Monday, July 15, 2013

Finding Bliss by Dina Silver {Review}

Genre: Adult Contemporary
Expected Publication Date: July 16th 2013
Author: Dina Silver
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Pages: 285
Format: Kindle ARC provided by author for review

Chloe Carlyle has always longed for the perfect family. Growing up with an alcoholic single mother, she has seen her share of heartbreak and disappointment, and is striving to build a new legacy for herself. After graduating from college, she takes a job working as a summer girl for the Reeds––a wealthy, accomplished family that personifies her American dream. Her summer takes an unexpected turn when the Reeds’ eldest son Tyler, the star quarterback for Notre Dame, shows up and turns her life upside down. An ambitious young woman with a wry sense of humor, Chloe never imagined herself as the type to succumb to the looks and charms of the hometown hero, but she falls hard for Tyler, and is devastated when they part ways at the end of the summer. As she heads off to law school, Chloe tries to convince herself this was just a fling, but she can’t quite get over him. It’s not until Tyler contacts her out of the blue late one winter night that everything changes. After doing everything in her power to build the perfect life, Chloe soon learns that there are things beyond her control. She must draw on inner reserves of strength as her life takes unpredictable—and sometimes heartbreaking—twists and turns, and she finds herself faced with decisions she never thought she’d have to make. Poignant, heartfelt, and emotional, Finding Bliss is a reminder that you don’t have to live a fairytale life in order to have a happy ending. 

My Take:
I had to put on my big girl panties for this one because it was an emotional roller coaster. This isn't about finding love and happily ever after. It's about living life and dealing with the blows as they come especially in love. Finding Bliss was an intense, highly emotional read that will linger in your heart and mind long after you finish.

Chloe Carlyle has had a rough time in her life having to deal with her crazy alcoholic mother. All she wants is to go to law school and escape the burden of being her mother's child. When she spends the summer with the wealthy Reed family as their nanny, she meets Tyler Reed. A local football star bound for the NFL she can't seem to resist. As she spends the summer caring for the children she also spends more time with Tyler getting to know him. Before long they are caught up in a summer fling that ends when they go back to their regular lives. She makes it to college where she makes friends with Cameron. A lovable guy who you can tell has feelings for her but she can't get over Tyler and their summer together. I had such high hopes that she would give Cam a chance because they had such amazing chemistry but when Tyler calls out of the blue during the holidays and wants another chance thus begins their journey.

I am really torn about what to say because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone but Finding Bliss deals with heavy emotional issues but doesn't leave you feeling weighed down. The relationship between Chloe and Tyler goes through highs and lows as every relationship does but Chloe ultimately has to find inner strength in herself when her life with Tyler doesn't live up to what she always hoped. As a young married couple Chloe and Tyler face down his football injury ending his pro career dreams and the challenge for him to find a new career path. While dealing with fertility issues they have to overcome the distance that threatens to separate them with every step. It was heart breaking to see how hard they fought to conceive and almost seemed hopeless at one point but eventually their dream came true. I was on a high point for Chloe having finally gotten what she always wanted and just as soon as she blinked tragedy unfolds leaving her and myself devastated. This is the point in the story where I started loving Cam more and more and wished desperately for him to come in and sweep Chloe off her feet.

 It's also the exact point that my hatred for Tyler boiled over and made me angry. I won't go into detail but I will say that I honestly never liked Tyler's character. With the story being told from Chloe's perspective we never get to see things from Tyler's eyes and I am so glad! From the moment he walked into his parents house in the beginning, all douchey and opened his mouth I already hated him. He was just a really self absorbed guy and I never once bought his "Feelings" for Chloe no matter what he told her. He was his father's puppet when he was playing football but when he was injured and learned he'd never play anymore it was Chloe who helped him find his calling. I'm not going to waste anymore time talking about him because I have a feeling you will hate him as much as I STILL do a month later!

As far as Chloe goes I loved her as a character except for her shitty choice in a husband. I can relate to having mother issues and seeing what she went through with hers made me that much more sympathetic. She had a lot to deal with when her mother went a little crazy and thought the FBI was bugging her house and rearranging her closet. That was supposed to be a somewhat heavy moment for Chloe but I found myself laughing while simultaneously cringing. Her mother may have been a complete whack job but I loved watching her step up and be there for Chloe when she needed it the most later in the story. The main thing I loved about Chloe was her fierce resilience and determination to survive the obstacles that life threw at her and boy did they! I find solidarity with her in how she handled everything involving Tyler's bullshit. She was determined not to be a victim and do what was right for her and her family.

The second thing I loved about this story was that two of the characters from Silver's first novel One Pink Line, Sydney and Grace make an appearance. I was pleasantly surprised to see these two after loving OPL it was nice to see the crossover. Grace, who is Sydney's daughter is Chloe's best friend and Sydney is like a surrogate mother to Chloe. They all share a close bond and friendship that anchored Chloe with love during her difficult moments that melted my heart. I always love to see characters from another book I loved show up and see what has become of them. 

I experienced probably every emotion a person can while reading this book. I was happy, I was sad, I cried a little and laughed a little more. Finding Bliss was everything I come to expect from Dina Silver, it was deep, thought provoking in that it begs the question "What would you do in her shoes?" and surprisingly heartwarming despite the ups and downs. I was extremely pleased with the way the story wrapped up and how Chloe handled herself throughout was inspiring. This was my second experience with a Dina Silver novel and solidified my loyalty to her and her amazing stories. Finding Bliss will lift you up, break you down and build you back into a stronger reader than you were before starting. I can't recommend it enough and adamantly suggest tissues while reading. Lots of them!

I smiled. I didn't care if he's taken advantage of me because, for once in my life, I'd felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I'd enjoyed every last minute of it, and given the chance would've done it all over again. eARC 29%

My mind had been pulled in so many directions, but Cam was still able to ground me, and seeing him made me feel like everything would be okay one day. eARC 42%

About The Author:
A graduate of Purdue University, Dina Silver has spent the past fifteen years feeding her red wine habit by working as a copywriter in the advertising industry. After seeing the bulk of her professional prose on brochures and direct mail pieces, she is delighted to have made the transition to novelist. She currently lives with her husband and son in suburban Chicago. Additionally, she loves talking about herself in the third person.



  1. I liked the story, but I never got a really strong connection to it. I like Chloe and I liked the other characters but I never felt like I truly knew them. And I think I feel exactly the opposite about the guys, and I know that sounds weird to you. But I never got the chemistry between Cam and Chloe, but I felt it hard between Tyler and Chloe. I completely agree with you that this isn't a love story, But it is a real story, and I truly appreciate that about it. Great review!

  2. OMG...this book killed me. I love Dina. She writes about real life issues, tough subjects. Kat Fight is still my favorite. ;)


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