5 Star Review of Kyland by Mia Sheridan

Kyland Book Cover Kyland
Mia Sheridan
Coming of Age, Romance
January 24, 2015
272 pages

A full-length, standalone romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Archer's Voice.

Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk.

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly--through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds--to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

They're both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.

THIS IS A STANDALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY TAURUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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Five stars. I'll tell you it takes a lot for me to rate a book 5 stars, but this one deserved it.

Honestly, this book was impressive on several levels. It’s rare that you find a romance story that delves into other matters of the heart besides romantic love. Kyland did and it blew me away.

The story was set in the rural and poverty stricken Appalachian Mountains, in Dennville, Kentucky. Here was where the author did something amazing, she allowed the setting to become a character as well—I say that because it affects the outcomes of the characters in so many ways, which you will learn about (no spoilers). Chapter one introduces us to Kyland and Tenleigh. Both were about ready to graduate from high school, both amazing academics, and both hoped to escape their poor lives and make something better of themselves. There was one catch—they were both competing for the same scholarship. It was like winning the golden ticket, their chance to leave devastation and earn a decent living.

Kyland is every girl’s first crush brought to life on paper. Aloof, brooding, yet romantic with a strong sense of self and morals. His goal was to not form any attachments that would keep him in the small coal-mining town. Without his parents or anyone else around to help, he was left to fend for himself. You couldn’t help but feel this deep emotional connection to him, and all the loss that he had endured in his eighteen years up to that point. I wanted to reach through the pages and take care of him, but at the same time I was cheering him on because he wanted to make it on his own. And he was doing a pretty good job of it.

Tenleigh was this sweet, innocent young woman blossoming with fresh ideas of going off to college to make something of herself. She wanted to help her family, as they too were deprived, living in a shabby falling down trailer with her mother—who suffered from an illness, and her older sister. Tenleigh and her sister were basically on their own, scraping by working odd jobs. They barely made enough for food and their mother’s medicine. She also swore off love, since the only examples were what she had seen from her mother and sister—where the men used you and left. Tenleigh had managed to avoid boys and stayed busy helping her family, until she got to know Kyland.

This was where everything changed. Neither one of them expected that their worlds would be turned upside down by the other. Confusion set in, as each wanted what was best for the other. They fell hard. That sweet, first love where you think nothing will break you a part kind of love. Until, something did. Fast forward four years later, and the story really got interesting and you won’t be able to stop turning the pages to see how everything turns out.

This was extremely well written. In writing we hear “show don’t tell” and this book showed me everything. I was transported into the character’s world. Mia Sheridan did a beautiful job, which enhanced the experience tenfold.

This was a story about sacrifice, hard work, and most of all love. Not just romance, even though there’s plenty of that. It’s about love for your community, no matter if it’s thriving or poor. Love for your neighbors and extending a hand to those that might need a little help. Realizing that monetary things mean nothing if you don’t have someone to share them with. It reminded me how lucky I am to have a rich life. Not wealthy in money or things, but filled to the brim with family and love. When you can walk away from a read feeling warm, and a better person in your own life—that says something.


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