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Dear Emily

(Forever Family #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,394 ratings  ·  376 reviews
Carly Sloan’s life was perfect. Comfortable. Blissfully happy. She was surrounded by her best friends in the world, who love and adore her, and would do anything to support her. But one violent night destroys everything, breaking down her perfect world and tearing away her safety. Kyle Finnegan comes into her life when she’s at her lowest. Can he help restore her faith? An ...more
Paperback, 1 edition, 280 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Trudy Stiles
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,394 ratings  ·  376 reviews

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Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~

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Where do I start on this book. I freaking devoured it...Like ignore my kids, ignore my husband, ignore my work until I could finish....and it is one of my favorites of the year....I'm reading and my husband looks over at me and I'm like....

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I didn't really highlight anything because I was reading so fast so I'll just touch on the characters so as not to spoil it for anyone.


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Carly and Kyle together

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Carly's Friends - Becca, Callie, and Manny

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Alex and Tabitha together

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Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
4.5 stars!!


This is one of the most unputdownable and unforgettable books I’ve read this year! I’m ashamed to say it’s not a story I would’ve read at first glance and I’d never have picked it up if it weren’t for a few friends who absolutely adored it and now…I can definitely see why. The story follows two women who are the main characters – Tabitha and Carly – and their individual lives and romances, and how one child brings them together. It’s a story not just about love, but family, friendship
Tough Critic Book Reviews
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
And I stand corrected…again

I'm going to let you in on a secret. I...did not want to read Dear Emily. Nope, just like the guy who won't buy drinks for an ugly, I judged a book by it's synopsis. It sounded like a beautiful story. A beautiful story following the lives of two women. Lives that intertwine and all that shit, but it also sounded like a huge est fest; one I'd need some major chocolate and a tampon just to finish. I seriously needed someone to bring a little sausage to the party.

Trudy Stiles
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I am the author of Dear Emily and I loved every second of creating this story. These characters are so very real to me and I hope that you can connect with them in some way. xoxo
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

One of my favorite books of the year.....I devoured it.

It was a story of survival, love, loss, friendship, second chances, hope, was PERFECT!

A story of two women with painful pasts.


Stripped of her innocence and robbed of her dreams. Saved by Kyle and the unwavering support of her friends.


Running from a past of loss, sadness, and abuse. Abandoned at an early age and forced to find her own way. A prisoner in her own pain. Broken. Damaged.

Jennifer Kyle
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Trudy Stiles’ debut novel is extremely well paced, written and executed!


I enjoyed this author's writing style and was engrossed in the manner in which both Carly and Tabitha’s past and present povs took a reader throughout this book.

“Emily” is Tabitha’s unborn baby who she is considering giving up for adoption to Carly and Kyle (phenomenal together). A reader is taken from Carly’s past and Tabitha’s past to the ending where Emily is born.

”Carly is perfect. She is going to be the pe
Natasha is a Book Junkie
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“Dear Emily,
I can’t believe that soon you will be here, in our arms, in our lives… We are ready for you, sweetheart. So very ready.
We love you so much already.
See you soon.
Momma & Daddy”

I am one of those strange creatures who prefers to spend time in the land of make-believe a lot more than in the real world around me, the endless possibilities of fiction having the power of making any story that much more emotional, that much more raw, that much more intense. But once in a while, y
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Book – Dear Emily (Forever Family #1)
Author – Trudy Stiles
Publication Date - December 3, 2013
Type – Part of Series
Genre - Romance
Rating - 5 out of 5 Stars

Reading Order
Dear Emily (Forever Family #1)
Untitled (Forever Family #2)

I don’t even know how to start this review because this story continually pulled at my emotions. I am still reliving this book over and over in my thoughts.   I think while reading, each emotion came raging to the forefront – I experienced hatred, love, angst, sadness,
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this story in one sitting. It was a great read, and I am looking forward to the next book. I will try to properly review later.
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
4 stars

A could not put this down book! We follow the story of two woman both with horrible pasts, Carly and Tabitha.

I was heartbroken for both stories. The dual pov made me connect with them both. However, add in past/present format to the dual pov, the story got a tad confusing.

You've turn me inside out Carly. Inside out

Kyle was such a sweetheart, Seth felt a bit creepy and Alex I loved him! I read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was heartbreaking and a real page t
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So I don't do pictures and I don't do GIFS what I can tell you with WORDS is how much I loved this book!

I didn't want to put it down. I had to read it in one sitting (but damn life got in the way)!

The development and depth of all these characters were superb. Every single strength or flaw was apparent and you just FELT them with every word.

Carly was the best female lead of strength I've read in a long time. She went from a tragedy to her happy ever after by pushing though and reclaiming her ha
J.J. Rossum
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, Ms. Stiles, you really knocked this one out of the park. I loved it. Unique story line, characters you could root for, and emotions you could really feel. When Todd appeared on the pages, I could physically feel the book grow dark. I can't say I have had a book make me feel that kind of cold dread in a long time. But, you also made me feel joy, which was the most prominent feeling I had throughout the book. Sure, the characters were experiencing the harsh realties of life, but the way you ...more
Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Gitte: What an emotional tearjerker of a read this was. I think I sat with a huge lump in my throat the whole time reading. The writing was truly beautiful and the story which shows the past as well as the present was so raw and gripping my heart was so full of cracks by the time I’d finished. The agony, the tragedy, the horror, the loss, the hope and the love was extreme and intense yet handled with such care, attention and realism that I felt every word and everything the characters went throu
Chris- Bookaddict
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Amazing Stars!!!!

I love when a book can grip you right from the first few pages, pull you in and not let you go until the very last page. Trudy has written a page turner. Her debut novel knocked my socks off and she is definitely an author to check out.

Two women. Carly and Tabitha. They each have suffered life-altering events that have left them both traumatically damaged.

This book is truly sensational. This is a story of survival, loss, friendship, second chances, hope, forgiveness and lo
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This book has been on my tbr for years and I'm SO glad I finally read it. Trudy Stiles effortlessly weaves the story of Tabitha & Carly, two woman brought together through an adoption. It is told in dual POV by both alternating between the past and present flawlessly. I couldn't put this book down. It was romantic, passionate, tragic, emotional, and uplifting all at once. I can't wait to start the next one!
Gitte TotallyBookedBlog
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Jointly reviewed on:

What an emotional tearjerker of a read this was. I think I sat with a huge lump in my throat the whole time reading. The writing was truly beautiful and the story which shows the past as well as the present was so raw and gripping my heart was so full of cracks by the time I’d finished. The agony, the tragedy, the horror, the loss, the hope and the love was extreme and intense yet handled with such care, attention and realism th
Caitlin Zabek
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dear Emily (Family Forever #1)
By: Trudy Stiles

5 out of 5 stars!

Two sets of spoilers in this review that are both tagged as spoilers! So if you don't want to know some of the heavy aspects or if you haven't read the book then DON'T CLICK THE VIEW SPOILER TAB!!!!!!

Otherwise enjoy :)

I read Dear Emily two days ago and needed the time after my read to process how I felt about this book. For a starting off point lets hit the basics before I get into the nitty gritty. The editing was wonderful and I
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
( three months ago I found this book on a blog I follow and bought it. Now I am kicking myself for not reading it until now. If it looks like just another contemporary romance, that couldn’t be more wrong. There is of course, a romance but this book is so much more than just a romance.

Carly and her husband Kyle have tried everything to get pregnant to no avail. When they decide to adopt, they go on a journey filled with it’s share of angst, but that’s nothing compared to w
This was a very well-written book by a debut author. I had a tough time believing this was her FIRST book! It's REEEEALLY well-written!!

With that being said, I was annoyed by Tabitha throughout a lot of the story, and I think the author intended to evoke that feeling, along with feeling sorry for her (which I did). It's just that, I felt like she didn't do as much as she could to get out of the situation she was in with Tony and although I saw her rationalization behind it, I didn't think that w
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Can you say a million stars for this debut book by Trudy Stiles. I have to say once again thank you so much Brandee's Book Endings for hosting these amazing book tours for books I would never have read or heard about if it were not for her. To say that this is an amazing story is just so not true. This is a story about love, loss, pain and redemption. This is a story about two broken women who need healing and may just get that healing from one another. This is a story about damaged women coming ...more
Heidi R.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was given an ARC of Dear Emily by Trudy Stiles. This is Ms. Stiles debut book...but, if I didn't know that, I would be searching for more books by her. That is how well written and how good this story is.

Dear Emily is the story of two young women (Carly and Tabitha) and is written in the past and in the present. The events that take place make you unable to put the book down. I was so drawn to Carly and Tabitha. And "who", you may be asking, "is Emily?" You'll have to read the book (coming De
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just reading the synopsis on this book. I knew that it was going to be a tear jerker for me. It's a love story that is so profound and yet it is hardly ever spoken of. It's the story of two women, torn apart by a life that had left them scarred and a bond that they will forever share in a little girl neither have met yet - Emily.

This is the journey of Tabitha and Carly. Both women having gone through life altering changes in their lives and feeling lost, hopeless and not worthy of a man's love.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW, Let me start by saying that I read this book by mistake and boy am I glad that I did. The writing style was so different than any other book that I have ever read . You would think it would be tricky reading from the past and then also the present from these 2 different characters perspectives and then add on top of it the need to tie these characters together. BUT it totally worked. I loved it. I was able to connect emotionally to each of the characters and truly put myself into the situat ...more
Toski Covey
Dear Emily follows two women-

Carly and Tabitha. Both in different worlds, scenarios, but are forever bonded.

This story takes you from past to present in both women's worlds but the author does an amazing job of never confusing you- making you feel part of the story the entire time.

Carly, a married woman has a past. She's seems to have the "perfect" life. But she doesn't.

Tabitha is a hot mess. Her life is far from perfect in every aspect but I was so connected to her.

I don't even know how to pro
Rebecca Shea
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Update: I had to go back and edit this review. When a book leaves you thinking about it days later--that's a good thing. This was a 4.5 star before because it was good, really good…as in amazing. It's now a 5 star because it did something to me…it left me wanting more--needing more. That is the sign of a 5-star amazing book.

4.5 heartbreaking/heartwarming stars...This was good. As in, I can't wait for the next book good. I'm still thinking about this book and plotting in my brain what's
Maree Repa
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this most amazing book. Set on two young women both having a hard life. It ventures to all their hopes and dreams for the future. And I just didn't want it to end. I just hoped the life of Emily would end up a happy one too. This book was so beautiful, yet so sad. The writing was so accomplished. Such a beautiful piece of writing. I very much recommend this book to everyone as it was just so moving.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was really really good! Such an original story and a great flow and writing style! I'm totally invested in the characters and now DYING for the next book so I can learn more. I originally thought 4 stars for some small small things that bothered me but it was too good. Ill say 4.5 stars for sure. I suggest you add this to your tbr list ASAP! You won't be disappointed!
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites-2013
Reading the first chapter made my blood run cold. A heart wrenching story. Two women bought together because of one night from hell for Carly. Loved the way the story unfolds. Told from past and present.
I warmed to all the characters especially Carly, Kyle and Tabitha.
This was sad but made me happy at the same time. Great storyline can't wait for more of Tabitha to come in 2014.
Di Covey/TwistedBookReviews
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 - 5 Stars!

I gotta go with 5. Review coming.
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Trudy Stiles is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and New Adult romance. Her emotional stories are inspired by various life experiences and observations. She’s the author of the bestselling Forever Family series and Epic Fail series.

When she’s not writing, she’s carting her children to their various activities while avoiding any kind of laundry or housework. She also loves to run alo

Other books in the series

Forever Family (3 books)
  • Dear Tabitha (Forever Family, #2)
  • Dear Juliet (Forever Family, #3)