“Whether by design or just plain dumb luck, I’m the one who was meant to find all the pieces of you so that I might put them back together. Let me put you back together, Sadie.”
A beautiful, emotional story of finding second chances in the most unlikely of places.
From the moment I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. The synopsis made my heart squeeze and yet also gave me this jolt of excitement because this was a type of storyline I had never read before!!
The story followed a woman, Sadie, whose beloved husband, Jake, was murdered in front of her one hellish night. Now faced with a life without him, Sadie spiraled downward into depression. At only 26 years old, she already felt like her life was over and was filled with anger, resentment, and pain.
“Everyone was thrilled with where life was going and I was trying to adjust to sleeping alone…. I’m still here and I love my family. I just don’t love life at the moment.”
But Jake had been an organ donor and in a last ditch attempt to help bring her some closure, her family convinced her to try and reach out to some of the recipients in hopes that seeing their happiness would give her comfort. Sadie was sure this wouldn’t work though — how was it fair that they got to live but the love of her life didn’t? For her, knowing that they existed was in some ways even worse…
“How am I supposed to let go of Jake if there are pieces of him still out there, living on in some perfect stranger?”
She finally agreed to meet up with three of them. She didn’t believe it would help but she was trying to do it for her family’s sake. The first two meetings went well but didn’t help her in the least. The last meeting though was with the man who got Jake’s heart… and this line from the blurb gave me shivers!!
“The heart that once fell in love with her now resides in Alexander McBride’s chest.”
OMG!! And that was the line that sold me on the book!!
Looking back, I have to say that the description of Sadie’s emotional journey throughout this book was so well done. She went through the utterly devastating loss of her soul mate and while life went on for everyone around her, for her it stood still. I felt like I completely understood her pain and anger at facing the heart-breaking truth that nothing would ever bring her husband back. Nothing.
“A girl like me doesn’t lose a husband like Jake and recover from it.”
Only a few chapters in and I already had tears in my eyes. This book certainly tugged my heart strings many times over and I really appreciated that the first quarter of the book focused just on Sadie because it really gave me a chance to connect with her pain and feel where she was coming from so that by the time I met Alexander, I felt just as emotionally conflicted as she did.
From the first time I met him though, I had a huge smile on my face. He was nothing like what she expected and she had this kind of double emotional reaction to him — partly because he literally had a part of her husband in him, and partly because he was charming and she was drawn to him on his own merit as well.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here so close to Jake’s heart.”
As it turned out, there was a lot more to Alexander McBride than met the eye. His wild past had come to an abrupt end after his heart transplant and he’d retreated away from the world and his family to deal with his new lifestyle alone. I really fell in love with him though — he was sweet but with an edge of dominance and also an air of mystery… and I very much appreciated that after we met him, we got to see his POV.
“I’m the most fucked up person I know. I want her. I want the wife of the man who died and donated his heart so that I could go on with my screwed up existence. It doesn’t seem right even to an asshole like me.”
I loved the natural protectiveness he felt towards Sadie and I loved the way they just connected. But there were a lot of conflicting emotions in the mix and a lot of feelings to sort out between them.
“I want to be touched. I want to be held. I want Zander, the man carrying my husband’s heart, to wrap me up in him. I want to pretend for a while that I can have Jake back in the form of Zander.”
There were many emotionally charged scenes as Sadie struggled to find the balance between her love for and loyalty to her deceased husband as well as her growing attraction to and connection with the man who now had his heart.
“My attraction to Zander is so much more than physical, though. It’s all of him including the heart that is now, physically his. He carries it. He is responsible for taking care of it, but it wasn’t that long ago that I slept beside that heart every night. I took comfort in that heart. My world revolved around that heart. He carries it now, but I’ve carried that heart too. I was once responsible for seeing that it was kept safe. Just in a different way.”
Overall, this was a really sweet read. What I really appreciated about this story as a whole was that it was very low-angst and really just focused on these two characters finding their way in this difficult situation life had put them in. I also really liked that there was no ‘bad guy’ or any force that ever came between them allowing the main issue genuinely to revolve around the emotional conflict of the situation. I loved the way it all came together in the end and really felt like their story had come full circle.
“Some newly discovered part of me hopes that I’m the main character in Sadie’s ending. Not her happily ever after, because she’s already had one of those, but maybe I can be her second chance at happiness. I think she could be mine. I’d bet on it.”
Rating: 4 — 4.5 stars (closer to 4.5). Standalone (with epilogue).
My casting for Zander (Alexander McBride) – click here.