“Until You” by TJ Johnson — BOOK REVIEW

About “Until You: The Davaar Series Book One” by TJ Johnson::

“Already there was something about this place. There was a stirring within her, her fingertips itching even now to rest upon the keys of her laptop.
Here, she could be someone else.
Here, she felt an energy she had long since forgotten.
Here, she could see past the exhaustion of being dour dependable Gale in a loveless marriage, pretending everything was good and that she was happy. She could see past the grief that bound her irrevocably to her husband. There – up ahead over the loch – was light, shining past the grey monotony of her life.
Here, she could be herself again.
Here she was Abby.
*
In Australia, she was Gale Carson – in a settled but unhappy life, keenly aware of how she was losing not just her creativity, but her very self.
Shedding her life in Sydney, Gale rekindles her long-neglected desire for writing on the small Scottish Island of Davaar.
There, surrounded by new friends and a new life, she rediscovers herself as Abby Buchanan. As Abby, she can write and live as she’s always dreamed. Feeling free for the first time, Abby finds herself drawn to the reclusive Murdo Williams.
However unbeknownst to Abby, another has been drawn to her …
In Book One of Davaar, Abby’s past life threatens to destroy her new-found happiness – and time is running out as her admirer’s fascination with the new Australian turns deadly.”

FiveStars

Until You…what a simple yet powerfully perfect title. Every time I pick up a romance (and I do enjoy romance, don’t get me wrong), there is that initial fear of whether the story is going to be typically quaint and somewhat unbelievable or just like the millions of copy-paste penny romance novels that filled my Nanny’s shelves…or both. This first installment of “The Davaar Series” may have a couple plot points that appear cliche, but the delivery is just too good, keeping them from feeling that way.

The characters are beautifully developed, not a single one of them dull or unrealistic. On the premise of a woman taking a reprieve from life to escape a loveless marriage and rediscover her lost creative passions, this strong female lead isn’t forced. This concept is even pointed out by one of the other characters who more or less asks why a woman can’t be strong without coming off as perfect which is exactly what makes this book’s lead so great.

She’s not typical in really any way. Very tall at near 6ft and described as beautiful, she doesn’t stoop or think she’s beautiful or ugly. She also doesn’t care to change what clothing she enjoys wearing to show off her figure. She’s comfortable with herself in that regard.

She’s strong, not physically but of mind, having had to deal with what everyone would see as an asshole of a cheating husband for years, one she has even carried financially and who has never even supported her dreams of writing. Everyone would see him that way, if she would let them. Instead, she is incredibly compassionate and never tries to paint his manipulative ass in a bad light.

Despite that and multiple other things she has had to endure, she remains with positive attitude when it comes to others while trying to find her own happiness and peace again. So she’s no superwoman and neither does she see herself as a victim. She has her fair share of struggles and break downs, but she keeps pushing through which is what makes her the best kind of person to draw inspiration from. Throughout the entire story, she continually pushes onward and does what is right by those around her, even an undeserving husband.

The romance is slow-building with many charming, sexy, and outright cute moments. Her love interest wasn’t who I originally thought it was going to be, but it’s beautiful. The book isn’t solely focused on flirtation and romantic thoughts though. The experiences she has outside of that are fun, endearing, and at times, scary. At a point not terribly far in, a perverted killer is mentioned and then is carefully integrated into the plot, complete with occasional chapters focused on what he is doing despite his identity not being revealed.

It is in that mystery that I started with ‘oh no, please don’t play the story in that way,’ and then shifted back and forth various times with me thinking I’d figured it out, to realizing I didn’t, to thinking I did, to hoping I hadn’t, and so forth until the last chapter ends and I still haven’t an idea about who he is! Or rather, I have many horrible ideas about it that are so good at the same time lol.

“Until You” is very well written and a great romantic adventure of regaining one’s lost love of inner self and of life.

You can purchase the ebook here: https://amzn.to/2YUAlM7
or the paperback here: https://amzn.to/30W2MLl

TJ Johnson can be found on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tjjohnson_author-823928494733517/
Twitter: @tj_author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2781159.T_J_Johnson

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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden

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