Hello all! (It’s me, Karen) I really am bad at remembering to write reviews for books. Not that I haven’t been reading (though I haven’t read a lot lately, to tell the truth. Been a bit busy with other things.) I would say I’m working on being on top of this, but who am I kidding. Reviews will come when they come, lol. But, that being said, I did finish the last book in MaryLu Tyndall’s Escape to Paradise series: Abandoned Memories. And let me tell you, this was one of those books that will forever have a special place in my heart. As you all know by now, I love this author. I think she’s a brave woman for venturing out into the unknown (of genres) and writes a wonderful story that’s meant to be shared. I fell in love with her first series, Legacy of the King’s Pirates (and was SO happy when she published a fourth book) but her newest series definitely gives that one a run for its money, especially this conclusion.
Abandoned Memories has pretty much everything in it: an exotic location (Brazilian rain forest), fast paced action, an epic adventure, a beautiful romance, characters that just grab your heart, pirates (gotta love pirates lol), and a good dose of the mysterious and fantastical while being strongly steeped in Historical reality. You’ve heard the saying ‘I couldn’t put it down’? Yeah, that was me. I’m usually a pretty fast reader, but I read this book fast, even by my standards! (We’re talking finished within a day, with some breaks. Unfortunately, I can’t live in my books… *sigh*) Besides the fact that MaryLu has seamlessly seemed to encompass almost every book genre (Historical, Romance, Action, Adventure, Suspense, and a bit of Fantasy), she’s done so with a message that pierces your heart, if you’ll allow it, and opens your eyes to the wonders of the world.
One thing I’ve always loved about her stories is that her characters aren’t perfect. They’re flawed, and scarred, and human. For anyone who has ever felt like they’re worthless, or questions why things have happened to them, these characters are very relatable. I know I’ve connected with a few myself. But that’s what makes their redemption so wonderful, and the fact that even the lowest can be used for something great. The main two characters from this book, James and Angeline, are opposites in some ways, and yet so similar. Each has a past their running from, and each wants to be a better person, and I couldn’t help but root for them. James is the settlement’s preacher, and he desires to be useful and helpful, but fears of failing. He failed so often in the past, sometimes he doesn’t believe he ever could be helpful to others. And Angeline is no different; she runs from her past, hoping that she can become better than she was, desiring to be someone of worth. Personally, I kinda wanted to knock some sense into her for a bit. She’s so ashamed of who she was (a character she became not even by choice) that she rejects the idea of being able to find love, to be completely accepted. I have to say, James is probably one of the most patient of MaryLu’s protagonists, as he still pursues here, even with all the rejections. Of course, there’s little Stowy (the cat) that he helps her rescue a few times. (And girls, how adorable is it to watch a man jump into danger for a helpless little creature like a cat?) I did love watching the characters grow, watching as they realize their full potential, their true self worth. They are well written, fully flushed out, and understandable, even if their views conflict with your desire for them to get together, lol.
All in all, this book is in my top 10 best written books ever. It reminded me why I discovered MaryLu Tyndall in the first place and why I keep reading her. It’s full of her classic signature of adventure and romance with a good dose of faith. I was a bit sad to put this one down, coming to the end of this series, but I know I’ll be picking it back up again, and I very much look forward to this author’s future endeavors. Interested in the book? You can get it for your Kindle or NOOK, or plain paperback (if you’re like me) at Amazon, B&N, and probably your local bookseller. Also, be sure to check out MaryLu’s website for excited news on her upcoming stories, and if you’d like to meet other like-minded readers, check out her Fan Page on Facebook, a place where her fans can meet and chat and enjoy this awesome author.