Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife's tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.
Until the letters arrive on Luke's doorstep.
Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.
Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she's ready for something different--something true.She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he's different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts--one letter at a time.
Discover Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.
4 Star Review by Ashley
I am always equal parts nervous and excited when reading a debut from an author. There was something about the cover to 9 Letters that made me want to, just by looking at it, find the guy on the cover and give him a hug. And if a cover can do that to me I figure that the book has to be worth a shot. I will say this about Blake Austin's writing, it is different from any I've ever read. It isn't pretty or even grammatically correct all the time but please! don't let that deter you- because it just works for this book and this character.
It was pretty hard not to like the broken and tortured heart that belonged to the main character, Luke Cawley. I really enjoyed reading a book told in an all male POV, especially this guy as he found his way back to himself. That road was far from easy. It was full of detours and potholes and anger, fear and tears. When he gets the most unexpected of surprises dropped on his doorstep on one of the worst days, it was just the kick in the pants he needed. The pain and regret and soul crushing grief was palpable. Luke is simply stuck and these letters are his way out of that rut. It was hard to witness someone struggle so much. My chest physically ached for him. But, it was also beautiful to witness his transformation. It took one slobbery nose dog and sassy animal lover to open his eyes to all he had been missing.
The instructions Luke receives in the letters help him find a better version himself. Find a person he can proud of. A person Emily would be proud of. A person who could be worthy of someone like Rae with her goodness and fragile heart. I liked Rae- a lot. Though you don't learn too much about her, she plays a major role in Luke's desire to not move on but to move forward. Because you don't ever really move on from a loss like that. Their relationship was as sweet and healed something in the both of them. They didn't try to change each other rather they embraced the others faults and flaws.
While 9 Letters isn't overly emotional, it does pack quite the one-two punch. There are bouts of contentment coupled with extreme sorrow. And somewhere in between Luke is just ok- until he learned how to be good. The letters and his relationship with Rae helped strengthen all of the others in his life. Some were new and refreshing and others he had let fall by the wayside. I liked seeing him mending those fences, sometimes literally on his path to his own redemption. I want to commend Blake Austin for writing something so original and touching in his debut. This story was written almost as if the main character was telling you his story. And I really felt connected to Luke's struggle and journey because of it. If you're like me and you're willing to take a risk, then I strongly suggest you take a chance on this promising new author.
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