5 stars!!! A top favorite of 2012!
Oh my God. Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD.
Guys, you all HAVE to read this book!
Its a beautiful, believable second-chance friends-to-lovers story that was both heart breaking and heart warming, with an uplifting, satisfying ending that left me clutching my heart, with happy tears in my eyes and a smile on my face 🙂
I loved it.
“Right back to him. Always to him.”
I started this book late last night after a long day at work and it kept me glued to my kindle until I finished it at 3:30AM. I couldn’t put it down!! My heart was just SO wrapped up in the story and so connected to the characters!
This is the best-friends-to-lovers story about Michael Delaney, an angry badass badboy with a tragic past, and Lauren Monroe, the straight-lace good girl who saw through his facade and into his heart.
“His face, like everything she knew about him, was purely contradictory… He was too lovely to be menacing, but too intense to be innocent.”
Eight years ago, when they were still in high school, was when Lauren first saw Michael. Everyone treated him as though he was dangerous, with a constant stream of angry, violent outbursts, a string a suspensions, and an all-round rebellious attitude, people were afraid of him. But something about his demeanor called to Lauren. She was inexplicably drawn to him, seeing something in him that no one else did. They became best friends throughout the rest of school until something happened that tore them apart leaving her heart bruised without answers.
Now, eight years later, Lauren has just started a new job teaching a kindergarten class and the last person she expects to see is Michael. The rush of emotions and memories that flood back when she sees him shows that there is still something deep between them, but Michael needs to win back her trust, and Lauren needs answers as to what tore them apart. And together they find that no amount of separation can change the depth of their feelings for each other.
“It suddenly felt like there was a magnet in her chest, like some unforeseen force was pulling her toward him.”
The smoothly flowing writing style beautifully depicts the depth of the story. The author perfectly captured the emotions of her characters and projects them onto you. You feel them as though they were yours.
The story is told in a mixture of past and present day story lines. Starting out with the present and intermingling it with bits of where Lauren and Michael’s story began 8 years ago. There are alternating POVs with an initial focus on Lauren’s but with just enough of Michael’s to keep us strongly connected to him on a more personal level.
This book spoke to my heart. You know the kind of story where, if it says, “Michael grinned”, it makes your heart feel full? Yeah, its that kind of book 🙂
I literally would just read scene after scene with my hand over my heart either smiling or near tears. Parts were sweet, parts gave me shivers, parts broke my heart and parts put it back together so beautifully that I forgot everything but the happiness.
I loved that it was a much deeper friends-to-lovers story than the usual… they were friends but with something so much deeper than that – a connection that that kept drawing them together in every way.
“I always knew I would fall in love with you,” he said softly, “But you were never supposed to love me back,”
Lauren was a wonderful heroine. She was a straight up, no-stupidity, honest, kind, intelligent and deeply understanding character who made me totally sympathetic to everything she went though.
And Michael, I fell in love with right from the start of the story. Like Lauren, I felt drawn to him. The mystery, his pain, the kind heart that was hidden behind the layers of hurt just melted me <3
I love these second-chance stories where the characters get a chance to make things right again by finding a way to build new, positive memories over the painful ones and find a way to heal and build a beautiful life together.
“…I never stopped loving you. Not for one second.”
I was so emotional for the last 20% of the book. You know that constantly-near-tears, brimming-with-emotion feeling? I had that! So much heart-break, heart warming, and healing, with an achingly beautiful love scene and a wonderful epilogue.
I love stories that have some heart ache in them as well as happiness because sometimes, its through the pain that you can come to appreciate more fully the beauty that life and love have to offer. Not that it is necessarily needed to appreciate it, but those who have gone through it know how lucky they are to have that love. Michael and Lauren knew it. It was absolutely beautiful!
Its got a bit of both a YA story (their past) and an adult story (their present). There is steam, but its more emotionally descriptive than blatantly graphic.
Fans of AL Jackson’s books will definitely love this.
**little note because I know some of you will be wondering about this: there is no cheating in this book. There is a whiff of a love triangle at one point, but it doesn’t go anywhere or get developed into a source of angst so your hearts can rest easy.
I am utterly floored that this is a debut novel. It is absolutely one of my top favorite books now!
Everyone should add it to their to-read lists 🙂
Thank you to the author for offering to send me a copy to review!
THIS BOOK MADE MY LIST OF “BEST BOOK OF 2012″!!!