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.
Blake Austin’s debut shows incredible promise and this author is definitely one to watch!
9 Letters is a story about real people facing real-life, heartbreaking issues. Luke is barely existing, living day to day after the very tragic loss of his young wife. He can’t seem to pull himself together and get back to real life. He has distanced himself from his wife’s family and is certainly not living up to his potential. How would Luke ever pull himself out of the depression he was in? He had his whole life in front of him but he seemed to have lost the will to go on and refused to really engage with anyone around him.
“I didn’t know how to fix my life, sure. I could fix a lot of things, but I couldn’t fix my life. Lives aren’t like houses. You can’t paint over your problems. There’s no rustoleum for life.”
Luke receives a package a year after his wife has passed away. She has written him nine letters, but each one contains certain instructions and the next letter cannot be opened until he completes the task in each letter. Her first letter instructs him to get a dog. It is during this task that he meets Rae, a beautiful volunteer at the animal shelter. He is immediately drawn to her but their path is not as predictable as I thought it would be.
I found 9 Letters to be an original and very poignant storyline and loved seeing if and when Luke would carry our his late wife’s instructions. She wanted him to move on with his life, find love again and just seemed to anticipate that he would not deal well with her death. This is a very promising debut novel, with a very engaging storyline and characters. It is a fairly fast read and while I would have liked to see a little more character development, I really liked the story and the down-to-earth tone of the book. And of course, I loved the focus on dogs and animal rescue! Blake Austin has a very bright future as an author and I recommend this book if you are looking for a story that offers lots of emotion but also a very optimistic conclusion.
(ARC provided by the author in return for an honest review.)
(Teasers shared from the author’s social media)