“I will love you forever. Dead or alive, I will be yours, wherever I am.”
I’ve loved M. Leighton’s writing for a long time and as soon as I heard about this book I was intrigued. However, counter to my norm, I actually went into this book totally blind — which is really rare for me. The moment I saw it, I one-clicked and just dive right in. Based on the blurb, I could already tell that I was in for quite a heart-breaking ride, but knowing this author I trusted that she’d covey it beautifully. And she most certainly did.
The story was about Nate and Lena, a married couple who had been together for years, and whose love for each other was soul deep. They had the kind of love that lasted beyond a lifetime and one that no measure of time or pain could ever erase. In the beginning of the book, Lena is diagnosed with terminal cancer. In an effort to bring the most joy into her remaining time, Nate books them on a three month tour of Europe — true to his caring nature, this was his way of trying to make as many one of her dreams come true in the little time they had left together. But the most unexpected thing happened on their trip… one might even call it a surprising gift. Her life might be ending, but this gave her something to live for, and a way to leave the man she loved with a part of her after she’d gone. Theirs was a painful journey of love, sacrifice, and loss. But ultimately the fulfilling ending brought happy tears to my eyes.
The reason I was so open about this book’s storyline in this review because for one thing, it’s not really a surprise — you can guess right from the start and it’s not long before it’s confirmed as true. And second because I know this kind of story is one that many romance readers would need to be in the right mindset for before reading. Luckily, today I was exactly in the mood for a deep and emotional story and so this one came along at the perfect time.
Lena’s strength and courage in the face of the most heart-breaking of circumstances was painful and yet admirable. And Nate’s undying devotion to the one woman he loved more than anything in this world was truly touching.
“My heart,” I murmer, rubbing the tip of my nose back and forth over hers, wishing I could make things right, make things better. Change them.
But knowing I can’t.
“For yours,” she replies, as she has since the night I promised to her just over sixteen years ago. One of the best nights of my life, and they’ve only gotten better with time.
I actually really loved that this story was not at all about finding new love after loss, but rather about conveying the kind of love that endured a lifetime, even after death. That kind of love is rare and pure and this story was simultaneously heart-warming and devastating. They had the kind of love that transcended everything else.
“Death might part our bodies, but it will never part our hearts, our souls. Our love. Love like ours doesn’t die. It will live long after Lena leaves me. I’ll never be free of it.
And I don’t want to be.”
This is not a romance, but it is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of a love so strong, unbreakable, and irreplaceable that it truly lasts forever. If you find yourself in the mood for an emotionally charged story of love and sacrifice, give this one a try. I could really tell what an emotionally close story this was for the author. You can really feel it as you read this book and as such, I want to finish this review with a note included in the blurb by the author…
“This book is not a romantic fairy tale. Yet, it’s the most romantic story I’ve ever told. It’s a journey of pain and loss, of hope and happiness. It’s both achingly tragic and exquisitely beautiful. It’s a love story. A true love story about real love. The kind that sees you through the night and holds you when you cry. The kind that won’t give up and never lets go. The kind we all dream about and few find. But it’s real. I promise you, it’s real. I’ve seen this kind of love, and I’ve seen this kind of heartbreak. I got to see it up close and personal, and quite honestly, I will never be the same. I hope it changes you as much as it changed me.”
Rating: 4 stars. Standalone.