Friday, September 20, 2013

Blog Tour - Back to Life by Danielle Allen - Review & Giveaway

Sahara Lee has spent the last ten years living with the guilt of a tragic accident and its aftermath. That night irrevocably changed the outgoing, fun-loving college freshman into an introverted, workaholic with no social life. Sahara isolates herself from everyone and everything that reminds her of home in an effort to forget what happened. Using art as a substitute for love, Sahara throws herself into music and art as a way to feel something other than the guilt that haunts her. She accepts her lonely existence as penance for the role she played in the accident. That is, until she meets Tyree Barker, the good looking entrepreneur with baggage of his own.

Blindsided by a legal loophole, Sahara is suddenly forced to confront the past she’s been running from. Juggling the guilty feelings of her past and the unexpected feelings of her present, Sahara’s future becomes complicated as she heads down a path of forgiveness, love, and heartbreak…and not in that particular order.

Back to Life reminds you that living and existing are two completely different ways to go through life. Grief will break you but guilt, guilt will destroy you. And once that happens, what can bring you back to life?
Ten years ago Sahara was a victim of a tragic accident.  With no family left, her best friend and her first love in the hospital, and their parents grieving for them in the hospital Sahara does the one thing she can to no longer hurt those around her, she picks up and runs away to Richland.  She thinks she doesn't deserve happiness after the accident she believes she caused so she gives up her dream to be a doctor and finishes school to turn around and become HR at Miller Security.

For the past ten years she has blamed herself, no letting herself get close to any man, not making any friends, and still struggling to come to terms with what happened that night.  She barely speaks to her best friend Emily and Emmanuel she hasn't spoken to since the night of the accident.  She's alone until she meets her new neighbor Tyree Barker.  Tyree in the short amount of time he knows Sahara gets further than anyone else has in the past ten years.  They fall in love and Sahara opens herself fully up to him telling him her one secret that she's shared with no one other than those who were there for the accident.

But when Sahara opens herself up is it something that Ty can handle?  Will he run away or will he stay and love Sahara in a way she never thought she deserved?  When Sahara returns home to face the man responsible for ruining her entire life can she come to terms and face those she left behind when she ran?  What secret does Ty have that could rip her entire world apart?  Ty helped Sahara come back to life but will the events of her past continue to destroy her and her happiness?

When I was approached to read and review this book I loved the synopsis.  When I saw the cover I wasn't so sure but from the first moment I opened this book and started reading I was hooked.  This story captivated me, made me smile, and made me cry.  It was so hard to read about the things Sahara had to go through and what she lost that night.  Ten years is a long time to hold onto that type of grief especially when you're all alone.  I was surprised to find that Danielle is a new author as she rivals some of the best out there.  This isn't a story you will want to miss and will leave you begging for the next one.  The wait is going to be long, but it will be worth it, 5 stars.

***ARC provided by author in exchange for a honest review***
I am a married event planner and life coach. My awesome friends and family and my amazing husband make my life sweet. I love to have fun and enjoy the life I’ve been blessed with. I love shopping and football with equal fervor. I’m an amateur movie critic (i.e. my husband and I watch and critique a lot of movies for fun). I love to read and I enjoy sharing my love of books with anyone who will listen. I love music. A good lyric with a good melody can paint a vivid picture and invoke such a range of emotions. I have a soft spot for most mediums of creative, artistic expression.
With degrees in psychology, human services, and marriage and family counseling, I have a unique perspective on life, love and the pursuit of happiness. As an author, I combine an active imagination and life experiences to create stories that are easily relatable and intentionally intriguing. I want to offer you a peek into someone else’s life and for you to get lost in their story, their trials, their triumphs. My ultimate goal is to create a character or a story that stays with you long after you’ve put the book down.
So in a nutshell: I plan. I teach. I read. I write. I watch. I critique. I shop. I play. I love.
To know me is to love me.
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