Book Review: Pulled Within

Pulled Within (Bar Harbor #2) by Marni Mann: Storms can't last forever…can they?

For five long years, Rae Ryan has lived in a storm over which she has no control. Little by little, everything has been taken away from her—her job, her relationship, her best friend and her home. Plagued by nightmares and a terrible family secret, she carries her scars as much on the inside as she does on the outside.

Hart Booker, another disappointment from her past, returns to Bar Harbor and shelters her from the rain. He reminds Rae that forgiveness is possible, happiness can be found on the other side of darkness, and beauty rests beneath her scars. But a sinister figure lingering in the background seems determined to pull Rae back into a past she’s been trying to outrun. Can she survive the storm and become part of the light she so desperately desires? Or is she destined to remain
Pulled Within?

Recommended for mature audiences due to explicit language, sexual abuse, disturbing situations, and drug use.

TeriLyn's thoughts: **Pulled Within generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

Certain authors I expect certain elements present in their stories. While I’ve not a clue what to expect in terms of plot awareness of what to expect in terms of writing and feeling I retain certain ideas about what I’ll read. One such author is Marni Mann. I can’t ever guess her plot lines but I always feel deeply when I read her stories. I’ve once said a Mann story is an unstoppable force, Pulled Within proves to be no exception.

Mann delves into the dark and damaged souls of her characters in an effort to exorcise demons. In doing so she delves into the dark and damaged souls of her readers. The writing lends itself to keeping readers in the dark of the secrets lurking beneath the words. We’re in the point of view of the heroine and such is brilliance as we’re stuck with the same limited knowledge of her story as the hero.

What has happened to this girl who so easily comforts those around her but can’t comfort her own demons? Our, Rae, needs both the strength within her and the strength of someone else the war waged within her. Moving through life as fluidly as the words on the pages furthers the reader’s belief the darkness will find light. The innate courage of her character astounded me. She’s been hurt deeply and her trust in the few she allows inside comes from bravery. No one writes a beautifully damaged female main character quite like Mann. Rae becomes accustomed to hardship, sacrifice, and the most upsetting of tragedies yet still a charming, giving, gifted woman lurks in the shadows of the darkness surrounding her. She feels everything deeply from the relationships she’s lost to the ones she works hard to maintain. Thanks to the smart, concise, haunting words of Marni Mann we feel deeply about Rae too.

The hero presented in Pulled Within gave me something quite different than I’ve experienced before in a novel by this author. He’s a hero whose darkness doesn’t run near as deep as the heroine. One classified as a knight in shining armor. Hart made mistakes of his own admittance. He’s a character moving forward. He’s understanding and compassionate. He’s strong and protective. He’s quite charming even though he’s simplistic.

The dichotomy between the darkness of Rae and lightness of Hart provides an interesting in Rae’s story of redemption. It’s a twist I wasn’t expecting yet one that worked for me in the best of ways. By the end of story I felt proud of these characters for different reasons but I really felt joy for Rae, for her situation, and for her conclusive self-worth.

Marni Mann makes you believe no matter how deep the scar healing is possible. Step into the darkness of this author’s words; relish the demons living inside her characters. This New Adult journey evokes emotion through haunting prose effectively wrapping themselves around our hearts and minds; writing so smart yet easy to read. She makes the dull bright. She convinces the reader to believe in her stories, her characters, and somehow in ourselves no matter what our own darkness may be. It’s an amazing gift to receive as a reader coinciding with another amazing story in Pulled Within. I’m so very fortunate to have been introduced into Marni’s worlds and forever grateful for the stories she writes and the absolute privilege that I'm able to read them.

Favorite Quotes:

“I didn’t just hear his words when he spoke; I felt them push through my jacket and tickle the skin around my navel. Had I closed my eyes, I’d have seen his lips in that exact spot. His tongue, too. My back arching from the syllables he breathed over my flesh.”

“Our paths had diverged, and though we’d ended up with very different lives, we were both in Bar Harbor once again. That was a strange thought.”

“Our relationship wasn’t about my scars. It was about caring for him in a way I hadn’t been able to care for others in my life when they’d really needed me to.”

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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