Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: An Unplanned Life by Beth Rinyu


In the sequel/prequel to An Unplanned Lesson,Nicole and Dailan are living out their happily ever after, raising Ryan and their daughter. Nicole has the perfect life and is no longer running away from her emotions. But when her past collides with her present,that perfect life slowly begins to crumble.

When Dailan gets in over his head taking on a huge case, that quickly becomes personal to him, Nicole and their marriage soon get put on the back burner. To make matters worse his new assistant is Rachel Wiser,the girl who made Nicole's life a living hell in high school.

Take the emotional journey into Nicole's past when she's faced with old ghosts, while she tries to cope with the effects that it's having on her present. Nicole must prove that she is no longer a scared teenager and fight with all that she has to protect the one person that she endured so much heartache for while trying to save her marriage to the one and only man who allowed her to open her heart.

 4.5 star review by Jen Skewes

I completely fell in love with Nicole and Dailan in An Unplanned Lesson.  They were two people who were so in love, and meant to be together.  I was so excited to find out that I would be getting more of them but at the same time was a little nervous about this one as well. I admit I was a little afraid of what might happen to them in this sequel.  But the truth is that I  know how much these two are meant to be together and that no matter what came their way they would be able to fight it.  This was certainly an emotional journey but one that I absolutely loved.  Beth Rinyu did not disappoint with this one. 

Nicole and Dailan are living out their happily ever after.  They are married and in love, raising Ryan together and have a daughter as well.  Life for the two of them is so good right now.  But slowly things start to take a turn in the wrong direction.  Nicole's past literally comes back to haunt her in the form of the two people who made her life completely miserable when she was in high school.  One of them being Rachel Wiser, the girl who tortured her in high school, made fun of her, let the whole school know she was pregnant.  And now that Rachel is back and working for Dailan, all of her insecurities start to come out again.  In my opinion Nicole has always been a strong woman.  She went through one of the hardest moments in her life by herself, not even her own family was their to support her.  She now has this amazing husband who loves her and two beautiful children.  But there is something about Rachel being in town and working for her husband that causes her to feel like that insecure high school girl again.  She loves Dailan and trust him, it's Rachel that she doesn't trust.

Dailan is a hot shot lawyer who goes after what he wants and fights for the cases he believes in.  He is currently working on a big case that has been keeping him busy at work.  While everyone at the firm is telling him he should just settle, but when this case becomes personal to him he knows he must fight to win it.  Because winning this case means protecting his family.  Dailan loves Nicole more than anything and would do anything to protect her and his family. But deciding not to settle and take this case to court,  means working late nights and weekends, basically losing time spent with his family.  Dailan fails to tell Nicole what is really going on, not because what he is doing is wrong but because he feels that he needs to protect her.  While he thinks what he is doing for his family is the right thing, he becomes blind to the fact that his marriage was starting to crumble right in front of him and it was partly his fault.

I love Dailan and how much he loves Nicole and how he will fight for their family.  But there were times when I became so frustrated with him.  I got it, I understood his motives but his biggest issue was lack of communication.  There were times when he just needed to talk to Nicole.  He kept things from her but was doing it to protect her, not realizing that it only made things worse.   But the cracks that started to form in their marriage were not all Dailan's fault.  Nicole let the past come in between what she had with Dailan. Her worst enemy from her past is now working for her husband and she is not happy about it and honestly very concerned over the late hours and weekends that he is working.....with Rachel.  Rachel being back in her life brings out the worst fears in Nicole. She made accusations and comments towards Dailan that were hash and at times uncalled for, which in turn caused them to fight.  She let the past and her insecurities get the best of her.  She was no longer that strong confident woman, but that scared insecure girl in high school all over again.  Is their love for each other enough to survive the obstacles that life has thrown their way?  

An Unplanned Life is written in alternating point of views between Dailan and Nicole.  But Beth Rinyu also takes us back in time to when Nicole was in high school.  I have to say that Ms. Rinyu did a fantastic job with the back and forth from present to past.  It flowed very nicely.  You get to experience what it was like for Nicole to be a teenager and find out she was pregnant.  Watched as she basically lost everything.  But you also get to see how strong she was and how she managed to overcome it all and how she never gave up. 

What I loved about this book was how real and true to life it was.  This is one of those books where the reader can relate to the characters and the storyline on so many levels.   Not every marriage is perfect.  Every marriage has its share of ups and downs.  And I think we call all certainly agree that lack of communication, and insecurity issues can cause some issues in a marriage.  And this certainly was true for Dailan and Nicole.  Dailan and Nicole love each other with everything that they have.  Their story shows the lengths that people will go to protect their loved ones. How hard they will fight to save their marriage.  Sometimes there are things in life that you may not want to do but know are necessary in order to save the one thing that is most important to you.  Nicole needed to learn to let go of the past.  To not let the people that once hurt her ruin what is most important to her.  She needs to leave the past behind in order to save her future.  

Dailan and Nicole's journey was a emotional one.  There was a moment or two where I got those knots in my stomach and my heart completely broke for them.  I could not put this book down.  I needed to know that these two would be OK, that they would work past their issues.  Dailan is an amazing man, a wonderful husband and father.  And while there were moments where I wanted to slap both him and Nicole and became so frustrated with them, I still loved them both in the end.  Nicole is a woman that I think so many people can relate to in many ways, myself included.  Beth Rinyu did an amazing job with this story.  She knows how to bring out all of the emotions in the reader.  She knows how to create a story that is real life.  Their issues in their marriage didn't just affect the two of them but those round them as well.  This wasn't just about Nicole and Dailan it was also about their family.  This book will make you laugh, cry, frustrated, annoyed and break your heart.  But there are also those swoon worthy moments that will melt your heart and leave you smiling in the end.  Amazing job by Beth Rinyu.  Thank you for giving us more of Dailan and Nicole! 

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