“Embark on an exotic adventure in Book 2 of the Escape to Paradise series from bestselling author MaryLu Tyndall. In the fledgling colony of New Hope, their friends struggle to create a Southern utopia in Brazil soon after the Civil War. But Hayden is seeking revenge—relentlessly. And Magnolia is seeking a way out—desperately. They both seek to use the other for their own purposes—deceptively. Falling in love was never part of their plans.”
I went in to this book thinking I knew what to expect. The first book was a great read (see my review here) and I was sure that this one would be too! Well, I was absolutely right. Actually, I think I liked it even more.
The dynamic between Magnolia and Hayden is awesome. I love the interplay of sarcasm, frustration and attraction between them. One minute they are seemingly wanting to kill each other and the next they are growing closer. I really enjoyed the relationship. I loved how Hayden came to realize how God wants for all of us. Magnolia’s realizations and changes are wonderful. I liked how she finally came into her own!
Throw in a temple and some really creepy happenings and I was riveted to the pages and did not want this to end. I liked the addition of the brief glimpses of the temple. I was really intrigued by it and wanted to hear more about it (which will be coming in book 3). I liked how the settings were so different in how MaryLu wrote them. The colony sounded like such a beautiful, peaceful setting. The temple, on the other hand, was dark and creepy. The writing reached out and grabbed me around the throat, I could feel goose-bumps on my arms and my heart would begin to race. Awesome!
The epilogue left me desperately wishing book 3 was already printed and on my shelf! I can’t wait for Abandoned Memories.
If you enjoyed ‘Forsaken Dreams’, you will definitely enjoy ‘Elusive Hope’. If you haven’t read ‘Forsaken Dreams’, what are you waiting for? These are great books!!
Thanks for reading my review and, just because I appreciate you guys so much, I’ve obtained (courtesy of the awesome MaryLu Tyndall) a sneak peek from ‘Abandoned Memories’ for you. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. 😉 Enjoy!
October 18th, 1866 The jungles of Brazil
The ground shook like a ship in a sea squall. Dirt and rocks pelted Angeline. . .striking. . .stinging. Her heart seized. Covering her head, she spun and staggered back the way she’d come—up toward the tunnel entrance and into the temple, where at least she wouldn’t be buried alive. Unless the roof of the ancient shrine caved in. A violent jolt struck, launching her against the rock wall as if she were made of paper. Pain radiated up her arm. Her legs quivered like the ground beneath them, and she fell onto the shifting dirt.
The hand that engulfed hers was rough like old rope, powerful, yet warm. An equally powerful arm swung around her waist as tremors wracked the tunnels. “Hang on. You’re safe,” James spoke in her ear, covering her head with his own. Pebbles rained down on them. Coughing, Angeline flung a hand to her mouth when the quaking finally stopped.
She drew a deep breath, her lungs filling with dust scented with spice and man and James. And standing there, ensconced in his embrace, fears that had risen so quickly when the ground had begun to shake suddenly vanished. She hated herself for it. She pushed from him. The stench of sulfur and mold instantly swept away his masculine aroma and resurrected her terror.
James stared at her oddly while he said to the men, “I told you we should not have brought the women.”
Brushing dirt from her skirts, Eliza, who stood in front of them with her husband, Blake, turned to face him. “You had no say in it, Doctor. We insisted. Did we not?” She smiled at Angeline. “There’s nothing to fear from a little shaking.”
Angeline wasn’t so sure. But then again, she didn’t possess Eliza’s courage and strength. Few women did. Those qualities, along with a multitude of others, were the reason Angeline admired her friend so much—the reason she’d cast aside her fears and agreed to venture into the eerie temple they’d found in the middle of the Brazilian jungle.
And then down into the tunnels beneath.
Yet at the moment, Eliza looked as if someone had dumped a bucket of chalk powder on her head. If Angeline weren’t so frightened, she’d giggle at the sight. But her alarm at being so far below ground during an earthquake stifled any laughter. She never should have come along. The men had insisted on investigating a loud explosion they’d heard last night that had shaken the ground all the way to their settlement of New Hope. When they feared it came from the temple, Eliza’s concern for Mr. Graves mounted, but now that Angeline had seen the ancient ruin and experienced the stink and heat of the narrow tunnels that spanned beneath it, she wondered why anyone would want to return. Or live here, as Mr. Graves had done since they’d arrived in Brazil.
Mr. Graves was one of the reasons Angeline had joined them today—to witness for herself the madman “digging his way to hell,” according to some of the colonists’ reports. Exaggerated reports, she was sure, but after Eliza had regaled her with further tales of gruesome obelisks, prison alcoves hewn in rock, strange Latin and Hebrew inscriptions, and Graves’s obsession with releasing powerful, invisible creatures, Angeline’s curiosity had gotten the best of her—regardless of James’s insistence that she remain in town. Or maybe because of it. Angeline grew tired of men dictating her. Telling her how to live and what to do and how to behave.
And using her like a dried-up commodity.
So, she’d come. And now, despite the heat and the terror and the pain, the look of approval in Eliza’s eyes made it all worth it. Almost.
“We ladies don’t fear a little earthquake, gentlemen. Do carry on.” Eliza’s courage caused Angeline’s shoulders to lift just a little. The woman was nearly two months along with child, yet here she was burrowing into the depths of the earth right beside her husband. Oh, how Angeline longed to be brave and independent like Eliza. Not weak and submissive as she’d been her entire life. Angeline had not only come to Brazil to start a new life but to become a new person. To put both her past-life and her past-self behind her. If only she could. . .
The ground trembled again and she pressed a hand against the wall. Sharp crags pricked her fingers as they slid over rock that seemed to sweat in the infernal heat. “If there was an explosion here last night, I’m surprised these tunnels didn’t collapse.”
“Indeed,” James said, shifting his torch to his other hand, “though these walls appear to be solid enough.” He ran a sleeve over his forehead, leaving a streak of mud. “Still, being below ground makes me nervous.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” Blake, an ex-colonel in the Confederate army and the leader of their colony, raised his torch and wiped dust from his wife’s nose. He planted a kiss on it and shook his head. “I told you it wasn’t safe.”
“Which is precisely why I didn’t want you coming here alone.” Eliza brushed dirt from his shirt. “Besides, we have to discover if Mr. Graves is injured.”
The colonel huffed his frustration and glanced at James with a shrug. But James was still examining the tunnel walls. “Odd. I wonder how primitive cannibals managed to score these tunnels out of rock.”
“This place is filled with nothing but questions.” Hayden’s voice preceded his appearance from the shadows behind them. “The main one gnawing at me now is why we are bothering to check on Graves when he’s made it plain he wants nothing to do with us.” He ran a hand through dark hair moist with sweat.
“Where are Patrick and Dodd?” the colonel asked.
“They spotted the gold moon and stars above the altar.” Hayden’s lips slanted. “Need I say more?”
James snorted and leaned toward Angeline to whisper, “Are you sure you want to continue?”
“Yes, I’ve come this far. I might as well go on.” Though her bodice was glued to her skin and sweat trickled down her neck and the fetor that rose from deep within the tunnels was enough to wilt a sturdy oak tree, she would prove herself brave. At least this once. Anything to keep James gazing at her with such admiration.
Thank you MaryLu for the great sneak peek! You can find the amazing MaryLu Tyndall on Facebook, Twitter, Blog and on Goodreads.
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