Friday, 4 March 2016

Review: Blake Austin's "9 Letters."
Amazon UK:


Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife's tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.

Until the letters arrive on Luke's doorstep.

Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.

Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she's ready for something different--something true.
She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he's different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts--one letter at a time. 

Discover Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.


"9 Letters" had all the makings of a book that could have been quite spectacular. I loved the title and of course "Mr Man bun" on the cover. In fact I thought the title, the cover and the synopsis went perfectly together. I'd even go so far as to say, everything about Luke Crawley's story screamed "must read" to me so of course when the opportunity arose, I went straight in. So what went wrong and why 3 stars? 

"You're a disaster area. Luke Crawley. Hell you're practically a crime scene. I should 
wrap you up in police- line- do- not- cross tape and start scaring away the reporters. 

Very early on, I realised that I wasn't connecting with the main character, Luke. I don't know whether it was because of the writing or his way of thinking, but he just wasn't giving me what I needed. He was a man and was of course thinking like a man. As a female reader, I wanted more than that. I needed him to not just skim the surface but get right down to the nitty gritty of stuff. I wanted emotion. I wanted to experience his heart break right along with him but I didn't get that. Sure his story was a tragic one which of course I READ but did I  FEEL it? For the most part, no. 

Would I say this was a love story? not in the conventional sense, No. It was about man dealing with grief and guilt. It was about  man unable to move on from the death of his wife, merely existing but not actually living. Luke Crawley was stuck and without a clear way out, he was drowning in his loss. Those nine letters were like nine steps to healing, nine steps to being able to move forward. Did they move me? Were they touching? To a degree. I think the reason for me was that I just didn't get enough of Emily and Luke and the life they had shared or should I say, enough detail or enough depth. 

When everything’s dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it, 
just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world.” 

In terms of Rae, again she was a character that I just didn't connect with and for me, she came second to Emily. This story was more about Emily, Luke and grief than it was about Rae and Luke and a HEA. Part of me wishes "9 Letters" had been told from dual POV but I know that would have been difficult because Emily was, well dead and Rae only popped in here and there. 

So I guess all in all, this was one of those books that was an okay, quick read but not one that tore my heart out and left it in pieces at my feet. The premise was good, the execution... for me was average. However, I know others have loved Luke's story so your never know, it could be for you. Maybe I'm just a tough nut to crack when it comes to heart break and angst. 

I rated "9 Letters" ❤️❤️❤️

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