Title: Heart of Marley
Author: T.K. Leigh
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Genre: New Adult/Romantic Suspense
To the moon and back…
From the stars to the ocean…
That was Marley and Cameron Bowen’s secret code.
Twins born just five minutes apart, they have the perfect life… Until tragedy strikes just weeks after their eighth birthday and their father is killed by a drunk driver. Having trouble coping with the loss of her soul mate, their mother tries to find comfort in drugs and alcohol… And an abusive man with a penchant for underage girls.
No longer able to stand listening to his sister’s screams and cries every night for nearly three years, Cam takes matters into his own hands and they’re finally able to escape the nightmare.
They’re finally able to start over…
But the nightmare still haunts Marley. The years go on and she is forced to put on a smile, making everyone think that she is the perfect, well-adjusted teenager that she is supposed to be… Until she is faced with a painful reminder of her past during her senior year of high school and she’s no longer able to keep on the mask that she has been compelled to wear.
Recommended for ages eighteen and over due to strong language, sexual situations, and graphic violence.
Powerful, heartfelt and heartbreaking. This book is a powerful piece of literature and should not be missed. It is raw and real and it just touched my heart to the core. This is a look into so many types of relationships it is hard not to be moved by at least one of them. You don’t have to relate to the characters to appreciate this book, though I think there is a bit of each one of them that we can all relate to in one way or another.
Marley spent three years at such a young age living through everything you would never want a child to live through. Three years of pain and abuse of the worst kind. Three long years until Cam finally did something to stop it… It wasn’t Cam’s fault, but was Cam too late?
Cam and Marley were not only siblings, not only friends… they were twins, best friends and soul mates. Cam would do anything in the world for Markley. He loved her unconditionally and that was something that would never change and Marley knew that. But there were things in Marley’s life that just would never change…
Marley was going to be the winner of every beauty pageant that her aunt pushed her in because it was easier to conform and hide the pain and brokenness of her soul. Marley was beautiful on the outside but so completely broken on the inside. She knew she needed real therapy from the years of abuse that she suffered from, but that wasn’t going to happen if her aunt and uncle had their way. But Cam kept her sane. He kept her going. He made her see some things in new ways. She struggled on a daily basis to be “normal” but she knew she always had Cam to know when she was being true to herself.
Cam was everyone’s ideal brother, the hero from the beginning of the book, he wanted nothing more than to protect his sister, his best friend, his everything. In the end your heart will break right along with Cam and you will heal right along with Cam. Strong and determined, kind and true… Cam is everything you want to be surrounded by.
This book is a powerful look, not only at the abuse that Marley went through, but all the things in her life that will forever be affected by her past. It is a powerful look at how events of the past can change relationships of the future. I fell in love with this book and the characters. It is hard to describe how I felt at different places in the book, but I will say the entire gamut of emotions is felt in this book. I loved and adored Heart of Marley!
I had gotten used to things over the years. Marley’s emotions always took you on a wild roller coaster ride, the ebb and flow often unexpected and sometimes tumultuous. But during those moments that things flattened out, and the ups and downs of her life were on an even keel, even if for just an instant, those were the times that I treasured. I wouldn’t trade those rare memories for anything in the world. Those were the times that I saw the real Marley…the girl that forced me to play Barbie’s with her, the girl that convinced me the mud pie she made for me was really chocolate. The way her eyes brimmed with enthusiasm and mischief at the same time, you couldn’t help but believe her, knowing that she would squeal with excitement and delight when you pretended to take a bite of her ‘chocolate’ pie.
“Remember the tree house?” she asked, bringing me back from my own memories. I could hear the lump in her throat.
“How could I forget? You hounded Dad for months to build you one.”
“Remember going out there after he died, but before Mama lost the house?”
I nodded, finding Marley’s hand and grabbing it. “Yeah, I do.”
I felt her body tremble beside me as big, fat rain drops began to fall. “I think it would have been the best tree house on the block.”
“The way Dad doted on you, it would have been a tree mansion by the time he was done with it.”
Losing my father was hard enough when I was just eight, but having to be faced with the constant reminders of his life made it even more difficult. The worst was looking out our back window at a tree that he had begun to build a house in for Marley and me. The night that Mama had explained to us that Dad had gone to heaven and wouldn’t be coming back, I remember glancing out there and seeing Marley sitting on the lone wood plank that he had set up as the foundation of the tree house. Nearly every night that we lived in that house, we would go out there and simply lay down and look at the stars.
“This reminds me of that,” I said softly. “Of those nights in the tree house.”
The sound of thunder boomed around us and we remained on that roof, not caring that we were both drenched from the late summer downpour cloaking the town.
“Me, too,” Marley said. “I think that’s why I like coming out here so much. It reminds me of ‘before’. It makes me feel closer to Dad. I always swore I could hear him talking to me in that tree house and, some nights when I’m out here, I can still hear him.”
“What does he say?”
She turned to face me and almost broke into tears. “That he’s proud of you. That he can’t believe how much of him he sees in you. That he’s happy you don’t let anyone or anything influence your decisions. That he’s thankful you’ve never abandoned me.
About the Author
T.K. Leigh, otherwise known as Tracy Leigh Kellam, is the USA Today Best Selling author of the Beautiful Mess series. Originally from New England, she now resides in sunny Southern California with her husband, dog and three cats, all of which she has rescued (including the husband). She always had a knack for writing, but mostly in the legal field. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to try her hand at creative writing and is now addicted to creating different characters and new and unique story lines in the Contemporary Romantic Suspense genre. When she’s not planted in front of her computer, writing away, she can be found running and training for her next marathon (of which she has run over fifteen fulls and far too many halfs to recall). Unlike Olivia, the main character in her Beautiful Mess series, she has yet to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
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$100 Amazon Gift Card and (10) signed paperback of Heart Of Marley