on December 29th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The fateful day Mimi Marcus has dreaded begins with a phone call...
The wife of a U.S. Marine, Mimi spent countless nights worried that her husband Joel would fall in the line of duty. He had fought valiantly and served his country with honor. ThatÔÇÖs exactly what they tell her when they deliver the newsÔÇöJoel was taken by the enemy in Afghanistan. Her husband is dead.
In desperate need of closure, Mimi travels to the one place Joel still has tiesÔÇöThe Marcus Ranch in Texas, inherited by his handsome younger brother Austin.
New beginnings are only an illusion...
The closer Mimi grows to the Marcus family, the more she considers it home. But when suspicions of JoelÔÇÖs past surface, Austin refuses to disclose family secretsÔÇöeven to his brotherÔÇÖs widow. ItÔÇÖs only by accident she uncovers evidence of JoelÔÇÖs tainted past. Devastated by his lies and betrayal, she slowly opens up to Austin, and together they unfold layers of pain and grief.
Mimi is sure sheÔÇÖll never love again, but is Austin the man to prove her wrong? Then the unthinkable happensÔÇª
Just as Mimi finds new hope in a future with Austin, Joel returns home from war. Enraged, traumatized, and teetering on the edge of insanity, Joel confesses to a history of deception, revealing yet another secretÔÇöthis one too terrible to forgive.
In an awful twist of fate, Joel proves marriage vows are made to be honored.
No matter what.
ÔÇóÔÿå.ÔÇó*┬┤┬¿`*ÔÇóÔÇó 4.5 Stars ÔÇóÔÿå.ÔÇó*┬┤┬¿`*ÔÇóÔÇó
There was just something about this book that drew me in. I was perusing the Tasty Book Tours site and kept coming back to it and so I signed up. The premise intrigued me and had me a bit frightened. I was certain that there could be nothing but heartache in this read. That is mostly true, but not entirely (but mostly it is true). There is A LOT Of drama in this story – characters aren’t who they seem. I believe we are meant to love Mimi, but she makes some questionable choice that lead to ending you won’t forget.
At the center of the story are Mimi and Joel Marcus, Austin and Jake Marcus, and Mimi’s friend Meg. Each and every character has a story here. ┬áBut really, this is Mimi’s life we are following and we are promptly plunged into the life of a young wife┬ácontemplating life as newlywed living without her husband due to the war in Iraq. ┬áSlough does an amazing job capturing that feeling of the desperation of a military wife with a husband deployed.
Initially the story goes back and forth in time, introducing us to Mimi and she reflects on being with and without Joel. ┬áWe learn a bit about Joel and Mimi through their honeymoon and all I could feel was their love and adoration. ┬áWhen Mimi’s world implodes, and Joel is declared dead in combat, her grief seems never ending. ┬áMimi seeks closure and decides that showing up on the family ranch in Texas, meeting the brother that Joel hasn’t spoken with in years, is the way to achieve this…huh???
Mimi’s whole entire world then changes when she meets Joel’s brother Austin. All of the sudden I’m not sure I like where this is going.┬áI’m not entirely convinced this would make sense to most people (showing up on the doorstep at a ranch in the middle of Texas to see a brother your dead husband hasn’t spoken to in years…), but I get its a plot device a great way to move the story in a new direction.┬áFrom the synopsis we know Joel has a secret and Austin is the keeper of this secret….and I’m now suspicious (of Austin) and a little disappointed (in Mimi). I’m wondering if this is because if we know too much from the blurb? Remember, the dead husband isn’t really dead and he loves his wife.┬áSo I think I read the story, observing Mimi and Austin interacting, knowing what’s to come. The “uh-oh” is sitting in the back of my mind. I think having that information influenced my reading experience and I wonder if that’s on purpose…
At this point I have to stop and say that Slough wrote a fabulous story that made me feel, feel,┬áfeel – so very, very much.┬á┬á The twists and turns in the plot, taking Mimi and her friend Meg to the family ranch conjured up all kinds of feelings and misgivings. I can’t write much more about the story without sounding like I’m judging Mimi. ┬áAfter all, I’m supposed to like Austin, right? Mimi does. I’m supposed to trust Meg right? Mimi does. I’m NOT supposed to root for the returning husband, and Mimi doesn’t??┬áArghhhh!! But┬áthe thing is that by the end of the story I realize that I don’t think Mimi is a very good judge in character.
Till Death Us Do Part is cleverly plotted and will drag you’re heart through the ringer, whether you have the same reaction to the train wreck that becomes Mimi’s life or not. ┬áI have paragraphs drafted questioning Mimi’s actions and feelings about Austin and Joel but I’m putting all that aside. ┬áBut really, what did she think would happen??? ┬áI may be totally off in what I feel. My takeaway may not be the same as others and I honestly don’t expect it to be. But any story that invokes this type of emotion from me, days after I finished it, is a read I’ll recommend and hope you have your own unique take on it.
~Review by Cyndi
Mimi had been dreaming of a storm. Heavy rain, violent claps of thunder, and lightning flashing simultaneously.
She saw Joel, reaching out for her, his body bloody and wet. She awoke in the darkened room. It was 2:17 a.m.ÔÇöthe exact time she had woken up for three nights in a row. She slipped out of bed, her pyjama bottoms loose around her ever-shrinking waist. The air was freezing. She dashed across the room to wrap herself in the fleecy dressing gown her mother had just bought her for Christmas.
6:47 a.m. in Afghanistan.
Her stomach growled, begging for food. She couldnÔÇÖt eat. She clicked onto her Twitter feed to check for more updates since the suicide bombing in Kabul, which had claimed at least sixÔÇötwo were American Marines.
Mimi had contacted the Embassy several times, but nobody could tell her anything. The pain of not knowing was taking away her ability to breathe normally. The silence was too loud. She had tried to remember their last conversation. Did she tell him that she loved him? Words so quick to fall off the tongue to end a phone call. Love youÔÇöbye. Often she had felt like she was holding a grenadeÔÇöbeing the wife of a Marine, always waiting for a letter, hearing his voice, waiting for news that he was alive or dead.
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Novelist, movie addict, and animal lover,┬áCristina Slough┬áis the author of Till Death Us Do Part, her debut novel.
Cristina has always been a bookworm, rarely seen without a pen and paper in her hand, she loves delving into a literacy fictional world of her own.
At the age of 11, her junior school teacher told her mother that she would be wasting her life if she didnÔÇÖt become an author. Throughout her teenage years and beyond, her parents spurred her on to keep writing. She later began a career in commercial real estate, working in LondonÔÇÖs West End, a corporate bubble where she was unable to fuel her passion to write.
It was on her Californian honeymoon in 2012 that the bug to write was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. After visiting Yosemite National Park she was inspired by the natural beauty of the land that surrounded her. Holding a special place in her heart, Yosemite would later be written into her debut novel.
She finally gave up the ÔÇÿbig smokeÔÇÖ when her son, Lucas, was born in October 2013.
When Lucas was a newborn, Cristina was told to sleep when the baby sleeps. She never could. There was a calling inside her to write. After getting to grips with her new role as a mother, she began working a psychological thriller, but she couldnÔÇÖt fully connect to the characters she created. She ditched the manuscript and started Till Death Us Do Part (Limitless Publishing, 2015).
Cristina is married to Adam, who runs a successful business; together they share their Bedfordshire home with their son, crazy white German Shepherd and three spoiled cats. They can be found trekking through woodlands, or around the many shops Cristina loves to explore. As a family, they love to travel frequently, the United States being a firm favorite.