Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let it be Me Review + Giveaway

Do you see that woman there?
The one with long, wavy blond hair and blue eyes that used to sparkle?
That’s me, Violet Moore. 
Do you see those men over there?
One is my husband, Rob. 
A man who claimed he loved me, but proved his fist loved me more. 
The other is Tucker McCloud, my savior and confidant. 
I'm torn between what's right and my own fear.
But not anymore.
I’m taking my life back now.
I will fight back.
I will be happy.


Let it be Me receives FOUR and a HALF HEART WRENCHING LEAVES! Romance novels with major themes of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse are generally popular, because these situations are very relatable. Either you have been abused or you know someone who has been, whether they are a relative or a close friend. As a reader, I am attracted to stories with abusive relationship themes, because I grew up in an abusive home. For some, it is hard to read about these type of situations, but for me it is a reminder of how important it is that this message continues to have a voice.

I was very impressed with the angle at which Toni Aleo wrote this story. Violet's present tense voice created a foundation for the reader to step into the main character's shoes and see the scenes from her eyes, hear Rob's terrible insults, and feel each blow from his fist. Usually authors only scratch the surface, because these situations can be hard to capture with the writer word unless a personal experience is present. I'm not sure what motivated Aleo to write Let it be Me, but I am glad she did. Each scene held true to real domestic violence, the victim's thought process and actions, and the various support systems.

Let's talk characters...

Violet Moore has been married to Rob for three years, but any trace of love and admiration went out the window the moment their vows were completed. Not only did Violet spend her honeymoon black and blue, but she continued to take the constant belittling and physical abuse from her husband. Over time, she walked on egg shells in order to keep from upsetting him and triggering another attack. Because of the abuse he had inflicted on Violet, she not only lost her confidence, internal fight and drive, friendships, but also a child.

I really loved Violet's character. Even though she made decisions along the way that I didn't agree with, I could see myself making those exact wrong decisions. For example, she hid her secret from everyone including her mother for years, and even when people did catch on to what was happening, she would continue to lie about her situation. Aside from the more serious and secret side of Violet, she managed to keep going each day and could still have her humorous moments.

"Hey, are you busy?"
"If fantasizing about stripping you down and licking every inch of you is busy, then yes, yes I am. I'm so screwed. How the hell am I going to work here when I've only known of Tucker's existence for maybe thirty minutes, and I've already had sex with him in my head? And it isn't normal sex, it's hang off the chandeliers, smack my ass, sex."
Who is this infamous Tucker? Why that is Dr. Tucker McCloud, this story's hero. After Tucker's father resigns from his private practice, Tucker steps in to take over. Dr. McCloud introduces Tucker at staff meeting one morning, and the moment he locks eyes with Violet (who recently took the office manager position) he falls head over heels. I absolutely fell for Tucker in that moment too. I like his confidence and how he never questions his feelings for Violet. He knew instantly she was his other half, and spent the entire story doing everything in his power to make her happy and keep her safe from Rob.
"...sweetheart, there is this huge universe, nine planets and two hundred and four countries and out of all that, I met you, I fell for you and have had the pleasure to feel your lips against mine. You are the piece of me that was missing. My heart and soul. Nothing will ever change that. My love will never fade because you have me. All of me."
Throughout the story, Violet talks about Tucker's gorgeous smile, and I can't stop thinking how Tucker's good looks would definitely appear on a couple episodes of Grey's Anatomy. With the majority of the story's setting taking place in the practice, it creates some fun and flirty scenes between Tucker and Violet. Although I understand this story was more about Violet, her abusive husband, and her internal struggle to find the strength to fight back, I really just wanted some more steamy scenes with Tucker! 
"No, I know you're not a cheater, but the reason why you did it is because we belong together. When I said you don't understand, what I meant is that you don't understand how much my heart belongs to you. I've been completely yours since the moment our eyes met. I've never felt this intensely about someone and I don't think I ever will again. Last night was everything I dreamed of. If you walk out that door, it will crush me." Taking my face in his hands, I gasp before he whispers, "I promise I'll never let you down. I'll never hurt you, I'll only love you. You deserve better than what he gives you. I can do better. I can give you the world because you are my world. I'm laying it all out, Violet. I love you and I need you to take a chance on me. Leave him. Be with me."

The only unrealistic thing about this story for me was her mother's actions or lack there of to helping her daughter. She had knowledge Violet's abuse, but she would just keep asking her to leave Rob. If it was my mom, she would have been on my doorstep with a shotgun when she first got wind of the abuse.

 I really enjoyed this story, and I had a hard time putting it down, because I was so scared what Rob was going to do to Violet next. Plus, I really just wanted to read more of Tucker's romantic monologues. I strongly suggest this novel, but please be aware that the abuse scenes are graphic. This was my first Toni Aleo novel, but it will definitely not be my last.

Toni Aleo is the author of the Nashville Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, and Blue Lines. When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel. She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog.



  1. Great review, Ashton!! I want to read this book now due to this review!!