He finally looked into her eyes. “I loved you and I made you live a hell.”
“I loved you and I was happy to be in that hell if you were there with me.”
Kristen Ashley is truly the queen of Alpha romance and she’s back with this absolutely gorgeous, heart-warming, and fulfilling second chance romance! I read it in one sitting and loved it!! The hero and heroine reconnect 18 years after being torn apart and OMG their reunion was EPIC!! Holy freaking FEELS!! But the very best part about reading a story with a more mature couple was how satisfyingly functional they were in their relationship. After losing nearly two decades of time together and happiness, they were deeply appreciative of how precious their second chance at a happily ever after was. If you love single dad romances too, you’re going to swoon hard over what an amazing father this hero was to his little girl. Ooooooooh and for longtime KA fans, you’ll be treated to cameos galore in this book as well! Bottom line, if you’re a fan of Alpha romance, this is a must-read!!
After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.
Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.
But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored…
As many of you know, Kristen Ashley is one of my most favorite author. I’ve read over 40 of her books over the years and I love everything about her unique writing style, characters that feel so real it’s almost as though you know them personally, and her epic romances that are just brimming with sexiness and emotion. She’s a true gem of an author.
This story has a bit of a slow start due in large part to the complexity of the story. The hero and heroine met in their early 20’s. He was an undercover cop assigned to use her to infiltrate some criminals she was friends with by gaining her trust and making her fall in love with him. He was falling for her for real though and it absolutely tore him up to lie to her, even though he had to do his job. She loved him with all her heart too and when the truth of what he’d done was revealed, it shattered her world and drove them apart.
“It breaks me.”
I turned back to her and it took a great deal, too much, to stare into her beautiful brown eyes shining with tears and not allow my own to come.
“What you could have had,” she finished. “What you two could have built together. When I think about it, it breaks me.”
Eighteen years later, they got their second chance at happiness. But there was a lot of history to heal. The time in between their past and present had changed so much about their lives — she had found a family she never expected, and he’d become a single father to a little girl who he adored with all his heart — but the one thing that hadn’t changed for either of them, even under the layers of pain, was the love they shared. They were each other’s one-and-only, and though that love had been buried, it had never truly dimmed…
Eighteen years ago Coert and I fell together against all odds.
Then it ended.
And neither of us got over it.
No more missed opportunities.
It was time to risk everything.
The story alternated between the past and present as KA slowly wove all the threads of their story together. As mentioned, it had a slow start due to the many storylines that needed to converge, but once the picture came into focus, the FEELS just hit. The heart-break, the longing, the gut wrenching pain of “what if” that came with being in the same town as the only person either of them had ever loved…
“I think it’s safe to say out loud that you went back there because you’re still in love with him and you wanted to see if that could be salvaged,” Kath said baldly.
I drew in a sharp breath and kept staring at the view.
“Right?” she pushed. “Is that safe to say?”
“Yes,” I whispered.
My favorite thing about this book was how functional they were as a couple. Like seriously FUNCTIONAL. Because of a combination of their ages (early forties) and the fact that having lived through the consequences of their own mistakes and knowing how much they’d lost, once they became an official couple, the way that they supported each other, had each other’s backs, and dealt with things so efficiently and with no unnecessary drama was just incredible. There is zero stupidity in this book. There are mistakes and misunderstandings because after all, we’re all just human. But they’re honest mistakes. I don’t even have words to describe how much I love reading about couples like this — who just make it them against the world and work together to make things better.
“If we do this, we have to learn something from what came before.”
“What’s that?” she asked quietly.
“We have to learn, even when it gets hard, we can’t give up and we can’t let go.”
Just for example, his situation could have easily been complicated because he had a daughter with a woman he’d never loved and so there was his child and her mother to add to the equation. That whole scenario could easily have spiralled into drama but I’ll just show you in his own words how easy he made it just by not making it hard:
His voice dipped low when he said, “If we make it hard, if we make a big deal of it, if we communicated there’s something to worry about or if we feel we might be doing something wrong, Janie’ll read that. If we are just what we are right here and right now, and your family is good to her and me, which I know they’ll be because they love you, then we’ve got nothing to worry about.”
This couple didn’t play games. They told the truth. They were open with each other. I loved them so much!
One of my favorite things about KA is the way she portrays extended families. Family dynamics can be so complicated but they don’t need to be fraught with drama and the way she writes them is so beautiful. The heroine in this book has an incredible family and support network that had no blood relation to her. And something this story showed with grace, beauty, and reverence was the way family is made up of the people who’d give anything for you, who want to see you happy, and will stick by your side even when things get rough. I love the concept that family does not have to be determined by blood alone, and the dynamics in this book were pure Kristen Ashley gold.
Another thing that I love about KA books is that you aren’t just told a snapshot story about a couple. Instead her detailed writing style and lengthly novels leads you more into a situation where you just get to LIVE with the couple for a while. You don’t just hear about their higlights, instead you read everything. You see trips the grocery store, random phone conversations, running errands, everything. You step into their life for 400 pages.
“Can you see how all this is intense?” she demanded. “It isn’t like we were too young and hadn’t learned how to communicate yet, how to compromise, how to be in a relationship. There was murder and felonies and my family didn’t help… It went wrong. Okay, so it went horribly wrong, devastatingly wrong. But not we have a choice. Keep letting it go wrong or make it right.”
And omg. THE BUILD UP.
I had tears in my eyes.
My heart was in my throat.
I was breathless in pure anticipation of their reunion.
And IT. WAS. EPIC!!!
“Are you, um… going to ravage me again?” I asked.
“You want me to sit here and try to find words to tell you how much I love you or you want me to show you?”
You can definitely read this book as a complete standalone (even without the others in this series) and be totally fine. Or you can read it as the third standalone of the Magdalene series. The focus though is really on this couple. There are however some other fun cameos from another KA series that were a really fun surprise! If you haven’t read it though, don’t worry at all. You’ll be good either way.
This is definitely another solid KA favorite for me! It’s a slow building, slow burning romance that was deeply heart-warming, incredibly sexy, and truly beautiful. Alpha male romance at its best. I loved it and highly recommend it!
Rating: 4.5 stars!! Contemporary Adult Romance, can standalone.
- Buy THE TIME IN BETWEEN (Kindle)
- Buy THE TIME IN BETWEEN (Paperback)
- Buy THE TIME IN BETWEEN (Audiobook)
- Buy THE TIME IN BETWEEN (iBooks)
Series of standalones.