Contemporary, Review, Romance, Suspense

Mistakes of My Past by Emily James


What does one do with the biggest mistakes ever? Run. From Britain all the way to Ohio. Amber’s mistake is called Tommy or perhaps, Sneaky Tommy. She was fooled by him into thinking that he cared for her, but all she really received was abuse.

Amber was pleased when Tommy exhibited so much warmth and caring, that is until he cuts her off from her friends and ensures that she is completely dependent upon him. When her mother lay dying, he consoles her. Until one day, in anger, he tightens his hands around her neck, leaving bruises. Another day, it was bruises on her arms, another it was bruises on her legs. His physical abuse continues to grow. Slowly, he erodes what confidence she had, until Tommy absorbs her life, right down to her mother’s house and her mother’s money.

While Tommy takes over her life, she is overwhelmed by panic attacks and depression. Her mother’s death left her emotionally adrift and, with the aid of his abuse, she drifts right into a mental hospital. As Tommy explains to the doctor that Amber is ready to come home, she panics at the prospect of returning to him where he can continue to terrify her. She grabs a pair of scissors in desperation and cuts her arms open in front of the doctors and nurses. Needless to say, she is relieved when she is not released into his open arms.

She is filled with hope when she awakes to find her father has come to Britain to bring her home to Ohio. Tommy makes all sorts of excuses as to why she should stay and how he will take good care of her. Although she doesn’t know her father, she knows he has to be a safer bet than Tommy. Going back with her father means being committed to a treatment center, but she is more than willing to do what it takes to escape Tommy’s hands.

Finally, freed in Ohio, she meets Will who is raising his little sister Cody. Is it love, lust, like, dislike? It’s hard for her to decide. Will is certainly an attractive guy, but he is a bit pushy and Amber simply wants to find herself. He just can’t seem to leave her alone, though. Unknown to her, she is like a magnet for Will and he’s not going to rest until he gets to know her as more than just the next-door neighbor.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Has she escaped Tommy? Is she in love with Will? Is the neighbor across the street a pervert? Is Cody a matchmaker? There is a lot going on in this book to keep you wondering.

The book is very well-written, entertaining, and even suspenseful. The only time I didn’t care for the story was when Amber allowed Tommy to take away her inheritance. For the most part, I found the secondary characters to be interesting and a great addition for the story. I definitely didn’t think of this as a normal romance; there is so much more going on. However, there is sexual interest and you know that one of the goals is reaching the bedroom. Fortunately, it did not overwhelm the storyline, which was a pleasant aspect. I recommend this book to readers who like more than just a typical romance.

For the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – Contemporary romance for adults and older teens.
  • Level of sexuality – There are a few sex scenes that are rather low-key for the most part.
  • Is there graphic language? Yes
  • Did I cry? No
  • Did I laugh? Yes, I actually did.
  • Is this part of a series? No.
  • Level of character development – The main characters were solid and several of the other characters matured nicely over the course of the story.

I gladly give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.

Available here on Amazon

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