Reviewed by C.J. Anaya for Readers' Favorite
In Liberty and Means, Shannon Clark is introduced as a fairly straightforward, no-nonsense kind of gal who knows who she is, where she's going, and how to attain her goals and dreams. Author Kristin Dow takes a character who enjoys predictability and control and throws her into a scenario that is anything but predictable. This was a smart move, pulling her character out of her comfort zone and then continuing to introduce people, places, and conflicts that challenged Shannon at every turn, forcing her to reevaluate who she thought she was, and just exactly what her goals and dreams are now.
I was immediately pulled into the narrative due to Shannon's conviction that she is being followed. Chris, a longtime friend and police officer, is there to help her unearth the mystery which is solved within the first few pages, setting off a string of events that both delighted and upset me. There was just so much fall-out from this one turn of fate...something I refuse to share here because I want everyone to buy this book and find out what happens for themselves.
I loved Shannon's level head and fierce spirit. She's not a doormat, nor is she someone who reacts to problems in an illogical or unreasonable way. But I also loved that when it was time to get emotional and exhibit that frustration with her situation, she does so in the most satisfying way. Chris is delightful. A real man's man and the kind of guy you want in your corner. Loved him from the get-go. I'll admit to feeling anxious for their relationship to work out. I think the author really did a wise thing at the end, leaving those options open, but giving each character a chance to grow a little more in the process.
Having an addict in the family was also heavily explored in this book, something that spoke to me due to my own personal experiences. The subject matter doesn't shy away from the reality of addictions or the effect it has on the addict's loved ones. Kristin Dow wove humor, heartache, disappointment, and tragedy into a thought-provoking novel filled with growth and self-discovery. You won't be able to read this book without learning a little something about yourself in the process.