The Me I Used to Be
In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ryan’s bold new novel, Evangeline Austen returns to her family’s sprawling Napa Valley ranch, determined to rebuild her life and expose the shocking truth about the past.She’s not the naïve girl she used to be… After serving time for a crime she didn’t commit, Evangeline returns home to a cold welcome. Her mother blames her for her father’s death, and her brothers want her out of their way. When Evangeline learns she’s solely responsible for their failing ranch—putting her family’s future squarely on her shoulders—she’ll have to find a creative way to save their home before they lose it all.She’ll have her reckoning...Her only ally: the cop who sent her away. Chris Chambers is positive she went to prison to protect someone else. He strikes a deal: help him track down the real criminals in exchange for clearing her name. But the closer Evangeline and Chris get to exposing the truth—and to each other—the deeper Evangeline is drawn into a dangerous sting that could finally bring her justice…or put her dreams on hold permanently.She’ll fight for the life she always wanted…Everyone’s lives moved on while Evangeline’s stood still. Now she has a chance to rebuild her family ranch, her life, and expose the people who put her away, so she can become the woman she was always meant to be.  

The Me I Used to Be Details

TitleThe Me I Used to Be
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062883919
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance

The Me I Used to Be Review

  • Debbie Oliphant
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book!!! I read this in one sitting because I could not put this down. There are a couple storylines woven into this story and it fits nicely. The story begins with Evangeline facing a parole board after serving 4 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. She is released but is escorted out by the officer who arrested her, Chris. Chris makes her a deal to expunge her prison record and she agrees. He escorts her home to her family ranch where she faces her family who is I really enjoyed this book!!! I read this in one sitting because I could not put this down. There are a couple storylines woven into this story and it fits nicely. The story begins with Evangeline facing a parole board after serving 4 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. She is released but is escorted out by the officer who arrested her, Chris. Chris makes her a deal to expunge her prison record and she agrees. He escorts her home to her family ranch where she faces her family who is so bitter and angry at her because they blame her for her fauther's death who recently passed away. She is filled with guilt and because she has no place to go, she is forced to stay with her family. Chris's deal involves the reason for Evangeline's time in prison........he believes she is innocent and wants to solve this crime. He believes she also went to prison to protect someone that she cares for. Evangeline wants to move on with her life and will agree to Chris's risky plan to catch the real criminals. While she is managing this plan, she is also trying to reconnect with her mother, who is so angry at her, and her two brothers who have distanced themselves from their sister while she was gone. This changes as her father's will requires her to be the decision maker of how the family ranch must be managed. One brother wants to sell, while the other wants to keep the ranch. Her father trusted her to use her to make the best decision and the pressure to find the best choice is weighing heavily with her.This author adds a love story that is not forced and feels like someting that the main character deserves. I really liked the layers of storytelling as you felt ineganged immediately. Alot of healing, forgiveness and feels, many feels. Evangeline's character is very strong and you are cheering her on as she embraces her independence and elevating the "me she used to be".
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  • Seema Rao
    January 1, 1970
    Captivating ~ Enjoyable ~ Satisfyingtl;dr: Post-conviction daugther returns to family farm to fix things. This book is like a Romance writer scripted the afterlife for the character from Orange is the New Black. The story has so many expected tropes: jealous siblings, insta-tropes, heart-of-gold lawman. Yet, Ryan seems to turn the expected into something surprising. This fast read is incredibly satisfying. The main characters are appealing, certainly, but Ryan's strength might be her pacing. The Captivating ~ Enjoyable ~ Satisfyingtl;dr: Post-conviction daugther returns to family farm to fix things. This book is like a Romance writer scripted the afterlife for the character from Orange is the New Black. The story has so many expected tropes: jealous siblings, insta-tropes, heart-of-gold lawman. Yet, Ryan seems to turn the expected into something surprising. This fast read is incredibly satisfying. The main characters are appealing, certainly, but Ryan's strength might be her pacing. The mystery at the center of the main characters convinction unfolds in an enjoyable pace. I didn't expect to enjoy this one as much as I did. Great summer read. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Seema Rao Write : Instagram| Blog| Twitter|
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  • Skippypeanuts
    January 1, 1970
    2.5. I REALLY wanted to like this book, I did. The concept was interesting and the setting was relatable. But I just couldn't get my head around it. Evangeline spends 4 years in prison pretty much getting the crap kicked out of her then the cop who helped put her away shows up. She makes a point of saying she's afraid of him and the power he has over her life, then BAM she can't get enough of him, can't stop thinking about him, and gives him MORE power over her life with her parole deal. On top 2.5. I REALLY wanted to like this book, I did. The concept was interesting and the setting was relatable. But I just couldn't get my head around it. Evangeline spends 4 years in prison pretty much getting the crap kicked out of her then the cop who helped put her away shows up. She makes a point of saying she's afraid of him and the power he has over her life, then BAM she can't get enough of him, can't stop thinking about him, and gives him MORE power over her life with her parole deal. On top of that, is the behavior of Evangeline's family, who treats her like absolute crap. Their behavior only softens a little when she "proves she's worthy" by saving be her nephew. Then all is instantly forgiven once they realize she was innocent and protecting her dad.Her mother wouldn't talk to her and accused her of being the cause of her dad's death. But all the verbal abuse is forgiven and forgotten in moments once her mother realizes she wasn't responsible, thus "worthy" of being treated like a human being again.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    o perfect
  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    I don't typically read fluffy romance, most of my romance involves demons, dragons, aliens, vampires, or werewolves. But I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads contest and was more than happy to try it out. The book was cute and told a very simple and straight-forward story. I think I disliked two major things--first, the author over-explained tremendously. She would take paragraphs talking about how a character felt, but I think that by the action and conversation in a book we should b I don't typically read fluffy romance, most of my romance involves demons, dragons, aliens, vampires, or werewolves. But I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads contest and was more than happy to try it out. The book was cute and told a very simple and straight-forward story. I think I disliked two major things--first, the author over-explained tremendously. She would take paragraphs talking about how a character felt, but I think that by the action and conversation in a book we should be able to tell. She consistently went back over facts again and again, re-stating what had happened in a previous chapter or what someone was thinking. It was torture. The other problem is the spoiler here--everything is great--she falls in love, her brother gets his house, the ranch is saved, the bad guy is caught, everyone forgives everyone, and every single possible plot line in the story is resolved. It was rather absurd. It was fun to read about people falling in love (albeit quickly) and I was rooting for the "good guys", but overall the story was simplistic and formulaic. I did appreciate trying a new genre and the goodreads win to be able to review. But, this is a generous three star book.
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    Sit back and enjoy this read (or listen as will be available as an audio book as well). The description gives you a basic overview, but it is so much more. Once you get started be prepared to lose track of time and all else that is going on around you. It is a compelling story that leaves you with so much to think about. Evangeline is a strong, smart, incredibly loyal loving friend, daughter and sister who spent 4 years and 27 days spent in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. While incarcerate Sit back and enjoy this read (or listen as will be available as an audio book as well). The description gives you a basic overview, but it is so much more. Once you get started be prepared to lose track of time and all else that is going on around you. It is a compelling story that leaves you with so much to think about. Evangeline is a strong, smart, incredibly loyal loving friend, daughter and sister who spent 4 years and 27 days spent in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. While incarcerated she is attacked and beaten multiple times within an inch of her life. She is physically and emotionally scarred for life for which her family, the people who are supposed to love and trust her thinks she deserved and then some. They almost or maybe do wish she did dies while there so they can validate their righteous anger without ever thinking all may not be what it seemed. Almost immediately upon her arrest she realizes who actually the guilty party is and decides to plead guilty for what she believes is the greater good. She keeps it all a secret from her family and upon her release is treated with such disdain, anger and disgust by her family. If only they knew. Her mother even went so far as to throw out almost all of her belongings, empty put her room and blame her for her fathers death multiple times. When she is released from prison she makes her stay in a room in the house begrudgingly that is akin to the cell she was in for the crime she didn’t commit. If she could have put her in the barn she would have. Honestly I don’t think I know anyone who would have done what she did or been able to forgive them her abhorrent family. They did not have to approve of what they thought she did, but never once had even the slightest inkling that she was anything other than guilty and a disgrace. She deserved so much better and they do not deserve any of the kindness and compassion she showed to them. She then works with Chris, the policeman who arrested her, figured out the truth and the waited for her to get out to help him. Honestly, he should have done so much more and though I really happy for her in the end she deserved better than him. What kind of officer of the law allows someone to sit in prison knowing she is innocent? He wants her to help him to prove her innocence, but also it also is a feather in his cap and that is just a little bit self-serving to me. He does not deserve to have his guilt lessened. He kind of deserved to marinate in it for a lot longer! That said, she is an incredible character and deserves all that she wants and I was so happy got her HEA. Lots of emotions in this book and all of them worth the read!! I truly adored this book!!I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Miki
    January 1, 1970
    After four years in prison, Evangeline is up for parole. Imagine her surprise when her arresting officer enters the hearing room. A whispered conference with the parole board and she is immediately released on compassionate grounds. Immediately. Right now. Hit the road. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, and do not go through offical channels for release. And don't let the door hit you on the way out.That is just the first of a slew of improbable happenings in this book. Before it begins, Evan After four years in prison, Evangeline is up for parole. Imagine her surprise when her arresting officer enters the hearing room. A whispered conference with the parole board and she is immediately released on compassionate grounds. Immediately. Right now. Hit the road. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, and do not go through offical channels for release. And don't let the door hit you on the way out.That is just the first of a slew of improbable happenings in this book. Before it begins, Evangeline was arrested for a crime she did not commit, tried and sentenced in a period of about 4-6 weeks. Right. She went in as a pampered co-ed at the age of 19, survived six violent episodes while imprisoned, four of which culminated in a hospital stay, at least one of which incidents was life-threatening, while at the same time getting a four-year degree with honors in web design. She also set up her own business which was against the rules. This last accomplishment was proudly announced later by her arresting officer. Once out, she takes over the failing family business making some savvy decisions that make her brothers and mother financially secure, suggests a business venture for her mother to keep her busy, helps solve the crime that sent her to prison and catches the guy responsible, sets up several amazing websites that AT ONCE send the profits for each business through the roof, and falls in love with the aforementioned arresting officer. She also mends the broken relationships with her family, who without exception thought she was guilty. All this in the space of about a month. I'm not sure in what universe all this takes place, but the people there must surely die young. Of exhaustion. I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank goodness I didn't buy it. If I had, I would be quite put out.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    The Me I Used To Be is a must read romance. Yes, I had some small issues with the story but overall it was a fantastic read. The author hit it out of the park with the way people treat someone they think of as a criminal and how you can't always judge a book by it's cover. I loved that Evangeline had a plan. She implemented the plan. She wanted to be successful and get away from her criminal past. She was a great heroine.One of my peeves with the book was that no one pointed out that the Chris m The Me I Used To Be is a must read romance. Yes, I had some small issues with the story but overall it was a fantastic read. The author hit it out of the park with the way people treat someone they think of as a criminal and how you can't always judge a book by it's cover. I loved that Evangeline had a plan. She implemented the plan. She wanted to be successful and get away from her criminal past. She was a great heroine.One of my peeves with the book was that no one pointed out that the Chris might be a little obsessed with Evangeline. Maybe it's just me but I think his actions skirted the line on more than one occasion. (No I won't say give details because....spoilers.) I also thought the "bad" guys were really great and bad right until the end. They became a little bit goofy when their plan unraveled. And then there was no final closure in my opinion on that aspect of the story. I hated them so I wanted Closure, if you know what I mean. I won a copy of this book on Goodreads.
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  • Taylor Freeman
    January 1, 1970
    This book starts off with Evangeline in prison for a crime she plead guilty to, but did not commit.This book isn’t just a romance but also has some suspense to it because when she is released from prison she is trying to figure out how to take down the real bad guys who got her locked up to begin with.I loved her dynamic with Chris, the cop who put her away. Every emotion and movement he made you could tell how badly he felt and how he wanted to do right by her.I really loved the family dynamic This book starts off with Evangeline in prison for a crime she plead guilty to, but did not commit.This book isn’t just a romance but also has some suspense to it because when she is released from prison she is trying to figure out how to take down the real bad guys who got her locked up to begin with.I loved her dynamic with Chris, the cop who put her away. Every emotion and movement he made you could tell how badly he felt and how he wanted to do right by her.I really loved the family dynamic as well and how you see them shift and change in their thoughts and feelings.While I really enjoyed the book I felt it was dragged out a little too much after the climax of the book. There was still like 30% of the book to go and personally I like things to quickly be wrapped up following that. But overall I enjoyed how it ended and where the story led.Make sure to grab your copy in July!
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  • Tina Burch
    January 1, 1970
    Four years and twenty-seven days. That's how long Evangeline Austen was in prison for; for a crime she didn't commit. On the day of her second parole hearing, she gets horrible news involving a member of her family. Left with a hard decision of running the family business that was left to her, bringing her family back together, and starting her own business, Evangeline is determined to find a way to do it all. And in the middle of it all, love and happiness finds her when she least expects it. E Four years and twenty-seven days. That's how long Evangeline Austen was in prison for; for a crime she didn't commit. On the day of her second parole hearing, she gets horrible news involving a member of her family. Left with a hard decision of running the family business that was left to her, bringing her family back together, and starting her own business, Evangeline is determined to find a way to do it all. And in the middle of it all, love and happiness finds her when she least expects it. Evangeline never thought she could experience the amount of love and happiness that she is feeling since being released from prison.I love this thought bubble Evangeline said, "Hope was a fickle friend that could be there for you when you needed it most or turn its back on you and leave you in a deep dark pit that wanted to swallow you whole." This was a great read and I hope to see more of Evangeline Austen.
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  • Mandi Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I have never read anything by Jennifer Ryan- I have, however, read a significant number of contemporary romance authors (Nora Roberts, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber). This was a very satisfying book based on my previous experience with romance novels. From what I understand it is a stand alone, so that is a plus for me (no waiting for sequels). The characters are engaging, the writing is clear and easy to get into. Once I had the time to read (life intrudes a lot) it went pretty quickly. I like ho I have never read anything by Jennifer Ryan- I have, however, read a significant number of contemporary romance authors (Nora Roberts, Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber). This was a very satisfying book based on my previous experience with romance novels. From what I understand it is a stand alone, so that is a plus for me (no waiting for sequels). The characters are engaging, the writing is clear and easy to get into. Once I had the time to read (life intrudes a lot) it went pretty quickly. I like how the author really sort of delved into the familial relationships and how one character's action then ripples out and affects a multitude of other people. I would highly recommend this book to fans of Robyn Carr or Susan Mallery. The book is a little short compared to say Nora Roberts, but I think even her fans would enjoy this book.
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  • Iris Howorth
    January 1, 1970
    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, and I wish I had paid closer attention to the description before entering. The plot looked interesting and the reviews were good, so I thought it would be a fun read. And I will say it fits the bill of fun, fluffy read, but that's about it. Overall, the dialogue was unrealistic and cheesy. Whenever there was a scene where something would be revealed, there was no real build up to it before the reveal. None of the characters were developed enough for me to care I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, and I wish I had paid closer attention to the description before entering. The plot looked interesting and the reviews were good, so I thought it would be a fun read. And I will say it fits the bill of fun, fluffy read, but that's about it. Overall, the dialogue was unrealistic and cheesy. Whenever there was a scene where something would be revealed, there was no real build up to it before the reveal. None of the characters were developed enough for me to care about them aside from hating her family and being annoyed that the main character was such a pushover to forgive them for the way they treated her and also to do things with their interests in mind. In the end, there are more fun books to read for fluff that actually involve suspense and characters you'll care about.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    The book opens at a parole hearing for Evangeline, who has spent 4 years in prison, convicted of stealing and transporting cases of wine. Just when she is hopeful, Chris, the police officer who took such pleasure in arresting her, walks in dressed in full uniform. But, it's a good news-bad news situation. Good news... Her parole is granted. Bad news.. Her father, who she has refused to allow visit her in prison, is dead of a heart attack.I don't want to give away too much, but I will say, every The book opens at a parole hearing for Evangeline, who has spent 4 years in prison, convicted of stealing and transporting cases of wine. Just when she is hopeful, Chris, the police officer who took such pleasure in arresting her, walks in dressed in full uniform. But, it's a good news-bad news situation. Good news... Her parole is granted. Bad news.. Her father, who she has refused to allow visit her in prison, is dead of a heart attack.I don't want to give away too much, but I will say, every time there seems to be a twist or a problem, it's solved within pages.This book was fine. It turned out to be a light, romance-like read, and at least the main character was likeable. Not my favorite book, but I wanted to see how it ended, although the ending was definitely expected.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC. It did not influence my review.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway drawing. Though the genre was not what I usually read and the subject matter dark and hurtful, I preservered. It's about a young woman charged with a crime she didn't commit. She accepted the blame to protect her family. For four years and 27 days, she's in prison, where she's brutalized by staff and inmates. Her parole seems to have strings. She comes home to the family she protected and who are not aware of her sacrifices. By the end of the story she has I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway drawing. Though the genre was not what I usually read and the subject matter dark and hurtful, I preservered. It's about a young woman charged with a crime she didn't commit. She accepted the blame to protect her family. For four years and 27 days, she's in prison, where she's brutalized by staff and inmates. Her parole seems to have strings. She comes home to the family she protected and who are not aware of her sacrifices. By the end of the story she has her family's affection and respect back, an unexpected love interest, good triumphs over evil, and the ranch is saved. This is a good story. I'll be looking for more Jennifer Ryan books.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    I was very pleased to have been one of the giveaway winners receiving a copy of this very good book. I'd say a book I didn't want to put down but simply had to at times because it was very thought provoking. Very relatable. Secrets held onto, for good or bad reasons. Who hasn't or is not now protecting?....self, a loved one or a memory. I like a book that gives me reason to pause and simply think. I liked the ending and am glad it was written as a stand alone book. This was the first Jennifer Ry I was very pleased to have been one of the giveaway winners receiving a copy of this very good book. I'd say a book I didn't want to put down but simply had to at times because it was very thought provoking. Very relatable. Secrets held onto, for good or bad reasons. Who hasn't or is not now protecting?....self, a loved one or a memory. I like a book that gives me reason to pause and simply think. I liked the ending and am glad it was written as a stand alone book. This was the first Jennifer Ryan book that I have read and will add others to my never ending list of want to read. Always hunting books.
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't too sure of the story line when I first began reading and the main character was just being released from prison. However, as the story developed and I saw where the author was headed I warmed up to it. Evangeline spent four years in prison and is released in time for her father' funeral and the icy reception of her family. She works hard to start anew, exact revenge, reveal the terrible truth she's been concealing, secure her family's future, and start a relationship with the hunky dep I wasn't too sure of the story line when I first began reading and the main character was just being released from prison. However, as the story developed and I saw where the author was headed I warmed up to it. Evangeline spent four years in prison and is released in time for her father' funeral and the icy reception of her family. She works hard to start anew, exact revenge, reveal the terrible truth she's been concealing, secure her family's future, and start a relationship with the hunky deputy who originally collared her. A great story with a great ending. Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.
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  • Sherri Fryer
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. What a wonderful story of a woman finding the strength to get her life back together after time spent in prison. Evangeline is the kind of character in a book that you can't help but root for, as she faces her demons and finds love with the cop who arrested her . Along the way she gets the men responsible for her doing time in prison and solves some family problems so that her family won't face losing their ranch. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable book. Thank you Good I really enjoyed this book. What a wonderful story of a woman finding the strength to get her life back together after time spent in prison. Evangeline is the kind of character in a book that you can't help but root for, as she faces her demons and finds love with the cop who arrested her . Along the way she gets the men responsible for her doing time in prison and solves some family problems so that her family won't face losing their ranch. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable book. Thank you Goodreads for the chance to win this book and I hope to read more of Jennifer Ryan's books.
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  • Jennifer Bufford
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from a giveaway and I loved it. To go from young, carefree and loving life to a young, vulnerable prisoner was traumatic. I loved the evolution of Evangeline! I hated how her family treated her; even though they didn't have all the information she was still family. I usually pass my books along to others but I am going to keep this one and probably read it several more times ha ha ha This was an excellent read so check it out.
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  • Judy Herriman
    January 1, 1970
    Received this book as a giveaway. Read in one sitting the day I received it! The unique perspective of Evangeline was unexpected & very different. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, even the sad background. It depicted the real world of 'family'; sometimes we forget it can have an ugly side even when we love those people. Finding someone to love who loves you unconditionally in return is an added bonus of the book's plot. I would highly recommend this book.
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  • Michelle Brogden
    January 1, 1970
    The start of the book had me worried that is was going to be a dark story. It actually turned out to be a come back story with lots of hope. Evangeline was sent to prison when she helped her dad make a delivery that she had no idea held stolen property. You given a sense of the sacrifice she made for her family even when they turned their back on her. The story is about how she reclaims her life and rebuilds the relationships with family and friends while clearing her record.
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  • Terrie
    January 1, 1970
    Jennifer Ryan wrote a very thought provoking book about what people do to protect the ones they love. Evangeline sacrifices herself to help her family. They don't understand why she did it but in the end they all figure it out. It is very intriguing and I recommend it to anyone who reuly cares for their family.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    I'll start by saying that overall I enjoyed the book. I did find the pace of events unbelievable - family forgiveness, starting a new successful business, taking down her old boyfriend, saving the ranch and falling in love - all in about a matter of one or two weeks. I received an advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Kylie Corley
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.To me, this book fell a little short of what I thought it was going to be. Everything seemed to move at an unrealistically fast pace. It felt like Evangeline barely grieved for her losses and everything just happened too fast. All in all, it was a good quick read.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy reading this story about Evangeline Austen who served time in prison for a crime she didn't do she is sitting in front of the parole board when a officer who arrested her whisper to the parole board that this woman needs to be released because of her father death. This story was a mystery and a love romance.
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  • Helen Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Evangeline Austen served time for a crime she did not commit. She is released from prison when her father dies. Chris Chambers is the cop who arrested her. Chris was always convinced that Evangeline was taking the fall for someone else. Once he has definitive proof of his suspicions he feels guilty for everything that she has suffered and will do everything to clear her record.
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  • Nichole Rawson
    January 1, 1970
    This is the type of book that you seriously cannot put down! Every page, every character makes you want to turn the page for more! I highly recommend this book to everyone!!! Its going on my top 50 favorite books!
  • Blaire Foote
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very good book! It was very hard to put down! I have read a book by her before and thought it was okay but this book outdid the other by far! Very good! I loved it!!! A very intriguing read!
  • Michelle Cable
    January 1, 1970
    Received digital copy from Edelweiss.
  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    This was silly. Great premise for a novel, but it was sexist as hell. It moved slowly and it was repetitive.
  • Kimmie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. I liked that the main character was strong, scarred, and independent. It was my first time reading anything by this author and I look forward to reading more.
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