Breaking Faith

The Jackholes Series

By Joy Eileen
Amazon Link:
#ContemporaryRomance #Comedy #Drama

For those of you who have been following my reviews you may find it odd that I’m breaking from the Fantasy genre to review a Contemporary Romance. Ohh, but you don’t know me so well, do you? I love romance in all its shades of glory: historical, contemporary, paranormal, Gothic, suspense . . . Fresh out of Nancy Drew books, my hormones first budded under the influence of Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart, but they fully bloomed during a period of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Romance and I have a long and sultry history. In fact, my affair with Romance has lasted well over twenty times that of my marriage that ended twenty years ago.

Without going into details about why my marriage was so blessedly short, I will say this. Breaking Faith hit very close to home. Now on to the review . . .

The opening of this story is the moment that Faith finally broke away from her abusive boyfriend, Jason. She’s sitting outside a bar with a restraining order in her hand, at a true crossroads in life. The meager amount of belongings she managed to grab are stuffed in the trunk of her car and she has nowhere to stay that night. She’s meeting some friends and hopes one of them will let her crash at their place, but she’s covered in bruises and hasn’t even shared her dark secret with them yet. The secret that Jason wasn’t the perfect boyfriend. In fact, it was an illusion that was so twisted that even Jason believed he was the perfect boyfriend. But the reality of Faith’s bruises, fractures and scars prove the illusion a lie. And stepping into the bar to expose her bruises will be her first step into breaking that illusion to her friends.

This story gives a raw, unadulterated view into the mind of a young woman with low self-esteem who ignores many red flags and gets sucked into a relationship with an abusive man. This woman, like so many women in this situation, is intelligent and kind, but she has been a loner most of her life and has never dealt with a situation like this before. Her nature is so giving, she doesn’t have practice with putting herself first. She has finally managed to break free, but she is not, in any way, whole.

The beginning of the story alternates between Faith’s first days of freedom and flashbacks of her relationship, so you get a good idea of how truly twisted Jason’s mind is. Physical abuse is never just physical. It is emotional and mind bending. Jason built a fairytale facade of their relationship that he shared with the world and he, in fact, wouldn’t even allow himself to see the true reality of the relationship. Jason’s sickness was so deep rooted, he hid his abuse of Faith even from his own mind.

But this story isn’t about Jason. This story is about Faith, broken and bruised, who steps through the door of Ray’s bar and meets a new circle of friends, including the gorgeous Rock and Roll singer, Killian (Kill). This story is about how Faith starts to pull all the shattered pieces of herself together again, still tentatively glued in places, so full of holes if she were a vase, water would flow out of it like a sieve. But she does it, by sheer force of will. She doesn’t even really believe she’s worthy of love because of how terribly she has allowed herself to be treated by Jason, but slowly, she begins to remember that maybe she might be worth something.

Now this story isn’t all dark drama. In fact, Faith has a sense of humor and has an ongoing monologue with her vagina who seems to have different opinions about the sexy Kill than her broken soul does. Part of Faith’s healing is her insistence and success at denying her vagina its way because she knows she’s not ready to delve into any sort of relationship until she has a better grasp of herself. Through the eyes of her new circle of friends and Kill, who actually adores her, she begins to shape a new and better self-image.

I recommend this story to contemporary romance lovers, lovers of truth, people who can quirk a smile in the face of great pain, and people who are brave enough to stand by the side of a not-so-perfect heroine and watch the sometimes agonizing and sometimes comedic process of her rebirth.

Lilo Abernathy

Author and Book Lover