Release Day Post and Reviews: Kyland: Mia Sheridan

by - Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mia Sheridan
Add to Goodreads
Expected Jan 25, 2015
Buy Amazon/B&N

Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk. 

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

They're both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY TAURUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Every time I pick up a Mia Sheridan book I already have high expectations since she always seems to create such memorable characters and stories that touch my heart.  I am not sure how she does it, but she did it again with Kyland. This one touched me in so many ways and is another unique masterpiece.

Kyland Barrett and Tenleigh Falyn are two teens stuck in a poor Kentucky mining town living in severe poverty, with family baggage, and few prospects. But there is one chance to get out and move forward...a scholarship sponsored by the local coal company...but there can only be one winner.

All my life I was just a nothing, a nobody. My life was small and worthless, and it hurt so badly. (Tenleigh)

For most of their lives they lived in their single minded determination to win and leave, but one incident put them more under each other's radar and it built from there. In desolation they found a connection, but both had limited hope. And the one hope they did have meant that what one took, the other lost. But they also shared intelligence, inquisitiveness, a love of reading, and determination to succeed. They had a good rapport, attraction and a connection even when they tried to fight it for self preservation. 

"I don't want to hurt you. I don't want to hurt me." (Kyland)

I felt everything these two did. The hopelessness, despair, the spark of attraction, denial, wariness, determination, fear, and passion. My heart hurt the whole time knowing they would be at direct odds eventually. 

Tenleigh was strong, caring, and selfless. She not only wanted to improve her own life, but that of her family's. Kyland was a bit rough around the edges, stubborn, and harder to break down, but underneath it all he was highly intelligent and had a big heart too. He was used to being a loner and focusing on the end game. He did not want anything to attach him to the town or get in his way.

"I'm going to leave here, Tenleigh. Nothing is going to stop me, Not you, not anything. Not anyone. Do you hear me?"

They could truly understand each other's hurts, fears, feelings of abandonment, and  need to succeed even with limited opportunities. My heart ached for their trials and their circumstances that were so big for these two young people to struggle with. It was  challenging and heartbreaking, but these two young people had such resilience and strength of character and inherent goodness in them despite it all. The little joys and small pleasures that they intermittently allowed themselves made me smile because these kids did not take anything for granted and could derive pleasure out of the smallest things.

They know they could be making a mistake by getting involved, even as friends, with so much on the line and that there is a time limit. But even the promise of future pain, can't seem to stop the attraction and feelings that develop against their better judgment. No matter how he tries to be strong or deny it to protect her, they forge a connection that has a profound effect on them. They need each other to keep hope alive, persevere, and deal with issues that had hurt them. But they know they will eventually be faced with a tough situation that there is no going back from, that could leave them both heartbroken.

Tenleigh. Half agony half hope. Half pain, half ecstasy. Half grief, half joy. Half my downfall, half my savior. 

Mia Sheridan is a master story teller. She has a way of setting a scene and building characters that literally bring you right into the middle of it. She makes you love these characters and believe in them, become invested and then challenges them in some profound way. I felt their hunger, pain, embarrassment, despair, and drive to succeed. The details, descriptions, and intensity help you visualize the scenery and depth of each impactful moment. It was told in both Kyland and Tenleigh's points of view and each having a powerful, emotional voice. And the anticipation and trepidation was built in and felt real during the pacing of the story. It takes your emotions on a diverging ride of tension, happiness, passion, heartbreak, and pain, but she always leaves a little smoldering hope that you pray can be inflamed fully. 

"The hope that life won't always hurt so badly. The belief that I'll get out of here someday--that I won't be cold or hungry forever. It keeps me going. It's my fire. It helps me do the things I need to do to survive, and it helps me hate myself less for doing them." (Kyland)

This was a poignant, gorgeous, heart wrenching tale of love, loss, determination, hope, and sacrifice. The characters were incredibly well developed and life-like. They touched me on so many levels The plot line was unique, tragic, and inspiring. I was drawn in from the very first page and I could not absorb their story fast enough, All along as I read, my heart was held in suspended animation waiting for their time to be up, for decisions to be made, and for the bigger pain and disappointment to come. I knew at least one, if not both, of their hearts was going to break and mine right along with it. And the after effects and progression of the characters continued to keep me enthralled right through to the epilogue.

This book was an amazing, epic love story, but also a story of resilience, pride, faith, family, and community. I actually fell for many of the quirky side characters in this Appalachian town. I loved her sassy sister Marlo and her suitor, Sam, and the girls' slightly unstable Mama. Some of the neighbors were also quite colorful and others had their own life issues going on. But despite the division of those with money and those without, for the most part there was still a community spirit that could be pulled together when needed. It was also a journey of self discovery for both Kyland and Tenleigh. While learning about each other, they in turn they helped the other understand themselves and what they were truly capable of.

It could have been just a depressing story of the dark and ugly side of life, but it it manages to be inspiring and uplifting by showing that love can shine a light and bring out hidden beauty in the ugliest of circumstances.  Along the way we see acts of sacrifice and selflessness, the pleasure in tiny joys, what really is important, and the positivity of giving back. There were times I was smiling or laughing, others I was touched or proud, and still others had tears in my eyes. But I felt everything deeply and was emotionally invested throughout.

It was a captivating, consuming, inspiring story of love, hope, healing and redemption with surprises and twists that I will not soon forget. It is my first six star read of the year and I do not give out six stars lightly. It is truly a stand alone and even though it is part of her A Sign Of Love series this book is not related to any of the books in the series.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t know how she does it. Each time I pick up a new book by Mia Sheridan, it surpasses any expectations I have for it, and let me tell you, that bar is set high. Kyland met and exceeded every hope I had for this Appalachian story of poverty, love, and the search for “that thing” that give us purpose.

Tenleigh Falyn and Kyland Barrett both grew up in Dennville, Kentucky not far from each other but both caught up in their own struggle to get out. From the run down trailers and garbage strewn yards to the lack of job opportunities outside the mine, Dennville is one of those places that screams poverty and Tenleigh and Kyland both had first hand experience going hungry, being cold, and struggling to get by.

Sometimes my life felt so small. And I had to wonder why those of us who were given small lives, still had to feel pain so big. It hardly seemed fair.

But there was one shining light in their struggles -- a scholarship opportunity for one student. Full ride, anywhere in the country. A free ticket out of Dennville. What neither counted on was getting to know the competition.

“Even for people like us -- there’s always someone who’s hungrier. And hunger, well, it comes in different forms.”

Tenleigh is a character who looks beyond her immediate circumstances and dreams. She knows she doesn’t want to stay in Dennville. Her childhood was not easy by any stretch, but she never lost sight of her goals. But she also worried about those around her. Helping her sister, watching out for her mother, her goals were all based on making things better for everyone around her.

Kyland also focused so hard on his endgame that he didn’t see anything else. Until he saw Tenleigh, and then, though he knew he still had to get out of town, he wasn’t sure how to accomplish it any longer.

And together? I loved these two. As their relationship developed (she having sworn off men, and he being very friendly with the ladies), it was fun to watch their reactions, their feelings, and the way those two things changed the more they got to know the other.
But nothing is perfect, and the implications of the scholarship looming over their heads cast a shadow over any sweetness that might have developed between them. That darn scholarship!

I read this with the scholarship in the back of my mind until the scene where it is awarded. Even as it was happening, I was both happy and crushed. Because only one could win it, and I wasn’t sure how that one point would change things. And I couldn’t have imagined the way things would play out either. Epic -- as I was cheering for one, my heart was breaking for both (and for a variety of reasons as it would play out).
This was such a fantastic, emotional story. As only Mia Sheridan can do, these characters are so different from any other archetype, or other characters I've read before. While I was reading, I just kept thinking that while I have never been to Appalachia, have never lived in abject poverty, and was reading fictional characters, everything in Kyland felt so relatable that I couldn’t help but feel what the characters were feeling. While we are still early in the year, this is one of those reads that will stick with me and will be at the top of my favorites list for longer than just the year. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
 A Sign of Love Series can be read as stand-alones 
and the stories are not related. 
The exceptions are Leo and Leo's Chance(male alternative POV) and 
Becoming Calder (part one) and Finding Eden(part two). 

Leo's Chance (male POV of Leo):

Archer's Voice:

Becoming Calder
(part one)

Finding Eden
(part two)

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

You May Also Like