The LoveLock

A Suspenseful and Sensual Love Story

Young Adult - Coming of Age
256 Pages
Reviewed on 07/05/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Tender and deeply moving, The LoveLock: A Suspenseful and Sensual Love Story by Eichin Chang-Lim is a love story about Violet and Dylan, two college sweethearts whose relationship is destroyed by a tragedy that tears them apart. As grown-ups, they have to face the challenges of life, each one alone. Violet will travel a very dark path, ending up as a stripper, while Dylan has his own demons to handle. But there is one moment that keeps them linked to each other in some mysterious way; the moment Dylan gave Violet the locket. The locket and the key have marked a symbolic moment in their relationship. When Dylan offered her the locket on a beach, he said he’d keep the key, symbolizing that he owned the key to Violet’s heart. For Violet, Dylan has the key to her heart, “in every sense,” but after all they have been through, can they go back to the moment to unlock the secret of happiness and meaning in each other’s heart?

This is a beautiful story, at times aching, and filled with compassion and pathos. Violet and Dylan are well-sculpted characters and they are flawed in a way that allows them to be human. There are very painful moments in the story and the author creates a strong sense of suspense which makes the story even more gripping — a real page-turner. You’ll feel for these characters and as you follow Violet, all innocent, being introduced to the rules of the strip club. The psychological games that are played on the key characters are something that the weak encounter every day. Eichin Chang-Lim injects a huge dose of realism into the narrative and makes the characters really believable. The LoveLock: A Suspenseful and Sensual Love Story is beautifully written.

Deborah Lloyd

College sweethearts Dylan Purcell and Violet Swanson loved to go to the beach at the Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, California. It is where he gave her a locket on a chain, and he kept the key on another chain. They had initially bonded during tragic events during their childhood and found each other again at a college party. The LoveLock: A Suspenseful and Sensual Love Story written by Eichin Chang-Lim is a romantic and suspenseful story. As their relationship continues to grow, it is struck again with tragedy, and they move forward on separate paths. As each one moves to new localities and new relationships, each makes some poor decisions. Neither has ever forgotten the other, but with misunderstandings and untruths, each thought the other no longer felt love. It is unknown – until the end of the book – if they will ever find and trust each other again.

This story is well-written and flows well, even as the author moves the plot back and forth over the years. It is an engaging and easy-to-read book. Many characters, including parents, coworkers, and friends of both, are well-developed and realistic. Likewise, there are a number of settings – from hospital rooms, a strip club, a women’s recovery program, to casinos and bars. These descriptions are also well done, as the story moves from locale to locale. Author Eichin Chang-Lim has presented a fascinating novel in The LoveLock: A Suspenseful and Sensual Love Story. It is more than a love story; it is a study of how tragedies can affect lives and relationships. It is an intriguing read!

Robin Goodfellow

The LoveLock by Eichin Chang-Lim is a heartbreaking romance about two people, both of whom had deep, horrific connections with death. The book is separated into six parts. Part I introduces Violet, and the struggles she has in coping with her sister’s cancer. However, she meets a boy named Dylan, who has lost his mother to cancer. Part II goes into detail about Violet’s life, and how hard she’s trying to make it as an actress, despite her profession and her past. In Part III, Dylan finally comes back from the Peace Corps to try to find Violet again. It all comes to a head when he gets into a car accident and is nursed back to health by Tess, whom he later marries in an alcohol-fueled night. In Part IV, Violet succumbs to her depression, and almost ends her life... In Part V, Dylan and Violet finally meet, only for Violet to run away and face her past. In Part VI, the reader will discover if Violet and Dylan finally get back together, despite the heartbreak they’ve experienced.

Violet was a character I particularly resonated with. I know what it feels like to have a parent who has depression, and while her dad did try to help cover for her mother, in the end it just wasn’t enough. It’s partially the reason why she came to love Dylan the way she did; he had a similar connection to her. Through pain and loss, they were able to come together. I really enjoyed this book. The characters dealt with their fear of the future, and grief, and how everything was just spiraling out of control. Chang-Lim has written an enchanting story about what it means to be in love with someone throughout your entire life, and the beauty that comes with it. As such, I would recommend it to those who enjoy The Simple Soul of Susan by Noel Branham, and The Shadow and the Rose by Amanda DeWee.

Lex Allen

Violet and Dylan, a pair of young adults brought together by tragedy, are ultimately separated as the death of Dylan’s mother and Violet’s sister spawn a series of violent emotional eruptions within their families. Though they go their separate ways, miles and circumstances apart, a token gift—a love lock—that Dylan gave to Violet, for which only he holds the key, remains a constant link between them. While Violet pursues an acting career, she cannot overcome a temporary psychological illness and sinks into drugs. On the brink of homelessness, she is “saved” by a neighbor who gets her a job as a stripper. Dylan faces his own challenges in the Peace Corps, followed by an accident that dramatically stops his hopes of reuniting with the love of his life, Violet. The LoveLock by Eichin Chang Lim is a love story in the truest sense of the genre.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance novel like The LoveLock. As a romance, the fundamental story line and characters are as one expects. What makes this novel stand out is, for me, the unique format that jumps from a benign beginning featuring both lead characters, to Dylan's sudden, unexplained disappearance as the story follows the trials and tribulations of Violet. About the time I figured I’d missed something and decided to reread, Dylan pops up with his own story, sans Violet. What follows is a continual jump from present to past, character to character, that Chang Lim executes flawlessly, that kept me on my toes. I was prepared for a “happy ever after” ending and—no, you’ll get no spoilers from me. The LoveLock by Eichin Chang Lim is a different love story well worth the money and time spent on it.

K.J. Simmill

Childhood devastation had brought together the two hearts of Violet and Dylan, reuniting them when the time was right. They were the perfect match for each other, and a token of love, a lovelock, was shared between them. This token offers a memory of good times as fate once more separates the two lovers and they go their separate ways, each living their own life. To say they did not go as they had planned would be an understatement. Their lives spiral out of control, and whilst they are no longer part of each other's lives, they retain the token of their past, a source of comfort and despair. Can they take control of their own lives before they hit rock bottom, and will fate once more reunite those who remain connected through time?

The LoveLock is one hell of an emotional read. The first few chapters alone are enough to stir deep emotions. Eichin Chang-Lim knows how to write heart-wrenching, gritty emotion that plays the reader like a fiddle, forcing them to experience the highs and lows of the deep, vivid, flawed, and believable characters. The LoveLock is a heart-breaking tale of shattered dreams, uncertainty, despair, regret, romance, and just a touch of the supernatural. This book is written in parts, and each one is its own gem. Get a box of tissues at the ready, and see what plans fate has in store. I wouldn't hesitate to read more work from this talented author who excels at infusing such raw emotion into their writing. Unquestionably a five-star read.