We are so excited to be bringing out the release of THE ROOTS OF US by Candace Knoebel. Fans of contemporary romance won’t want to miss this new emotional story. Be sure to grab your copy today!
About THE ROOTS OF US
The first time I saw Hudson Jameson, he was saving someone’s life.
The second time, he was ruining mine.
It was only supposed to be a vacation. A chance to let the Florida sun burn away the residue left behind from my failed relationships. I wasn’t searching for love. I was on a hiatus from men, especially ones with secrets.
Except Hudson had the gaze of a man drowning in his own miseries, and I was a sucker for the damaged souls. How could I deny him? How could I resist when his lips claimed mine?
I knew I couldn’t stay.
He told me he couldn’t bear to leave.
But some roots intertwine and refuse to let go, no matter how far you run.
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Grab your copy of THE ROOTS OF US today!
I can honestly say that I’ve never had a book challenge me the way The Roots of Us did. For a huge chunk of the book, I was so extremely disappointed with the many decisions that the heroine made, but at the time, I wasn’t noticing the bigger picture that Hartley was slowly working towards. This book isn’t quite the love story I was looking for, but it turned out to be it’s more than that. The story is about Hartley, she’s a runner, afraid to face the possibilities of happiness, to settle and to trust in someone. A heroine that is completely married to her work, constantly chasing the high of her job and suffering from the lack of love her father should have shown her. Could she find room in her heart to love again?
PSA: I apologize in advance for the fact that my review will be all over the place, bear with me…
As soon as I finished the book, which I devoured in one sitting, I was completely enraptured by Hartley’s story. Since I’m a night reader, I literally just laid in bed wondering how the heck I was going to write my review. I felt every emotion across the scale as I made my way through this one. I hate to admit this, but I really struggled to like Hartley. My opinion about her changed so much in this book, just ping-ponging back and forth between like and dislike.
The Roots of Us is written in 3 acts, each with their own title and all from Hartley’s POV. Once you read the titles, you can easily guess the upcoming twists the story has, which totally left an unsettling feeling for me. Your emotions will go through the wringer in all very different ways as you make your way through each act. In ACT 1, everything almost felt too easy. We’re introduced to how Hartley and Hudson meet for the first time and how things evolved between them. It was sweet, heartwarming, but also there was so much honesty between them, which is one element I always strive to see in a romance. But as you make your way towards the end of ACT 1, you see feelings evolving into something a lot stronger than neither one of them anticipated. And this was the first moment, my opinion started to change about Hartley, the thought of love was overwhelming her and it kickstarted her natural instinct to run. More than anything, she was afraid to completely give herself to a man; to love. She didn’t think she was capable of it, even when the perfect man for her is right in front of her. It was easy for her to make up a million excuses to leave and all of them just infuriated me. And with the career opportunity lifetime in her hands, she sets off to chase the high of her job. without taking a glance at what she was leaving behind.
ACT 2 … I wanted to skip this part so much because I knew right away what was happening. She’s finally there working her dream job with the well-known, James Taiga all while battling her decision to leave Hudson. As much as I hated her decision to leave, it was absolutely necessary for her to do so. Now that she’s discovered love and what it truly feels like, it was like she was meant to experience different things to help her grow and get past her fears. And in a way, her interesting friendship/relationship helped her in a very weird way. Since the day they met, there was something that Hartley recognized immediately, something familiar. But everyone has secrets and James is keeping a big one.
If anything, this act complicated things tremendously and it was a bit of a love triangle, but Hartley kept it known that her heart was with another man. But despite that fact, it didn’t waver James love for her. This act left me on edge the entire time because I was not emotionally ready for the storm that was brewing ahead, which leads you right to the final act.
The final act to me was definitely the most heartbreaking out of the story and it still came with quite a few of the twist and turns. I swear guys, Candace will seriously put you through the wringer before there’s a happy ever after. This was the act where Hartley truly evolves and not necessarily for the better, at first. It was a constant downward spiral for her and your heart will absolutely break for her. She reached her breaking point. Finally realizing her love and loss, and the inability to move on. Even when you’re 80% done with the book, you’re still left guessing if there will be a happy ever after for her.
So sorry for that long bit of my review, but I deemed it necessary to hopefully better explaining my emotions throughout this book. Hartley was a character that frustrated me so much, but everything with her was complicated and very much real. Dealing with the abandonment of her father and still holding out that he’d one day come around; to come back to her. She found love for the first time and by the time she realized it, it was too late because she ran from it. Loss. Even in the end when she finally gets her happily ever after, she had to not only learn to forgive everyone around that affected her life, she needed to forgive herself more than anything. After reading the author’s note at the end, it said so much about why this book was written the way it was. And it just made me appreciate this story so much more because it stemmed from something very real and personal. Despite all of my frustrations with these characters, it showed me the vulnerable side of each and every one of them, most of Hartley.
Candace has written a story that has definitely left an impression on me and I’ll definitely remember this book for a very long time. It felt like I got a few stories all wrapped in one, each one having the closure necessary to help Hartley move on and to be free of all the pain she lived with. These characters were so well-developed and it made for such an amazing story to read. We not only get a love story between Hartley and Hudson, but Hartley’s own personal journey towards love and forgiveness. I’m secretly hoping for a bit of POV from Hudson, his story isn’t an easy one as well and there were so many times that I just needed to know more from him. Candace, can we haves?!
The Roots of Us is an absolute must read, this was a first read for this author and I’m a fan. I am in complete awe of her writing style, every line was just so deep and meaningful. It constantly left me pondering about every thought she shared beyond the words on the page. She opened up my eyes to really see every side of things, the good and the bad especially with the parts we don’t even agree with.
Truly a beautiful read, Candace.
**AN ARC WAS GRACIOUSLY PROVIDED FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.**
Read an excerpt from THE ROOTS OF US
Heightened voices rose from somewhere in the kitchen. I lifted my head when I heard a low, guttural growl. Assuming it was Hudson, I closed my laptop, curiosity picking at me once again. If there was a chance I could discover why Hudson had such a cloud hanging over his head, I had to take it.
I stood. Tip-toed forward, trying to peer through the serving window without being noticed.
“She won’t bite,” I heard the elderly woman say. “She’s just a woman, and it would do you some good to have no choice but to talk to someone. Especially someone of the opposite sex.”
She was giving him a run for his money. I already liked her.
“Martha—” Hudson said, his voice dipped in octaves that suggested she was nearing his limit for the day.
“Don’t Martha me,” she bit back at him. A lioness swatting at her cub. I inched forward, stopping just in front of the door as I tried to peek past the window to get a good look at the woman who reminded me so much of my Nona. “It’s been nearly a year since you rid yourself of that awful woman. It’s time for you to dip your feet back into the pool. You’re too young and good looking to be single. Now, get out there before she leaves.”
This was the part where my curiosity bit me in the ass. Or rather, shoved me on my ass.
With one, hard push, Hudson came barreling through the double doors, only, I was in the way. Trying to rush back to my table, I turned when the door caught the back of me.
Down I went.
I landed on my side, catching myself with my elbow as Hudson cursed behind me. When I turned, he was rubbing his forehead. I noted the bright red horizontal line across his forehead and the glaring look he threw over his shoulder, and put together that his forehead had collided with the frame due to his height. He grimaced when he noticed Martha shooing him forward with a brisk wave of her hands.
I was about to get to my feet when he turned back around and saw me on the ground. For a moment, he stood stone-still, eyebrows pressed together in a menacing furrow.
“I have a talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I laughed, but the sound was offbeat and kind of delirious as embarrassment painted my skin in bright shades of red.
“How did you—are you all right?” he asked as he offered a hand to help me up while holding a basket of bread. Gone was his rough demeanor, replaced by concern. Rocky and rough, yet serene and calm… Hudson. I liked the softness his features took when his guard was down. The round shape of worry circling the golden rings around his pupils.
I took his hand. Rough and marred with calluses. But that wasn’t what I noticed first. What I noticed first was how my skin seemed to ignite, like a tripwire set off, the sparks traveling through my veins until they filled my heart, bursting like fireworks.
I retracted. Insta-love wasn’t my thing.
“Yeah,” I managed as I brushed my hands against my shorts. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to that heady beating of my heart, but I had a weakness for men with rough edges and soft eyes and he was charging past the barricade I’d placed. I marked the acute details of his face. The faint lines in the corners of his eyes, probably from squinting in the sun too much.
And then there were those baby blues. Something familiar and slightly terrifying swimming inside them, sort of like staring at a white water rapid, wanting to dive in but knowing you’d be swept under in a heartbeat.
Nona had always said a man would come into my life one day and replace everything I thought I knew about love. He’d erase the hurt left behind from my dad. Teach me that not all men are monsters, and take every romantic cliché and multiply them by a thousand. The palms sweating, knees weak, skin tingling kind of clichés you read about.
I never believed her. Not until that moment.
About CANDACE KNOEBEL
Candace Knoebel is a hopeless romantic with an affinity for whiskey and good music. Her love of words began when she met the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. She’s a self-proclaimed Lost Girl. Words are her mirror.
With two completed series, her work ranges from paranormal to contemporary, all centered heavily around romance. Currently she lives in Florida with her husband and two children, and has just completed her thirteenth novel, The Taste of Her Words.