Review: ☆Unforgiven☆ by @ElizabethFinn77

A mistake made long ago . . .

Pain buried so deep . . .

When Bailey Trent returns home to her small Ozark mountain town after being away for nearly six years, she is prepared to face the ghosts of her past. It does not mean she’s prepared to come face to face with the cruelest of those memories.

Darren Cory’s life is a shell of what it once was, and when he’s forced to look at the cause of his agony over and over, hatred rises to further blacken his days. But hating Bailey also destroys him, forcing him to become someone he doesn’t recognize or want to be.

Can Darren find a way to move past the pain and forgive the woman he once cared so much for before his anger consumes them both? Or will he drag them both into the hell of an unforgiven past?

5 Forgiveness Starts

You don’t fall in love with the person responsible for your greatest loss. And God help you if you do.

Emotional. Gripping. Captivating. Heartbreaking. Unforgettable.
This book gutted me. It absolutely devastated me. Broke me into a million pieces only to put them back together in the end. If you’re looking for an emotionally gripping, erotic, and absolutely unforgettable read…THIS. BOOK. READ IT

This is, hands down, bar none, my absolute favorite book by Elizabeth Finn. And considering I’ve pretty much loved all her books, that’s really saying something.

Hatred was a one-way street with them, and it flowed directly from him to her.

It’s not often where I read a book that in just a few short paragraphs manages to enrapture me, twist itself around my heart, and leave me turning the pages all night completely incapable of putting it down. That’s what Darren and Bailey’s story did to me.

Was it an easy, light read? FUCK NO. Prepare for a book that will reach inside and rip your heart out through your throat. Good lord. It will make you rage, it will make you cry, it will make you scream, and it will do all that through a story of forgiveness and second chances unlike you’ve ever read before.

This was her hell. Being trapped in a room with a reminder of who she used to be, a reminder of everything she lost, a reminder of everything she destroyed.

Once decision. One choice. That’s all it takes to change everything. And that’s what happened to Bailey six years ago. A decision with a devastating result that she continues paying for to this day. Now six years later, she’s back in the town that houses her darkest demons and memories to help her mother after the death of her father, and comes face to face with the flesh and blood reminder her of her greatest mistake.

It was as if his need to hurt her was an addiction he couldn’t deny. But his need to see her and be near her in some way was becoming just as compelling as his anger.

Darren. Wow. Talk about your love/hate emotions towards a character.

I wanted to hate him so much for everything that he puts Bailey through…and yet…I was utterly incapable of it. My heart broke for him, I couldn’t help but feel his inner struggle to hate the woman that he once loved. The story is told in four parts with dual POVs. It’s poignantly written with flashbacks from past to present in the first part that allows the reader to really understand the choices and decisions that led to that one fateful night when everything broke.

I never wanted to hate you. Not ever. You did this.

I appreciated that the author did not stretch out the truth of what happened 6 years ago throughout the entire book. Everything gets revealed in the first part, leaving the rest of the book for the reader to really get invested in Darren and Bailey’s struggle for forgiveness and love.

I won’t lie, there will be parts where you’ll want to reach through your kindle and choke the ever loving sanity out of Darren for some of the things that he does and says to Bailey. He really struggles with his feelings for her, this delicate dance he has between love and hate; something he struggles with for the majority of the book.

I want…I want so much to hate you. Do you know what that’s like? Do you have any idea what it’s like to see you, smell you, be near you again, feel your skin? Can you imagine what it is to hate someone so much, and yet…You destroyed everything.”

But he will also give you glimpses inside the broken soul of a man that is still recovering from a devastating loss and WANTS to forgive…he’s just unable to.

He closed his eyes again, settling in beside her warm body, and he imagined it. Loving her.

I also absolutely loved Bailey’s quiet and understated strength. While she had every reason to be an emotional damsel in distress, she never was. She was such an amazing and endearing heroines. Her struggle with the past and present and loving the one man that she can never have was heartbreaking. My favorite heroine of Elizabeth Finn’s. Period.

The wringer of emotion that this book put me through was exhausting. I don’t think I’d be capable of ever reading it again…and yet…it’s also a story that will forever stay with me.

Darren and Bailey’s road to forgiveness was not a smooth or an easy one. Nor was it a quick one.

Forgiveness isn’t an emotion. It’s an action, and it’s a choice. It’s the choice to no let the past affect how you feel.

God but I loved it. It may have left me an ugly crying mess at times, but it was worth it. If you’re worried about a HEA, don’t be. You’ll get one here. An amazingly emotional one.

You don’t love me.’
“I. Love. You.’
“No! You used to love me.’
“I love you still. I love you again. I just love you. I’ve always loved you.”

(hide spoiler)]
But I can also understand how a second book is needed here, so I am so excited that we’ll be getting one next month. I can’t recommend this story enough, but just prepare yourself. This book will grab your heart, run it over with a Mack truck, back up and run it over again. But it will heal it in the end. Just make sure you have tissues and booze on standby for the ride.

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