Review + Excerpt: So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review + Excerpt: So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn

so much it hurts



Life is full of uncertainty, so what happens when a what-if from your past collides with your present?

Kaitlyn Thomas, a weary wife and mother, is taking a much needed getaway with her friends. All she wants to do is relax and rejuvenate on her weekend escape to the beach. Having a drink at the bar with the girls sounds like the perfect way to unwind. That is, until Kaitlyn hears a familiar voice from the stage that shakes her to her core. She grapples with her memory until Chris King, the lead singer of the band, walks up to her and eliminates the questions in her mind.

Chris King…the misunderstood bad boy who once saved her in ways that no one else could.

Kaitlyn’s friends beg to know the story behind this mystery man. Forced to revisit a painful past from which she has spent years trying to heal, Kaitlyn’s recollection of Chris awakens intense feelings that she has kept buried deep inside her heart. Has time changed him, or is he still the same person Kaitlyn fell in love with so many years ago?

Marriage vows are sacred, but temptation is a powerful thing.

Seeing Chris again has caused a war between her head and her heart. In the end, which one will win the battle? Facing a difficult decision, Kaitlyn just wants to be sure of one thing when she walks away from this weekend—no regrets.

My Review

What a ride. Fate can be so enduringly cruel sometimes. This emotional story evokes so many questions. Why does one stay with someone who hurts us? Does a mistake made in the name of love right the actual choice? Plus, how to we know that it was love to begin with? Love can be both the electric shock and fireworks… the burn of an unquellable connection as well as the stability and comfort of the every day, of the promise of forever and the power of forgiveness. I honestly didn’t know how to feel about where this story took me sometimes, this isn’t one in which I knew where it would end, or frankly where I wanted it to end.

Kaitlyn is a married woman, unhappily so at the moment. She’s a stay-at-home mom who struggles with feeling like a whole person, with feeling like there’s more to life than the monotony of cleaning, feeding, picking up, despite loving your children more than life itself. And on top of that, wanting to feel noticed, important, beautiful. Those are the feelings swirling inside her when she goes on a weekend getaway with her friends. Little did she expect to hear a voice from her past. The voice of a man now, Chris King, who back in high school saved her in more ways than one.

He enveloped me in his arms and whispered into my ear, “I’ve never forgotten you.”

The first half of the book takes us back into the past to understand the dynamic between Chris and Kaitlyn, as well as more about them as individuals. Chris is the bad boy, sporting piercings and recently back from juvie, his connection with Kaitlyn, the high school cheerleader whose boyfriend is the captain of the football team, is unlikely at best, but real nonetheless.

“Kaitlyn, I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about you… some kind of magnetism that draws me to you. It’s crazy, but true.”

Kaitlyn, is a sweet, inexperienced girl who gets caught up in the throes of first love, only to have her innocence taken away at the hands of an abusive boyfriend, Trevor.

“My fear of Trevor kept me running like a hamster on a wheel going nowhere; I hated myself for it. I was too scared to do anything about it.”

I felt heartbroken over what happened to Kaitlyn, frustrated over her choices, but I understood that her behavior is typical for so many victims of abuse. Held captive by fear, she couldn’t get away. She turned to Chris, a friend, who helped her, cared for her and during that time, their connection fortified and developed into something that would endure the test of time.

“Chris.. you have made me realize how love could be–should be. You saved me in more ways than one. I can’t thank you enough for that.”

I absolutely fell in love with Chris, I wanted so badly for him and Kaitlyn to be together, but fate continued to interfere and choices made with good  intentions broke them apart. So when Michael enters the picture, he is there to pull Kaitlyn from her depression. Life is life, time goes by and now they’re married with a son. So when destiny, their cruel friend, crosses their path in the present, and their love is once again an impossibility, Kaitlyn’s heart is torn… and tempted. I didn’t know what to feel, who to root for, what was the right kind of love that Kaitlyn needed… and did that even matter if she was married with a family? It is really a fresh approach to be challenged by the story line in that way, and I applaud author Melanie Dawn for not giving us readers the easy way out, dictating how we should feel… instead, it was up to us to feel the authenticity of the story, the flawed people, the difficult choices.

There is lots more that happens, the story takes turns that challenged me morally, gripped me emotionally and broke my heart while simultaneously giving me hope.  The ending is a a happy one, but one that is laced with some lingering, bittersweet feelings that kept the story alive in my head long after I finished. I really enjoyed the book — it was a heartfelt… an emotional ride with ups and downs, twists and turns that made it easy to devour the book in one quick sitting.

“Just know that no matter what happens, I will always love you. I mean that with every fiber of my being. You will always hold my heart. Always.”


About Melanie

Melanie Dawn Author picI am a dreamer, a thinker, and a hopeless romantic! I never considered myself a writer until one day I sat down and started typing. Before I knew it I had 40,000 words…so here I am, trying to make my way as an author!

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



“Yo Kaitlyn, is your man Trevor gonna carry us to the championships this year?” Allen asked with admiration in his voice.

It never failed. Trevor seemed to have followers everywhere.

“Hopefully!” I answered with fake enthusiasm.

“Tell him I said good luck.”

“I will. See you later, Allen.”

My last word stopped short as I caught a glimpse of the deepest, darkest eyes staring at me. One of the guys I had heard singing was staring at me as I walked past him sitting on the brick retaining wall. He had the most beautiful dark brown eyes, with eyelashes that cast shadows onto his cheeks. A gray Hurley hat sat cockeyed on his head with a few soft curls flipping out around it. His black hoodie draped carelessly around his shoulders. He wore a stud diamond earring, a coned barbell in his eyebrow, and a silver hoop in his lower lip—but all that cold hard metal didn’t take away from the softness in his eyes. He held my gaze as the butterflies awakened and began fluttering in the pit of my stomach. His hand stopped strumming and dropped down by his side. Ever so casually, he pulled the corner of his mouth up in a half grin. I caught myself shyly smiling back, and our eyes locked. Slowing my pace, I tried to relish the moment between us. I had never felt so enraptured, and yet so…addled. Quickly, I tore my eyes away from his gaze and rushed toward my destination. I was afraid to look back at the mystery guy with the dark, enchanting eyes and the guitar in his lap. I could almost feel him staring at me as I continued walking toward the football field. When I finally got far enough away, I heard the music start again.

Who was that guy?!


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