Oh my gosh! I cannot tell you how invested I was as I read Forced to Love. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into and gosh was it a heck of a bumpy and obstacle filled ride! I have to be honest, I didn’t know what I was reading. It was Historical yes, but what was it really? I can’t say it’s a romance because I hit that like everyday, and for this particular novel I just didn’t see how it would fit into a romance category. But this is placed under romance so….you’ll have to decide on that for yourself.
And as you may know this is my first ever read from Sky Alexander and this is also the first book in his Fires of Love and Hate series, and man does it really ring true to it’s series title.
So, this is a Historical novel set in the very late 1890s about the turn of the century about a family having to go through all these horrible things. It’s set in Missouri in a small farming town and is told in a POV fashion. Meaning, there are many POVs from various characters that help tells the story but we have one dominate POV, which is the heroine Hattie. This is in third POV though and not first POV.
But I just got to warn you readers, this is one heck of a family filled ride. Like really, a family filled drama.
I’m not saying that it’s horrible but man do you get invested and emotionally and mentally stuck with them that you can’t even fathom that things can go so wrong, ever!
Hattie, our heroine is fantastic! I super adore her. She’s strong willed, smart, holds her ground, and has a very good shot. She also knows how to solve her problems and sacrifice herself for the sake and safety of her family. I mean her abhor of a father practically sold her off to the devil himself and at the tender age of fifteen! FIFTEEN!!! And to another devil himself! Ugh!!!
Her father is a scoundrel of an Ashh! He’ physically abusive to her lovely mother, which I was so happy when he got kicked to the curve! And he’s nothing but crap. plus, he’s just a monster!! A Monster I tell you! After what you learned about him as you kept on reading. No, I absolutely no. I hate him to the ground! I would have shot and killed him a thousand– a million times over if I could have.
But Hattie, she was strong throughout the whole ordeal and kept her head up even after tremendous tragedies happened to her. I really feel for her. every thing bad that happens just made me angrier and outraged. Like, what are you doing to her life Sky?, gosh dang it!! I just couldn’t handle some of the scenes. I read it but as it was going through my head it was all wrong and got me so frustrated and angry……. *deep breath*……I just, can’t explain it. I was really emotionally attached and really touched, like painfully heartbroken to see and know what had happen to Hattie and her family.
But all in all, her loving family and friends were there for her step by step through it all, thank goodness!!! I don’t even think I would have had the courage to do the thing Hattie were able to do, like stand up tall and face her fears and troubles or to even stand up against all the scrutiny. She was just, a superhero. I couldn’t have been happier for her. She really had some fabulous folks around and she’s an angel all around and there for them too so, everything goes around and comes around. I mean this is like karma right here, this book is basically it, Karma!
Oh my gosh, a side from me hating her father, the dude that she married is even more a devil! I was so angry when she admitted that she forgave him for what he did to her. (Spoiler: He freakin raped you!!! When he snuck into the house and punched you unconscious!!!) Yeah, she forgave him! OMG I was so mad! But, she’s a church praying girl and you can’t hate on your neighbors not matter the sins they’ve evoked you have to forgive them. But man, I couldn’t do that. He is not redeemable! Never will he be redeemable thank gosh!
And then there’s her older sister, Laville. I do not like her. For all she can be protective and caring for her family and face to devil herself, I just couldn’t warm up to her. She’s selfish, a narcissist, shameless, heartless……. harlot…..person! For what I’ve learned of what she did….in the past, to her husband and his family. Nope, she’s just as horrible as her father. She’s her father basically, just nicer and loves her family. She did have a moment where I thought she was going to be okay but I don’t think even if she’s redeemed in her own book that I will like her. We’ll see.
All of the other secondary characters in the story were wonderful! Hattie’s older brothers were perfect the way they are. sure they’ve had heartbreaks in their lives too but they were very protective of their sisters and their family that I couldn’t help but adore them. Rebecca I super love. Although she’s the mother of Hattie’s horror of a husband she’s nothing like him and she’s just strong and gracious! She kicked her son and husband out of her will and made Hattie her heir in her wealth so that just tells you how powerful and influential she is in the story in in Hattie’s life.
So, yeah. There were many themes, topics, and situations that were presented and shown in this book that were very, touchy subjects but I personally liked them. Not many Historical touch upon rape and abuse so having these themes and topics as part of the story worked really well in moving the plot forward. They were the mysteries that snuck up on you without you seeing it coming. Yes, there were warning signs like foreshadowing but you weren’t sure if they were ever going to be acted upon or committed. They were just shocks that came and stayed for a very long time after the end of the story. Disturbing yes, but them really helped made the story and were also apart of what affected a character’s behavior to push the events and circumstances to happen the way they happened.
So over all, I really enjoyed this read because it got me hooked on it throughout the night and left me mentally and emotionally scarred for the horror and hurt it brought me. Don’t worry though, all’s in good sign of what made it a good book.
The only thing that bothered me were that it kind of left me hanging. It was a short novel and had many great aspects but it left me with lots of unanswered questions, plus the ending wasn’t a cliff hanger but close enough that I’ll have to wait to read the next book if I want to get my answers answered or just to know more about this family and their tragedies.
Sky’s writing and story telling was easy to follow and very smooth. Everything fitted together even during the transitioning of different POVs without the use of breaks. I caught on to it quick so it was really great to see others points of views during the same time. I was also very happy that Sky wrote strong and intelligent women in this story. it could be difficult to write a character who’s a different gender you know. So I was impressed on how well he created these characters.
I will recommend it, but if you have a light heart and family drama with some uncomfortable subjects that are alluded to aren’t your cup of tea, just be warned. But if you’re willing to jump into something very different and shock worthy then go right ahead and try this out.
This ARC was provided by the publishers for an honest review.
Rating: 4 our 5