***Inspired by true events***
Judy Garland said it best, ‘For it was not into my ear you whispered but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed but my soul.’
If you asked her why she loved him, she would only be able to tell you it was because he was who he was and well, she was who she was.
Plain and simple.
All her life Lennox Ward felt incomplete. That her heart was always searching for that one special thing; that special someone she had yet to find.
Then Caleb Kingston came strolling back into her life unexpectedly, and little did she know her world was about to come crashing down around her; forever shattering it.
Is love enough to conquer all?
Will she be able to lead them out of hell and off their path of self destruction?
Or will Caleb take it all?
********ARC received in exchange for an honest review********
Holly’s 4.5 Star Review
When I saw that this book was inspired by events in Emma’s life I was definitely intrigued. Usually if I see a film or read a book based on true events then I’m itching to find out which parts actually happened and which parts were just created for the book. But with Take It All, I really don’t want to know. This story made me so sad that I’d probably end up a wreck if I found out just how much of Lennox’s story belonged to Emma Grayson and if I’m being honest, then I think the majority of it does.
Lennox and Caleb were best friends when they were children up until Caleb had to move away with his parents and they lost touch. Fast forward 10 years and they are unexpectedly reunited by what can only be described as fate. Throw in an all consuming love and you’ve got the perfect story, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t a fairy tale romance. Yes they loved each other so intensely but sometimes, there are bigger things at play. Things that no amount of love or forgiveness can change. And that is what Lennox and Caleb were faced with. Something that was bigger than them, and determined to take away everything that they had.
This review is so hard to right. You would think it would be easy to just talk about a book you liked. But this book!! It was painful. I felt it. I knew what was going to happen. I knew it wasn’t going to be good. I wanted things to be different. But that made me feel bad. This is Emma’s story. This is her life. It’s so hard to explain my feelings for this book. I feel weird saying at the beginning of this paragraph that I liked the book because I didn’t. I hated that all this happened. But it’s a book that needs to be read. Emma has done a great job with the writing and bringing the characters and story to life, so don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the book in any kind of way. I mean, I gave it 4.5 stars for a start. But unless you read it then I don’t think you will understand where I’m coming from. Much like how some people won’t understand the choices that Lennox made unless they experienced the same things themselves.
I wanted to love Caleb so incredibly bad. I have no doubt that underneath it all he was a great guy. But sometimes things in life happen that can change us. I’ve seen it with my eyes. People I know and love. It ruins them. Breaks them down until there’s nothing left but secrets and lies. I have absolutely no problem with the way Lennox dealt with any of it. I know I would have done the same so I’m not really going to say anything else about her. My saving grace in this book was Raine. Every girl should have a Raine! After meeting at a club one night, he and Lennox became friends and I’m so glad that happened because he was such a help to her. A guiding light through all the darkness that was creeping up on her I suppose. I love him. In a perfect world she would have fell madly in love with Raine and they would have lived lived happily-ever-after.
But as I’ve said before. This is no fairy tale. And it doesn’t end happily-for-now never mind happily-ever-after. The ending brought mixed emotions for me. My initial thought was “oh no” wondering if things could get any worse for this poor girl. But then I thought differently. I don’t want to say WHY because I don’t want to give it away. I want you to experience it as I did. Just know that I’m anxious, scared and looking forward to the conclusion of this story. I have a feeling that it won’t end how people will expect/want it to. Though how often does real life ever do what we want? But I think regardless of will they/won’t they, I think Lennox will still get her happily-ever-after but I think it will have more to do with the events in the end of Take It All than Caleb.
I think I’m going to leave my review at that. It’s a hard one to talk about especially without giving too much away but I hope you do give it a chance. And if you do I’d love to hear what you think about it. And a big thank you to Emma Grayson for sharing your story with us. I have no doubt it wasn’t an easy thing to do but I hope it helped.
“Hey guys, do you know where Caleb is?” she asked, looking between the two of them. They shot each other a look that she found unsettling but pushed it aside. “Do you?”
“Amb,” Alex cut her off with a sharp tone and stony eyes.
Amber looked from Lennox to Alex, then gave him a remorseful look before turning her attention back to Lennox, saying, “A few of his and Ty’s buddies showed up, so they’re all in Caleb’s room. I’m sorry Lennox.”
She looked back at her then Alex who was avoiding eye contact all the while shaking his head unimpressed, “Sorry for what?” she asked, confused having no idea what was going on.
“Caleb’s a great guy, and you seem like a great girl who makes him happy but he’s…” Amber trailed off, unable to say the words.
Lennox backed away from the table looking at the two, her face twisted; having a feeling she knew what they were trying to tell her. She turned on her heels and headed for Caleb’s room. She thought she had it figured out, all the weird moments with him over the last couple weeks; the short calls, the way he would act so distant one day then so close the next, the gifts, all of it was out of guilt. Guilt from cheating on her, it was the only thing that made sense; what else could there be.
As she walked down the hall and past the bathroom, she came to Caleb’s bedroom door that was closed. She knew it was never closed, unless they were in there during one of their hot and heavy make out sessions. Standing in front of the door, her heart began to pound in her chest and it was all she could hear rushing through her ears. Her whole body began to shake as images of him with another girl flashed through her mind. She didn’t know what she was going to do after catching him but she was unable to think that far ahead when her hand gripped the handle and turned; slowly pushing open the door.
Emma Grayson is a Canadian author who resides outside of Edmonton, Alberta with her family and six year old son. She is Amaxon’s bestselling author of Unbeautifully Loved, the first book in her Breathe Again series. She is currently working on Unbearable Guilt, book two in the Breathe Again series, as well as Promise It All the conclusion to her Blinded Love series. She is also un the pre-writing stage of of her new trilogy, Saving You; a spin-off from Blinded By Love. When she’s not writing she enjoys time with her son, going to movies, reading, enjoying Starbucks lattes with her girlfriends, or catching up on her favourite shows. She’s a lover of music of all kinds, television, coffee, all things purple, Oilers hockey, Criminal Minds, and doesn’t leave the house without her iphone, kobo, flip flops and a pack of gum.