Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review & Virtual Book Tour ~ The Devil’s Playground (The Faraway Series #1) by Eliza Freed

The Devil’s Playground
(Book 1 The Faraway series)
by  Eliza Freed
Publisher: Brunswick Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction

Former U.S. Attorney, Meredith Walsh, took some time off to raise her children. But the time took away everything she once trusted about herself. She’s lost within the mundane confines of her children's schedules of lacrosse, soccer, Cub Scouts, and math facts. Desperate for a sliver of her former passion, and isolated in the small town her corporate husband relocated her to, she counsels herself on risking her family for the rush of a fling.
But Vincent Pratt, the local chief of police, weakens Meredith’s abhorrence of affairs and her dedication to her family. With him, she finds a new version of herself, one capable of contributing in her new world, and thriving in her lonely home. In spite of the fact, she’s not the kind of woman who has an affair.

For More Information

The Devil’s Playground is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

I don’t even know where to start on this review, so I will just start it with WOW.  The funny thing is that after reading this book, the chilling cliffhanger ending is what had me hooked.  I know, you are probably asking yourself, “How the heck could an ending can get a reader hooked?”  Well, it did and I have already pre-ordered the next book.  But I’m not going to lie…..this book pissed me off to no end. 

This book poses a really good, thought provoking question – Is it okay to cheat on your spouse and continue the affair just for the sake of the children?   This book is sure to get a rise out of some readers, I’m sure.  The only thing that made this relationship the least bit okay was that Meredith’s husband is a pompous and controlling, whining ass.  But, he doesn’t hit her; he lavishes her with a life style many women would die for; and has given her the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom to her two adorable kids. So why would she want to have a relationship outside of her marriage?  Well, she says she’s bored and unsatisfied with her life, her huge house and her Cadillac Escalade. Bless her little heart.  Give me a freaking break and cry me a river.  I am not a fan of Meredith at all if you haven’t already guessed. All throughout the book, she REPEATEDLY keeps calling herself a whore and is so wishy washy about the whole affair.  Go big or go home Meredith, but make a freaking decision! I just could not feel sorry for her whatsoever.

And then there’s Colonel Vincent Pratt, model citizen and local police chief, who has a lovely wife and kids of his own.  What’s his excuse?  Maybe he’s just one of THOSE men who wants the next best thing. He’s certainly did not appear to be bored, especially with his job and kids.  The reader really doesn’t get to know his wife all that much, so who really knows what is going on in his home. But gosh dang it…..why did he have to cheat and most importantly of all why did I fall in love with this man?  If there was ever a redeeming quality in a book, it would be this character.  He’s so kind and fiercely protective and utterly sexy.  Sigh…..

I am still shaking my head at how morally wrong this book is yet surprised that I loved it as much as I did.  As you can probably tell, I am very conflicted about this book.  I feel as though there is an angel on one shoulder shaking its head saying "They're going to Hell" and the devil on the other shoulder yelling "Hell Yeah! Bring.It.On!"

So what makes two people cross that line from friends to lovers and cheaters?  Well, this book is not a research paper on the human mind or the human heart for that matter, but it is one heck of a story that will keep you turning each page wanting to know MORE.  You might just find yourself making excuses for the characters actions because they just click.  The chemistry between the two is off the charts and you can feel the love that they have for one another.  Now if they can just do the proper thing and get divorced, perhaps they can have their happily ever after they both really crave.  But after the ending the author left us with, I have a feeling someone is going to end up dead - or seriously hurt.

Despite all the many emotions and rants I had about this book, it really is a well-written and skillfully crafted story that had me glued to each and every word.  It was a quick read that is captivating and mesmerizing and just plain good storytelling. Eliza Freed is a new author for me, but I will definitely be adding her to my list of favorites.  Leave the judgments at the door and one-click The Devil’s Playground as soon as possible!

4 stars

I wanted to ask him so many questions, but I was afraid of his answers. They scared me almost as much as the thoughts in my head. I wanted to know why he was here. Why me? Why not some other woman from the stay-at-home mom pool? Why he was cheating in the first place? My reasons seemed so insignificant and illegitimate. I needed this to mean something, but that would make it into something it wasn’t—which was an affair.
“Vince?” His fingers stopped moving, and his chin pointed down to my head. “Do you think we’re bad people?” I was an ass for asking. Why couldn’t I just lie there and enjoy the feel of his chest beneath my face?
“I don’t know,” he said, and it was worse than him denying it. He was always so sure that we were fine. That this was fine, but that was all to put me at ease, and if we were being honest, neither of us knew who we were anymore.
He reached down and caressed my lower back, letting his fingertips drag up again, and then he pulled me up to face him. He was magnificent. A souvenir I hadn’t paid for, the vacation I didn’t earn. He was stolen goods, and I never wanted to return them, but I also knew I wouldn’t do the time to keep him. The cost was too high.
“Let’s just enjoy right now. Okay?” he said, and I kissed him. His tongue told me not to think too much, to not be honest with myself or anyone else.

Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job. 

She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story...the more screwed up the better.Her latest book is the romance/women’s fiction, The Devil’s Playground.

For More Information
Visit Eliza Freed’s website.
Connect with Eliza on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out more about Eliza at Goodreads.

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