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Let It Be Me

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Do you see that woman there?
The one with long, wavy blond hair and blue eyes that used to sparkle?
That’s me, Violet Moore.
Do you see those men over there?
One is my husband, Rob.
A man who claimed he loved me, but proved his fist loved me more.
The other is Tucker McCloud, my savior and confidant.
I'm torn between what's right and my own fear.
But not anymore.
I’m taking my life back now.
I will fight back.
I will be happy.

352 pages, ebook

First published September 28, 2013

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About the author

Toni Aleo

74 books6,407 followers

make sure to Join my Mailing List: https://www.subscribepage.com/toniale...

My name is Toni aleo and I'm a #PredHead, #sherrio, #potterhead, and part of the #familybusiness!

I am also a wife to my amazing husband, mother of a wrestler and a gymnast, and also a fur momma to Phoebe, Gaston el Papillon & Winston.

You can usually find me hollering for the whole Nashville Predators since I'll never give my heart to one player again. When I'm not in the gym getting swole, I'm usually writing, trying to make my dreams a reality or being a taxi for my kids. I'm obsessed with Harry Potter, Supernatural, Disney and anything that sparkles! I'm pretty sure I was Belle in a past life and if I could be on any show it would be supernatural so I can hunt with Sam and Dean.

Also, could I LOVE hockey anymore?

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5 stars
774 (34%)
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804 (35%)
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487 (21%)
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134 (5%)
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57 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 261 reviews
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,524 followers
October 30, 2013


Toni Aleo is a favourite author of mine, so when I discovered that she had branched out of her normal writing genre to say I was interested would be an understatement. However, I didn't rush out to read this book mainly because I knew it would be a painful, intense, gripping story and I wasn't mistaken;This story grabbed my attention and emotions. Every now and then I try to challenge my reading habits so with that very intention I set out to take this book from my 'to be read' shelf, and what a journey it has been here are my jumbled up, emotional 'let it be me' book thoughts ...


What's it all about?
Violet Moore is lost to a world of domestic violence at the hands of her husband Rob, with no hope left in her life she must fight to find the journey that will bring her hope and freedom. but along the way she must learn to allow those that love her to help fight back to hope and love. 'let it be me' is a heart breaking glimpse into the life of one woman and her battle for freedom.


What did I love?
This book is a lesson of strength, of hope and of new beginnings. Toni Aleo has bravely approached and written a story about subject matter that is emotionally crippling, the story was told intelligently and sensitively but it didn't hold back from telling the cold, hard truth about the devastation of domestic violence. I empathised with the heroine I felt her struggles and grew to love her as a character, Toni Aleo portrays the journey for Violet from lost victim to hopeful survivor and I was invested in seeing this courageous young woman win her escape. Dr Tucker McCloud was a true hero, he was completely dreamy and from the first appearance in the story I knew I would be hooked. His love was sensitive protective and quite frankly his "loving" abilities were outright swoony. This author has a canny ability to write some unforgettable characters and this book is no exception, as much as I'd like to I can't review this book and not mention the husband, Rob Moore his actions were deplorable and I can firmly say that I despised this character, the author reached to depths to develop this monstrous abuser, but again it shows her ability to develop characters that are true to their nature. From beginning to end this story demanded me to feel, my emotions were all over the place; joy, love, fear, excitement, hope, despair, pain, lust, attraction, devastation I could go on ... Any story that demands that range of feelings is definitely one that deserves to be read.


Why not five?
I have to firstly say that Toni Aleo is both brave and Talented, she stepped out of her writing comfort zone and delivered this well written albeit difficult story. but there was a few niggles that kept me from giving out the full five stars. The book gave me hardly any reprieve I was on the edge of my seat from the first page and whilst this delivered on the suspenseful front I would have liked the story to merge into the freedom of the heroine sooner. Towards the end of the story the abusive scenes became a little repetitive and hard work. I love to see development and storyline unfolding with a character but I needed it to advance sooner, the book for me needed a clearer balance between victim and survivor. But overall this story was outstanding and the above thoughts are purely from my personal reading experience.


Rating further explored ...
This book was a challenge for me to read, undoubtably the material in this book was difficult to read, women across the world are affected daily by this subject matter and the existence of what abuse victims endure really is a heartbreaking reality. This book delivered on the well written and emotional front and I'm sure most readers will be touched by this story.

Final thoughts ...
If you want a story that will make you feel emotions and demand you to walk the journey of victim to survivor then pick this one up. Toni Aleo has delivered on creating a well written, heart churning story and I know this was a labour of love. Don't delay, go grab it readers ... Kisses.
Profile Image for Toni Aleo.
Author 74 books6,407 followers
September 18, 2013
Love this book and how beautiful it turned out! Can't wait for the world to read my heart and soul! Remember this:
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
October 21, 2013

First, here's my casting:

Let It Be Me was a beautiful, heartfelt story about a woman's struggle to face her fears, find her inner strength and gain the courage to leave an abusive relationship along with the support of an incredible guy who showed her what it was like to live without fear and to truly be loved.

It felt real and kept me connected me to the characters. I couldn't put it down and read it start to finish in one sitting!! I was honestly hooked from the prologue. This was another book that I started just intending to "test" it out but after the prologue, I knew that there was no way I was going to be putting it down.

This is Violet's story. Two years ago, she was Rob's world, now she lives in constant fear of his temper and fists. Trapped under his control and unable to leave, he has made her life a living hell.

"He promised me the world, and all I've received in the last two years is pain and heartache. Why the hell do I stay? Why do I take this and why do I allow this to happen? I've asked myself those same questions for the last seven hundred and thirty days, but for some reason I still stay."

But when Tucker McCloud enters her life, everything changes. For the first time in years, she feels a real connection to a man - real desire, an attraction that went beyond something just physical - and, although she tried to keep him at arm's length, slowly but surely he became a part of her life. But as he began to spend more time with her, he started to piece together the tell-tale signs that her life wasn't really as okay as she made it seem and he made it clear to her he would help her in any way he could.

"Let me help you…. you don't deserve to be treated like this, and when you're ready to talk, I'll be here for you. I always will be here."

The story is told to us by Violet as though she were sitting right in front of you talking to you in person and I found myself instantly drawn into her story and wanting to know more.

"I'm aware that I should be classified as a weak person, but don't give up on me yet, because, look, do you see that? Do you see the way I'm getting up?... See the way my chin is going up, the way my tears have stopped?... Because I do... I'm going to fight back. I have to."

The book really highlighted and actually showed us how easy it is to fall into an abusive relationship. Even though there are often warning lights, it's so easy to overlook them and want to see the best in people and give a second chance. But I really just have to get this out of my system and say that I absolutely hated Rob with a deep and angry passion. That man was just the scum of the earth. How any person can be so cruel is just beyond me and it was heartbreaking to see someone as sweet and kind as Violet be subject to his brutality.

There were times when I wanted to just scream at her to stand up to him or leave him but every time I got to that point her narration of the story made me be patient and just wait to see her journey unfold. At the same time I also felt Tucker's frustration so deeply. Here he was caught on the outside watching the woman he both cared deeply for and was falling in love with be trapped in a situation she insisted on tackling herself. He wanted to help her so badly but at the same time, I absolutely loved that he understood her need to take back her freedom on her own.  He was there for her all along and he helped her where he could but he was also strong enough to stand back a little and just give her the support she needed to gain back the confidence her abusive husband had stolen from her and let her save herself.

"Let it be me, Violet. Let me be the one to hold you forever… Don't waste your life on him. Spend it with me… Just please, let it be me. Pick me. Love me...

This is your battle and as much as I want to fight it for you, I know I can't, but what I can do is be the guy that encourages you and gives you the tools you need to win."

That man was just a saint!! I fell hard for him and loved how caring he was. A true savior. The very definition of a good man. It was just impossible not to love him.

Towards the end of the book, I was moved to tears. The last few scenes were seriously intense and my heart was just racing as I flipped the pages as fast as I could! The story had a beautiful ending and a wonderful epilogue that completed the journey and brought everything full circle.

Over all, this was a deeply moving story with a strong message. I loved it!

4.5 stars

This is a standalone.


For more of my reviews, book news and updates:
Main blog: Aestas Book Blog
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Profile Image for Lindsay.
2,195 reviews504 followers
October 7, 2013
HOLY CRAP. That was intense. From page one, there was intense drama and angst. It all seemed so real. There were times that I wanted to cover my eyes as I read. I thank god that I’ve never been in that type of situation.

This book was unputdownable. I can’t say I loved it (mostly because of the subject matter) but it’s definitely unforgettable, and will stick with you. It’s book that’s worth reading.

I liked Violet and I felt sorry for her. I kept rooting for her, hoping she would develop the courage to leave Rob. He was a character that I definitely wanted to go all Dexter on.

While I was happy that Violet started to grow a backbone and stand up for herself, I was also cringing because I knew it would come at a price. And boy did she pay that price. I was also yelling at her to confide in Dr. Sexy Pants. And speaking of said hottie…he was certainly drool worthy! He was such a good guy, a guy you could root for, one you wanted to get his HEA. And he was so patient with Violet. He could clearly see that things weren’t right, and even though there were times that he got frustrated, he never stopped supporting her and encouraging her to admit what was going on. Tucker is definitely a keeper.

This wasn’t your typical romance. Yes, there was a romance between Violet and Tucker but I really felt that the book was more about how falling in love led Violet to realizing that she could leave. And it led her to find the strength to leave. At least, that’s what the book was about for me.

My only complaint was that Violet never told Tucker about Rob causing her to lose her child. It was mentioned in the first chapter but when the book came full circle later, there was no mention of it.

But this book is a solid 4 star read.
Profile Image for Heidi McLaughlin.
Author 97 books6,935 followers
September 2, 2013
It's no big secret that I'm a fan of Toni Aleo. I have been going on a year now. So when she threw this at me I didn't hesitate even though I knew it was going to tear me up inside.

Toni stepped outside her penalty box to deliver a hardcore, gritty novel. Let it be Me is about personal struggle and protecting those you love even if the end result is your own demise because when you love one so fiercely you'd rather take the blows instead of seeing your loved ones hurt.

Let it be Me is so intense, raw and poignant that I had a constant ache in my chest.

This isn't your normal Aleo book, no this is something more. Fans will see a new side of Toni and that will just make you appreciate her more.

Profile Image for Chris- Bookaddict.
884 reviews255 followers
September 29, 2013
Get a blanket and maybe a glass of wine, you’re going to need it, because my story isn’t a happy one, well no, I take that back. It can be happy, I can be happy; I just have to get there. I have to fight for it. So sit back and let me explain how the fight was woken inside me.
It starts and ends with Tucker McCloud.

Let it Be Me is very dark, emotional, & gritty this is not your everyday type of read that is for sure. This story is about domestic abuse and violence and Toni holds nothing back while writing this story.

As a former abused person, I had a hard time with this story, I wanted to many times to just stop reading it and not look back, but I could not do that, something told me I had to read this story and find out whether or not Violet came out on top of her abuse. I needed to know that someone else made it out alive.

When you start this story you instantly hate Rob, I don’t blame you I hated him in the first 2 pages. You’re going to ask yourself what the hell is wrong with her? Why isn’t she just leaving, getting out while she has the chance? Toni takes you on a journey with Violet that shows you the answers to these questions and many more. Some people think it is easy to just walk away from an abusive relationship and not look back, but what people don’t understand is there is a major fear placed inside a victim of abuse by their abuser and sometimes it is not easy to just walk away when you want to.

I watched and cringe while I read what Violet goes through, thinking jesus just get the strength to get out, I wanted to reach into the story and help her so many times. I thought so many times she is never going to get out of this alive. He is going to kill her.

Then the light at the end of the tunnel comes into focus and we meet the Mc Clouds…….

Violet starts a new job and she is working as an office manager in a doctor’s office. This is where she meets Tucker. His dad owns the practice and is retiring and turning it all over to him. There is an instant attraction between Violet and Tucker, but Violet knows it can never be anything she wants until she gets completely away from Rob.

I didn’t know it then, but the McClouds were going to change my life.

And they did change her life, want to know how Buy this amazing book and read it for yourself.

Profile Image for -Deena-.
25 reviews75 followers
October 17, 2013
This was one AMAZING book. The plot, characters, setting and the feelings were perfect. This author had a way with her words. She also had a way to make you feel like you were sitting right there watching everything take place. A 5 star book for sure. My heart broke for the heroine, Violet. Seriously. I could literally feel my heart breaking into a thousand tiny pieces for this poor girl.

"See that woman there? The one with beautiful long wavy blonde hair cascading down her shoulders, her arms up protecting her eyes and face? That's me. Violet Moore."

Abuse: 1. Use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse. 2. Treat (a person or animal) with cruelty or violence, esp. regularly or repeatedly.

"Before, Rob used to say my eyes could light up a room. Now he says they annoy him. Everything I do annoys him. I think even when I breathe, he's annoyed, which is why he hits me."

Violet was abused. She was abused by the one person a wife should NEVER be afraid of. Her husband, Rob. I wanted to KILL that asshole! He was the lowest of low. He was scum. He beat the HELL out of this poor girl every time he got around her it seemed. Blaming that it was all her fault, that she "makes" him do the things that he does to her. No kind of remorse what-so-ever!! I have never felt so much hatred toward a fictional character. And I have read a lot!

Violet is a registered nurse and lands a job at a doctors office. She loves it. She feels like it is her safe haven. She loves the people she works with and she especially loves her boss, Dr. McCloud. One day Dr. McCloud announced that he was retiring, which killed Violet. She loved working for him. So who takes his place you ask? None other than Dr. McCloud's son, Tucker. Dr. Tucker McCloud.

"For the first time in three years, I am stunned by the man before me. My insides are clenching, and I don't think I could form a word if someone asked me something. Especially if he did. He's beautiful."

Beautiful is an understatement! This man is amazing on every level possible. He is so sweet to Violet whenever they first meet. He knows something is wrong with Violet and she didn't even have to say anything. He wants to know this broken woman and he wants to fix her. He's a fixer. He's also amazing. Wait, have I already said that? =) He begs Violet to open up to him, but she's so scared that Rob will hurt Tucker. She doesn't want to bring him into the mix. But it's too late. Tucker has fallen for Violet.

"Let it be me. Let it be me, Violet. Let me be the one to love you forever. To kiss your sweet mouth every day and to make love to your beautiful body. I would treat you like a woman deserves and I would never make you cry, except tears of happiness. Don't waste your life on him. Spend it with me."

This man is an angel.

I don't want to give anymore of this book away than I already have. But, some terrible things happen. Terrible. But trust me, there will be light at the end of the tunnel. You will fall in love with the hero and heroine. Even though Violet seems weak at the first of the novel, you have to understand that she is scared. To death. She doesn't know how to get out. You have to come into this book with an open mind and also an open heart. You will also want to beat the shit out of Rob. This man is something else.

I really tip my hat off to this author. She done an amazing job with this novel. She made me laugh, and she made me cry. But she also made me think. There are really women out there that are being treated the way Rob treats Violet. It's so sad to even imagine. So with that being said, if you are someone or know of someone who is being abused, please get help. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. There is help out there. Violet couldn't have said it better:

"No woman should feel like she isn't worth the love of a good man. And if for some reason you hear my story and think you can't get out, let me tell you, you can. It won't be easy and you'll want to quit, but you can do it.
You can succeed.
Just believe in yourself.
Leave fear at the door and just jump in.
The world is at your fingertips and you deserve it.
You can be happy, you know?
Don't ever forget that."
Profile Image for Christine.
131 reviews22 followers
October 3, 2013
5 gritty and raw STARS

Violet has been living her life in fear. You see, to the outside world she is this beautiful, confident woman who has a loving husband, a successful career and everything she could ever hope for. But if you look closely enough you'll see that this beautiful woman is broken. The girl who most women envy has a dark secret that she keeps hidden behind impenetrable walls and her smile hides the pain and suffering that she lives through everyday. You see that gorgeous husband of hers? Well he maybe gorgeous on the outside but to Violet he is her tormentor, her punisher and her worst enemy. For the last three years Violet has had to live with the physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband Rob. Their story starts out with butterflies and rainbows but then it suddenly takes a turn for the worst, and Violets feels as if she has no power to stop this vicious cycle. That is until she meets Tucker McCloud.

Tucker McCloud has been traveling and experiencing life around the world. After his father decides that it's time to retire, Tucker steps in to take over his practice and will now be working closely with Violet, his new office manager. There's an unmistakeable connection and attraction between the both of them but there's no way he can act on it because she belongs to another. It's not long before Tucker starts to notice unusual things about Violet and his suspicions are cemented when he finally meets her husband Rob. He has always suspected that there's more to it but she never confirms what he knows is happening behind closed doors. Is he strong enough to convince the woman he has grown to care about seek the help she needs to get away from this abusive relationship and take the first steps to recovery or will he be too late.

This story really hits close to home. Having known someone who has gone through a similar experience this was really hard to read at times. Let it be Me was a beautiful written book about how a woman who used to be so full of life and vibrant turn into a lifeless zombie who has been alienated away from her friends and family by the person in her life that had promised to honour and cherish her.

This book paints a graphic example of how her husbands abuse has broken and torn her apart, but it also shows her struggle and fight to regain control of her life and happiness.

The characters in this book were amazing. Violet's road to freedom was not an easy one but it was beautiful to witness how no matter how much she has been through she will fight till her last breath to become the person she used to be before Rob.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone but it's definitely not for the faint hearted, a lot of the scenes were quite graphic and it really was heart breaking seeing first hand the abuse that Violet went through.

All in all I really enjoyed Violet's journey to freedom.

Profile Image for Shanean.
169 reviews19 followers
October 9, 2013

"I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review"

First let me say when I sat down to read this book it was 6pm. When I finished it was 4am the next morning and I was so emotionally hung over I couldn't sleep. I immediately sat down and wrote my review because this book will grab you at the first page and not let you go. You will be thinking about this book long after you finish.

A very powerful story of a young woman lost in an abusive marriage.
This story really hit home for me. My mother survived an abusive marriage so it was really hard not to think back on the times my mother was trying to find a way out and protect me in the process. She made it though and instilled in me that no woman needs a man to survive and everyone deserves respect and love.
With that in mind I found myself an emotional mess throughout Let It be Me because not only did it bring back so many memories but also the pride I felt for my mother when she was able to get away from her abusive husband.

Toni did an outstanding job at giving readers an inside look into the mind of an abused woman and the fear she has to face. The war that Violet fought within herself mentally was heart breaking but also gave the reader more understanding and feeling for her character and her struggle to just leave her abusive husband.
Although Violet was physically and verbally abused she was still a fighter. She struggled to reminder herself of this at times but that is where Tucker fit into her life. He was her shoulder to cry on, hand to hold and friend to just always be there for her. He tried to protect her the best way he knew how without losing her but it became very difficult to see the after effects of the abuse she faced regularly. Although their story is heartbreaking at times the need to be together and find their way to love and happiness will prevail.

 photo tumblr_inline_mjkt2vaND21qz4rgp_zps21e20121.gif

"Let it be me, Violet. Let me be the one to love you forever. To kiss your sweet mouth every day and to make love to your beautiful body. I would treat you like a woman deserves and I would never make you cry, except tears of happiness. Don't waste your life on him. Spend it with me."

"Just please, let it be me. Pick me. Love me."

On a personal note: Toni you have done something truly very special here. You have put into words which for some may be difficult to speak. You have created a story of hope for so many still struggle to find their own and could very possibly save someone’s life. I would not only encourage every woman to read this book but to pass it along to another girlfriend, sister, mother or coworker. What may be hard for some of us to come out and ask, say, or share is beautifully written in Let It Be Me.
Thank you Toni from the bottom of my heart for writing this book

Just One More Romance will be gift 2 ebooks of Let It Be Me by Toni Aleo
to 2 lucky readers.
Just leave a meaningful comment about the book or review
with your EMAIL and you are entered to win.http://justonemoreromance.blogspot.co...
Profile Image for ✿kawehi.reviews.
1,453 reviews410 followers
September 26, 2013

The good: -Exceptional and exemplary plot and story line
-Endearing characters
-Very emotionally gripping, intense, and genuinely touching!!

The bad: Hmmmm...you mean, other than the fact that I HATED.HATED Violet’s husband with an outright passion?!

Nothing that I can can think or comment on. ;)


“Let It Be Me” is a very dark, gritty, and raw tale which covers the topic of domestic violence.

I have to recommend Toni Aleo, as this isn't a very ventured topic that people like to explore into detail and she captures this flawlessly.

After all, domestic abuse isn’t a pretty thing at all and I’m glad that Toni doesn’t hold back on this. It is very physical, mental, and emotional thing. I know, because my sister went through it. Albeit, I’ll admit, from what she told me hers was minuscule compared to Violet’s but from what she explained to me from what goes on behind closed doors (e.g. why leaving your abusive partner isn’t as easy as people think) is rather similar to Violet’s situation.

So, in other words, major kudos for Ms. Aleo for making the characterization and thought process of victims (as well as the depiction of the culprit) so sensible and pragmatic! It made me feel as if I were really there in her shoes but in reality I would be yelling at her to run for the hills and for Tucker to save her!

Speaking of Tucker...

Let me just say that I LOVE, LOVED Tucker McCloud!! <3 xoxoxoxo

Can I have my very own of him?! Pretty please?! I swear, he was definitely swoon worthy!! There were so many points of which I wanted him to swoop in and rescue Violet but in a way, I’m so glad he didn’t. My reason being, that if he were the one to save her there would be no point in this story. I think what the author was trying to convey to readers who are in this situation like Violet were for them to muster up their own strength and courage to find a way out of their abusive situations. There won’t always be someone there to help you so you must look for it in yourself to get yourself out of the situation if possible.


I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! I was already a huge Toni Aleo fan from her “Assassins” series but “Let It Be Me” proved that she could also step outside of her box and go even deeper into more serious content.

I am absolutely impressed with her craftsmanship is creating such a haunting, realistic tale and would read more from her outside of her hockey sports reads!!

I swear, every minute of Violet’s turbulent marriage I could vividly see and feel every minute of it exuberated from the pages and constantly feared and cried for Violet!!

So captivating and heartbreaking at the same time.

Gah, "Let It Be Me" is a true winner in my book!! I can’t wait to see what Ms. Aleo has in store for us in the future!!

But until then, be on the lookout for "Blue Lines," which is Toni's next release continuing her highly acclaimed "Assassins" series!!

Bye friends!

Profile Image for Bitabread.
13 reviews
October 8, 2013
Let me start by saying that I don't usually give one star ratings to a book unless I mean it. Unfortunately this was one of them. When I started reading Toni's books I really liked her way of writing. The first book of the Assassin series was amazing, but then the second book was ok and then the third one was kind of a disappointment. It seems she likes to write about damsels in distress which I normally like but Let it be Me was just not for me. From the Prologue I knew I wouldn't like it. I'm not sure if you have to have lived through what Violet did to like this book but I was annoyed and very much disgusted with the character. I found myself skimming through the book to find dialogues because I couldn't stand the way Liv was portrayed in the book as a weak girl who couldn't defend herself. I guess I'm more into books that have strong minded girls who fight for what they want. Like I said before, maybe I just haven't gone through abuse so I can sympathize or out myself in the shoes of someone who has. I think this might be the last book I read from Toni...
Profile Image for Emily Snow.
Author 44 books5,772 followers
September 30, 2013
Toni Aleo has made me ugly cry! Let It Be Me is gritty and real, and I literally felt my chest clench up or found myself holding my breath while reading so many parts of this book. Violet’s story is heartbreaking—but also beautiful, hopeful—so have a giant box of Puffs on hand while reading. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Ashley - Book Labyrinth.
1,251 reviews307 followers
August 12, 2014
As of posting this review there are only 4 and 5 star reviews from other early readers. Yep… leave it to me to be the outlier.

Minimal spoilers may be included here, but not enough for a spoiler tag.

I feel like there was so much good and so much potential in this story, but I just couldn’t enjoy it. I had too many frustrations and questions, and most of them are about each of the main characters.

Rob: I could be wrong, because I am not a legal expert, but if you’re charged with almost beating a man to death and you’re out on bail or whatever, but you’re set to go to trial… are you going to be allowed to move across the country?! I’m pretty sure there’s gotta be restrictions of some sort. And even if you could move, would the court not send someone after you as soon as you missed your hearing?? It just made no sense to me that Rob was charged with a violent crime and yet all these things were allowed. Plus, with Rob’s very visible violent history, why did Violet think that no one would believe her abuse happened?? It's not like in public he appeared to be a nice, upstanding guy. He's exactly the guy you would think is a wife-beater. I can only suspend my disbelief so far, and this made no sense at all to me.

Violet: Of course I felt terrible for her, and I wanted the best for her. But I was a little confused by her character. I feel like it’s a sensitive thing to even begin to judge her character, because every woman is going to react to her situation differently, and there’s no one way that’s wrong or right to react to abuse. What I questioned the most was the fact that she was so analytical and self-aware, almost a very distant voice when she’s telling the reader everything she knows is wrong. Her voice was just off somehow, because she was clearly emotionally and mentally fragile along with being physically abused, but there were so many times when this didn’t come through.

Also re: Violet, I admired her for wanting to take care of herself and be strong enough to do everything on her own, but it was frustrating when that was more important to her than staying alive. I hated how she was willing to be in danger longer just so she could say she did it by herself. Now, this part actually felt very realistic to the situation, but, again, because of how matter-of-fact Violet’s voice was most of the time it was a strange dichotomy to have her act this way.

Tucker: He’s supposed to be this super nice and amazing guy, but I’m a bit dubious over him pursuing a physical relationship (short as it is, at first) with a married woman (no matter how unhappy she seems) and most especially with someone who he suspects is being physically abused. Especially as a doctor, shouldn’t he try and get help for her before being with her? I mean, he’s a man and not a saint, but if he was truly in love (and not lust) with her, shouldn’t taking care of her come before physical needs? I feel like his character strengthens as the novel goes on, but at first he seemed a bit skeevy despite his nice guy appearance.

Clearly many people loved this book, so feel free to check out their reviews and see what they got out of it that I didn’t.
Profile Image for Adriana.
1,292 reviews143 followers
August 27, 2013

Firstly i would like to thank my friend and amazing author Toni Aleo for giving me the honour of reading this AMAZING book. Let me tell you that if you have read Toni's other books this one is very very different.If you havent read her books WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?? READ THEM ASAP.

I read this book in a few hours once i started i couldnt put it down. It drags you in straight away. This books had me so emotional that i feel abit numb ATM. Words can really not express what i feel for this book. Right from the start you feel like you want to punch someone HARD, then it goes to the hot and bothered emotion then back to i want to string someones testicles up a tree emotion then im happy again but only for a bit then i want to strangle someone again. This book was one hell of an emotional heartbreaking beautiful ride. But let me tell you its not for the faint hearted as this book deals with something that many people deal with every day, this book is not all flowers and rainbows no its far from that but DAMM IS IT AMAZING..Even though i cryed and laughed and got so so so Angry and i swear if i didnt love my ipad so much i would have thrown it i recommend this TO EVERYONE..Its a beautiful tale of a lost woman who feels worthless and feels like no one will ever love her or want her its about. About her taking her life back. I loved it that it was written in her POV like she was telliing her own life story.

Ill do a longer review when the book comes out but READ IT!!!
Profile Image for Anna.
483 reviews375 followers
Shelved as 'this-book-is-on-time-out-indefinite'
October 23, 2013
Say what ??? Another Bezzie buddy read !!!?? I'm feeling the love across the pond from my lovely Lisa Jayne ❤️
October 8, 2013
ARC provided by Author for Honest Review

Let It Be Me is a very hard book to read let alone review. It deals with many serious issues, most revolving around domestic abuse. Violet is and has been married to an ‘asshole’ for a couple years and in her position she’s literally stuck. This position she’s in makes the book very real. You almost want to dislike her as she takes it and want her to run but its hard when you’re not in the position she's in because she is literally stuck.

Fear, pain and being alone frighten the crap out of Violet. It’s hard to imagine a better life for herself. She remembers the time when Rob, her asshat husband, was a good man. Sure she knows the way he’s treating her is wrong, but she know eventually she’ll leave. Well, as you know, sometimes that eventually takes a while.

Violet suffers both internally and externally. Her only escape is her job. A new job in a medical office, in which she’s super excited about and can’t wait to get to know her boss and his wife better. Shortly after working there she gets a surprise when her boss announces his retirement. Her boss announces that his son will be taking over. Of course Violet is saddened by this but she does not expect the intense almost lightening attraction she immediately feels for her new boss, Tucker. It seems Tucker feels the same way as soon as he sees Violet. But she’s married.

Violet uses her marriage like a crutch. She is afraid to leave and yet always wants to in the back of her head. She tells no one of what goes on at home and leads a very solitary life. Tucker changes all that. Sure it’s not over night but Tucker gives Violet a support she’s never had. He frightens her and fascinates her at the same time. She wants to be with him but how can someone so scarred and broken be with a man like him. Violet has many issues than just her husband to deal with. At this point I should point out that for much of the story Violet remains with her husband. Her struggle to leave and find herself is the root of the story. Will she find the will to leave? Is Tucker enough to give her the push she needs?

This was a very hard story to read. Most times I wanted to yell at Violet and almost dislike her but you can’t. You can almost feel her pain and fear. Having known people in similar situations it’s eye-opening to watch the inner workings of a domestic abuse relationship. That being said I enjoyed the story immensely. Violet is not the strong willed, take charge character many of us are used to. No, she’s scarred almost beyond repair and she has to fight back. But how can she when everything seems stacked against her? This is the journey of a woman in need of a guardian angel. Someone to give her a new reason to succeed and survive. No longer does she have to be a victim or hide both herself and her life from others. This is a love story but it doesn’t come easy. Tucker is amazing in an almost unbelievable way. His kindness and passion blew me away in the midst of all Violet’s home drama. Together they can be something great if only Violet can take that final step.

This was an emotional journey from start to finish no doubt about it. Reading this will open your eyes in ways most books featuring abuse will not. There are no immediate changes to Violet’s life and the story really revolves around her and her strength. This is not like any Toni Aleo book I’ve previously read and I think it just proves what talent she has. If you’re not squeamish but you want to read a book that will literally affect the pace of your heart and leave you with a smile at the end. This is certainly for you. Each step was a test of both mine and Violet’s will. You will become her personal cheerleader and even as you wonder how she can stay you still pray that the day will come when she won’t. If she wants to be with Tucker, she needs to leave. I’ll say no more. This is a journey you need to experience from start to finish. And one you certainly won’t be disappointed in.
Profile Image for Jodie.
223 reviews25 followers
September 3, 2013
Get a blanket and maybe a glass of wine, you’re going to need it, because my story isn’t a happy one, well no, I take that back. It can be happy, I can be happy; I just have to get there. I have to fight for it. So sit back and let me explain how the fight was woken inside me.

It starts and ends with Tucker McCloud.

Ok are you ready because this story is more a friendship than anything and the minute you open it you enter a deep friendship with Violet. Toni Aleo tells this story a little different its unique, it’s honest and it plays out like real life. This is a story that stays with you, moves you, it is a story that leaves you with pictures you will forever remember and secrets you will never forget. I feel like I have to warn that this is a sensitive subject one that is as much about strength, love, determination as it is about rape, abuse, and hate. It’s REAL and it’s an experience that no matter where you stand you will feel it.

See that woman there?

The one with beautiful long wavy blonde hair that is cascading down her shoulders with her arms up protecting her eyes and face?
That’s me. Violet Moore.

When you meet Violet you right away envision this, beautiful, timid, young women that could be anyone of us. And you immediately start saying, “OK why is she with this bastard of a man?” You start saying, “Leave Him, run away, hide, punch him in his face!!” But as you read on Violet explains choices aren’t always that easy. She teaches you why women can’t just walk away. The fear they live with, the words the live with and she shows you the strength they really have. We watch as our friend gets these bruises and these verbal attacks, you want to step into the book, you want her to have a friend and that’s when fate steps in and we meet The McClouds.

I didn’t know it then, but the McClouds were going to change my life.

AND OMG DO YOU MEET THE MCCLOUDS!!! Tucker in one word is ... I can't explain him in one word! He is like a million words and all of them start with Ah or Oh.

He’s beautiful. Light brown hair that looks like he spent most of the day running his fingers through it, whiskey colored brown eyes that really I am getting lost in right now. He has dark brown scruff on his chin and a little along his upper lip and oh Lord, his lips. They are full, a light peach color that are currently curved in a way that makes my unused girlie parts scream.

Are your girlie parts screaming?

Ummm yeah Tucker is the silver lining in this story, he is the knight, he is the friend, and he makes you swoon like no other. HE IS AMAZING!!

My insides are clenching, my heart is pounding and I swear to God, I couldn’t form a word if someone asked me something.

Yeah I have no words, I can tell you to be prepared, be prepared to feel something you might have never experienced, be prepared to form a bond so strong you can’t help but feel broken, you can’ t help but feel proud, and you definitely might want to invest in some tissues. And have a spare pair of panties available.

My panties? Shit, I might as well be sitting in water.

I can’t thank Toni enough for sharing this story with me and I cannot express how much I loved it and how much I think everyone needs to experience it!! 5 STARS AND a couple tears so go ahead….

Leave fear at the door and just jump in.

You are going to be so glad you did!!!
Profile Image for Katrina Ly.
141 reviews1 follower
November 12, 2013

PRO (because I can only think of one)

- Overall, a very insightful novel; it had a lot to say about how chaotic the thought patterns of a victim of abuse could get and why it is so hard for them to leave an abusive relationship as a result, it had a lot to say about the negative effects of the said relationship and how it ends up pretty much killing the victims self esteem and stuff like that, it had a lot to say about the long road to recovery and healing (which btw I LOVED since this is usually, and very annoyingly, handled without much care in other novels and depicted as like, a 6s recovery where all the woman needed was a declaration of love, which would heal all the pain and suffering the protagonist went through and pretty much render their past insignificant), and it had a lot to say about love and how one must love oneself before going into a relationship (that bit was especially poignant for me) :)

So....thumbs up for all of that :) it made the book somewhat bearable.

CONS (because there were so many more)

1. Very dull and uninteresting writing.

I mean, if I had to epitomise how the opposite of engaging would be like, this would totally be it.

Every chap, paragraph, SENTENCE made me feel like stabbing myself in the face. And I had to literally keep forcing myself to come back to the book after days of just like not reading because it was just THAT boring (which is saying a lot because usually I finish books in one sitting).

2. Extremely corny dialogue. *Shudders*

Sometimes, corny's good but in this case? No.

In fact, you could pretty much say every single piece of dialogue in this book is corny. It didn't even feel like the characters had their own distinctive voices because every single character was saying the same corny, cheesy lines. And if it wasn't corny or cheesy, it would still make my eyes roll in exasperation because whatever they would say instead, no one in their right minds would ever say in real life. At least not like that.

So anyway, the corny dialogue was horrible and PRETTY MUCH made the characters even more flat and generic than they already appeared.

3. There are also a lot (and by a lot, I mean A LOT) of random little things in this story that just kept nagging me. Like for example, if the protagonist was beaten so often and so carelessly, why does she not have any scars? And who starts out their dream of becoming CEO by training to be a nurse? And why the heck do we need an epilogue telling us about her freaking kids and her happily ever after? I mean, it was PRETTY OBVIOUS by the last paragraph she was gonna get that happily ever after.

To sum up, a very thought-provoking book but one that lacked the ability to draw readers into its story and keep them flipping pages.


Profile Image for Georgette .
495 reviews9 followers
October 4, 2013
Toni Alea brought me back to a place in my life I thought I'd never want to revisit. As a victim of domestic violence, you really want to try and forget everything that has happened to you. All the excuses you made up to cover for cuts, bumps, bruises, etc...
Toni's work here was so real life that you really would have thought that she went through this all herself.
Bravo Toni!! I was an emotional rollercoaster throughout this entire book!!

The character of Violet is an amazingly strong woman, from the years of abuse to realizing that she IS WORTH IT. Just to be able to come to the realization of that is one of the strongest things a person living with domestic violence can see.

The character of Rob, what can I say...hate is a horrible thing. Men like that are useless and worthless...I don't see where Violet would ever forgive him, so that really through me through a loop. I have never nor will I ever forgive my past abusers...

The character of Tucker...AMAZING!!! Such strength and understanding! The epitome of a real man! I loved all he was willing to give and all he was willing to sacrifice just to make sure Violet was ok.

Violet's mother and grandmother were also very strong women. It's hard for the people who love you to see the abuse you are living through and understand. They knew that there was no way they could make Violet see what she needed to see about herself and her relationship and let her find her own way.

I don't know what else to say about this book...It was truly amazing! Toni, you have once again blown my mind but in a completely different way than you have in the past!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I have added purple to my hair to signify this month. For those of you who want to read and know more about Domestic Violence, please follow this link: http://www.ncadv.org/takeaction/Domes...

Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,066 reviews312 followers
October 7, 2013
I was't sure what to expect from this book, considering it was a departure from the hockey romances I love by Toni Aleo. Despite the very tough subject matter surrounding domestic violence, it was a story that I truly enjoyed.

Violet Moore finds herself moved across the country, away from her family and friends, by the abuse husband who likes nothing than blaming Violet for everything that has gone wrong in his life. The only bright spot in her new life is her job as an Office Manager for one incredibly hot, sweet and steadfast Tucker McCloud.

Toni Aleo gets readers to get into the head of a woman who suffers from spousal abuse. If you ever wonder why they stay, Violet gives us a front seat as to why she stayed with a man who made her life absolutely miserable. You feel for Violet and the way she's been secluded by the man who swore to love and honor her. I cringed as much as Violet did every time the man showed up on the page. He was truly, truly vile.

Who changes things for Violet? Tucker McCloud.

Tucker was a fabulous hero. He reminded me of a certain glasses wearing hockey player because he was determined to stand by Violet, no matter what. He was friendly with her, praised her and showed her that she was worthy. His friendship and love was exactly what she needed to find the courage to save herself. And he was willing to give Violet the space she needed to find herself and stand on her own two feet. He was absolutely perfect.

Despite the tough subject matter, the story grabs you and makes it very hard to put down. I loved the path the author took to get Tucker and Violet to their HEA. She didn't make it easy and forced the characters to really take a look at what they were doing before jumping into their forever. If you're looking for something a little different from a favorite author, this is definitely one you should pick up.
Profile Image for Jillian (NetGalley Addict).
313 reviews67 followers
October 10, 2013
I was given an ARC of this book for my honest review
Violet is an abused woman away from her family and friends, her saving grace comes in the form of a new job as an office manager and Tucker. I am a glutton for punishment I just got done reading a book that tore me up and then I started this one, so now I am a sobbing mess of emotions. I love Toni and I know that her books will always give me a good read, but this one was different it's a book that will keep you up at night and have your mind running a mile a minute. Rob how I loathe that man, he was a weak willed man and I wanted really wanted him to just die. Violet was beaten down emotionally and physically it was hard for me to see what she went through, I wanted to reach through the book and help. Tucker and the McClouds were truly wonderful people. This is a survivors story, yes Violet was a victim of abuse but I hate to call her that because when she does find the strength to fight back she is no longer a victim. Toni did an amazing job, she wrote a story on a dark subject without shying away from the details and in doing so she shows you the emotional turmoil that an abused woman can feel. This book is a powerful story on the inner strength it takes to stop being a victim and become a survivor.

Profile Image for Kara.
1,262 reviews18 followers
October 15, 2013
Woa. That was powerful.
Deep breath.

This book deserves to be read!!
Profile Image for Sugar and Spice Book Reviews.
462 reviews167 followers
October 12, 2013
Loved this book! This is the first book I've read of Toni's and let me tell you, she has a way with words that make you feel everything that is happening to the characters. I felt so many emotions while reading this story...anger, hurt, loss, grief, and then finally hope and love. 4 stars!

This is Violet's story. Violet is married to Rob. At first, things were great but once they got married Rob started controlling her, and then when she defied him he abused her emotionally and physically. Rob controls every aspect of her life and has taken her away from her family and friends. When they move across the country, it still doesn't change anything, Rob blames Violet for everything that goes wrong and takes out his anger on her. The only thing Violet has to look forward to is going to work as the Office Manager of a Physician's Office. When the Doctor of the practice announces his retirement, his son Tucker McCloud takes over. Tucker is the one bright spot in Violet's life. Tucker makes Violet feel again,...feel things she hasn't felt in a long time and he gives Violet hope for a future. Rob's not willing to let go, but Tucker is willing to fight for what he wants, and he wants to help Violet. Can Violet find the strength and courage to walk away and learn to stand on her own two feet so she can have a chance at true happiness?

"Just please, let it be me. Pick me. Love me."

Let it Be Me is a story about strength, courage, love, learning to overcome and finding yourself. Would definitely recommend you read this one!

*Reviewed by Brandi
Profile Image for Angela.
739 reviews36 followers
October 20, 2013
I really enjoyed this story, but I took away .5 stars for editing and .5 stars for the repeated dialogue the h had with herself. I started skimming because it was the same thing over and over in the beginning.
I really devoured this book and could overlook those 2 things bc the story was so captivating that I couldn't stop reading. I was so scared for her and was hoping she'd make it out alive. This book is definitely worth a read.

*there are scenes of abuse and rape*
Profile Image for Auhmanduh.
446 reviews
October 6, 2013
dnf 50%

I seem to be in the minority here. the beginning of this book was repetative. Vi's actions didn't really match up with what was going on in her life.

not totally writing this one off, will try again later.
Profile Image for J.
2,909 reviews38 followers
October 1, 2016
A big DNF for me. "Too stupid to live" comes to mind. She's with an abusive husband but gives us every excuse in the world not to leave him. I couldn't take it any more.
Profile Image for Julie.
750 reviews147 followers
March 2, 2018

Hell, this is a first for me... tears down my face just reading the damn acknowledgments. Broken record here... go in blind for every read. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I've had just a few out of hundreds of stories that just twisted my heart, made me internally scream with anger, and tears drenching my face on way too many occasions. This is one I'll never forget. Toni Also, it hurt but wow, you're amazing. Oh... thank you so much for Tucker as if I don't have hundreds of book boyfriends, I have room for more and he definitely made the list!
Profile Image for Kjean Lara.
174 reviews6 followers
June 5, 2016
4 "He has been the light through this dark time" STARS!!!

"No woman should feel like she isn’t worth the love of a good man and if for some reason you hear my story and think you can’t get out, let me tell you, you can. It won’t be easy and you’ll want to quit, but you can do it. You can succeed. Just believe in yourself. Leave fear at the door and just jump in. The world is at your fingertips and you deserve it. You can be happy, you know? Don’t ever forget that."

Tenía este libro desde hace mucho en mi lista de espera hasta que por fin me decidí a leerlo y no me arrepiento. Es una historia hermosa detrás de algo tan horrible. La mayor parte de la historia quería llorar y tenía que parpadear para alejar las lágrimas, e inhalar y exhalar para poder continuar leyendo.

Violet Moore sufre de violencia doméstica por parte de su esposo Rob Moore, un enfermero. Es difícil vivir en una situación así, lo he escuchado y leído de muchas personas de la vida real. La mayoria de los casos las mujeres viven con ese miedo que no las deja salir de ese hoyo en el que están. Creo que todas esas mujeres necesitan ayuda, pero desgraciadamente muchas mujeres no la obtienen.

"I don’t know how to do this on my own. I’m scared, terrified, to face a day without him (Tucker). This damn fear in me just won’t go away."

Violet Moore tiene esa suerte de encontrar a alguien que la ayude, que la apoye y estoy más que agradecida por ese personaje tan bello del cual me enamoré...Tucker McDonalds.

"I’ll be behind you one hundred percent. I will be here when you need me. I’ll give you the strength and support you need, every step of the way. You will never feel alone ever again.”

Cuando Rob decide apartar a Violet de su familia y se la lleva a Maplewood, Tennessee, ella empieza a trabajar con el Dr. McCloud, el cual decide darse un descanso y pasar tiempo con su esposa, por lo que su hijo se queda al frente y es ahí cuando entra nuestro Héroe, Tucker McCloud.

Quedé absolutamente enamorada de él, es un amor, es todo lo que una mujer como Violet se merecía tener. Este personaje creado es tan hermoso y estoy segura que nunca lo olvidaré. El la apoya de mil maneras, le da todo su respeto, es su hombro para llorar, su mejor amigo, y es que el sólo escribir sobre él, me dan ganas de llorar, porque se me vienen a la cabeza todas y cada una de las cosas que hizo por ella y siento ese amor, ese amor que le tiene Violet. Y es que es lo que hace que un libro sea tan maravilloso, esta coneccion que siento con los protagonistas, los sentimientos que tuve en cada página, las lágrimas que derrame....Tucker se gana poco a poco el corazón y la confianza de Violet, al igual que el mío.

Si bien no le di las 5 estrellas fue porque no me gustó que Violet tardara tanto tiempo en decidir cambiar su vida, hubo sólo unas cuantas páginas que me hubiera gustado que fuera algo diferente. Que hubiera sido más rápido el paso de dejar a Rob para asi haber podido leer más sobre ella y Tucker.

"Change is the scariest thing in the world. It is but you know what is worse? Regret."

Pero no hay peros de los porque no recomendaría este libro. Lo recomendaría al 100 y es que aunque es una historia que a la.vez es muy real, horrible, pero que yo amé, porque detrás de todo eso malo con Rob, doy gracias que Violet haya encontrado a Tucker y estoy segura que en.la.vida real habrá mujeres que pasen por lo mismo, algunas con.finales desastrosos, otras encontrando a su Tucker.

"Get a blanket and maybe a glass of wine, you’re going to need it, because my story isn’t a happy one, well no, I take that back. It can be happy, I can be happy; I just have to get there. I have to fight for it. So sit back and let me explain how the fight was woken inside me. It all starts with Tucker McCloud."
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