The Shackle

Escape From The Knot Of Restraint

Fiction - Womens
316 Pages
Reviewed on 10/29/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Shackle: Escape From The Knot Of Restraint is a work of fiction in the women’s fiction, issue-based writing, and realistic drama sub-genres, and was penned by author DonnaLee Overly. This is the second work in The Knot Series, continuing the story of the King family, and this time it focuses on the story of Stan as well as moving the overall family story along. As Stan continues to work on himself following his time in rehab, he accidentally meets Marie, whom he discovers is an unfortunate victim of human trafficking. So begins a powerful quest to protect Marie and others like her from her fate, which results in a dramatic, suspenseful, and even romantic storyline as this horrible modern-day crisis is unveiled.

Author DonnaLee Overly has crafted a highly engaging story that mixes together elements of family saga and suspenseful crime to create a really unique modern-day western feel to the story. For me, the particular highlight of the tale is the showcasing of Marie and Alexa, kidnapped victims of human trafficking, that is developed into so much more than their initial circumstances present them. The character development overall in the story was truly excellent, and when combined with the many action-packed elements of the plot, it is easy to get completely lost in the tale and devour it from cover to cover in a short space of time. Overall, I would highly recommend The Shackle: Escape From The Knot Of Restraint to fans of modern dramas and emotive writing everywhere.

Tammy Ruggles

The Shackle: Escape from the Knot of Restraint by DonnaLee Overly is an irresistible romance novel. This is the first offering in The Knot Series II, and the story revolves around main characters Gabby, Brett, and Stan, but mainly Stan. Even though this is a wonderful romance story with action and suspense, be warned, the plot delves into the subject of human trafficking so heed the trigger warnings. But if you are intrigued by dark themes and compelling plot twists, this is the perfect novel for you. The characters and their relationships have their own challenges and against a backdrop of human trafficking, you have one volatile and entertaining story on your hands.

It is clear that Overly knows her characters and her audience. Gabby, Brett, and Stan seem so real, they could walk right off the page and into your home. Stan has the strongest character arc, but the other characters shine too, so please familiarize yourself with these awesome characters by catching up on the series. One thing that I like is the author's boldness in making human trafficking part of the storyline. It gives the romance genre a grittier, more down-to-earth feel than some of the others I've read. But even though the subject matter is heavy, the book is balanced out with a focus on other plot points and the development of the characters, thanks to Overly's thoughtful writing. I especially like the dynamics between Stan and Marie, a victim he wants to protect and love at the same time, but will she ever feel the same way about him? As you read, you know these aren't typical milk-and-cookies characters. They come off as real people with real problems. Take Stan's recovery and rehab from his motorcycle accident, for example. Overly knows how to write for the heart of a reader. If you're looking for a romance novel with conflict, issues, and emotion, The Shackle: Escape from the Knot of Restraint by DonnaLee Overly should be in your to-read library.

Lesley Jones

In The Shackle by DonnaLee Overly, Marie Gomez and her friend Alexa Roberts had only just arrived in Cancun to celebrate their graduation when they were taken by a brutal human trafficking organization. Luckily, Marie manages to escape; now she must find Alexa before she disappears forever. Meanwhile, on his step-father's ranch, Stan Adams is still trying to come to terms with recent events that have torn his heart in two. Not only is he dealing with the injuries from his motorbike accident but also having to see his sweetheart, Gabby, in the arms of another man. Stan's life is about to become entangled in a dangerous web of organized crime when he discovers Marie barely alive. Stan rescues Marie and takes her back to the ranch of Wayne King. As Marie comes to terms with her ordeal, Stan's feelings for her grow. Could she be the one to heal his lonely heart and would Marie even accept his broken soul and body?

Although The Shackle by DonnaLee Overly is a continuation of The Knot series, this is definitely an enjoyable stand-alone novel. There are many sub-plots, and each one has been meticulously crafted and weaved into the main storyline. The characters are relatable and have unique personalities that blend well with each other. I thought Stan's journey of recovery both emotionally, mentally, and physically was written with much sensitivity. His thoughts and emotions struck a chord in my heart and I so wanted him to find inner peace. Marie was also an amazing character with inner strength as large as her caring heart. The tension and twists and turns of the plot made for compelling reading and there are some dark scenes regarding the experiences of the human trafficking victims. The interactions between Stan and Gabby were perfectly written. I loved how Wayne King, although wealthy and powerful, still appreciated ranch life and never forgot his roots. This is the type of novel that you can totally escape into. The ending was cleverly written and leaves many questions unanswered. So part three is definitely on my reading list.