“We’ve never been friends, Ruby. Never.”
“But before you—“
“I’ve never wanted to be friends with you. Not when we were kids, not when I came back to town. And not even now. I have always wanted more. Always.”
HOLY ANGST ALERT!! This book had my heartstrings tied up in knots the whole way through! This book was so well-written and my favorite thing about it was that ending really felt earned!
To give you an idea of what the story is about, the heroine came from the wrong side of the tracks in a very small and gossipy town she was planning to leave as soon as she graduated high school. But when one careless decision at the end of the school year led to an unplanned pregnancy, her dreams of leaving came crashing down and her son became her world.
But then six years later, the only man she’d ever (secretly) fallen for and the one man she never expected she’d see again (not her son’s father) came back to town and even though the feelings between them were just as intense as ever, he of all people could never find out the secret she’d kept since the day she got pregnant… OH MY GOD THE ANGST YOU GUYS!! So much angst!!
“The last time we were together I kissed you, Ruby. And don’t tell me you were drunk. I know you remember.”
Nibbling on my bottom lip, I ignored the pain that slashed across my chest. “How do you know I remember?” “Because it was a damn near unforgettable kiss,” he growled, his mouth just inches from mine.
My throat dried out and I struggled to swallow. He could kiss me again. Right now. Just like the first time.
It had truly been an unforgettable kiss. It had been my first real kiss and nothing I’d ever experienced and ever been able to compete with it… It had been passion and promise, anger and truth. He’d kissed me on the balcony of Kristen’s house and I knew I would never be the same again.
And then he’d gone back inside to find Kristen and I’d slept with his older brother.
His older brother that was dead now.
His older brother that was the father of my six-year-old little boy.
PS: no, that’s not a spoiler. You find out pretty much in the first chapter.
The hero and heroine were opposites in every way and they’d disliked each other forever, and yet… they’d also kept being drawn back together. So in some ways this was an enemies to lovers story, but it was also a lot deeper than that because these characters were very deeply flawed. In fact, that’s what made them feel so real. I really like that about the story.
Knowing Levi, the questions wouldn’t stop until he discovered the answer.
Nobody in the entire town, not even my own mother, cared enough about my life to dig up the truth. Nobody except Levi Cole — the one man who could not find out.
The heroine was strong in some ways, and yet a bit of a pushover in others. The hero was sweet in some ways, and yet unintentionally a bit of a clueless jerk in others. The heroine’s mother was kind and loving in some ways, but cold-hearted in others. Every character had dimension and nobody (not even the hero!) was perfect which as I mentioned, really made them feel quite real. I find quite often that especially the hero in a lot of romance novels is almost always very perfect (like even when he messes up he’s not “really” messing up) but this hero genuinely did and said a few things which didn’t make him an asshole or anything but really were not okay with me. Same thing with the heroine, she meant well but made a lot of choices I didn’t agree with. And while sometimes that might put me off from a book, I really embraced it with this one. The writing was amazing and the characters just felt so real.
Levi was silent for a long time. “You make it seem easy, Ruby.”
I tugged his jacked tighter around me and folded my arms over my chest. “It has never been easy. There hasn’t been a single day that was easy. I don’t think good things ever are. The hard things make the victory and the success so much better, so much more beautiful.”
He turned to face me, stilling me with a hand on my forearm.
“Is that our story?”
This story had a lot of heart and yet was also loaded with quiet angst. It’s definitely a slow burn story but I think I’ve been on some kind of angst-craving roll recently because this story really worked for me and I’d definitely recommend it as a fantastic read!
“You’ve been in my bones since we were kids, Dawson. I get that our lives have gone in different directions, but don’t you think you should at least give us a shot?”
Rating: 4-4.5 stars! Standalone Adult Romance.