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Absolution by [Dick, Amanda]
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Absolution Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Description

Product Description

Jack McKenna is a man with two very distinct pasts.

One ended with a car accident involving his girlfriend, Ally, and a split-second decision with horrific consequences. Desperate to escape the guilt, he carved out a new life for himself. Four years spent hiding in the shadows, punishing himself for not having the courage to go back to her. Then, out of the blue, a phone call forces him to face up to everything and everyone he left behind.

Ally Connor’s life was split in two - before the car accident that shattered her spine, and after Jack’s sudden disappearance. Abandoning her when she needed him most, she fought hard to make it back from the brink. The face she shows to the world is strong and courageous, but behind the mask, the pain is burrowing deeper.

But fate had more in store for these two broken souls than either could have imagined. A funeral, a homecoming and a journey of self-discovery that would change both their lives - if they let it.

Suddenly, the secrets they want to hide from each other are the very secrets that could make them whole again.

About the Author

Amanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover. She also writes. She is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte. She has a passion for the colour green (particularly in clothes and gemstones) and insists there is nothing sexier than a man in a kilt. She spent several months traveling around Europe in her late 20’s (there’s a story there – she’ll get around to writing it one day). After ridding herself of her wanderlust, she met the love of her life (while working to pay off said wanderlust) in Edinburgh, Scotland. They moved in together the week after their first date – so yes, she believes in love at first sight. She also believes in women’s intuition and following your heart. She writes on her trusty laptop, predominantly late at night, when it’s quiet and interruptions are few. Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour – love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and relationships in general. She loves to put normal, everyday people into situations that will test their boundaries. She is passionately curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge. After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4812 KB
  • Print Length: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Amanda Dick; 2 edition (Jan. 6 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00R14EB94
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #180,961 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Absolution is a Contemporary Romance that fits within the New Adult realm in its purest form and is the first offering from this author that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It is one that now that the book is finished and I’ve closed it at the end, won’t be my last. Where I had gone into this expecting it to be told in the POV of both Jack and Ally, the hero and heroine respectively, it is in fact presented in the third person and doesn’t miss a beat.

The story begins with an event that has taken place years prior and one that is so tragic and traumatic that it shapes how all of the characters within the story react and who they become in the future. It affects all of them in different ways, but also haunts them and right from the first chapter forward, takes you on an emotional ride. And one that doesn’t let up even when you reach the end. It’s a tale that even now, a couple days later is still sticking with me.

The characters, all of them, both the hero and heroine and their friends, they all come across very real. The things they say and do, what they believe in and what has made them into the people they are, it’s very organic and realistic and at times, downright heartbreaking while at the same beautiful in the sweetest way. I felt for all of them moving forward and what they faced, both in the past and in the very present future.

There is nothing easy about this book. It’s emotionally driven from the start and even in the moments where you can see a happier ending on the horizon or there is hope building that Ally and Jack will be able to see past that haunts them and move forward to a much brighter and better future, it’s not easy. Every day for both Ally and Jack, along with the others is a work in progress and portrayed in a very real way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 155 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful love story. Jan. 10 2015
By Aestas Book Blog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to say, from the moment I read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book. Second chance romance stories really call to me. I love the emotions involved, I love that the characters have a history, and I love that they have the kind of love that, even after the worst hurt and years of separation, never lets go.

"Things were perfect one minute, and then suddenly they weren't.
In a split second, their world had come crashing down."

After a car accident shattered his girlfriend's spine, Jack McKenna disappeared. Desperate to escape the guilt, he spent four years punishing himself for not having the courage to go back to her. Withdrawn from the world, he threw all his remaining energy into the ring. Fighting was the only thing holding him together. Meanwhile, Ally had been left after the accident with a broken heart and a broken body. The man she loved had abandoned her when she needed him most. And while she didn't blame him for the accident, she took his departure and four years of silence as an unwavering sign that he didn't love her.

But when an unexpected tragedy called Jack back home, he had no choice but to face everything he was running away from -- including the girl he still loved... and that he'd left forever damaged beyond repair.

"Why didn't you call? Or write or email -- why didn't you at least try? Did you even think about me at all?"
"I never stopped thinking about you," he whispered.

Overall, I'd say the story was quiet and slow building, but in very realistic manner. There was lots of healing, very little angst, and very understandable characters. I was grateful that the author didn't over-dramatize anything. In many ways, this felt like a story that could have really happened.

I really felt like I could understand where both Ally and Jack were coming from. I could feel his nervousness, guilt, and fear about returning home and facing everything he'd left. I could feel her sense of abandonment, balanced out with her strength at having survived this horrific tragedy. And I could feel so clearly that their love was still just as strong as ever, even though they had so much to work through to built back their relationship and the trust that had been broken.

This book was very well put together. There were carefully chosen quotes at the beginning of each chapter that really complimented the story beautifully. It was also written in third person and while it mostly focused on Ally and Jack's perspectives (even in third person), it also showed us some insight into their friends' thoughts -- but always staying relevant to the central story of their relationship.

The story is very character focused. This accident had changed the lives of everyone involved and it showed us how. It showed us their thoughts, fears, mistakes, healing. But as I mentioned, I felt it was very realistically paced. Given the damage that was done, I appreciated the slow healing process.

While there were understandably conflicted characters, this book had no stupid drama. Naturally, not everything went smoothly, but that's life. We all do things we regret, but in the end, it's how we choose to make up for them that counts.

"He felt the pain that poured out of her, a whisper away from being tangible as it filled the air around them. Moving closer, he pulled her to him, holding her close against his chest in a desperate attempt to save them both."

I really loved the writing. This author has a beautiful, descriptive style that really gets you right into the minds of the character. There were a few times when I felt like the details over shadowed the story but overall, I was very impressed with the writing.

Just so you know, this isn't a super sexy read. Given the extent of her injuries, Ally actually had no feeling left below her waist. This story isn't about the sex, it's about survival, love and their journey back together.

I really have a big soft spot for this kind of story. Something about second chance romances just really gets to me and I love how no two are the same -- some are really sexy, some are more emotional, some are fast paces, others are more quiet -- each one is different. I would describe this one as quiet and slow building, with strong characters, and a relationship I felt very invested in. In order for me to have given it 5 stars, I would have needed a little more intensity, so I'm going to go with 4 on this one. But this is definitely a book that I am so very glad that I decided to read. It really was a beautiful love story.

Rating: 4 stars. Standalone (with epilogue).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT! Jan. 6 2015
By A. C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I simply LOVED this book!

If you are a fan of Colleen Hoover and similar, you will LOVE ABSOLUTION. I could not put this book down. If it was possible I would have given this book more then the recommended 5 stars. I truly LOVED this story so much. It is not like the most love stories, Absolution has substance and a strong story line. It is filled with emotion; heartache, forgiveness, love and you really get connected with the characters and their journey.

Don't think I had a dry eye throughout the book. Such a special story. LOVED. IT!

I have also read Amanda Dick's BETWEEN BEFORE AND AFTER, which was also good!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book Aug. 5 2014
By Lynelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I have won this book during a blog tour giveaway.
If it was possible, I would have given this book more than the recommended 5 starts. You simply got lost within the pages of this book, forgetting anything else around you as you read page after page of this very emotional romance; filled with suspense as the three main characters surrendered to the truth the author offered.
The author touches some very important issues within the book, issues we are all so familiar with. Captivating you with her story telling as these three friends comes to grips with their reality. Written with so much compassion that you could feel the turmoil, the fear and even the love from each character as they learn to cope and accept their choices. Supporting each other beyond the normal day to day life.
With the two men it was hard to say which I like the most, each equally strong, bringing unique qualities to the book. Helping you to understand their thoughts, their hearts, struggles and desires.
But Ally was really a wonderful person, a person you can relate to in her struggles. Her intense personality touches your heart, as she goes through all the stages of her new life; working through them, making mistakes but still remain graceful and true to herself.
Even Tom's part was beautifully highlighted throughout, bringing peace and understanding to difficult situations within Ally, Jack and Callum. A man I could see as a trusted confidant, helper and friend.
I really hope that Callum too, will find love, this man has so much to give, that it won't be fair to not find love himself. So hopefully we can look forward to a follow up...I hope *wink*.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word... Outstanding!! One for my favorites shelf... Jan. 13 2015
By Chattykat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a new edition of this book... the author had to re-publish so it got a makeover! It was a book that I read last year and honestly... the first time I read it I didn't get the same impact from the story as I did this second time. Was it because of the re-writes?? It could be... but, maybe it's because the topic of Absolution is something that's been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Yes, that's probably it... :)
Each of these chapters starts with an inspirational quote... I LOVE it when authors do this... and there were some really good choices that tied in perfectly with the overall story. These were a few that stood out for me the most:

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life.-Virginia Woolf"

This quote defines Jack perfectly. He has a habit of running and attempting to hide from the things he is ashamed and afraid of facing. His choices had dire consequences on his family and friends. He commits an act that most would say is unforgiveable. It wasn't until he finally decided to face his mistakes that he finally begins to see himself as the person he was meant to be. But, first he must find a way to earn the trust and absolution he so desperately needs. But, the person he needs absolution from the most is himself.

"There are four questions of value in life; What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love." -Johnny Depp

This quote definitely defines Callum and Jack's father Tom... the star characters in this book! The sacrifices they both made for Ally were a clear example of love in it's truest form. You just don't give up on those you care about. Tom and his steadfast patience in supporting his son even though Jack's choices must have hurt him deeply. Callum and his driven need to never leave Ally's side. He and Tom saved her in ways that can never be re-paid. Callum won my heart. I was forever on his side throughout this entire book because his feelings of anger and bitterness against Jack were completely justified. He couldn't understand Jack's actions and quite honestly neither could I. He felt abandoned and betrayed by his friend.

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."

This quote defines Ally perfectly. Yes, she has physical scars, but it's the emotional scars that she battles with mostly. The feelings of loss, fear and having to face the reality that her life was forever changed by that one moment was a difficult road for her to travel. Oh yes, I shed many tears for her. She's the kind of character that helps me to understand that I have so much for which to be thankful. She is a strong, stubborn, wise woman who eventually conquered challenges that most of us could not even imagine having to face. I admired her immensely. She was very strong but also very fragile.

"If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it"-Harvey MacKay

This defines just about everyone in the book. Ally had to take a chance on Jack despite how much he hurt her. Jack had to take a chance by coming back into town knowing he had to face judgment for his mistakes. Callum had to take a chance on letting his friend back into his life despite his feelings of anger. And, if none of them had been willing, they would not have been able to move forward.

This book evoked very real emotions from me personally. I have had to deal with this very topic of absolution more than once in my life! But, I think the message is... Absolution is not about forgetting what that person did, it is instead about finding a way to put the broken pieces back together and finding a new way for things to work. And, if someone is truly sorry and they feel true remorse for what they've done, love and trust can help guide us to a new place to begin.
This book might not have the same impact for others as it did for me... that goes without saying. But, this is a great book choice for those, like myself, who love a story that is thought provoking and inspiring. This is definitely going on my personal favorites shelf... and I hope it goes onto yours as well.
I truly cannot wait to read this authors second book... Between Before and After... she has won me over! Just a wonderful, wonderful writer...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, loved it!! Oct. 29 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I am always a little bit nervous when an author gives me a book to read and review, especially if it's an author I have never read before, and especially when this author is debuting her first novel it's even more worrying. I mean what if I hate it?? I have not liked books I have read for an author before and well I have always tried to be honest and fair in my reviews, and try and find good points. Sometimes it's a bit more a stretch than others. But not this time, I can honestly say I have rather enjoyed this book.

Synopsis
A freak accident, a moment in time, and life changes forever. Stay or go - there's no such thing as the easy way out.

The accident wasn't his fault but in the horrific aftermath, Jack was placed in an impossible position, causing consequences he could never have foreseen. Consumed with guilt and unable to listen to reason, he takes the only option he believes is open to him: he disappears. Living a quiet life away from everyone he loves, he drops off the grid but the memories continue to haunt him.

Four years later, a funeral signals a homecoming fraught with tension as he finally forces himself to face up to the consequences of his actions. Betrayed and angry, his former best friend Callum wants nothing more than to see him disappear once again - for good this time. Meanwhile his ex-girlfriend Ally has moved on and he can see that his return is anything but easy for her. People change, life goes on and things are never as simple as they seem. The past has a habit of catching up with you when you least expect it.

Living with regret and guilt almost tore him apart, but there is no guarantee that trying to make amends will soothe his soul or help the ones he loves the most.

Courage has many faces. Fighting for what you believe in, no matter what. Showing strength of mind and body when the cards are stacked against you. Rising to the challenge and playing through the pain.

And yet sometimes, courage means simply standing your ground.

What I thought

I really did enjoy this book. It was a lot more character driven than I am normally used to, and the romance aspect felt secondary to the story itself. I loved how these people were broken inside and out, they weren't perfect, they all had flaws, you know like real people. Ultimately this is a book about forgiveness, I mean the title itself sort of gives that away from the get go, but it's forgiveness whether it be forgiving other people or learning to forgive yourself for your past mistakes no matter how bad. It's about knowing that life has twists and turns and no matter how long or how far you run from them they will always catch you in the long run. And it's about second chances, and believing you deserve them.

It was well written and I really have enjoyed Amanda's writing style. I felt it realistic as far as my knowledge of content went and I can definitely see myself absorbing everything she writes in the future. My only real critique was I would like to see emotion portrayed in other ways and not only in the eyes. But I believe over time that's the sort of thing all authors get better with.

I could sympathize with most of the cast, but I did feel like Jack was forgiven by Ally way to easily, although at the same time I really felt his remorse and believed it. I think everyone tended to treat Ally with kid gloves a bit too much, I understand it up to a point, she has been through a lot, but come on let her breathe a bit. She has accepted her lot for the most part she isn't going to break anymore. I was a bit miffed that no one could see that...lol

I think I was a little disappointed in the epilogue only for the fact that the romance lover in me really wanted a few more things tied up..lol I understand that that's not how life works and hence that's why the author has done things this way but I can't help but wonder!!

Over all I am really impressed, I loved this and was amazed at the level of depth the story had to it. Well done Amanda, you should be proud of all you have achieved!!