October Releases

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Indie Book Review: Grave Bound (Secrets #1) by T.R. Graves

Author: T. R. Graves
Series: Secrets
Number in Series: 1
Format: ePub
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Pages: 270
Publisher: Createspace/Self-published
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis 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 fiancé 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.


      Grave Bound is a story that follows a young woman named Emily. Emily has no life of her own, she is not allowed to voice her opinion and her only purpose is to clean and cook for the men in her life. She is so tired of this life and she wants to break away. So when all the men are out for the summer doing things that they are very illegal, she takes a chance to give herself a smidgen of freedom. She sneaks out of The Community and goes swimming. She usually can't without the supervision of a man and if she was found out, she will be beaten or possibly killed for her defiance. When she leaves, she happens to meet a man named Levi who she can't believe is actually being nice to her. He is an outsider and a man, but he treats her with respect and listens to her. Him and his cousin, Tope, treat her like an equal. After what is meant to be a one time escape turns into wanting much more when she knows that life has more to offer. He act of defiance has given her a new perspective. But due to the secrets she knows escaping will be even more difficult and dangerous than she thought.

      Wow!!!! This is so going on my favorite reads of 2013. I loved this book so much. I couldn't put it down. I started early one morning and it didn't leave my hands until I was done with it. I finished it in a day. The story was intense, emotional and so beautifully written. I loved the main character Emily. She was a great lead character. You instantly feel connected to her and her situation. She is conditioned to be seen and not heard. She is conditioned to think she is nothing more than a servant and future baby factory. I love that when she gets the chance to have some freedom, her real personality comes out. She was smart and had a lot of spark. She has to keep herself in hiding, but being around Levi and Tope, she can be herself.

      I loved Levi and Tope. Levi was freaking perfect. He isn't aware of how dangerous the men in her community really are. But he is willing to fight tooth and nail for her. Tope was a little harder to understand. He was a very complex character. He obviously had feelings for Emily as well. You can tell that was one of many things that made him seem upset. But Tope knows so much about Emily's Community and the very illegal things the men do during the summer. He has his own plans to help the women of the Community and take down the men and stop their illegal activities.

      This story was well put together. Emily finds out that she has been promised to marry named Lorenzo who is one of the most awful and vile man in the Community. She doesn't know why her father has made this promise. She doesn't like that they make all these decisions without having a say. Emily finds out that Lorenzo is doing something behind the Community's back. There is so much more going on, but I can't say what. I love where this book went and just how intense it got. I had no idea this book would be as dark as it was, but it made me love it more. Graves really held nothing back. The book is action-packed and very gritty. I found myself holding my breath at some parts, it killed me. And there will be a few scenes where you will cry. When we learn really see just how life is for Emily and what she must endure just for being a woman, it is definitely hard not to feel sorry for her. Not to mention what happens to a certain family member in the house. This scene nearly killed me. That was just very sad and painful.

      I loved the relationship between Tope and Levi. They were more like brothers than cousins. There was a bit of a love triangle in the book as well. But I didn't find it irritating. I loved how much Levi and Tope were willing to do for Emily and the people in the Community even if it meant their deaths. The adversity Emily and the women must face is just staggering and and scary. There were quite a few scenes that will make you a bit uncomfortable mainly when Lorenzo is around. The guy is a pervert with a capital P.

      I highly recommend this read for anyone looking for one hell of a rollercoaster ride. This book was just incredible and I want more. This story will stick with you for a long time after you read it. You will be rooting for these characters up until the end. Even though what they are fighting against is bigger than them, they fight it whatever little way they must. They defy who they must to survive. This book is a must read. You really have no idea what you are in for, but boy is it worth. Buy it now.


*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2013!
The Book Vixen's 2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 


About T. R. Graves

T. R. Graves, the author of The Warrior Series and The Secrets Series and The Underwater Series, is a 2012 NaNoWriMo Winner.

She lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise T. R.'s beta reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.
Follow T. R. Graves here:
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