"My love, you were so worth the wait."
Affairytale is a unique read exposing the the ugliness of a broken relationship and the transformation of one woman who found her true love before it was too late. In reality, I am not a fan of books with cheating. Being a married woman myself, I don't want to question my own marriage. I don't want to expose the cracks that surface when times are difficult. I don't want to experience the anxiety of what if or why not? And yet, as I fearfully made my way through this read, I found admiration for a woman who never stopped fighting for herself. I found courage in the knowledge that I am exactly where I am meant to be. And as I finished this read and snuggled closer to my husband, I found peace in his arms.
"Emotionally exhausted and on the brink of a meltdown, I was a felony disaster."-C.J.
C.J. married her husband Levi when she was very young. Together they had a beautiful daughter but not a beautiful marriage. Although C.J. felt like she was doing the right thing by committing to the father of her daughter, the reality is they were toxic to each other.
"The resentment ate at me from the inside, callousing my heart and turning me into someone I was not."-C.J.
They each brought out the worst in one another. C.J. always felt a magnetic connection to her brother's best friend Grant. Despite her best efforts to stay away, eventually C.J. and Grant recognized their need to be together.
"A spark ignited inside of me that night which could never be extinguished."-C.J.
As the ugliness between C.J. and her husband continues to build, the solace she finds in Grant intensifies. C.J. has to make the choice. Does she stay with her husband or follow her heart? What will people think of her? What about her little girl? What about Grant?
"We were perfect for each other in that way, too cowardly to leave, too selfish to change, yet too wounded to be happy."-C.J.
As C.J. matures, she discovers what she has known in her heart all along. She has an internal battle with herself over making a decision that will change the course of many lives. She experiences guilt, shame, joy, passion, pain, peace, and everything in between.
"Levi was the man I couldn't live with, and Grant was the man I couldn't live without."-C.J.
Affairytale catalogs years of C.J.'s life. We experience the highs and lows of every hill and valley she lives through. The emotional turmoil leaves her shattered. The pain cuts deep to your gut as you long for her and Grant to find a way to be together. Told in first person POV, the description of each emotion is colored brilliantly throughout the text. The clever usage of real text messages and journal entries in the text only intensifies the experience of this read. These are not characters in a fictional book. These are real people. This is my neighbor. This is the woman in line next to me at the grocery store. This is me. This is real.
"I needed him in my life like I needed air to breathe."-C.J.
Overall, Affairytale is a must read! The minute I began this journey with C.J., I made a commitment to myself to feel deeply and open my heart to this beautiful "real life" love story. What did I discover? Everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally. It's never too late to find joy in your life. Sometimes people get hurt and that's just the way it goes. When the hurt fades away, joy remains. Unsurmountable joy!
"Everyone gets a do-over."-C.J. English
I simply cannot rave enough about this book. This is a must read! Ms. English, I applaud your bravery and willingness to share your story with the world. You have truly moved me! Your story will be with me forever!
~This was a BR with my Shh... sisters in honor of the amazing IndieSTAR chat with Leighton, French, James & English!
~ARC graciously provided via author in exchange for an honest review!~