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Violet Ugly by J. Lynn Bailey

Violet Ugly Book Cover Violet Ugly
J. Lynn Bailey
Fiction, Contemporary Romance
October 23rd, 2018

Sixteen years ago, Merit Young left Granite Harbor, Maine, for California in search of a future that didn’t involve Ryan Taylor. He’d left her in pieces on her bedroom floor, delivering a blow she couldn’t have expected. But, now, at the request of her brother, Eli, she must return and confront the demons of her past—Ryan included. After the loss they both suffered, she isn’t prepared to face him—especially considering he’s the only one who’s always been able to see right through her.

Ryan has lived his entire adult life in survival mode. Growing up with an abusive father has taught him to keep women at arm’s length, and that’s never been a problem. Until Merit—the only woman he’s ever loved—strides through his front door. He’s not sure how long she’s staying, but he knows it’ll be long enough to destroy what’s left of his heart.

To overcome their dark past, they’ll have to shed light on a reality that will most likely tear them apart. Merit has been hiding a heartbreaking decision from Ryan, and he’s been keeping lies of his own.
Can two tortured souls heal after a lifetime of pain? Or will the hideous secrets of the past bury them both?

Megan’s Review


“Some things are better left alone.
Some things are better left in the dark.
And some memories are better left unremembered.”

J. Lynn Bailey has once again delivered a heart-felt and emotional story that literally took my breath away. I read Violet Ugly in one sitting and I had to force myself throughout the story to stop, take a breath and let those beautiful words sink in. As much as I loved Peony Red, and I absolutely did, I think I may love Violet Ugly even more. If that’s at all possible? J. Lynn Bailey is a master creator of beautiful thought provoking words, meaningful and well developed storylines and the feelings she always evokes from me are real, intense and deep.

In Violet Ugly, we are taken back once again to the picturesque Granite Harbor. Ryan and Merit are childhood friends along with Merit’s younger brother Eli. They have all been through so much pain and heartache together during their youth. Merit suffered the loss of her mother and Ryan suffered constant abuse from his alcoholic father. Through despair, grief and torment they formed an unmistakable connection; a bond that they believed could never be broken… that is, until it did.


“Sometimes, there are secrets we keep so deep that our minds forget, not wanting to remember what the quiet chaos feels like against our hearts. But I’ll keep this secret. I will hang on to it if it’s going to keep Ryan safe.
Safe from his own secrets.”

Years later Merit and Ryan have come face to face once again and now it’s time to deal with the past, conquer their fears and hopefully, together learn to heal one another. It’s no easy feat because there is so much history between the two, but the love they share is so strong it is sure to vanquish any doubts.

I really adored Merit, she was such an inspiring heroine. She was strong and independent. I loved seeing her develop and grow throughout the story; how she had no choice but to face the past and her fears. Ryan was just the perfect hero and despite everything he had been through from such a young and vulnerable age, it never darkened himself as a person. He was kind and sweet with an absolute heart of gold. I was definitely Ryan and Merit’s number one fan and was constantly cheering them on from the sidelines.

The tension and angst between Merit and Ryan was off the charts for me, but I thrived on the angst. For me, it just added to the heightened anticipation and the emotion of the story as a whole. The tension and emotion were necessary for creating the perfect second chance love story. Violet Ugly is an emotionally driven story that was so addictive, I’m just not sure how J. Lynn Bailey can possibly top this effort.

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