Here is a summary of The Circle of Friends Book III...James from L. Diane Wolfe's website:
The future appears bright for James Sheppard. Emerging from a troubled childhood, he is blessed with talent and a good work ethic. Excelling in his classes and at the campus newspaper, James’s goal of editor appears within his grasp.
However, years of abuse and loneliness have dampened his spirit. By the time Maria enters his world, James is nearing the breaking point. Her innocent love slowly fills the void in his life, boosting his confidence and giving him hope.
When a crisis abruptly forces him into adulthood, James is saddled with more responsibility than expected. Struggling to cope with the situation, the past returns to haunt him. Will James find peace before the mistakes of his father destroy him completely?
As I have just started to read young adult fiction I really don't have a lot to compare this book to, but I can tell you that I really enjoyed it. Personally, this book hit a bit close to home for me as I married my husband when we were quite young, and just last month we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary!
James has always been a quality young man with good work ethics and strong morals. He persevered and defeated the odds by not continuing the path of emotional and physical abuse that he had endured as a child. James finally breaks away from that home life when he leaves for college to start working on his own future.
When James meets Maria his whole world changes as he finds himself falling deeply in love with her. Before you know it, one mistake changes the paths of both of their lives forever. Visions of carefree college days are no longer within grasp as they find themselves struggling to do what is right for themselves and each other.
During these difficult times, James is also trying to come to terms with the unstable relationship he has always had with his father. James finally realizes that he cannot lead a healthy life himself until he accepts what happened between the two of them as he was growing up, and actually forgives him. Once he can get past that obstacle, James gets a glimpse as to what provoked his father's abusive behavior all those years ago. I really enjoyed this part of the book, because although abuse is never acceptable, it is always helpful to realize what makes people act the way they do.
James and Maria's relationship weathered many storms through this book. Maria's parents greatly disliked James, but she stood up to them to show her support of the decisions that they made. Relationships do not come easy, they are hard work! It also was an excellent example that when you make mistakes there are consequences that you must live up to. This book showed that when times are tough, you can make things work out by supporting and loving each other. I want to give a special Thank You to L. Diane Wolfe for providing me with this review copy that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This book brought one of my favorite quotes to mind by Lewis B. Smedes: 'To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.'
My Rating: 4/5
If this book interests you, be sure to stop back in the next day or so for a chance to win a copy for yourself!
Be sure to check out the rest of her tour stops as you may have another chance to win this book:
Aug 11 Tour Kick-Off, Guest Post, & Giveaway J. Kaye's Book Blog
Aug 13 Review and Interview at TexasRed Books
Aug 14 Interview & Giveaway at Genevieve's Blog
Aug 15-31 Book giveaway at Jo-Jo Loves to Read
Aug 17 Guest post at Frenetic Reader
Aug 18-19-20 Interview & review at Always Something to Read
Aug 19 Book giveaway and guest post at Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Aug 21 Guest post & review at The Story Siren
Aug 24 Review & interview at Ultimate Book Hound
Aug 25 Guest post at Find Your Next Book Here
Aug 26 Guest post & review at Belle of the Books
Aug 27 Interview at Kathy Erskine’s Blog
You can see a couple other reviews at:
Missy’s Book Nook
Debbie’s World of Books