daughter directs each and every move that Lexi makes. For me, this novel can be disjointed. The supernatural implications woven into the story take away from the love and bond between the mother and child. Lexi's ability to adapt and evolve in the best interests for her daughter is the heart of the story. Whether it is sheltering her daughter from corrupt individuals or limiting family interactions, Lexi's actions are from her heart. In turn, Lexi and her relationship with her daughter and other family members grows when she lets love guide her. Overall, Never Let You Go is on par with other well known suspense novels. If you are looking for a good page turning drama, you will find it in Never Let You Go. This was originally published on www.more4momsbuck.com. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Book Description Losing everything has made Lexi hold those she loves tightly. Hell is determined to loosen her grip. Lexi lives in the shadow of choices her husband made. Especially Grant's choice to leave seven years ago, without a word. Her relationship with their daughter, Molly, is now the most important thing in her life. Lexi will do anything-work grueling hours, attend church on her only day off, sacrifice financially-just to see Molly smile. When Grant shows up declaring his intent to re-enter their daughter's life, Lexi is skeptical of his motives. She soon determines not to let him near Molly. Then a drug dealer named Warden arrives on Lexi's doorstep, demanding payment of Grant's old debts. But that's just the earthly perspective. Staggering supernatural events are spilling into her world in real and shocking ways. Hell's fury is great, but Heaven's power is greater still. In a novel that defies easy categorization, this has all the early buzz of the breakthrough read of 2010. My Review. I'm a lover of Christian fiction and I'm always on the lookout for new authors. This was my first time reading a book by Erin Healy and I enjoyed it. The fact that it had a plot somewhat revolving around spiritual warfare reminded me of some of Frank Peretti's popular books. The book also has the theme of forgiveness woven through it reminding us that that we empower the enemy when we choose not to forgive. This book kept my attention from cover to cover and I wouldn't mind reading more from this author.
I have to admit, I was first drawn to this book by the fantastic book cover. I just loved the design, the mysteriousness of it. I'm not sure why its taken me so long to get through this novel. It wasn't that the writing was bad-it was very good. The plot was gripping and twisted every which way, leaving me guessing as to what was going to happen next and holding my breath during some intense scenes. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Yet once I put it down, it would be days before I picked it up again. Ignoring my odd reading quirks, I loved the relationships between the characters. Every character had their own perceptions of those around them that was unique to them. For example, with Grant, Lexi thinks of him as her drug-addict husband who abandoned her, Lexi's mom thinks of him as someone who needs a second chance, and Molly thinks of him as her long lost Dad who must love her because he's her dad, after all. 'Never Let You Go' is an intriging story of how past events can come back to haunt you. It tells of redemption, consequences, love, and hate. I give it 4/5 stars. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
There is no pain as severe as that of losing a sibling at a young age. Nothing is the same ever again. Seven years ago, Lexi Solomon lost her sister in a violent act. She is left with another daughter, Molly, who gives her a reason to live, and she's now threatened by her husband who initially deserted her. He's a tyrant for sure and Lexi is afraid of him at first but then clings to something much bigger than fear, which she is going to need for sure in the future. Lexi's sister's murderer is up for parole, one it seems has a definite possibility of obtaining it. Add to that that Lexi is being threatened by a drug dealer for a debt payment she can't possibly make. The story snakes back and forth from the past to the present, and the survival mode that Lexi had begun to become accustomed to at first is slipping but then becomes stronger and stronger as the riveting plot's pace increases! She and her daughter will come close to losing life because there is a potent evil conspiring to destroy them. Another so-called criminal will be present in a way that is totally unpredictable and almost incredible. When all is said and done, the characters and readers will be questioning the power that makes one reverse one's judgments to call out and offer understanding where least anticipated and open to understanding how to deal with the true evil that arises from unexplainable causes. To advise forgiveness and release of bitterness is easy; to do it requires supernatural help! This is supposedly a Christian novel, but its predominant and obvious presence is so balanced and understated that it makes it multiple times more powerful and acceptable than preaching or platitudes usually found in this genre of fiction. Very nicely done, Erin Healy!!! Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on May 27, 2010
Never Let You Go is a book about a down on her luck single mom Lexi Solomon. She works two jobs just to keep a roof over her and her nine year old daughter's head. Like the saying goes, when it rains it pours which is what is happening to Lexi. Years ago her sister was murdered and shortly after that her dad suffers a mental breakdown and is placed in a mental facility. Her sister's killer is up for parole, and her addict husband who left years ago reemerges and wants to be a part of their lives. Lexi's support system throughout all of this is her roommate Gina and a new friend named Angelo who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. What follows is a roller coaster ride full of suspense and a collection of characters, both seedy and not. My rating it two stars out of five in no way means that this is not a good book. The book was a bit confusing in the beginning with the rapid introduction of quite a few characters. After figuring out who was who, the book took off rather quickly and held my attention for the first 260 pages. The last 60 or 70 pages packed in tons of action and brought closure to characters that hadn't been mentioned in awhile. Towards the end the book started to confuse me, but that is no fault of the author's. Seeing as that I haven't been to church in 10 years, and even when forced to go, didn't pay much attention, the Bible references were lost on me. I would have given the book 4 stars if the Christian themes were toned down just a bit, but that's just my opinion. I would recommend this book to those who love a good fast paced suspense novel, and to those who want a book with a good message in it. This could be your type of book if you like books with great characterization, including a very unlikeable mother (Lexi's mom) and bad guys that epitomize what skeeves are. This book was provided to me free of charge from BookSneeze.com in exchange for my review. My review contains my honest opinions.
In a matter of months, Lexi Solomon's world crashed around her. It was enough to crush most people, but her love for her daughter Molly has carried her through losing everything else. Life is hard, but they've managed to survive, and Lexi hopes their circumstances will soon start looking up. Out of the blue, Lexi's past comes back to haunt her - her sister's killer, her estranged husband, and the man who led her husband to drugs. Lexi once again feels like her world is crashing down. But along with the men from her past comes a mysterious stranger who always seems to show up when he's needed the most. Lexi is left fighting forces that are determined to destroy her to save the last remaining shreds of what matters most to her. Wow! That pretty much sums up my initial reaction to Erin Healy's first "on her own" novel. This book is amazing! It keeps you hanging on and wanting more. Never Let You Go echoes the feeling of Frank Peretti's novels on spiritual warfare. Her storytelling pulls you in to Lexi's life, and the story leaves you standing in awe of God's love and grace. I can't wait to read Erin Healy's next book - she has made me a dedicated fan.
Never Let You Go is Erin Healy's first solo fiction novel. The book revolves around Lexi Solomon, who's family was torn apart 7 years ago. She has somehow managed to hold on and salvage whatever she could out of life. But suddenly, everything seems to be coming back. Her husband (who abandoned her) has returned and her sister's murderer is out on parole. Lexi has to figure out how to deal with these issues in her life. I thought that the book was fairly decent. The story line is good. The book is quite dark, but there is hope and a reminder that God is always at work in our lives. If you want some suspense with some spirituality thrown in, this is the book to pick up.
Losing everything has made Lexi hold those she loves tightly. Hell is determined to loosen her grip. Lexi lives in the shadow of choices her husband made. Especially Grant's choice to leave seven years ago, without a word. Her relationship with their daughter, Molly, is now the most important thing in her life. Lexi will do anything-work grueling hours, attend church on her only day off, sacrifice financially-just to see Molly smile. When Grant shows up declaring his intent to re-enter their daughter's life, Lexi is skeptical of his motives. She soon determines not to let him near Molly. Then a drug dealer named Warden arrives on Lexi's doorstep, demanding payment of Grant's old debts. But that's just the earthly perspective. Staggering supernatural events are spilling into her world in real and shocking ways. Hell's fury is great, but Heaven's power is greater still. In a novel that defies easy categorization, this has all the early buzz of the breakthrough read of 2010. Erin Healy's solo book debut Never Let You Go is a page turner from start to finish. It's a non stop suspense thrill ride that keeps you hooked from the very first line of the book. I've read some of Erin's coauthoring work with Ted Dekker and to be honest her writing reminds me a lot of Ted's. While Healy is a bit more upfront with the elements of faith that arise within the store it's not a "cheesy Christian fiction" book. I know it may seem wrong of me to say that. but it's true. Until Dekker I hadn't read a Christian fiction author that could weave story and still point to faith in Christ and a God that is good and loves us and has a plan for all of us that wasn't cheesy. It's just my opinion you may not agree. I'm thankful that even with a Switchfoot concert reference and being more upfront with faith themes Erin does not sacrifice the story. This is a must read. One that you will not regret picking up.
Seven years ago, Grant left his wife Lexi and their daughter Molly without a word. Lexi's sister was murdered and her father mentally collapsed. Her sibling's killer Norm Von Ruden is on trial. Warden, who was Grant's illegal drug selling partner, warns Lexi to testify on behalf of Norm at the hearing or he will expose her secrets, demand payment of a debt she did not know existed and set in motion a plan to take Molly from her. Grant is also back insisting he just wants quality time with his daughter; Lexi distrusts him fearing he will cause them harm. When someone assaults Lexi, Angelo saves her. Heaven and hell has broken out with Lexi caught in the middle. She is trusting no one and depending on only herself to keep Molly safe. This is a terrific paranormal Christian suspense thriller that sub-genre fans will relish especially the wonderful relatively simple climax that seems so apropos. The story line is filled with action as increasingly Lexi wonders what did she do alienate either God or the devil as she feels she has become a modern day Job. Although transitions between scenes at times feels awkward, readers will enjoy rooting for Lexi as she will learn to err is human, to forgive is divine, but to forget and move on is heavenly. Harriet Klausner
It was hard for me to get into this type of book since I don't often read these types, it wasn't what I was expecting but the plot did keep you guessing and it was hard to put down in some chapters. Overall it was an okay book but I'm not sure if I'll read it again so I might pass it on.