Tainted by Brooke Morgan
Published December 1, 2009
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the pace of the novel and the flow of the writing. It wasn’t too fast and the writing style was lovely. It kept me interested and engaged without being too tiresome or lagging. I was worried after reading some reviews that I might not enjoy this book because common complaints were the huge spoiler that the back cover revealed, the naivety of the characters, the pace of the book, etc. Granted, the spoiler in the back cover did mention that something bad was going to happen – that Holly had met a monster but as to what and when it was going to happen was still left in the air. Throughout the entire novel, I kept wondering what it was that made him a monster – was he a domestic abuser? Was he a child molester? Therefore, even though the spoiler at the back cover left me without a doubt that something would happen that would deem him as a monster, the book still kept me guessing.
Regarding the naivety of the characters, Holly was certainly naïve. I suppose the saying “love is blind” is completely true in this case - lack of love and the tender age of 23 with a child of 5 years of age certainly led Holly to believe that Jack was the man for her. To her, having any man that could show that much love to both her and her child was something precious and that made her blind. There were a lot of tiny incidences that made me wonder about Jack – when he was throwing all of her old photos of her recently deceased parents into the trash with a proclamation to “forget the past”; when he shouted at her baby to stop crying despite the fact that she is only 5 and therefore, crying is expected and then leaving the house for hours; his strange nightly adventures with Katy, her 5 year old daughter (why I thought he was a child molester and a potential rapist); and many other small occurrences that subtly drew attention to the monster within.
Henry, Holly’s grandfather, was probably my favorite character. His boisterous personality and love for his granddaughter and great-granddaughter was obvious from the way he acted. However, the biggest mistake he made was reintroducing Jack to his daughter in the hopes that she will finally find someone for herself. Of course, this was not his fault but in retrospect, if only…
The other characters: Katy and Billy were both wonderful to read about. Katy was this spunky, energetic and extremely smart 5 year old. I honestly hate kids but Katy was someone I could actually say, okay, I wouldn't mind having her as my kid. Holly did a wonderful job raising her. And Billy - he was someone you hated in the beginning for not only rejecting his responsibility but also avoiding Holly at any given time but I later grew to love him. In the beginning, he was the only one suspecting Jack and rightly so. However, no one ever believed him which honestly did not seem believable. Why would someone (Billy) who had always rejected the idea of a daughter suddenly try to take away Holly’s soon-to-be husband as a means to know his daughter more? Billy never gave any indication that he wanted more from Holly other than knowing his own daughter more – why would hindering her relationship with Jack help that? He later redeemed himself with his perseverance to discover the truth and his motivation to right his wrongs in the past.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I would certainly read more of Brooke Morgan’s books in the future.