Running on Empty (Mending Hearts #1) by L.B. Simmons

running on emptyJenny: 4.5
Gitte:4.5

Jenny: What an absolutely delightful read this was Gitte! I enjoyed every minute of this book.

After reading a gut-wrenching book and then not connecting with a couple of others I had previously picked up, this book was just what the doctor ordered! It was such a beautiful heart-warming story and really did give me the reading experience I was looking for at the time. There were so many things I loved about this book. It was moving, it made me laugh, I had a bit of a cry and I just an overall feeling of happiness reading it. The writing was flawless. What more could you want!

Gitte:  Oh I absolutely loved this story.  I was hooked from page one. What an absolute treat; so beautifully written so flawless and so very poignant. This story is an extremely emotional read about love, loss of a loved one, forgiveness and realising that finding love again after losing your heart is okay.

Jenny: This book about second chances, letting go, moving on, friendships, loyalty and family introduces us to Alex who is a young, once vibrant woman, bringing up three adorable girls following the death of her husband.

Somewhere along the way Alex lost sight of herself. She is so devoted to her children and trying to cope with the loss of her husband 3 years earlier that she doesn’t think for one minute she will ever get a chance at love again. She has accepted that her place in life is to care and bring up her daughters.

Derek was the love of her life and the thought of having kind of love again is something Alex doesn’t consider is in her future.

Gitte: Alex was an amazing character. She had one of the worst life experiences happen to her and she was left to pick up the broken pieces of her 3 daughters hearts as well as her own, mine broke for her too reading this story.

Alex was strong, courageous, sweet, funny and vulnerable. Her relationship with her daughters was admirable and I have to say those three little girls had me in stitches at times. I completely fell in love with them.

“I love you infinity.” “I love you infinity times infinity”

I loved that Alex had a friend like Harlow. The support, the love, the tough talking, Harlow gave it all. She gave Alex strength and the guidance she needed when her head and heart was out of sync.

Alex needed to know and accept that it is okay to continue life and really live and love again after losing the man you love. Not loved as that love can never be replaced. That will live forever in your heart.

Jenny:  I adored Alex. I loved her inner dialogue, her little notes to herself.  She warmed me and she really did give me a laugh at time

“I stare at him with the best mommy death stare I can conjure up, and he holds it with no fear. Shit…this stuff always works on the girls”.

The interaction with her daughters was nothing short of delightful. What a great mother Alex was and how lucky they all were to have one another.

I have to say these little girls stole the show!  They were feisty, funny, cute as buttons and I simply adored them!

Alex and her best friend Harlow run their own company together “so we could smoke in our office all day long, consume adult beverages during work hours, and do nothing but giggle and gossip all day” and what a close bond these two share.

They’ve been through so much together and Harlow is Alex’s rock and I was so happy Alex had someone like Harlow by her side in those tough times. Any lesser friend would have bailed but Harlow was her lifeline and the bond they share is rock solid. They had a great balance and you really did describe Harlow perfectly Gitte.

Gitte: Now, Blake. Oh wow….I have to say his story touched me so much making me cry, truly. I can’t even put into words how much this amazing, gorgeous, generous and completely perfect man affected me.

Blake has never had the love of his life, experienced it or even lived it. He has watched it from afar. His heart lost without return, patiently waiting for a possible chance, not wishing for it, but there waiting should it ever be able to find its true home. A love stemming from a friendship which went through the years and stayed put. A true love, the honest and pure kind.

“I love you, Alex. I loved you when we were just kids…and I’ve continued to love you every day since.

“I’ve always wanted this future. I was just waiting on you to catch up.”

Jenny:  Oh yes, and then we have Blake! Well, what can I say about Blake. I think you pretty much said it all GG!

What a guy!  He really was really special and I loved Blake with all my heart!

Alex knew Blake growing up and he has just moved back to her home town. He’s been living in Colorado but returns for family reasons. He sends Alex for a loop as she starts recalling their childhood and teenage years – he unsettles her because he makes her “feel”.

He brings something alive in Alex that she thought had died along with Derek. He brings out feelings she doesn’t want to acknowledge. Blake was just what she needed even though Alex herself didn’t realize he was exactly what she needed.

“I don’t think I have felt anything in years”

Gitte:  The relationship between Alex and Blake from their childhood was beautiful. The fact that he has harbored this love for her, felt the pain of rejection, albeit unintentional and unbeknownst to Alex when she fell in love with Derek and completely left her best friend at the wayside.

I can’t even say how much this affected me. I actually think at times this became Blake’s story for me. I wanted HIS happy ending more so as he had missed out on one of the most beautiful things in life; love in return.

“….It just really hurt. You meant a lot to me. You were my best friend.” – Blake

“All I could do was watch it happen and hate myself for never saying anything. I should have fought harder for you…” – Blake

Jenny:   The story, told through Alex’s eyes and the flashback glimpses we had of her life the 3 years prior really do allow us to connect with her and experience the devastating loss she went through.

The scene with her husband’s death so moved me and it was heartbreaking. You really did garner the strength of Alex during this time. Even though it crushed her and nearly destroyed her, you really do connect with her and admire the fact she got through it at all.

Watching Alex put up her walls to protect her heart from Blake and see Blake trying to break down her defenses was handled so well.

At times I did get a bit frustrated with Alex, but in her shoes, I’m not sure how I would have coped. I think I just loved Blake so much and saw how perfect he was for her that I immediately wanted Alex to feel the same. I wanted them to be happy together. I truly wanted it with all my heart because these two, along with those beautiful little girls utterly and completely stole my heart.

Gitte:  Truly a beautiful story that has left my heart in a puddle on the floor. Alex worked her way into my heart but Blake truly took a piece of it.

“I feel safe. I feel protected. I feel relief. I feel scared. I feel vulnerable. I feel sure. I feel…. Everything.”

Jenny:   Absolutely agree with you Gitte. Such a beautiful story and one I thought about for days after. It really did capture my heart.

“But you’ll never have your happy ending unless you’re brave enough to open the book and start your story”

Initially I was a bit surprised that there was no epilogue, but I was satisfied in the knowledge that there will be another book in this series and I’m looking forward to catching up with my new friends Alex, Blake, Harlow, Trace and the Meyer family because there’s no way I’m not ready to say goodbye to them just yet! .

On a side note I would like to add that this book so beautifully edited, it was flawless and a pleasure to read.

 

 

Purchase Running on Empty here:

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts, #1)

2 Comments

Filed under 4.5 Stars, L B Simmons, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

2 Responses to Running on Empty (Mending Hearts #1) by L.B. Simmons

  1. lorraine m

    Finished this today, absolutely loved it. I liked the tenderness in Blake and the way
    he reacted to Alex’s girls. He’s a mans, man! I have a soft spott for rekindled friendships and Alex well, her grief broke my heart!

    • admin

      Absolutely agree Lorraine! What a man! He was just perfect. It really does touch your heart doesn’t it?
      So glad you loved it too 🙂

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