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“You can never replicate the feelings of first love…”
I’d heard this book would put my heart and mind through the ringer, but I had no idea about how intense and crazy the ride was going to be. The Light in the Wound is an emotional journey through Isabel’s turbulent family life and first love. My emotions were all over the place throughout this novel – love, hate, happiness, sadness, and complete confusion. I went through it all and I LOVED every minute.
The prologue, although short, packed a punch. When I finished it, I screamed. Seriously. The prologue takes place 10 years prior and opens up with a couple waking up next to each other. The guy doesn’t want the woman to leave. She says she has to and that they had talked about this. She has to leave him because…well….read it. You will be shocked.
Isabel Francesa is the middle child of three girls and was born to a very wealthy family. Growing up in Cebu, a province of the Philippines, Isa and her sisters were raised in the spotlight – her mother was an heiress and her father was a famous race car driver. Although I couldn’t relate to Isa’s upbringing, it was very interesting to get insight to her life, a life that was so different than mine. Money was plentiful, Isa and her sister were raised by a nanny, and the girls’ every move was newsworthy. All of that was so foreign to me.
But Isa’s life was not perfect by any means. Her mother’s drug addiction caused pain and strife throughout her childhood and eventually caused her and her sisters to be separated. It was tragic to see what Isa’s childhood could have been. She could have been raised in this beautiful environment, she and her sisters could want for nothing, they could have gone to the best schools and lived happily ever after. But that wasn’t the case. Isa’s story was honest, raw, and emotional. As I read about Isa’s childhood through her lens, there was this sort of confusion. While she is telling the story as an adult, you get the impression that even she still doesn’t know all the facts.
So why did I talk so much about her childhood, you ask? Well, I blame her childhood for some of the decisions she made throughout her teenage and adult years. You have to see what she went through to fully understand her mindset and decision. At sixteen, Isa meets and falls in love with Jesse. She wants to give him everything and spent her life with him. Initially, I loved Jesse because I felt like he was her knight in shining armor after all the crap she went through as a kid.
“Is it obvious that I’m just trying to keep you on the phone a little longer? I love the sound of your voice.”
How wrong I was. Jesse was controlling and slowly began to strip away Isa’s identity. Her new identity was found in him. Over time, she throws away everything that she loved doing because he wanted her all to himself. And she wanted to give herself to him completely. It didn’t take long for my like for Jesse to turn to pure hatred. He disgusted me.
“With me he was loving and attentive, fragile and vulnerable. But as soon as we arrived home and were back on campus, Jesse was a completely different person. He never gave me any reason for mistrust, so whatever I felt had to take a backseat to the relationship[ that we had.”
Around the same time Isa met Jesse, she met Alex, a guy at the country club. He was charming, sweet, and comforting. Basically, he was everything Jesse isn’t (can you tell I really didn’t like Jesse?). He was the Isa’s constant throughout her life. He was the one person who was always there when things in Isa’s world fell apart. As you can imagine, this caused quite a bit of jealousy on Jesse’s part.
“Alex is a friend, Jesse. You made me stop seeing all of my friends. You made me give up my past life for you. He’s the only one left who can remind me of how different I was before I fell in love with you.”
I absolutely loved Alex. He was perfect in every way and that didn’t bother me one bit. After the train wreck that was Jesse, Isa needed a saint to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. Alex was her knight on a white horse, not Jesse. He let her have fun and be herself after years of Jesse’s emotional abuse.
“No hives here. You’re not breaking out just because it’s a Wal-Mart dress. ” He laughed.”What’s your point?” I asked, exhausted by all his energy.
“My point is that you look just beautiful, just as sexy and just as well put together as you do every single day, no matter what brand you wear. This dress doesn’t define your loveliness. You do.”
There were so many moments in this story where I was begging for Isa to make the right decision. I wanted her to use her brain and think clearly, but everything in her life was clouding up her choices and her decision making abilities. I get that. I still wanted to slap her. Her sisters weren’t a ton of help because they had their own issues to deal with.
“I didn’t stop loving him. I just ran out of ways to love him. Things with Alex are so much easier…”
My favorite type of books are ones with strong character-driven plots. The Light in the Wound was exactly what I needed. The characters drove me mad and made me FEEL! By the end of the novel, my hatred for Jesse lessened considerably. In fact, I don’t think I hate him. Not even a little bit. Not even at all. I’m so confused that I don’t know what to think at this point.
This book will leave your head spinning in the best way possible. Weeks later, I’m still processing my emotions. I’m still trying to figure out who I love more – Jesse or Alex. I’m just going to let my Jesse/Alex confusion marinate for a little while longer. When I figure this out, I’ll let you all know. Until then, I’m Team JesAlex. Thank heavens, there is a sequel! I want to know what happens next IMMEDIATELY! And perhaps, book two will help me decide who to love.
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“Thank you, baby,” he whispered, as he reached across the table to take my hand. We were dining at our favorite restaurant one night after a late meeting.
“For what?” I lovingly rubbed my thumb on his wrist.
“For being here with me.”
I was so engrossed in the conversation going on behind me that I didn’t respond.
“What?” He chuckled as he caught me smiling at him from across the booth.
“Nothing. These women right behind me are talking about you. The one facing you is gushing,” I whispered, amused.
This had become an acceptable fact of dating Alex. Even before you saw his face, there was no use hiding his body under anything he wore. His clothes just hung on him so perfectly, like a runway model. That night, he wore a white casual button down shirt over low-slung distressed jeans that had the perfect flair to match his canvas designer sneakers. His short hair showcased his perfect jaw, his full lips, his round blue eyes. His clean cut look was tempered by the stubble that lined his jaw and his chin.
“Come sit by me, please. You feel so far away.” His eyes were dancing like little blue lights on a Christmas tree. I stood up, walked around and slid into the booth with him. It was like he gave me his consent to claim my territory. He leaned against me, closing the gap between us as his mouth skimmed my earlobe.
“Much better,” he murmured. “You know, I don’t care about anyone else but you.”
10 Random Facts about Christine Brae
- NO one at work knows I wrote a Romance book.
- I’m terrified of birds or anything with feathers. I won’t walk around them. I turn the other way.
- I can’t sleep alone. At all. Ever.
- My handbags are wrapped in their dust bags and they all have their own names.
- My friends have many nicknames for me. Two of the most recent ones are “Little Assassin” and “Princess”
- I took Hip Hop lessons a year ago.
- Only one son of mine laughs at my jokes.
- Jesse’s letters in the Light in the Wound are real.
- I plan my outfits based upon the shoes I want to wear.
- I kill plants just by looking at them and I burn things on the stove at least once every week.
Christine Brae is giving away some wonderful prizes. Enter in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
About the Author
I love to read, write about reading, shop, write about shopping, three day weekends, high heels and purses. I’m a wife, a mother, a corporate executive, a loyal friend and a passionate believer in true love. This is all you need to know about me. If you get my stories, you get my heart.