Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway: EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID by M. O'Keefe

One of our top reads of the year, we are thrilled to celebrate the release of Molly O'Keefe's latest, Everything I Left Unsaid. Thank you for joining us for a review and giveaway.  

Everything I Left Unsaid
by M. O'Keefe


I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.

And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.

His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.


Normally when I’m reading a book for review, I’m very conscious about the elements of the story, the quality of the writing, the pace of the storyline.  That did not happen with this book. I was totally engrossed. At one point I was so engaged, that I forgot I was reading a book.  This narrative filled me.  

Annie’s world is small.  From the time she was a child, her experience is limited by strict boundaries set by her mother. Unfortunately, her ignorance becomes dangerous when she meets and marries a tyrant who abuses her physically and mentally.  To save her life, Annie escapes and is on the run when she arrives at Flowered Manor Trailer Park and Camp.  Moving into her new place, she answers a phone left behind by the previous tenant.  And so it begins. 

The writing in this book is sublime.  There are layers that build the tension, descriptions that make your heart ache, prose that makes the mundane beautiful, such as: “When the wind blew, my short hair lifted and the feeling rippled down my back, like a domino fall of nerve endings.”

Molly O’Keefe knows how to write characters that struggle with being alienated and alone. Like the description of Flowered Manor, Annie, at this point, is just hanging on: 
This run-down trailer park seemed to have the market cornered on last-ditch efforts.  Everything and everyone from and everyone from Kevin to the morning glories out front seemed to be holding on with white-knuckled intensity.
Annie is a woman so conditioned to please, and yet, Dylan’s keen insight sees right through her:
“I have a sense, Layla [Annie], that you give away your yeses without thinking.”Oh, he was right. So damn right.“And you want my no’s?”“I want something you don’t give away.”
Annie’s escape from her husband is her declaration of independence. Her encounters with Dylan are an expression of her control, a reflection her determination to make her own choices, an opportunity to expand her world.  

I was not only engaged, I was fully invested in these characters.  I adored how Annie unfurls from a small, hidden, broken girl to a strong, courageous, independent woman. This evolution is presented in layers.  Each layer gives more strength, more complexity to Annie’s character.  I loved watching her come to life. 

Everything I Left Unsaid is Annie’s story.  I suspect that we will learn more about Dylan in The Truth About Him. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the utterly brilliant writing of Molly O’Keefe by re-reading this book.  Yes, it’s that good. 

Molly O'Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn't looked back. She loves exploring every character's road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she's not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

Win one of THREE phone cases! 
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Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid for this review.  

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