Blog Tour: Unforgiven: Rebecca Shea

Unforgiven_Rebecca Shea_ebooklg
Unforgiven (Unbreakable #3)
Rebecca Shea
Released September 16, 2014
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A companion novel to "Unbreakable" & "Undone" and is the final book in the Unbreakable series -- This is Lindsay and Matt's story.

Lindsay Christianson seemingly has it all—the perfect career, the perfect boyfriend, and the best-laid plans for a perfect life—until one phone call changes everything.

With a moments notice, Lindsay must choose between her perfect life and her professional dreams. The choice momentarily seems clear when the opportunity to propel her career abruptly sends her across the country, leaving everything she loves behind in North Carolina.

Navigating a new city with a broken heart and a job where her colleagues will do anything to sabotage her success, the pressure quickly becomes too great. When old habits resurface, Lindsay finds herself chasing demons she thought were long since buried.

With pain and destruction left in her wake, will Lindsay find a way to erase the damage she’s done, or will her sins remain unforgiven?

“All right, everyone.” Lindsay stands up and pushes back her chair slightly. She wobbles a bit on her heels and rests her hand on my shoulder to steady herself. “Apparently, tonight is as good as any night to let you all in on a little secret.” She wipes the palms of her hands down the sides of her black dress.
“So, for a little over a year now, Matt and I have been seeing each other.” There are a few chuckles, but mostly everyone sits silently listening to Lindsay. “We’ve kept it quiet for a while simply because it’s what worked for us.” She shrugs. “It started off casual and just turned into more, and we didn’t really make a big deal out of it.” She looks down at me and smiles the most beautiful, genuine smile I’ve ever seen. Her blue eyes sparkle in the lights from the crystal chandelier and her long, blonde hair hangs in waves. She looks almost angelic in the dimly lit room. “So, cat’s out of the bag.” She laughs and raises her glass. I stand up and raise my glass next to hers. “To Matt and me,” she says with a smile on her beautiful face. I lean in and press a long kiss to her lips while everyone hoots and hollers around us.
“I love you, sweet girl,” I say between kisses. 

I know the sins I've committed against the person I love the most are unforgiven, and that's my cross to bear. 

We met Lindsay and Matt in the previous books Unbreakable and Undone. Linsday is Landon's sister and Matt is his best friend and former partner. They were in a passionate, emotional relationship for over a year but had been keeping it under wraps...kind of. They were perfectly matched even if their careers and schedules did not always flow well.

But when Lindsay has to choose between a career move and Matt, she chooses quickly and leaves devastation in her wake. She moves her life to Arizona, but leaves her heart at home in Wilmington. She is now navigating a new world alone. She makes some new friends Mike and Javier that try to help support her...and Jonah who also tries to help her,  but sometimes has the opposite effect. I enjoyed these side characters and their interactions with Lindsay. But she also gains some enemies that would like nothing more than to  make her miserable and see her fail. 

She's alone, lonely, wracked by guilt and pain. Her self esteem and coping mechanisms are challenged. And she tries to mask it by numbing her pain in unhealthy ways. The girl that was usually in control, finds herself spiraling out of control without much of a safety net since she pushes most people away. And guilt just continues to eat at her.

"Yeah. Some of the damage I've done is pretty unforgiveable."

This is not a pretty, happy love story. Yes, there is a love story. But it is not the typical boy meets girl in the beginning, romantic dramatic middle, and happy ending. We meet up with these two already in love, and deeply connected. But sometimes life and choices get in the way of happiness. This is really Lindsay's journey towards finding what she needs to truly be happy. There is heartache, tension, mistakes, destruction, and devastation, but also love, hope, recovery, and redemption. This is mostly about her finding herself, coming to terms with her life, and fighting for what is important. And even if she can forgive herself, will the others she has hurt be able to all do the same?

"Is it possible to forgive yourself for hurting others, even if they don't forgive you? I mean, sometimes you hurt people so badly they can't find it within themselves to forgive you. Is is possible to forgive yourself for the hurt you've caused when they won't let it go?"

I was frustrated for quite a bit of the book due to all of the issues and sadness. Lindsay was in a bad place and made some poor choices. But she not only needed receive forgiveness from various people but also needed to give it too. 

I loved Matt and have since he was introduced. He was so caring, devoted, thoughtful, and charismatic. But he also had his own life to live and Lindsay was the person that had the potential to destroy him more than anyone else. I hated to see him hurt and lost, but understood his reactions to the situations they were going through. They had a lot to deal with and there were many setbacks, miscommunications, and plenty of drama. They both had to figure out if love was enough for them and if forgiveness could be granted.

It was told in both of their points of view so we could see their happiness and their heartache first hand. It was emotional and heartbreaking, but also inspirational, passionate, and romantic at other times.  I loved seeing more with the characters from previous books: Jess, Gabe, Landon, and Reagan and getting a bigger look into their futures. They all have come a long way since their difficult beginnings and dramatic courtships. And Hallelujah for a much appreciated epilogue! 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This book has left me feeling torn. A little frustrated. But also content. Hence the torn feeling. 

I loved that we watched Matt and Lindsay sneaking around in Undone. I was hoping for something that continued that playfulness that had been started. Or that explored what was going on behind the scenes while Landon and Reagan were busy falling in love. Though that is what I was hoping for, and describes the state of their relationship in the very beginning of the book, it wouldn’t have fit with the themes and feelings of the other two books in the series, nor would it make for very compelling reading.

But this hurt to read. My feelings were parallel to those I felt while reading Unbreakable, while Jess was in North Carolina with Landon. It was beyond sad, beyond heartbreaking, it was crushing. 

There was nothing dull here. Matt had his head on straight, for the most part. He knew what and who he wanted, and his priority was Lindsay and her happiness. Lindsay, on the other hand, was holding on to deep pain from the past. Add in extra pressure at work and loneliness and it was a recipe for disaster. 

This was very much Lindsay’s story and mess. It is less about Lindsay and Matt working as a couple, and more about Lindsay sorting her life, pain, and past. In a way, this made it harder to read and harder to continue to love them as a couple, because things were so messed up. There were times I just wanted to smack both Lindsay and Matt, but especially Lindsey since it was her hang ups that were making it impossible for them. 

The side characters in Phoenix -- Mike and Jonah especially -- while key for that portion of the story, felt like they were throw away characters. I would have loved to see more of both of them, if only for the sake of feeling more sympathetic towards Jonah, and to see more of the friendship between Mike and Lindsay. Even Matt felt incomplete at times, and he had several chapters told from his perspective. 

I loved seeing Landon, Reagan, Jessica, and Gabe again. Both couples are still going strong and I loved the way they continue to support each other. Landon and Jess have such a perfectly supportive platonic relationship, that it was great to see their appreciation for each other once again. 

As much as I couldn’t decide how I felt about this story, it did fit with the established themes and feeling of the series. Unforgiven was a little different though, because we already knew there was something going on between Matt and Lindsay (and I thought they were perfect for each other and cute) and because of that established bond between them, the story had to go in a completely different direction. 

This was an emotional rollercoaster, with plenty of angst and heartbreak. It was a story that started out happy and went downhill quickly. But it was also a story that had me hoping with everything I had that Matt and Lindsay would work it out.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Book 1: Unbreakable
Book 2: Undone

Rebecca Shea
Rebecca Shea Facebook † Twitter † Website
Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of Unbreakable and Undone. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family and her beagle, Miles. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

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