26 September 2014

Tangled Paths by Kimi Flores

 Is it possible to flee your past? Or does it sit patiently, waiting for your return?

Tired of traveling the world in order to escape reality, Bri Hunter has finally found a place to call home. Settled into Santa Barbara, close to her brother and cousin, she’s ready for a little peace. Wanting to avoid the tormenting, incessant calls she receives, she throws herself into helping her sister-in-law’s growing floral business. It doesn’t take long to run smack into the one guy she’d given up on ever seeing again.

It’s been five years since Josh Tucker has sobered up, left his Hollywood lifestyle far behind, and sheltered himself in his horse ranch in Santa Ynez, California. If it hadn’t been for his family, he probably wouldn’t be around to tell his story. When a beautiful brunette shows up at his cousin’s vineyard, something in her spiteful eyes tells him their paths have tangled together before.

As Josh begins to uncover who Bri is, he finds himself falling for her. Will he find a way to convince her to trust him? And will she be able to let go of the past and move forward? When a traumatic event strikes, Bri will have to decide if she’s going to let life continue to cripple her…or set her free.

~ Reviewers agree that although this is technically the 3rd book in the Intertwined Hearts series, it reads smoothly as a stand alone as well

Most people in society can’t even rationalize that there are young women out there whose mothers do not love them.  To hear that a woman was abused verbally and mentally by their mothers is just unconceivable to most but this was Bri’s life.  With the knowledge that even her own mother couldn’t respect or love her she went into her college life looking for someone to accept her and appreciate her and found Josh.  She was good for one night, one conversation and then she was excused to move on in her world again.  Bri knew her brother Stefen and cousin Caleb would always be there for her, but this was a heart ache that she couldn’t admit to them, so she carried this silently for years.
When the time came for Josh and Bri to reunite it was by accident and the bitter feelings Bri held had become even stronger.  Josh was living a life style back then that left him clueless as to what he had done or who Bri was, but something in her eyes told him they had known each other before and it didn’t end good.  Now he has gotten on track and left the old life style that caused him to create his own kind of baggage.  He lost more than his pride and dignity back then and he struggles daily even now to regain the trust and respect he threw away when he was younger.  Will Bri ever give him a chance to correct the mistake he made and help her heal the heart he broke?
Now the two are forced together long term due to family and friend connections.  When Josh learns the truth behind Bri he is on a mission to make amends and see if he can resurrect those old feelings he knows is still in Bri’s heart.  Bri is not going down that path again.  He made a fool of her once and that was not going to happen again, until her heart became louder than her resolve to kick him to the curb.  When she lets him in a little bit as a friend he sees that the walls were not all created because of him.  She is holding on to some deep scars that might not ever allow her to trust another person again. 
Kimi did a fantastic job as building a story based on human emotions and tribulations.  She threw twists in the story that would either free the characters or bury them in more baggage and destroy any chance they had.  You could tell this was a character driven story; she stepped back and let them tell their own story in this one.  With each book she publishes her talent grows and her characters voices become stronger and louder. 
I love how she brings back the members from her first two books to include them in the current plot.  This group of characters would not be complete if they were not in every book because each has been designed to give the plot their own special touch.  In Tangled Paths, Kimi shows us what love, forgiveness and letting go can do for a human soul.  She gives us a view of true healing not only from the point of view of those who have been hurt but from the side of those who caused the hurt.  Accountability was a clear topic in this story, from making selfish choices to turning your back and ignoring the abuse occurring.
As with all of Kimi’s books, you have a real taste of life but more importantly she has the wonderful compassion that flows from her story and into the heart of the reader.  She makes you believe in the power of forgiveness and the courage to love yourself again.  I would so recommend you read her series, It All Started With a Lima Bean, The Exceptional Twist and now Tangled Paths. 


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