It’s always been you, and no one else.
I’m a huge fan of Mia Sheridan’s writing and have been since she first started releasing books. I’d easily say she’s one of my all-time favorite authors. However, this wasn’t my favorite book she’s written — I adored the first half, but was frustrated with the second half. Overall though, it makes for a good angsty read as long as you’re willing to be patient with some frustrating choices made by the hero and heroine. This story is one of betrayal, revenge, and unexpected love.
After a shocking betrayal from Lydia de Havilland, the girl he’d fallen in love with from afar, that not only shattered his heart but left his entire family penniless and destitute, Brogan Ramsay vowed to one day have his revenge. He’d once been the son of the lowly gardener of her wealthy family’s rolling estate, but when he returned to town seven years later, everything had changed. The naive and trusting boy he’d once been had disappeared beneath the pain and had been hardened by everything he had sacrificed to keep his family safe. Using every resource available to him, he’d made his own fortune and returned as a wealthy businessman who, in one calculated move, gained control of Lydia’s entire world — finally turning the tables on the girl who’d destroyed his life. By gaining full control of her family’s company, he now controlled her too. And it was her turn to beg.
“Ya wanna hear my theory? … Me theory is that our friend here still loves the girl, and it’s bloody killin’ him right now to see her hurtin’.”
But the one thing he didn’t count on was that his feelings for her still remained strong beneath the layers of pain, hurt, and betrayal. Seeing her again after so many years still got to him — and his heart. She still affected him in every way and even though his plan began as one of revenge, the one thing he never anticipated was falling in love with her again…
I wanted her. God, I’d never stopped wanting her. How could I? She had been the only person to ever really see me, I was ready to admit that now. I wanted to take her in my arms and kiss her until we were both panting with need. I wanted to feel her naked body against mine, [to] know she wanted me, too… I was going to go down and go down hard. Again.
I really loved the first half of the book. The whole set up of this story had my heart racing as I read. I was *with* the story every step of the way through the betrayal and their reunion. I was heartbroken at times, laughing out loud in a few places, swooning, feeling vengeful, forgiving, angry, hurt, happy, everything. I completely understood Brogan’s need for revenge, but it was so deeply heart-warming to see that his love for her was stronger than everything else. It was the ultimate swoon. The first half of this book genuinely captivated my heart — it was everything I’d hoped for!
In the interest of full honesty though, the second half of the book was just too much for me. It was wrought with stupid decisions, miscommunications, poor decision making, and a lot of eye-roll-worthy unnecessary drama. I don’t want to go into detail, but I do have a very specific (long) list of said things. By the end, I was disappointed in both the hero and heroine respectively. This story just didn’t need all that. I think it should have ended sooner or been focused more of their journey back together. As a general rule, I only review books that I can recommend and the reason I’m still reviewing this one despite my frustrations with the final half is that overall, this is still a really good book. It’s angsty and intense, passionate and sexy, and layered with emotion. Mia Sheridan is an incredibly talented author and the whole book is very well written. The idea behind this tale of revenge that faded into a beautiful second chance romance was amazing, the writing was beautiful, and much of the story was utterly captivating. So despite my frustrations with the final half, I would still say that overall, it was a really good angsty read.
The story is told in first person and from alternating POVs. Most of it takes place in present day, but there are some scenes from the past as well. And this is a complete standalone romance with no connection at all to any other book.
Rating: 4 stars (5 stars for the first half, 3 stars for the second half). Standalone romance.