Let It Be Me
By: Toni Aleo
Do you see that woman there?The one with long, wavy blond hair and blue eyes that used to sparkle?
That’s me, Violet Moore.
Do you see those men over there?
One is my husband, Rob.A man who claimed he loved me, but proved his fist loved me more.The other is Tucker McCloud, my savior and confidant.I'm torn between what's right and my own fear.But not anymore.I’m taking my life back now.I will fight back.I will be happy.
LET ME GATHER MY HEART FIRST.
THEN MY SENSES.
LET IT BE ME had it completely in pieces.
The hairs in my arms rise, my heart throbbing painfully, I can feel the chills inside my gut, my adrenaline is pumping, I couldn’t breathe. – TONI ALEO, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!
First thing I have asked myself after reading a couple of paragraphs in the sentence – IS THIS THING REAL? Because believe me when I tell you, reading this is like watching what is happening first hand. You standing in the corner of the room watching at someone beating up a helpless woman and your hands are bound – you can’t do anything to stop him.
If you ask me if I enjoyed the novel, I couldn’t have given you a direct answer. But if you ask me if I find it beautiful – I would say YES. This one had hit me in the core, and I didn’t see it coming. It’s not pretty to read at because it’s REALITY. This is what is happening.
I wanted to hate Violet Moore – how can she possibly live with her husband? For three years she had endured being with Rob. She no longer had friends, she followed Rob to his hometown away from her family, she has no control over her money and everyday of her life is a struggle. She was beautiful, confident, strong – how did it come down to this? It is easy for us to judge, right? She could have run away, get on a plane back to her mother, and leave him. But no, SHE STAYED. Frustrating, right?!! Toni Aleo brings us inside the minds of an abused wife/woman – why most of them found it very hard to leave their abusers. It is really frustrating, you will want to knock some senses into them – but at the same time you will understand why they allow themselves to be beaten. The constant fear, the helplessness – it’s heartbreaking.
Just please, let it be me. Pick Me. Love Me.
She’s selfish – that is true. BUT Tucker is her hope. Her salvation. For a long time, she had nothing. Now this man wanted to be there for her and help her escape her. Could you blame her? Tucker would have been better off without her, but she won’t be better off without Tucker. What I love most about this man? He gave her time to heal. He didn’t impose his emotions, he didn’t push a relationship. He didn’t allow her to be dependent on him. (SIGH – can I have this guy?!) Instead, he waited in the sidelines, allowing her to heal the wounds her husband have cost, and allowing her to love herself fully.
I couldn’t put it down because I was afraid the next time I read, I wouldn’t see Violet or Tucker. So I continued to read, until the wee hours of the morning, wanting to know what happened. Will Violet finally leave Rob? Will they have their happily ever after? Will Rob catch them both? Will they survive?
As the novel goes, and as you see changes in Violet’s character – you will be proud of her. It wasn’t a drastic change, instead it was gradual. A courage had grown inside her heart, caused by pent up fear, frustration, and wanting to be happy. When she made a decision and she finally walk out of the door, I wanted to stand up and applaud for her. It takes more than courage to finally do that. But would Rob let her get away that easily? Uh-oh.
This was one heck of a journey. It was a long road for the both of them, but in the end, the struggle, the bruises and wounds were all worth it. The end chapter and the epilogue were perfect – but not before Toni Aleo would have given you a coronary first. I haven’t read a more emotional, more real, and more moving novel about Domestic Abuse than LET IT BE ME.
*ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.
Toni Aleo is the author of the Nashville Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, and Blue Lines. When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel. She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog.