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Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Better Forever by Tracey Cramer-Kelly - Book Tour - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

A Better Forever

by Tracey Cramer-Kelly


GENRE: Contemporary Romance



Tumbling down…

Connor Lawson has always been a nerd. A rules follower. The valedictorian who worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer at his company on the Iron Range in Minnesota—and married the girl of his dreams. But his perfect life is crashing down around him. He could lose his job in a company acquisition. And the wife he deeply loves has discovered the shameful secret he’s hidden for most of his life.

Shattered dreams…

Melina “Mel” Lawson was the opposite of Connor in college, but she fell hard for the man she could talk to for hours. Now, twelve years and two kids into their marriage, life is a blur of hockey practice, drama rehearsals, part-time work and volunteering. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. When she discovers what Connor has been struggling with all these years, his betrayal leaves her devastated.

Picking up the pieces…

They’d once vowed before God to love one another for better or worse—but Mel never imagined anything like this. If Connor is willing to work things out, is Mel ready to salvage this marriage in crisis? Can they recapture true intimacy and find a better forever… together?



Connor hadn’t slept a wink. In twelve years of marriage, Mel had never kicked him out of their bed, and it was a damn cold place to be. All night long, her words had banged around in his head.

She knew. She knew everything.

And she thought he was capable of cheating on her.

Yes, he looked at other women, but that’s all it was.

It’s still wrong, the small voice in his head said.

By morning he’d resolved to do some serious groveling. And explaining. And he’d give her the attention he should have been giving her all along.

Instead of heading to work at first light, he started the coffee when he heard movement on the upper floor.

Mel looked surprised to see him when she came down, already dressed in a floral blouse and tan slacks, Andie right behind her.

Dad!” Andie jumped into his arms. “What are you doing here?”

“Yeah, why aren’t you at work?” Kurt appeared behind her, rubbing his eyes. “Are you sick?”

“I decided to go in a little later than usual.” He ruffled Kurt’s hair. “I wanted to have breakfast with you guys before you go to school.”

“Are you sure you’re not sick?” Andie said as she slid into her chair at the table. “You never eat with us. Not even on weekends most of the time.”

He winced inwardly. “Well, I am today.”

He glanced at Mel, but she wouldn’t look at him. Instead, she busied herself making the kids’ lunches. Nor did she say anything during the short breakfast of toaster waffles and cereal.

He didn’t try to interfere with their usual morning routine—heck, he didn’t even know their morning routine—instead staying seated at the kitchen table until the kids were loaded with their lunch boxes and backpacks.

“Kids, get in the car.” Mel gave them a little push toward the door. “I’ll be right there. I need to talk to your father for a moment.”

“Bye, dad!” Andie skipped out the door, Kurt following at a more sedate pace.

Connor waited for the door to close behind them. “Look, Mel, about last night—”

“I did a lot of thinking last night.” She looked down at her sandalled feet, then back up, although her gaze didn’t meet his. “I’m obviously not meeting your needs, Connor, and frankly, you haven’t met mine for a long time.”

Her words held no anger, only resignation. Still, they felt like a punch to the gut. “I know I didn’t handle our conversation very well,” he said. “Why don’t we talk about it after you drop off the kids?”

Her mouth flattened. “It’s a little late to talk. I think it’s best we take some time apart.”



This book exposes the raw, emotional turmoil, difficulties, and pitfalls of a marriage, the struggles of keeping secrets and hiding addictions from a spouse and determining what it takes to rebuild or walk away from the relationship.

This book follows Connor and his deep, dark, secretive sex addiction.  This book deeply shows his shame, anxiety, stress, heartache, and devastation as he struggles to finally come clean and seek help, but is it too late?  Has he hurt his wife, Mel past the point of forgiveness?  Has there been too much betrayal and damage?

This was a somewhat difficult review for me, as I was a bit thrown off by Connor’s secret.  In the book blurb, a secret is mentioned, but undefined.  It’s totally on me, as I assumed, that it was probably alcohol addiction or maybe an affair.  So, it was quite surprising to discover this unexpected turn.

Like myself, I think many readers may be surprised and uncomfortable after learning this revelation.  I honestly was considering taking off half a star to a full star from my review score.  However, after weighing the pros and cons of the book and my review, I felt it was unnecessary and perhaps unfair to mark a book’s score down simply for not going in the direction that I had thought it would.  The book blurb didn’t intentionally mislead me – it never revealed what the secret was, and I jumped to my own conclusions about it.  Now, had the book blurb flat out said this book was about an alcohol addiction or the untold biography of Steve Jobs, and then none of that had been part of the book, then I absolutely would have felt tricked and would have subtracted a star.

Even today, sex addiction is still considered to be a bit of a taboo phrase (and diagnosis), and I think this should not be hidden as a plot spoiler, but upfront so readers know what they are signing up for.  I understand the need for the author to try to keep some mystery, intrigue, and suspense to her book, however, this is more of a bombshell than a plot point.

This book significantly focuses on the martial relationship and family dynamic of a couple that is past those happy, wedded bliss, honeymoon days.  After twelve years and two kids, Connor and Mel, no longer have the same happy relationship they did when they first got together.  While this is not untypical of a marriage, especially several years in, as many couples drift apart, people change, and life, family, commitments get in the way; the substantial barrier in this marriage are the secrets and lies that have built up destroying this once happy couple.

This book is full of strong emotions, and the author does an excellent job at conveying those feelings through her characters.

This book focuses on understanding, listening, and communicating with your partner, overcoming complex obstacles, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

This book also has strong Christian, religious, faith themes that are weaved throughout the story.  However, it’s more of a younger version, modern day take on religion, as it offers a more understanding and less judgmental stance.

This book is Book Five in the Lawson Family Book Series.  I had not previously read any of the other books in this series but did not have any trouble keeping up.  Therefore, this book can absolutely be read as a standalone, and read on its own.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it!!  However, like I previously mentioned, I think it’s important for readers to have all the facts and know what they getting to before they start reading this book.  I think all contemporary romance readers and fans of books with strong Christian, faith themes will like this book too!!  In addition, I think this book would be invaluable for someone going through a similar situation and looking for shared understanding, common ground, and insight into sex addition.  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations**



Many experiences influence Tracey's writing, and she has been known to undertake unusual endeavors (such as firefighter training and learning to fly a helicopter) just for the sake of the experience. Being an Army-trained combat medic (and civilian EMT) and a "biker chick" for over 30 years has had significant influence in her books, but even "ordinary" events have struck a chord or inspired a character or plot idea. To support her writing habit, she also works PT at a substance abuse counseling center and manages the family business (Leader Motorcycle). She’s a soccer fanatic who’s blessed with a very understanding husband and two children who put up with the “embarrassment” of a motorcycle-riding, romance-writing mom!













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Tracey Cramer-Kelly will be awarding autographed copies of the Army Ranger Series (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Hello Ally, and thank you for hosting me today! I'm juggling computer issues with my family motorcycle business today, but if you have any reader/visitor questions, fire away!

  2. Looks like an interesting book.