Giving It Up by Amber Lin
Allie prowls the club
for a man who will use her hard and then ditch her. Hey, it’s not rape
if she wants it. Instead she finds Colin, who looks tough but treats her
tenderly, despite her protests.
He tempts her, but kindness and a
few mindblowing orgasms aren’t enough to put her back together again.
Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend
betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man
again. Besides, she has her daughter to think of, the only good thing
to have come from that dark night.
But when her rapist returns,
threatening her sanity and custody of her daughter, Allie turns to
Colin. Under his protection and patient touch, Allie begins to heal and
learns to hope. Colin’s no saint, though, and his criminal past draws
danger of its own. Allie must fight to protect her child and the man she
loves, hoping her newfound power will be enough to save them all.
First of all I would like to start off by saying Thank You to Amber for sending an ARC of her book. She warned me that this book is a little darker than what I typically review... but quite frankly the description completely caught my eye and I knew that I wanted to give it a shot. I guess I can also go ahead and admit, that even though most of the books I review on this blog are more on the sweet side of the Romance or Romantic Suspense, I do read dark, emotional books as well... they just tend to be a little harder to review because the characters are quite frankly... extremely complicated... and it's sometimes hard to express my opinion without giving away too much. Even though the characters from Giving It Up are extremely complicated with a lot of heavy issues... they were fascinating, kept me completely engrossed, and had me dying to know what was going to happen next.
There is absolutely no denying that I felt for Allie... I felt for her from the bottom of my heart. The poor woman had gone through more in her life at 22 then most grown adults have ever experienced. The things she experience just completely broke my heart and as much as I want to list what she went through and lay my thoughts out there.. I just can't. This is one of those books that I'm glad I didn't have any spoilers, because I was able to experience Allie's feelings first hand. I was able to sit back and cheer her on when I agreed with the decisions she was making... and most importantly I was able to read every word with a sense of hope that Allie would get the beauty in life she deserved more than anything!
Like I said, her strength is what I most admired about her. Of course, because she is 22, she didn't always make great decisions... but she made those decisions with her intentions always being in the right place. She struggled not only in life itself, but she struggled emotionally... on a level I wish no woman would ever have to struggle. But she did all this and sacrificed so much because her number one priority was her beautiful little girl Bailey. Bailey was the only good, or as she worded it "clean good" in her life.... or at least that's how she chose to look at it. But she had more good than she realized.
Allie had an amazing friend in Shelly... granted I didn't agree with all the choices these two girls made, there is nothing I can say or do but to admit to the fact that Shelly's loyalty to Allie is astounding. I have a lot of great friends who would do anything in their power to help me out in any situation but the lengths that Shelly will go to for her... were extreme... they were sad and I wanted to cry that she felt that she had to do those things. BUT, I couldn't help but absolutely love her for wanting to do it all... for Allie and Bailey.
Then there is Colin. Colin is still a bit of a mystery to me... Amber did an amazing job at not giving much away but giving me enough that I was desperate for more of him. What he does for Allie and Bailey is just beautiful. Like the girls, I didn't agree with his choices and if I were Allie I may have thought he was a tad on the crazy side... but I couldn't help but want more of him... figure him out... watch more of his interactions with both Allie and Bailey.... and most of all learn what it was about Allie that made him make those choices, especially knowing the consequences.
Watching Allie learn to live her life differently was hopeful... hopeful, because every time she came to a new conclusion about herself, about her past... and realized she had been wrong up until now was amazing. She was able to overcome so many feelings and emotions she should have never had to feel to begin with... especially if the people she had turned to, in the beginning, would have actually done their job. I was proud of Allie, throughout the book. I was proud of the mother she was to Bailey, I was proud of the woman she had become even though she could have checked out, I was proud of her for trying to reach for the love she thought she never deserved before, and most of all I was proud of the way she took charge of her feelings in a way that changed her life in the best possible way.
Giving It Up by Amber Lin was a fantastic read... while on the darker side... it was an amazing story of a young woman who is able to overcome her extremely troubled past with the help of a good friend and an amazing man who wanted nothing more than to show her the love she deserved. Amber sucked me in with her writing style and I look forward to reading more of her work... Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and see a little more of Allie, Colin, and Shelly!