“I don’t know how to stop loving him.”
HOLY WOW!!!! What a beautiful story!!!
This book OWNED my heart!! I loved every single word of this deeply emotional and powerful love story. It was raw and honest, but passionate and heart-felt. I cried, I hoped, I swooned. I was rooting for this couple so hard. Without a doubt, this is one of the best books of the year! I highly recommend it!
I connected to this story from the first few lines. The writing was absolutely gorgeous. I have endless quotes highlighted in my book. This author’s writing style flows so smoothly that I found myself unable to stop reading. And I especially loved that she showed a very rarely-seen side of contemporary romance by tackling both the subjects of marriage and divorce… Many romances end in marriage and a happily-ever-after. But this is a story about a couple who has been together for almost ten years. They love each other deeply but their marriage is undeniably broken, and so they reach a painful decision to separate. However, their separation makes them reconsider everything they’re about to lose in a different light and realize that they aren’t willing to truly let go or stop fighting for each other… My gosh, you guys. If you’ve ever been in a serious relationship, regardless of whether or not you’ve experienced a similar situation to this couple, I can almost promise you that something within this book will hit home or resonate in some way.
One of the things I loved most about this story was that there was no ‘good guy’ and ‘bad guy’. No black and white way to lay blame. No cheating, no abuse, no actual horrific catalyst for their separation. There was no grand mistake that drove them apart. Instead, it was just little things, daily things, things taken for granted, efforts that weren’t made, feelings or perspectives that weren’t considered…
“He wouldn’t even look at me.
I thought back and tried to remember the last time he looked at me, really looked at me, and couldn’t remember. When was the last time he saw me? When was the last time we hadn’t been fighting long enough for his clear blue eyes to look into mind and make a real connection?
It had been years.
Maybe he had never seen me.”
My heart went out to both Kate and Nick. The tension in their marriage had gotten to the point where they fought more than they got along. Somewhere over the years, the connection that kept them functional as a unit has been lost. She reached a breaking point. Their marriage was toxic. Every time they tried to fix it, they fell further apart, bringing out the worst in each other and leaving them both miserable. They still loved each other, but they couldn’t stand each other, and she especially needed to get away.
“Had I just made the most colossal mistake of my life?
No. This was right.
But then why did it feel so… wrong?”
But they both actually meant well, even if they’d made wrong choices, and the one thing that I could always just tell was that there was never a single moment when they stopped loving each other. It was just a painful situation, and a justifiably broken marriage, and the hope that maybe somehow their love could be strong enough to heal the damage.
IT. FELT. SO. REAL.
The thought processes, internal dialogue, the emotional turmoil, the uncertainty, the fights, all just felt so believable. It doesn’t matter whether or not you can relate on a personal level to what happens in this story, I just think anyone will be able to appreciate how believable the situation and emotions were.
It wasn’t that easy. I couldn’t shake our relationship or the hold he had over my heart.
Not everything about him was bad. In fact, most of him was good and beautiful and right. But with me, he wan’t those things and I wasn’t either.
But how was I supposed to let go of him? I loved him. I loved him for ten years and knew nothing but loving him.
How could I walk away from him?
They didn’t immediately decide to divorce, they started with a separation. But a few months later, they began to run into each other in random places — like the grocery store — and I swear, every time they crossed paths again, my heart just yearned for them to work things out. God, I could feel the potential there for them to fix things. Their separation gave them the time and distance to reevaluate themselves and their relationship, to realize what they were losing, to see the best in each other in ways that their married lives had unfortunately made them forget. It gave them both room to realize what they wanted from life and each other, to come to terms with the mistakes they’d make, and to see what they could do to fix things… and more importantly to decide if they wanted to. I think that everyone makes mistakes in life, but it’s how we handle them that defines us.
“There are all kinds of reasons people get divorced.
No reason is right or wrong, just different.”
But mine felt all wrong. All of my reasons felt wrong.
We’re told the entire story from Kate’s POV, so we only get to see Nick through her eyes. And I’ll be honest, in the first half of the story, I was fully behind her choices, but as the story progressed (especially around the half way mark), I began to see something in Nick that the years of hurt in her marriage were keeping her from believing — and that was his desire to fix things. I could see that everything he did was, in one way or another, an effort to mend things between them. And I even got a little frustrated that she couldn’t see it. Ok, that’s not entirely even true, I was a LOT frustrated. I wanted to shake sense into her. How could she be so blind to how hard he was trying?! It got to a point where I began to blame her. But then I stopped to think. We’re told the reasons why she wanted a separation after the fact. But she lived them. So we’re coming into her story in the middle whereas she lived through Nick’s mistakes from the beginning, so her perspective has a lot more history behind it than we’d experienced with her. We came into the story when she was at the end of her rope and at a point where Nick began trying for the first time in a long time, so I think that is something that needs to be remembered at this point in the story.
Regardless, my heart ached for him, but because there are always two sides to every story, I also knew her distance wasn’t unwarranted. I guess she’d just reached her personal limit, but I just wasn’t ready for her to give up on them yet. I wanted her to keep fighting even when it wasn’t fair of me to want that.
“Be in control. Be in control go your words and actions. Take control if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Do something other than throw away a perfectly good man and a perfectly good marriage because you’re tired of going through what every other married couple on the planet goes through.”
The important thing about the situation in this book is that neither party was completely to blame for what happened. And I have to admit that even though there were times when it was incredibly painful to read their story, I still LOVED reading their journey back to each other. The author portrayed it so beautifully and with such clarity that I couldn’t help but fall deeply in love with this couple and their story.
He squeezed me tighter. His strong arms encased me in a protective shield that promised everything would be all right. We fit so perfectly together. His body was just tall enough to tower over mine in just the right way. I could tuck my arm under his or reach up and wrap them around his neck and either way was comfortable. When we lay in bed, his body could cover my back perfectly. His leg were just long enough to entwine with mine and make me feel tiny. His arms were the perfect length to hold me against him.
I had never really noticed before, at least not in this complete, awstruck way.
If I left this man, would I ever find anther body so suited to mine? We were like puzzle pieces i the way we came together. And I didn’t know if I would ever fit into another puzzle.
Maybe I didn’t want to.
By 90% ….. I WAS SOBBING!!! In a good way, I promise, don’t be scared. But OMG, the feels!!
I loved experiencing Kate and Nick’s story alongside them, even though it completely put my heart through the wringer. And most importantly (and this is a really BIG one for me and I’m gonna come right out and say it) I loved that neither of them slept with anyone else during their separation, and neither of them dated. There is literally no unnecessary drama in this book and other than the issues they have to work through, you’re never really made to question their love for each other. You’re shown clearly that they’re both lost without each other. So the point in question isn’t whether they love each other, it’s whether or not they can make a healthy marriage work. Gah. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!
His body pressed against mine with a possessiveness I had never felt from him before. It was like he was declaring that I was still his, that I was still his wife.
Until every last paper was signed, I still belonged to this man.
I really mean it when I say that this book owned my heart. I keep thinking about it. Little parts of the story keep playing over in my head. My mind keeps drifting back to Kate and Nick… and I just don’t want to let go of their story yet. More than anything, I think that’s the strongest mark of a well-written book.
If you’re looking for a deeply emotional love story that’s raw, honest, powerful, and that will show you a very unique side of the romance genre, then I highly recommend this to you. The tagline of my blog is “reviews of books that make my heart race, have a beautiful love story, and a happy ending” and this book was exactly that in every way. I loved it. Absolutely LOVED it.
“You own me, Kate. You will always own me.”
Rating: 4.5+ stars. Standalone contemporary romance.
Wendy Lane says
I’m reading this now and feeling all the feels! Thanks for rec’ing it!
You’re so welcome!! Really glad you’re loving it 😀
My heart is already beating so fast from reading this. Will be reading this one for sure!
YAY!! I hope you love it 😀
Betul E. says
Thank you for another AMAZING review! Will read this book as soon as I am done with the current series I am reading 😉
Aww, thank you back!! Happy reading 😀 😀
Bought this book based on your recommendation. I finished it this morning and absolutely loved it! I had to come back to your site to read your review. I agree with you 100%. This book is so different from others but so realistic and could be any married couples story. I purchased Rachel’s other book, The Five Stages of Falling in Love. Thanks so much for your spot on reviews!
Oh my gosh, I’m so glad to hear this, Nannette!! Thank you for also coming back and sharing your thoughts. Happy reading <3
Elisa Gioia says
After your review, I bought it. Can’t wait to read it!!! xx
Oh wonderful!! I really hope you enjoy it too!! 🙂
I started reading this last night and then again this morning before work. I am loving it!!!
Ahh makes me so happy to hear that!!!!! 😀
i just read heart shaped hack and remember the main character name:kate and ian and now here im shipping another kate couple…and theres kate with grey’s brother…wow so many kate feelings~
haha seems to be the name of the moment 🙂 I like it though!
Your reviews have made me read so many interesting emotional books and I especially like books with married couples so I’ll be reading this soon. Thanks!! ☺