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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
All the Different Ways is a contemporary romance novel written by R.J. Lee. Violet’s first and only love had also been her best friend and confidante -- until they were married and went on their honeymoon. She had wondered about the unfamiliar bag Anden had slipped in with their honeymoon luggage, and all her excitement about sharing Malibu with her new husband died at the sight of the crotchless lingerie, whip, cuffs and other items she found within it. Anden was smirking as Violet saw the stuff, and he began to lay down the rules there and then for their marriage. It was two years now since that trip, and Violet’s life had been a continuing hell, broken only by the comfort of her friends, family and the fact that she could work -- even if that was only because they needed her income. Anden was an abusive, controlling spouse, a far cry from the gentle giant, Cullen Metz, who was one of her best friends at the high school where she taught. Their banter was something she looked forward to even as they both realized that her being married meant it could only go so far. Then, the unthinkable happened one night as Anden violated everything Violet held sacred. After that, all she could hear was his mocking voice and dismissive sneering, leaving her feeling totally worthless and ashamed. Part of her wanted to end it all, but a stronger part was determined to survive her abusive husband -- and she did.
R.J. Lee’s contemporary romance novel, All the Different Ways, touches upon the plight of men and women with abusive and controlling spouses who systematically demean and demoralize them, often leaving no visible wounds or bruises for the world to see. Lee’s Violet is such a victim, and, as I read the first part of this novel, I was hoping beyond hope that she would leave the horrible man her first love had become (or had always been until he had gotten her as a possession). Anden is a marked contrast to Cullen Metz, whose love and respect for Violet is apparent in every scene where the two characters are together. All the Different Ways is a beautifully written story that addresses the plight of domestic abuse victims and follows Violet’s healing process as she learns to love and trust again. While there are some explicit sexual and erotic scenes taking place in the story, they are all beautifully written scenes that celebrate the love Cullen and Violet share, and highlight the respect they have for each other. The one exception to that is the ugly and violent scene where Anden rapes his wife. While not explicit, the reader should be aware that it does occur. All the Different Ways is most highly recommended.