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Books & Chocolate

I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.


Oh, and I love chocolate.

Shackled Lily

Shackled Lily - T.L.  Gray

Shackled Lily is the second book in the Winsor series. I did enjoy it, however not quite as much as I did the first, Shattered Rose. I will say that the transition issues I had in the first were resolved in this book - so bouns there.


Issy is an extremely tortured soul who numbs her pain by using alcohol and people. I didn’t connect with her as much as I did Avery in the first book, but I will say that I can understand how she fell on such a destructive path.  She had to witness two horrible situations as a young child - one with her father and another woman, and then with her mother when she tried to commit suicide. One of these alone would be enough to scar a child, but both of them is a certain recipe for a life full of pain and an inability to trust anyone. Her father is a tyrant throughout the entire book, compounding her situation.


The Christian aspect is more pronounced than it was in the first, but since it’s a Christian fiction book that’s not an issue for me. I liked the Christians in this book - I liked how they were accepting of non-Christians and weren’t portrayed as perfect. However, I did take issue with the message of the book. Basically, it was implied that all of Issy’s problems would go away if she would only accept Christ into her life. She was told this by more than one person, and this is what we see happen once she finally does accept Christ. I’ll be frank - Issy was an alcoholic. The book starts with her recovering from an alcohol induced coma where she almost died, and she tried to drink herself to death on one other occasion. In addition, she pretty much had to have at least 1-2 shots each day ‘just to get through’. Someone who is only a social drinker might be able to go cold turkey, but not an alcoholic. Accepting Christ will help someone gain the strength to endure their challenge and help show them the path of recovery, but it will not make the urges vanish overnight.


The drama between Issy’s father and ‘the villain’ was also quite unbelievable. I do accept that there are fathers out there who use their children as pawns for their own personal gain. I also accept that there are men out there who are obsessive and controlling and will do almost anything to get what/who they want. However, this was all a bit too extreme for me (not to mention illegal). And this was another area that was ‘magically’ fixed as soon as Issy accepted Christ. Although, it wasn’t as overt as with her drinking - it was presented more in the form of her gaining clarity about what she could do to get out of the situation. Yet somehow ‘the villain’ just gave up at the end - or at least disappeared and wasn’t mentioned again. Issy asked about her father and if she was safe from him, but never asked about the other guy? He was just as dangerous. He was off the charts obsessive and, again, that doesn’t go away simply because the object of his obsession found Christ. That man needed a restraining order and therapy (jail time would have been better, but his family was too rich and powerful for that)!


All in all, I enjoyed it because I enjoyed most of the characters. I will finish out this series with the third, Splintered Oak.