Author: Brooke Morgan
Paperback: 429 pages
Challenges: ARC Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge
… she worried whether Katy was normal and totally adjusted. Did she laugh enough? Was she too introspective? To serious?
She’d obviously had fun digging the clams, so she was clearly capable of joy; she just didn’t jump up and down and let herself go wild very often. Was that bad?…
How do you ever know as a mother? There are landmines everywhere, waiting to blow up in your face. Am I too strict? Not strict enough? Should I tell Henry, for example, that he really has to stop swearing in front of her or is that being overprotective and silly? Will Katy be sitting in a shrink’soffice some day, blaming me fo everything wrong in her life? Will she make the same mistakes I did?
–Tainted by Brook Morgan, pages 21-22
Tainted by Brooke Morgan is about a young single mother, Holly Barrett, who has always been the wallflower and shy friend of the more gregarious Anna. Holly got pregnant with Katy the first, and only, time she had sex and the father, Anna’s ex, ran as fast and far away as he could. Two years after Katy’s birth, Holly’s parents died within days of each other, leaving Holly with a sense that the world is full of pain and she has virtually no control in it. Henry, her 75-year-old grandfather, Anna, Katy and the Cape Cod house that had been her summer home growing up is her entire world.
Enter Jack Dane. Tall, handsome and English, Jack is “faintworthy” and Holly is quickly swept away by his charm and he provides her with a sense of safety; he fast becomes a part of every aspect of her life. He, too, has lost both of his parents. By all appearances, Jack is Mr. Perfect. But is he really this good? Or is he keeping dark and dangerous secrets? Is he really Prince Charming? or a monster in disguise?
Tainted by Brooke Morgan is a slow cooker and an unassuming book. I really like how Morgan has really captured the sensitivity and worries of the “dating” single mom, and that of worry-worry-worry that goes along with motherhood (sometimes I wonder if worry is the force that drives our engines as mothers!). I also love Henry, Holly’s grandfather, who reminds me of a few grizzled souls whom I love dearly. Not one to want to be called “Gramps” because it made him seem infantile and incapable, nor “Grandfather” because it made him seem ancient, he’s always went by just “Henry” but hasn’t lost the effect of his role as a grandparent by this choice.
Confession time: I haven’t finished this book yet, but I fell in love with it after the second or third chapter. I’d have to say that Holly is my literary twin, and I can completely relate to her. Jack is still Mr. Perfect where I’m at in the book but, to tell you the truth, he has a really Dexter-feel to him. The dog didn’t like him, and I’m waiting for him to go on some murderous rampage. Or bodies to turn up, at least. He’s too nice, and people who are always nice are creepy and are hiding something. It pulls me along and I hafta-HAFTA read the next page.. the next chapter… and before I know it, 50 pages have gone by.
Of course, since I haven’t finished it yet, I’ll reserve rating it for now, but I’m definitely loving it :-)
If you’d like to check out other reviews, here’s a list of fellow tour hosts:
Filed under: ARC Challenge, Book Reviews, New Author Challenge 2010 Tagged: | Brooke Morgan, Cape Cod, dating, deception, faintworthy, Henry Barrett, Holly Barrett, Jack Dane, single mother, suspense, Tainted, TLC book tour