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Friday, October 10, 2014

Pulled Within by Marni Mann (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Pulled Within by Author Marni Mann!

Book Review

Pulled Within by Marni Mann
Book 2: The Bar Harbor Series
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Publication Date: September 12, 2014
Format: Paperback - 266 pages
              Kindle - 958 KB
ISBN: 978-1620153680
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Pulled Within

BUY THE SERIES: The Bar Harbor Series
Book 1: Pulled Beneath
Book 2: Pulled Within
Book 3: Pulled Apart

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Storms can't last forever…can they?

For five long years, Rae Ryan has lived in a storm over which she has no control. Little by little, everything has been taken away from her—her job, her relationship, her best friend and her home. Plagued by nightmares and a terrible family secret, she carries her scars as much on the inside as she does on the outside.

Hart Booker, another disappointment from her past, returns to Bar Harbor and shelters her from the rain. He reminds Rae that forgiveness is possible, happiness can be found on the other side of darkness, and beauty rests beneath her scars. But a sinister figure lingering in the background seems determined to pull Rae back into a past she’s been trying to outrun. Can she survive the storm and become part of the light she so desperately desires? Or is she destined to remain Pulled Within?

Recommended for mature audiences due to explicit language, sexual abuse, disturbing situations, and drug use.

Book Excerpt:

“Do you know what the rain is?” he asked.
I was curled in a ball in the corner of the couch. A candle flickered on the table. It was the only light in the house; we’d lost power from the storm. He’d even let me take the candle into the potty with me, but he told me not to flush. I kinda liked that. The noise the toilet made could be so loud and scary at night.
I pulled the blanket even tighter around me. “No…what is it?”
“It’s the tears from all the people who cried today. The sky pulls them out of all the tissues and sleeves and holds them up there until it’s full. Then, it comes raining down on us.”
A chill ran over me, covering my skin in tiny bumps as I remembered how mean the rain had gotten. It felt like our house had been shaking. “Why did the storm sound so angry?”
“The sky doesn’t just take tears; it also takes the sounds that people make. That yelling you did while you cried this afternoon came right back at us, didn’t it?”
I couldn’t control my temper sometimes. I wanted to. I tried really hard to. I just didn’t want Mommy to go to work because Darren got so sad whenever she left. And what made him sad, made me sad.
“So if I cry softly, it won’t thunder as much?”
“Come on over here, Rae.”
I glanced toward the rocking chair where he was sitting. The candle lit up his face and his open arms. With the blanket still around me, I tiptoed over to him. He pulled me onto his lap, tucking my legs into the side of the chair and wrapping his arms around me. We swayed back and forth.
“You’re a good girl. You have no reason to be shedding those tears, and especially no reason to be yelling like that.”
Back and forth.
Mommy said I was a strong girl, a smart girl. He always said I had the prettiest smile of all the girls he’d ever seen. Strong, pretty girls didn’t need to cry. Darren didn’t need to cry, either. I wanted to tell him that, but he was in his room. He was always in there. He said he didn’t like hanging out anywhere else in the house. He was so silly.
I stretched my hands out of the blanket and placed them on top of his. His knuckles were so rough and hard. Chapped like my lips after I cried. They held me tight, but it didn’t hurt.
“Rest your head on my chest and let’s see if we can get you to sleep. It’s past your bedtime, my good girl.”
I pressed my cheek against his shirt. It was soft. Much softer than his knuckles, and the hairs around his neck tickled my nose.
Back and forth.
“I want you to think of good things. Pretty things. No more rain tonight, only rainbows.”
His fingers moved out from under mine and he ran them through the loose strands of my hair. My eyes closed. My breathing slowed. His thumb dipped onto my neck, but the rest of his hand stayed in my hair.
Back and forth.
“You’re such a good girl, Rae.”
Back and forth.

My Book Review:

In Pulled Within, the second book in the Bar Harbor Series, author Marni Mann transports the reader back to Bar Harbor, Maine for another intricate, emotional, and complex tale filled with loss, lies, secrets and betrayals ... a tale of struggle and heartache ... and a journey of healing, and redemption. Written in the first person narrative, the reader follows Rae Ryan on her emotional journey as she learns to overcome her traumatic past, move forward, and embrace happiness in her life.

The author does a wonderful job of weaving a tale that is raw, complex, and full of angst. The drama and mystery of Rae's past takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. With an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic and flawed, to a richly detailed setting that transports the reader to the cool oceanfront of Bar Harbor, you can't help but get drawn into the mystique of Rae's stormy past as it slowly unfolds. Add in the sudden reappearance of ex-boyfriend named Hart Booker who comes back to Bar Harbor and wants to save her from her past, Rae finds herself pulled to him once again ... but can Hart help Rae heal, and find the happiness she so desperately wants in her life?

The intricate complexity of the story had enough drama and intriguing twists and turns that kept me captivated and turning the pages. The author introduced the reader to Rae in Pulled Beneath, the first book in the series, and I was so intrigued by this secretive and broken girl, that I was really glad to see that Rae's story would unfold in Pulled Within.

I loved the mixture of the mystery and the undeniable attraction and romance between Rae and Hart. I loved the chemistry and deep emotional development of Rae and Hart's relationship, especially how they complement and balance each other. The author does a great job of letting the reader feel a real connection with the characters as the story unfolds. I enjoyed following Rae's emotional journey, the curiosity that I had about Rae from the first book has been completely satisfied, and I can't wait to see what author Marni Mann has in store for her readers in next book in the series, Pulled Apart.

Pulled Within is a breathtaking story of one young woman's journey of overcoming a traumatic past through forgiveness, healing, love and redemption.


About The Author

Best-selling author Marni Mann, knew she was going to be a writer since middle school. While other girls her age were daydreaming about teenage pop stars, Mann was fantasizing about penning her first novel. She crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotion. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and their two dogs who subsequently have been characters in her books. When she's not nose deep in her laptop working on her next novel, she's scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling to new locations, and devouring fabulous books.


Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Schedule:

October 6 – Bitch Lit Blog – Review
October 7 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
October 8 – Bookish – Review
October 9 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt
October 9 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
October 10 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt 
October 13 – Mom Gets Real– Review
October 13 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. I love this series, can't wait to read the next book! :)