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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Judy had been passed from foster home to foster home, never sure if returning to her real parents was a blessing or a curse. Her mother beat her and her brothers, but some of the things she had endured at the hands of others seemed far worse. If her early life taught her anything, it was never to trust someone claiming to love her. People who loved her hurt her, physically, mentally, and they always left. Judy didn't need that kind of love. Starting a new life had been difficult; she had been taken in, clothed and fed, but, when she was unable to find work, the person caring for her offered an alternative - to become a call girl. Feeling indebted to Gladys, Judy agreed. She was paid well for her services and whilst she had, in the past, had her doubts about her illicit lifestyle, she was comfortable with it now. Then along came Bryce Stevens, stirring complex thoughts and unfamiliar reactions. Can she shield the truth about her career, and if he should discover her secret could he bring himself to forgive her, to overlook her deception?
There are few books that I can pick up and instantly lose myself in, but with Tarnished Romance I did just that. Sandi K Whipple has a easy-flowing style that draws the reader in. The plot is enjoyable and the characters are well-conceived. The story progresses seamlessly, presenting obstacles and events Judy must conceal in order to guard her secret. Her developing feelings for Bryce are beautifully portrayed, as is their growing relationship. This was a brilliant read, and one you simply won't want to put down until its conclusion. A well-deserved 5 stars.