Monday, February 2, 2015

Bridge to Destiny by April Marie Libs

Release Date: November 10, 2014
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Author Website: 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Avery Lawson's life was perfect in her eyes. She married her sweetheart, Mitchel, and had a smart, precious little girl, Hannah. In one fateful night her life was changed, leaving her lost and broken in so many ways. As she fought her way back from the edge, she took solace in her daughter. But life wasn't through with her and once again, Avery found herself nearly losing the last ray of sunshine in her life.

Pediatric neurologist, Dr. Nathan Banst, wasn't going to let anything happen to Hannah on his watch. As he and Avery's small support circle helped to put the broken pieces back together, Avery and Nathan grew closer than either of them anticipated. Was she really ready to love again so soon after losing Mitchel? Would she be betraying all their memories and their love by going with her heart?

Though I read a large variety of books by authors of all types, one of my favorite aspects of having this blog has always been giving a previously unknown or little-known author a platform to get their works out there. When the author of this particular book contacted me, I was happy to read the novel in exchange for an honest and fair review. Now, I did have some reservations about the book due to the women's fiction/romance aspects - only because I'm still fairly new to reading books within those genres. However, those disappeared within the first few chapters as the author made certain that this book was much more than the simple love story we've all come to expect.

Quite simply, the book described Avery's journey through some of the most horrifying events that could take place in a person's life. Her world was a typical one, full of friends and family, good times and magical moments that she thought would last forever. Within moments that life became a dream as her husband was taken from her, leaving her to struggle to find meaning in what was left. In her grief she discovered a small circle of people who became the lifelines she needed to regain control of her world. Her daughter, Hannah, and neighbors, Rebecca, Tom and Max, helped to make her life meaningful once again. Of course, life has a funny way of making you think everything's okay before it pulls the carpet from under your feet. And that's the point where Avery met Dr. Nathan Banst, pediatric neurologist at the local hospital.

Much of the first few chapters dealt with revealing Avery's world and the tragedy she overcame. I found the pace of the novel slow to start, but ramped up as the book continued. There were equal moments of sadness and comedy that kept me turning the pages. Now and then I felt that a few of the scenes were predictable in such a novel, but overall I think the author did a good job in keeping a fair balance of the ups and downs that are typical of life nowadays. For me, the meat of the story took place shortly after Avery found her spirit again right before another devastating accident threatened to break her heart once and for all. At that moment, the book took hold and I wanted to see the characters succeed instead of fail. It was easy to get caught up in the story and root for them.

In the end I have to say that I enjoyed the book a lot more than I initially thought. There were plenty of times when the sadness of the book weighed heavily, but then Hannah came in and brought her charismatic rays of sunshine with her. While a little of the book was predictable, the reactions of the characters differed from my expectation. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. While this was the author's debut novel, it didn't read that way to me. If you're looking for a novel with nearly true-to-life characters experiencing all the ups and downs that life can throw their way, this is the novel you should be reading!

Bridge to Destiny by April Marie Libs is currently available at several online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It can be purchased in digital format. The following link will bring up the book's page at Amazon.
Bridge to Destiny by April Marie Libs

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