#233 ~ Tainted ~ Blog Tour and Giveaway

Tainted by Brooke Morgan

Published by: Avon A

Published on: December 2009

Page Count: 429

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Suspense

Format: paperback review copy from publisher

Availability: paperback and eBook

Giveaway: open until February 15, 2010; see the end of the post for more information

tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be Brooke Morgan’s host on her TLC Book Tour for her novel, Tainted.  I would like to thank her publisher for sending me a review copy.  Please see the end of my review for a list of the blogs who are on this tour with me.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  They always have great books and authors on tour.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.

My Review

Holly is a terribly shy 23-year-old single mother who has never had a boyfriend.  Her beautiful daughter Katy was conceived with Billy, her best friend’s ex-boyfriend, during a one-night stand on the beach near her parents’ summer home in Shoreham, NY.  A couple of years after Katy was born, Holly’s parents died.  Holly retreated from Boston and moved to the summer home permanently.  Her grandfather Henry lives next door and takes care of his girls.  Holly is lonely for romantic companionship and Henry worries about how isolated she is.  That changes suddenly when a handsome, English stranger sits next to her on a bus trip from Boston.  When Jack  asks her out on her first ever date, Holly is swept off her feet.  She gives into the warmth of being loved and cherished, overlooking the fact that she knows nothing about him.  At what cost does she give her heart away to a stranger?

Here are my thoughts about Tainted:

  • Tainted is a cautionary tale about moving too quickly into a relationship.  Holly is the prime target for a controlling man: she’s shy, she lacks self-confidence, and she’s lonely.  It is such a relief to her to have found love that she puts up with behavior other women might not.  Men who would take advantage of this seem to pick up on that  so quickly.  In that respect, I found Jack and Holly’s relationship very realistic.  It made me think of how important it is to instill a healthy self-esteem in our daughters.
  • When I thought of Holly, these lyrics from U2’s “So Cruel” kept coming to mind:

Desperation is a tender trap
It gets you every time

  • Katy and Henry were the characters that made this novel for me.  I loved their relationship.  I can see a lot of my father-in-law in Henry as a person and as a grandfather.  I also wish that my father lived close enough to be that close to my daughters. Grandparents and grandchildren are such treasures to each other.
  • Up until last night if you had asked me how suspenseful I thought this novel was, I would have said somewhat. There was enough suspense to keep me reading, but nothing that would keep me up at night.  Subconsciously, it really did get to me:
    • First, I was reading the book and about 2/3 of the way through around 11:30 the other night.  Allison woke up with a growing pain in her leg and knocked on her bedroom wall to get our attention.  The girls do this all the time, but I was so startled that the book flew out of my hand and landed on the other side of the couch.
    • Second, I had a dream last night about going along with two friends on their honeymoon to make sure that everything went okay.  Bizarre!
  • There were a couple of things that didn’t work well for me in this novel:
    • My biggest issue was with internal dialog.  Every time a character talked to his or herself, it was printed in italics.  There was a great deal of internal dialog in this book and I found it very distracting.  As the story picked up, I was able to get past it.  Still I couldn’t help noticing it even on the last page.
    • I had some difficulty with the way that characters seemed to overreact to things.  It was as if everyone was unnaturally on edge from the very beginning of the novel.  The example that comes to mind is when Billy, concerned with how little anyone knows about Jack, calls his friend, Jack’s boss to find out more about him.  While Billy was invading Jack’s privacy and putting his friend into a tough spot, it was overkill to have this friend tell Billy that he was acting “creepy.”  In some ways, this took away from those things that truly were concerning.
  • It took me a while to get into this book.  About a quarter of the way through, the story picked up substantially.  I wanted to know what made Jack tick.  I wanted to see how long it would take Holly to open her eyes.  I was truly concerned for Katy and needed to know what happened. It was a quick read and I am glad I finished it.

My Final Thoughts

Despite a few quirks, I enjoyed reading Tainted.  As this is her first novel, I think that Brooke Morgan has a lot of potential.

Brooke’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, January 18th: I’m Booking It

Wednesday, January 20th: All About {n}

Friday, January 22nd: Savvy Verse & Wit

Tuesday, January 26th: Café of Dreams

Thursday, January 28th: Clever Girl Goes Blog

Monday, February 1st: Dolce Bellezza

Thursday, February 11th: Life in the Thumb

Thursday, February 18th: Bookworm With a View

Tuesday, February 23rd: Cozy Little House

Wednesday, February 24th: In the Shadow of Mt. TBR


Thanks to Kendra at HarperCollins, I have a copy of Tainted to give away to one lucky winner in the United States.  To enter, tell me who you think is the most evil fictional boyfriend ever.

I leave you with “So Cruel” by U2:

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  • At 2010.02.04 09:13, Michelle said:

    Truthfully, Edward from the Twilight books is one of the most evil fictional boyfriends I can think of right now.

    He’s controlling, he has to watch Bella’s every move, he doesn’t want to let her make her own decisions. Oh, and he really, really creepily watches her every night without her knowledge. Ick.


    • At 2010.02.04 09:37, Sandy said:

      I’ve read a review or two on this one, and it does remind me of some movies I’ve seen. Just a guess, but I think perhaps I would become impatient or maybe even irritated at this girl who is so gullible. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy the story though. I’d just want to shake her!

      • At 2010.02.04 10:52, Kathy R (Bermudaonion) said:

        Sounds interesting! The book flying across the room incident reminds me of that old I Love Lucy episode where Lucy’s book goes flying every time someone scares her.

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        • At 2010.02.04 13:35, Lisa said:

          This definitely sounds interesting and worth reading despite the flaws.

          • At 2010.02.05 10:04, Jennifer said:

            Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone. I haven’t read the Twilight series, but Edward sounds like he fits the bill.

            I didn’t really get irritated with Holly as much as I might have expected I would. The entire time I could see how her lack of self-esteem and desperation made each and every step possible.

            LOL Kathy about the I Love Lucy reference. I haven’t seen that one, but it probably looked like that. I had to laugh at myself about it. It never startled me to hear their knocks on the wall before.

            If any of your read this book, please let me know. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

            • At 2010.02.05 20:57, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

              I enjoyed this book for the most part, but I agree that all the characters did seem to be on edge!

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              • At 2010.02.06 19:38, Marilu said:

                I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like something I would enjoy. Please enter me.

                As for your question….I would have to say Edward from the Twilight saga. He is creepy!

                lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

                • […] This week I read and reviewed Tainted by Brooke Morgan as part of the author’s TLC Book Tour.  I’m hosting a giveaway of Morgan’s debut novel, so be sure to check out my review. […]

                  • At 2010.02.07 23:26, trish said:

                    This is such a fair and balanced review I almost don’t have anything to say. LOL

                    Inner monologues written in italics would bug me too. And even though you didn’t love it, I’m actually really interested in reading it! So glad you were on this tour, Jennifer!

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                    • At 2010.02.08 22:51, Emily W said:

                      I would love to win this book! Enter me please.

                      Hmm…the most evil fictional boyfriend. Ok, I know this isn’t going to be very original but I would have to say Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. He is such a jerk for abandoning Marianne just because she doesn’t have all the money he wants.

                      Thanks for the contest!

                      • At 2010.02.13 01:14, Courtney said:

                        I would love to win this book and I just know the perfect answer…why Willoughby of course….from Sense & Sensibility….a man who could not put the demands of his pocket book behind those of his heart….evil indeed!hanks for the Giveaway!

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                        • At 2010.02.19 03:58, Eileen Elkinson said:

                          Edward, hands down.

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