#9, Stories of Serendipity
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
"Saving Charlie is a gutsy novel about a painful, grim subject, sexual trafficking." –Gretchen
100,000 children are sexually trafficked every year in the US. In the 1990s, Charlie was one of those children. She's spent her adult life getting past that, trying to become a successful business owner in Serendipity, TX. Relationships are not goals for her. In fact, she's not even sure she has what it takes to be a part of one.
Les is a fool for love. All he's ever wanted was a girl. Now that every last one of his friends are married, and in happy relationships with families, he can't stop thinking about the sexy lady who sells house parts, even if everything about her screams at him to stay away. He just can't.
When they are thrown together on a cross-country road trip, Charlie's past comes back to her full-force, long-buried memories inundating her. Les seems to be the only thing grounding her to the present, when everything else seems to be trying to tear her apart.
While it has a HEA, the road getting there is long, rough, and dark. Enjoy the ride. Welcome to the final (for now) installment of the Stories of Serendipity, where real people live life and find love in small town, Texas.
Brilliantly designed - bringing a real issue to light while being a great read.
Wow – this was really well done.
Charlie has been through a lot and of course still has difficulty with her past but has moved on and managed to do pretty well for herself. Emotionally she’s pretty screwed up, but who wouldn’t be? As I became acquainted with Charlie, I couldn’t help but notice that her thoughts really do seem quite fitting to someone who went through all she did. She is a little bit emotionally stunted in just the right ways, and incredibly strong in others. This is a beautifully designed character that I would actually like to see more of. I spent the better part of the day with her as I was unable to put this book down. Any time I did put it down, it didn’t last and I had to pick it right back up.
Les is another well designed character that I felt like I really got to know, despite a little bit of his past being presented in a sort of vague manner; it was perfect because his own issues do not take away from Charlie’s but the reader still gets a clear idea of who he is.
I also have a ton of respect for the way this novel was delivered and the excerpts from various sources on trafficking statistics. Granted it only seems to address one type of human trafficking – the one that happens right here, at ‘home’ for sex trade purposes. There is a much bigger picture surrounding human trafficking and it is a bigger problem than most people could describe in a way that would do it justice… what I like about this book is the approach. It’s a fictional story that still gives a very real look at this problem. It provides non-fictional facts that are verifiable. I feel like this is presented in a way that it might actually open many peoples’ eyes up to what is going on in their own backyard – and it is just worked into what turned out to be a very addictive read. It is completely brilliant.
I couldn’t help but notice a couple of imperfections but – nothing that majorly distracted / or impacted the overall reading experience and nothing that warranted the deduction of any stars for the reasons stated above. Continuity was overall great, nearly flawless. There were a couple of times I was confused, just the tiniest bit by the wording. Like ‘she shook her head’, I would take to mean no and I would expect the affirmative to be presented as ‘she nodded’… however the dialogue that followed indicated the opposite so I just had to reread a little bit to be sure I was following along properly. If this were abundant or combined with lots of errors, I’d say the book needs another look through but honestly it is pretty well edited and I didn’t see much in the way of errors.
This book is also beautifully formatted just adding an element of aesthetic pleasure to the whole experience, which is never a bad thing. I do highly recommend this read to everyone as it brings a serious issue to light in a not-heavy way that I think most anyone can get into.