Book Review: Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann

August 15, 2016 Christian, contemporary, Kristen Heitzmann, romance 17

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about the book

Alexis Murphy is done messing with the wrong kinds of men. She could not be happier planning a personalized Grace Evangeline wedding with her fiancé, Jeffrey, who is so right for her. Or is he?

Stage star and spokesmodel, Bo Corrigan, could be the ultimate disruption. Alexis—Exi—is caught by his talent and sexual magnetism. Yet under the glow, she senses trouble, not only danger from Bo’s past mistakes, but something inside tearing him apart.

From the moment Bo sees Exi, he knows she’s special, but not only that—she’s real. Unlike the theater scene he’s been immersed in, she sees the man he is and won’t stop until she’s reached inside and brought that person from despair to life … if only they have time.

With violent forces against them, can they get beyond the damage to love that heals and restores?

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SERIES: Told You #2
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: bHd Books
RELEASE DATE: August 11, 2016
PAGES: 417

“People are people, whatever their conditions, education, opportunities. Every soul has a shine.”

Told You Twice book reviewA friend and I were talking about this book a couple of days ago, specifically what IS it about fictional bad boys/troubled souls that we women are so drawn to? Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, Gray Carlisle in The Things We Knew, Ty Porter in Meant to Be Mine … and now Bo Corrigan from Told You Twice.

We first met Bo Corrigan on the pages of Told You So, but his supporting role in that book only scratched the surface of the complexities of his character. His “devil-may-care facade” is just that – a facade, masking a heart far more sensitive (the bouquet making scene!!) and broken than appears at first glance. Besides his gorgeous exterior, Bo is a character who truly fascinated me (his ability to shift into just about any persona!). He broke my heart more than once (someone warned me to have tissues handy – she was NOT kidding!) and yet at the same time he solidly won a place in my heart forever.

Y’all. Rock bottom isn’t pretty. When we’re wallowing in it in real life or when a favorite character hits it in fiction – no matter who’s down there it’s pretty sickening. Kristen Heitzmann has captured this journey down to the pit and the road home with authenticity, raw emotion, mercy, grace, and HOPE.  Having only authenticity and emotion without the mercy, grace, and hope would leave us, the readers, destitute by the end. But she strikes the ideal balance – framing Bo’s story the way it needs to be told from start to finish.  And in the process, we are reminded that our Abba… our Daddy God… does not look like an absentee Father or a harsh Judge. Rather, He waits for us to come home with open arms.

‘That’s the picture of God, Bo. Not sitting on his throne in judgment, but running, arms spread to welcome back his profligate son.’

Exi and Bo’s romance is also raw and authentic and covered with mercy and grace and hope. Their tale is not the same as Grace & Devin’s from Told You So – Exi and Bo’s downfall is one born of deep internal baggage rather than lust. While there IS some humor sprinkled throughout, Told You Twice (and Exi and Bo’s romance) is much more intense and emotional and agonizing than it’s more comedic predecessor. And it’s worth the ache and the copious amounts of tissues you’ll need before the end – because the romance itself is a picture of redemption and because when the mercy and grace and hope rain down, it hits you in the marrow of your soul.

told you twice quote 2Being able to reconnect with Grace & Devin & Eileen & Eddie from book one is another highlight of Told You Twice. In fact, these four characters are nearly as integral to Bo’s story as is Exi. Not in the same ways, certainly, but without his relationship with Devin in particular many parts of Bo’s story would have played out quite differently.

Bottom Line: The prodigal son has never looked so gorgeous on the outside as Bo Corrigan, nor as damaged on the inside. His story is impossible to put down so gear up for an emotional roller coaster ride that is equal parts exhilarating and heartwrenching. His romance with Exi, his friendship with Eileen, his rivalry with Devin, hitting rock bottom and climbing back out – all of this will grab your heart and refuse to let go. You will smile. You will swoon. You will cry. You will hold your breath. You may even find yourself praying for a fictional character. (Not that I know this from experience or anything) And as you turn the last page, you will find that you’ve once again breathed in exquisite grace and called it amazing.

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

Reviewer’s Note: Again, Kristen Heitzmann provides an authentic but tasteful picture of a prodigal. As such, there are a few instances of profanity (very sporadic) as well as a glimpse into the party scene as well as its aftermath. If you like “clean reads”, this still qualifies according to my personal definition 🙂

My Rating: 5 stars / FANTASTIC

KissingBook Level: 4 / keep those fans handy! Bo just can’t help himself.

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about the author

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Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of two historical series as well as ten contemporary romantic and psychological suspense novels, including The Still of Night, nominated for the Colorado Book Award; The Tender Vine, a Christy Award finalist; and the Christy Award-winning Secrets.

She lives in the Colorado Rocky Mountain foothills with her husband Jim and sundry family members and pets.

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Other Books in this Series

Other Books by Kristen Heitzmann

What about you? What is it about a prodigal’s story that draws you?

Carrie

17 Responses to “Book Review: Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann”

  1. Marylin Furumasu

    Carrie,
    YOU NAILED IT!
    This is a fantastic review!
    I also had the feeling that I needed to pay for these characters. My heart also went out to all those kids and people in the shelter. This is a part of life I don’t see often. I think many of us need our eyes opened to the many hard issues of those struggling.
    Keep up the good work spreading the news about this book!😀👏💖

  2. Rachael Merritt

    I personally love the prodigal son type stories because I have a precious brother that I pray and pray will one day realize he has a Heavenly Father send an earthly Father that are waiting with love for him to realize the state of his life and heart need changing…and that there is SO much love and hope awaiting him. Since this story became so personal, THAT is when the stories appealed to me more. Not to mention members of my family that did hit the bottom to be rescued and saved by someone who loved them when few if any did. What a precious Abba we serve.

      • Rachael Merritt

        Thanks, Carrie! It’s a constant burden on my heart. I love him so so very much! He’s gone through a lot which is mostly his own fault, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t break my heart too! So good to know God can use my prayers no matter how far my sweet brother strays. Prayer IS the key! 💗

  3. Winnie Thomas

    Oh Carrie! Are you sure we can’t convince you to write books? You just have such an amazing way with words! How can you whip these reviews out of the air like magic with all those awesome images? Yep–start writing your book! I’ll pre-order it! 😀

  4. Rebecca Maney

    Great review, Carrie. I will definitely be turning the pages on this one!

    And just for the record, I am with Winnie, you need to be writing your own stories!

  5. Amanda J.

    Hey Carrie, After your review I couldn’t get this book fast enough, especially considering how much I loved Told You So. This one has left me reeling. I’m so happy I read it, and I enjoyed it immensely… But it was even more than that. DeShawn and Misty have touched my heart. I see how very blessed I am and what an awesome privilege and duty I have to share Christ. I didn’t need Kleenex during the story rather during the reflection this book demands.

    Enjoy Nashville. I hope to experience the retreat through this blog.

    • Carrie

      DeShawn and Misty absolutely tore me up! YES. I didn’t get into it too much in the review because I didn’t want to spoil anything for readers but … oh my goodness yes. Very moving glimpse at life for them.

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