Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Learning to Trust by Lynne Connolly

4 stars
Amazon link- Learning to Trust

I thought this was going to be another erotic romance with a light storyline. It was anything but that and I was pleasantly surprised. This story was full of steamy hot romance, suspense, and a very moving plot. This story was so very emotional for me and it makes me wonder if the author has family or herself went through what the characters did.

***SPOILER***Bellina Mazzanti Forde or Lina Forde is a socialite living in New York City with her mother, where money can buy you anything you want, including an endless amount of drugs. Party girl to the core, Lina decides at the last minute to take off with Byron Brantley to Italy where no one will know her secrets and she can escape from an unhappy life. They cut up all their credit cards and check books and leave a paperless trail for five years. Both Lina and Byron are heavily addicted to drugs and will do anything for their next fix until Lina was struck by a car. Having no family and friends to help her after the car accident, the nuns in Rome take her in and basically force her to become sober. Byron, on the other hand, isn't ready to get clean and takes off.

Five years later, Jonathon or Jon, finally gets the break he needs to find his brother Byron and friend Lina. Jon flies to Italy to rescue his brother and take him home only to find out Lina hasn't seen Byron in two years. After enlisting Lina to help him find Byron, a few days later, Byron is found in the morgue from a heroin overdose. But it isn't just any cut of heroin, it's pure grade heroin in Byron's system and it wasn't an accidental overdose. While both Lina and Jon are trying to discover who set Byron up, they are forced to flee back to New York City after nearly being attacked. Family secrets are revealed and Lina is deceived by someone she loves.***END SPOILER***

This is a very emotional book. Unless you've gone through addiction yourself or have close relatives that are addicts, I'm concerned readers may not connect with some of the characters. For instance, there was a point in the book that Jon said he had already come to terms with this brothers death years ago. This was after finding his brother in the morgue and showing no feelings the whole book when it came to his brother. Some people may think him harsh and unemotional. He's not. That is true life. You have to come to terms with it, and prepare yourself for the worst. I thought I was the only person to say something like that and it was a revelation, in a way, that others may think like that too. I've come to the point where I am just waiting for the phone call that my sister is dead, and at one time, my mother. There is only so much you can do to help an addict. Unless they truly want the help, they aren't going to get better and there's nothing else anyone can do. And that's what happened with Byron. He became so addicted to drugs that there was no going back for him. It's an unfortunate everyday occurrence in life.

Lina said a great line in this book and I've said almost the same thing for years. "The only one who could stop the downward spiral was her. She had to want to do it, really want to, and not for anyone else." That line is true on so many levels it's scary.

This was my first read by this author. I really enjoyed her story and writing style. I plan to look up more of her books. She brought real life issues to a fictional romance story and it was very moving.

NOTE: This book was provided for me by Netgalley on behalf of Carina Press.

1 comment:

Lynne Connolly said...

I've just found this review, and thank you so much for it!
Yes, I've known addicts in my life, but one of the greatest influences was a friend called Eric, who managed to get free of drugs and stay that way. He told me a lot of what happens in the life. He changed his lifestyle completely so he could stay off drugs, and that included leaving his friends behind.
My only experience in giving up drugs was fighting to give up smoking in the pre-patch days. Very, very difficult and it took me three goes before it stuck. But I used some of the experience.
Someone died in my arms once, when we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive. She OD'd. She was twenty one and beautiful, and heavily addicted.
My best wishes for you and your sister.


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