Review: Grave Bound by T.R. Graves


From Goodreads:  Emily Riddle has lived her entire life inside a patriarchal commune led by her father. There are many rules, but the most important one, ‘keep it in the commune’, is the most difficult for her to follow… especially since the only people willing to champion her cause live on the outside.

When Emily learns her father has promised her to Lorenzo, a perverted man who has plans for her that extend well beyond marriage and kids, she rebels. Regardless of the consequences, she refuses to marry someone who’d rather beat her than caress her.

A day of hooky that starts out as a tiny act of defiance – sneaking out of the commune for a swim – turns into a day filled with hope. After spending time with Levi, a man camping near the lake, she finds what true romance looks like and catches a glimpse into a future that’s filled with love and admiration rather than hate and submission.

That tiny peek is enough to change the course of Emily’s existence and makes it nearly impossible for her to go back to the commune and pretend she’ll ever be able to tolerate the life chosen for her instead of the life she longs for. One that includes Levi.

Fighting to escape the commune, its leaders, and her fianc√© proves to be more dangerous than Emily expected. The secrets she knows, as the leader’s daughter, will either follow her to the grave or send her – and Levi – there.

My Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

I’m going to be honest… the premise of this book drew me from the get go. Which means when I first started reading it, I was almost immediately disappointed – I was sure I was going to hate it. In my opinion, girls living completely sheltered lives in a commune may occasionally sneak out, but I could not see her reacting the way she did upon meeting Levi for the first time.

HOWEVER – after reading more and learning about the characters, I see that her actions were completely in line with the kind of person she was. In fact, I found all of the characters to be completely different and exceptionally well written – to the point that I not only found myself laughing at some of their antics, but that I also genuinely found myself  caring about them. I worried whether or not they would make it through – and I’m warning you now – not all of them do (and the death scene brought tears to my eyes, something not many books are able to do). It was definitely easy to be caught up in the emotions  that the author conveyed, you could almost feel the fear/anxiety/happiness/etc as the characters did. Lorenzo is such as easily hate-able character (as are most of the men depicted as being “commune men”), that you can’t help feeling for Emily (as well as her Aunt Tess) and wanting them to find a way to get out of the horrible conditions that have found themselves in. The author is very clever in the way she writes; there are so many twists and turns – Gravebound will keep you glued to the very last page!

There is one line from this novel that stands out to me the most, and it is a line one of the main characters (Levi) writes “The day I met you is the day by which all others will be measured” -L.I.B. This one line is the one I would say sets the tone not only for this book, but for the others as well. And (unfortunately) without giving away too many spoilers, I can’t tell you why that is.

I am happy to say that I am completely 100% hooked on this series, and I can’t wait for the next novel – Underground (Secrets #2) to be released!

 DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced copy of Grave Bound (Secrets #1) in exchange for my honest review. This has not reflected on my review in any way.

Grave Bound (Secrets #1) is available for download by clicking the link below:

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