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A Better Forever (Lawson Family #5) by Tracey Cramer Kelly

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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.

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.

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?


There is a lot to like about this book. Ms. Cramer Kelly has delved into an unfortunately common problem in marriage. The inability to communicate.  Yes, there are the issues of addiction and thoughts of infidelity in this book, but it comes down to feeling too comfortable in the daily grind of our lives and losing the trust and spontaneity of being with the people we love. When the first time something goes wrong at work, we shouldn’t lose our self-worth and sense of purpose. We need to count on our family and get over the illusion of having a job that defines us.

Connor Lawson makes a good living as a young CFO in his company, but when his job is threatened, he falls into a destructive habit that could lose his family forever. 

Melina Lawson is a good mother who has settled into a routine of taking care of the kids, but not herself or her marriage. Her husband often works long hours and doesn’t spend enough time with his family. As her resentment grows, she discovers her husband is hiding an addiction from her that threatens their love and destroys her trust in him.

It takes two to destroy a marriage and many times before everything is out in the air, it’s too late to salvage anything. But Mel confronts Connor with what she finds and he confesses everything which starts a chain of despair and self-reflection that leads to getting help from friends and family. I love the fact that Connor learns to contact his brothers when he is thinking about relapsing which brings them closer together as they discuss their own insecurities growing up. In addition, his brothers convince Connor to put his trust in God to help him through the tough times. 

What I love most about this book is the two points of view and the struggles Connor and Mel go through. I thought the possibility of infidelity would trigger me and my heart dropped a few times, but Connor’s determination to save his marriage and do anything to get Mel’s trust back turned me around. His will to fight for his marriage and do anything to win Mel’s trust again is so gut-wrenchingly heartfelt and genuine. Mel understandably takes it slowly in accepting her husband’s apology which gives her the time to reflect on her own mistakes, to acknowledge them, and show him the same respect and honesty that he is giving her. May I also say how angry I get with women who prey on married men? Women should be uniting and supporting each other, not tearing each other down. Ms. Cramer Kelly does a fantastic job explaining how men and women express themselves both physically and emotionally. The lessons are many in this book and at my ripe old age of 58, I learned a few things myself.

I highly recommend this incredible book about a marriage in crisis and the choices we make to either give up or work on making our life better. The power of love is strong. Book 5 reads very well as a standalone, but I plan to pick up the other books to get some insight into the lovely Lawson family.

Thank you to Ms. Cramer Kelly for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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.

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A Better Forever

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Tracey Cramer KellyMany 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!

Follow Tracey on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Goodreads, and Bookbub.


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