Monthly Archives: August 2016

EL DIABLO (The Devil #1) by M. ROBINSON :: REVIEW

‘I’m the one they warned you about.’


5 STAR SPOILER FREE REVIEW :: EL DIABLO by M. ROBINSON
Gritty, raw, suspenseful and powerful standalone novel.

el diablo 1

SYNOPSIS

I was ruthless.
I was feared.
I had sacrificed. Myself. Her. Everything…

Living in a world where I was worth more dead than alive was a choice. I was a bad man, never claimed to be anything else. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. Seen things that can’t be unseen. I’ve caused pain that I can’t undo.
It was all my choice.
Every decision.
Every order.
Right and wrong never mattered.
Until her.
She was under my protection, until she became my obsession.
But who was going to save her…

From. Me. The devil himself.

Fate brought us together. Destiny destroyed us.

Available to purchase below:

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EL Diablo

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘I had killed. I had avenged. I had loved. I had destroyed lives and now it was my time to pay for being the Grim fucking Reaper, taking lives that didn’t belong to me. I just never thought my life would end like this.’

Hands down one of our favourite reads of 2016. No word of a lie, one of our favourite anti-heroes of all time. Yes, this book just grabbed us and didn’t let go till we’d read the last page. Without question El Diablo is our favourite book to date by M. Robinson. Wow…just wow it had us consumed and we have to applaud M Robinson for staying true to her characters and never sacrificing the story or their natural journey. For never giving anything away. For surprising us.

“Even the Devil was an Angel once, Alejandro. It’s only a matter of time until you become El Diablo, too.”

We loved that Alejandro’s story -because for us it truly was his story- started from an early age and took us right up to a mature older age- so decades. We felt we lived his dark, gritty and raw story alongside him. El Diablo- yes, he sure was, in so many respects. He really worked hard to gain our affection and understanding because cold and hard doesn’t even come close. But this talented Author placed some very clever and brilliant moments of transparency where you saw a side of him which you needed to see in order to fully understand the man beneath the role he was groomed to fill. A boy and young man who loved his Mum and sister with all his heart and then some. A man who never fails to try to protect those he cares about. A man who tries his all to keep people at an arm’s length in fear of them getting caught in a deadly crossfire. A man who truly just needs someone by his side loving him and loving El Diablo in equal measure.

“I can’t go back. I can’t change the things I’ve done. I am who I am. It’s too late, the darkness settled in. I own it now. It owns me. Please forgive me.”

So much tragedy, hate, despair and violence. Seriously, how many times could our hearts break in one story? Not only that, how many times would they break over one man and his love? Captivatingly visual story of Crime family’s loyalties, expectations and tragic consequences.

‘Music and dance were my peace. They made me feel whole. Turning and twisting, leaping through the air as if I had been a swan in captivity all my life. Finally, free.’

Sweet, sassy, strong, vulnerable- child victim of life, Lexi. The beautiful ballerina. She came into a story that had taken many paths only to play a momentous and powerful role. The girl, the teenager then the woman. She was a force. If words and actions could maim; her body would be marked by uncountable scarring.

‘His face inches away from mine, he opened his dark, dilated eyes, they were vacant of any life. Black pools stared down at me as I finally realized, I just met…El Diablo.’

We had no idea where this story was taking us, sure we had an inkling to some but we were surprised, and we LOVE being surprised. The writing was stellar- the story fabulous. We cannot recommend El Diablo highly enough as it was a passionate tearjerker that stole our hearts and minds. We fell in love with The Devil.

‘Every side of him consumed me. Every part of him engulfed me. He was mine. No matter what.’

‘Maybe there were just some people in the world that were born alone and died alone.’
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This is a spin off from THE GOOD OL’ BOYS SERIES each book is a different couple.
It’s not necessary to read this series before El Diablo

The Good Ol' Boys


COMPLICATE ME – BOOK ONE
Alexandra and Lucas’ story
I. Ruined. Us.
I had her.
I lost her.
I love her.
All I did was complicate us.

Available to purchase below:

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FORBID ME – BOOK TWO
Jacob and Lilly’s story
It was only a matter of time until the truth came out.
I never thought it would come to this…
If there is one person I’d willingly go to hell and back for it was…
Lillian Ryde

Available to purchase below:

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UNDO ME – BOOK THREE
Dylan and Aubrey’s story
I fell in love with her when I was seventeen.
She brought me to my knees when I was twenty.
I loved her against reason.
I loved her against hope.
I loved her against all odds.
Now she’s back, a constant reminder of what I lost, what could have been.

Available to purchase below:

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CRAVE ME – BOOK FOUR
Austin and Briggs’ story
They say in order to find yourself you have to go home.
What if home was what you’re running from?
Where did that leave you?
Until one day you meet her.
The one.
She was my high, but she was also…
My demise.

Available to purchase below:

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Filed under 5 Stars, M Robinson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

AUTHOR ANONYMOUS by E.K. BLAIR :: REVIEW


5 STAR REVIEW :: AUTHOR ANONYMOUS
Standalone true story told through the voice  author E.K. Blair.


29th

SYNOPSIS
She’s an author.
She’s a mother.
She’s a wife.
She’s a fraud.

A woman marked and bound by her own deceit, this is the astounding tale of how one choice knocked her world from its axis forcing her to battle through a year of scandal and betrayal, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

This is an intoxicatingly risqué stand-alone true story tangled in lust, heartbreak, and contrition.

Available to purchase below:

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✨✨✨

Author Anonymous

Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

“The life you live in as an author is nothing but lies. The men you create, the men you read, it’s all bullshit. I never understood your need for it when you have me.”

We need a minute to absorb what we’ve just read! This actually happened?  Minds blown! We’ve either just finished a brilliant and scintillating work of fiction with equally brilliant marketing tactics or we’ve been privy to one messed up and brilliantly written scandalous and intoxicating ‘love’ story and raw expose on ‘bookworld’ that left us gasping.

“Don’t stop,” he says. “I want to be inside you whilst you’re crying.”
“Why?”
“Because I want your deepest everything’s all at once.”

Addictive doesn’t begin to describe it! E.K. Blair perfectly captured the potency of the story and the characters in a raw, revealing, gripping, shocking  and scandalous guilty pleasure which left our emotions in disarray. One thing is for certain and that is “Author Anonymous” made one first rate decision when she chose the incredibly talented E.K. Blair and to tell her story. Who better than E.k. Blair with her unique and poetic writing style? Who can better to turn a cutting word into a whispered caress than this author? Her words leave us in awe so it’s no wonder “Tori” personally chose her to tell this effed up tale! We hated it. We loved it. We were consumed by it, we’re intrigued about the background and admire Victoria’s decision to put her story out there because it’s one hell of a story which doesn’t paint her in a good light.

 ‘I, along with most of the women who read my books, have conditioned my mind to what love should be but isn’t. This isn’t real life, and it’s not perfectly passionate and spontaneous and without flaws. I’m first to admit that there have been times that I wished Landon acted and behaved in a certain way that reflects the men and I read and write about. But when that’s the world I spend my days in, it’s easy to lose sight.’

Whilst the story may be someone else’s, the words are all EK. They are provocative, infuriating, seductive, captivating, maddening, fascinating, sinfully erotic …and we hung off every single one of them, unable to look away, pause or move until we finished this mess that was Tori’s life. One self-inflicted, train wreck we couldn’t put down, experiencing anger, frustration and heartbreak and there is no doubt in our minds that if it wasn’t E.K. Blair writing this story, we would not have experienced it the same way and our 5 stars go to E.K. Blair for her phenomenal recounting of this story.

“Life is messy, and you can’t compare reality to fiction because you’ll always wind up disappointed.”

How could we not become swept up in the scandalous nature of this story? It caught our attention and lured us in. Let’s face it, we’re nosy and the voyeuristic element of this story appealed to us, the setting enticed us. However, unless the telling captured our interest and held it, the hoopla surrounding it would be for nothing. We wanted to experience that knot in the pit of our stomachs and be caught up in the angst of it all, we wanted to feel it.  Yes, the juicy gossip intrigued us, but what mattered most was how E.K. Blair would execute this story, how she would invade our senses, and we can tell you….she delivered…we exploded with emotions! The nervous anticipation made us hesitate once or twice, the voyeuristic desire willed us on as E.K Blair’s words held us captive.

‘This guy embodies all that I try to convey on the pages of my books.’

Where to start? Emotions. We had many but mostly anger. We can’t walk in Tori’s shoes, we can’t presume to know what she was feeling and on some level maybe we understood her  need for the thrill and the excitement she craved, it happens . After all, she had been writing the fantasy for so long, was it inevitable the two could collide?  Are we placed to judge her? We believe we are because when you put your story out there for all to see, you are inviting judgement in. Tori connived, deceived and discarded those close to her.  She was self-absorbed, so blinkered by her own quest for ‘happiness’ she lost sight of what was important, what mattered. She self-destructed alright! How Victoria acted, the pain she caused others, was unforgivable.

‘He’s uninhibited and raw, debasing me with his words that should offend me but don’t. Instead, they intoxicate me.’

We’re all human, we make mistakes and poor choices but Tori tested our every resolve and we felt she didn’t deserve the love and commitment Landon, her husband so readily gave her, constantly toying with his heart. Her treatment of him broke us.

‘In a single breath, my whole world changed.’

Witnessing the repercussions of Tori’s actions, the destruction she left in her wake and the aftermath of her attention seeking decisions on those around her was crushing. Tori didn’t deserve the loyalty and love of her friend Brooke and she didn’t deserve the loyalty of her fans showing them contempt by releasing sub-par books without a backward glance. That the success of a book can be achieved not through the writing of a great story but by the manipulation and manufactured loyalty of the readers…..don’t get us started! We always suspected, but to ‘see’ the truth is disheartening and confirms why readers are skeptical about the lists and the validity of street teams. This also highlighted the hypocrisy of women versus men. If this is indeed a true story it certainly shone a naked and at times, unfavorable light on book world.

“Turn the tables, how would you feel if I went to a work convention and there were half-naked women in bikinis flaunting around? They have nothing to do with my job as a chef, just like those guys have nothing to do with your job as a writer.”

Our emotions were in overdrive and if the truth ever comes out and the real players revealed, we know where our hearts and loyalty will lie.We were raging and having many WTF! moments throughout this book. Was it? Was he? Is it? Did he? Did She? Did they? Can they? Every flick of the page elicited a strong emotion. This story needs to be experienced as it unfolds from start to conclusion and whilst this book won’t be for everyone one thing’s for sure, it will have readers talking long after turning the last page! On a completely different note, hands up those who Googled FetLife? Hmmm we may or may not have.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, E K Blair, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

IN THE SHADOW OF SATELLITES by AMANDA DICK :: REVIEW

5 STAR REVIEW
Standalone – emotional story of loss, second chance at love and friendship

TBB 5 Star Rec

SYNOPSIS

Memories are precious, and for Sian Bennett, they are fleeting. On 22 February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocks Christchurch, New Zealand. Sian was there, along with her husband and baby son. What happened that day is a mystery; all she remembers is waking up in hospital five months later, alone.

Two long years pass, and the memories continue to disappear into the black hole that was opened up the day of the quake. Life becomes a perilous journey lived on a tightrope that stretches between the past and the present. Retreating to a lakeside cottage in Rotorua, she shies away from a world she no longer understands.

When Luke Lancaster moves into the derelict cottage beyond the trees, he respects his reclusive neighbour’s silent plea for privacy. Now half a world away from his native North Carolina, he has seen war, misery and chaos. Along with his dog, Geezer, he lives with a few ghosts of his own.

What begins as a fragile friendship leads to a much deeper connection, in which truth, lies, love and pain are intimately bound. Even in paradise, shadows lurk.

A slow-burning tale of loss and love, stoked in the flames of fate and superstition, it is ignited by the power of hope.

Available to purchase below:

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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

In the Shadow of Satellites

“I don’t’ know how you feel. No one does but you. That’s all yours, just like what happened to me is all mine. But I know what it feels like to try so hard to keep it together when you’re really falling apart.”

This is our second book by Amanda Dick and once again, we found ourselves moved implicitly by her words. In The Shadow Of Satellites is an emotional story of love, loss and hope, and it’s a story we felt with every ounce of our hearts.

You know you’re on a good thing when you realise you’ve highlighted an author’s stunning words from the very first page. When you’re instantly gripped into a story that hits your heart so readily you find an instant connection to the characters and ache for their welfare, there’s no greater feeling.

‘They’re together. I’m not with them, but at least they’re together. It’s a small comfort, but it’s all I have.’

Sian Bennett has known profound loss. An earthquake claimed the lives of her beloved husband James, and their treasured son, leaving Sian to grieve their loss every day. Not only that, but Sian had the added pain of missing a chance to say goodbye, having life go on around her whilst she lay in a coma for five months, waking up to find her life had irrevocably and devastatingly changed forever.

‘I died once. We all did, all three of us. The only difference is I came back. I didn’t get a choice.’

Two years later, twenty seven year old Sian is living an isolated existence, spending her days reliving her memories. With the exception of weekend visits from her best friend Ana, Sian spends her days on her own, locked in her grief. It’s thanks to the strength, love, loyalty and determination of Ana, that Sian is able to exist in the present. Although still preferring to stay in the past, Sian manages to get through one day at a time, knowing she needs to move on but if living in the present means leaving her treasured memories behind….she just can’t do it.

‘A scar is a reminder of something that once hurt you. What do you call that which continues to do so, long after the physical evidence has healed?’

On one of Ana’s visits they meet Sian’s neighbour Luke Lancaster. Luke, an American, also prefers the solitude the island in New Zealand provides for him, as he too has suffered loss, carrying the pain and burden of his time in the army on active duty.  A friendship develops and a lot of honesty and willingness to trust is shared between Luke and Sian as love blossoms and takes hold.

‘I wake with the sun and go to sleep with the moon, but the in-between is what’s killing me.’

Despite his own pain and loss, Luke was so intuitive to Sian’s feelings, he understood her and in doing offered the glimpse of happiness Sian so desperately sought. The pull between them was powerful, it tender, moving, sad and so astonishingly beautiful.

‘The air of vulnerability that I rarely see surrounding him is suddenly neon. He battles demons just like I do, only he does it silently.’

Amanda Dick has written a beautifully emotion driven story, a true meeting of damaged hearts. Her words elicited such alluring vision and heartfelt sentiment, hitting every piece of our hearts. She vividly describes her scenes yet never allows over descriptiveness to overpower her story. The atmospheric feel of her setting was breathtaking; we were there, in that little cottage with Sian and Luke, living and breathing their story, putting our hearts on the line right along with them.

A stunning slow burn romance, a potent and beautiful story brought to life with meticulous detail and whilst there was an insurmountable sadness throughout the story, it never felt draining because at the crux was a story where we experienced the complexities of healing, the strength of the human spirit and the power of the heart to love again. A definite recommendation from us!

‘I can’t forget, because I don’t want to forget. Forgetting is what scares me. Remembering is everything.’

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TBB Also recommends by Aamanda Dick
THE TROUBLE WITH PAPER PLANES
“We make sense, somehow. I don’t know how, but we do.”

The Trouble with Paper Planes

SYNOPSIS

I’ve always believed in what I can see, what I can hear and what I can touch. Surfing was my religion and destiny was just a fairy-tale. But one summer, over ten days during the hottest February on record, all that changed. I found hope – the kind of hope that sustains you, even when you don’t want to be sustained.

The night Emily disappeared, I was branded. She became the girl on the ‘missing’ posters, and I became the one trying to keep everyone from falling apart. I thought that somehow it would keep me from being devoured by the emptiness inside me. Five years later, I was beginning to appreciate how deluded I really was.

Then Maia showed up. New in town, with a past as mysterious as she was, she reminded me so much of Emily that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near her. What I didn’t realise was that there were forces at play that neither of us could possibly understand.

It takes a determined soul to alter destiny. There is a loophole, a back door, and the events that unfolded during those ten days showed me how that loophole can change everything. 

Do you believe in fate? If so, let me tell you my story. If not, what happened to me might change your mind.

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Filed under 5 Stars, Amanda Dick, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE SEX EDUCATION OF M.E by L.B. DUNBAR :: REVIEW

A standalone 

the sexSYNOPSIS

I’m forty, flabby, and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good home, a decent job, and great children. I had a loving marriage for twenty years where we had our ups and downs. It wasn’t perfect; but it wasn’t awful. Then he died.

After the grief took its course, and the reality of my life set in, I grew frustrated. It wasn’t the bills or the struggle to keep my interest in my work. It was life without a man – the only man I’d been with for twenty years. And before you go all feminist on me, it isn’t that I can’t be an independent woman, but there are certain areas where a man is necessary.

You need a fuck buddy, my friend said.
I didn’t even know what that meant.
Is it friends with benefits?, I asked.
Better, you don’t even have to be friends, she offered.

Boy, did I need an education in the modern workings of dating, and sex.

Available to purchase below:

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The Sex Education of M.E

Reviewed by Gitte and Jenny

 

“You’re forty-two years old. You’re still young, beautiful, and vibrant. You have life in you. Live it. Take charge. Take what you want.”

Hurrahhhh a story with older forty something characters. Real characters with the type of struggles we ourselves face. This is one of few of this kind landing on our kindles so we relish every moment of a refreshing change. The Sex Education of M.E is like an onion. So many layers and so many revealing emotions, truths and hurts. It was very well written and as a first for us by this Author, it certainly won’t be the last.

“I’m not going to lead you astray or do anything to embarrass you. Just take my hand and follow my lead. Take a chance.”

We laughed, swooned, empathised and cringed at the realism in equal measure whilst reading. Emme and Marek were well written characters each with their own issues and struggles after the life experiences thrown their way. We connected and fell in love with both and especially loved the almost reluctant flirty banter and the way this Author highlighted the fact that no matter the age we have, insecurities and experiences that have shaped our thoughts, apprehensions and behaviours-  we are still learning about ourselves and we are still full of hope and aspirations. Age is just a number which does not make us, shape us nor does it define us.

‘Merek and I were different in so many ways. I often wondered what I did for him, as I knew what he did for me. Could I go back to being alone? Probably not. Did I feel more confident to seek out others? Possibly a little.’

Both beautiful and curvaceous Emme and sexy silver fox Marek have been through the ringer, both needing to make some changes and realise a few home truths, both having to grow and learning to just let go and grab the chance of love and happiness. They are night and day when you compare their lives, yet what they have in common is so very important. What they each bring to the other is something quite intense, passionate and beautiful. It all begins with an itch to scratch…..

“What’s this?”

“My number. Think of me like Uber. You need a ride, I’m your man.”

We really enjoyed this story and highly applaud the hot and spicy Merek who had us needing some freezer time. This Author gave us something sweet, spicy and fun that really resonated with us whilst at the same time touching on some pretty sensitive and emotional topics. Fabulous Foxy Forty- We LOVE it!!!

4 Stars

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Filed under 4 Stars, L B Dunbar, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THIS IS LOVE by CAROLINE NOLAN :: REVIEW

Standalone – emotional yet uplifting story about grabbing a second chance at love

this is love

SYNOPSIS

Rachel Miller had love, life and happiness…until she didn’t.

Uncertain of how to cope and move on without him, Rachel’s life comes to halt as she mourns the loss of her fiance Ben.

Then one night she discovers it doesn’t have to. By way of dreams, Rachel and Ben continue to live the life they had planned together. It’s unconventional, it’s not even real, but it’s enough for Rachel. For the first time since Ben’s death, she’s happy…whole.

That is until she runs into someone she barely knew from years ago and suddenly real life is just as great as her dream one. Now Rachel doesn’t know what to do.

Will letting someone new in threaten what she has with Ben? Or will their love story threaten her new happiness? Is it crazy to chase after a ghost while being caught up by someone very real?

Available to purchase below

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THis is love collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“This was not a mistake. I know what this is! You know what this is! This is love, Rachel. We are falling in love.”

WOW! What a debut! Caroline Nolan is an author we’ll be keeping an eye on because if this is her debut novel, we can only surmise the amazing stories we have to look forward to from her in the future!

In This Is Love, Caroline Nolan brought to life a story that not only hit us emotionally but was delivered so beautifully and with such striking imagery, we became a part of the story. There was a wonderful sense of realness, honesty and sincerity to Caroline Nolan’s prose that ensured every touch, every word and every nuance of her characters were achingly experienced as we found ourselves completely connected to this story as it unfolded.

“I know we can do this. I know it because I know we’re worth it. You know it too.”

This Is Love centres around Rachel Miller, who we meet a year following the sudden and unexpected death of her fiancée, Ben. Rachel felt Ben’s loss terribly and has struggled to come to grips with life without Ben. Rachel was so caught up in planning her future with this man, the last thing she expected was to be facing life without him. In the blink of an eye, Rachel’s hopes, dreams and plans crumbled when she lost the love of her life.

“Your relationship with Ben. It didn’t end by choice. It didn’t end because you fell out of love. It was taken. Unfairly, unjustly. It’s not how your story with Ben was supposed to end. You didn’t lose the love. You lost the man.”

Rachel knows she needs to pull herself out of the blackness of grief that has enveloped her and agrees to a night out with her friend Tess, who is an absolute hoot by the way. This girl has no filter and isn’t afraid to speak her mind with hilarious and cringe worthy results. It is whilst on this night out Rachel familiarises herself with Jackson Perry who has recently moved back into town after working in Switzerland for a few years as an Investment banker. Jax…oh dear god he stole our hearts! He was so…normal. A great sense of humour, successful, kind, sweet, romantic yet with a fierce determination in his pursuit of Rachel. Our hearts swooned over Jax! . His smile and attraction to Rachel is like a defibrillator to her heart as Rachel feels the first stirrings of attraction that excites her.

His eyes darken slightly. “This isn’t romance,” he says, correcting me. “This is a restaurant with good food and wine. Romance is what happens in the between. Moments I haven’t had a chance to show you yet.”

But for Rachel, her attraction to Jax also brings carries a lot of guilt. As thrilled she is to be experiencing these feelings, she’s also mortified that during the time she spends with Jax, Ben is away from her thoughts causing her to endure conflict and unease over her feelings.

‘How can I let go of someone I’ve been trying so hard to keep? How can I keep him if it could cost me everything I’ve just found? How am I supposed to leave one behind?’

We were there every step of the way as with Jax and Rachel. Their affection for one another never felt rushed and it was a welcome relief to have them communicating the way they did. Jax especially wears his heart of his sleeve and was never hesitant in verbalising and showing exactly what was in his heart and head.

“You took me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting you or even looking for you.”

It is through Rachel’s dreams we become  acquainted with Ben and witness the effect he had on her life. The sheer happiness and joy they had shared when he was alive and how extremely difficult it is for Rachel to let him go and allow herself to open her heart for a second chance at love are explored through these dreams. We loved getting to know Ben and really felt for Rachel in her dilemma but Jax had burrowed his way into our hearts and we were hoping he would eventually be what Rachel needed to move forward….but would Rachel be able to let go of her past?

Although this is a story of a woman living through her grief, in no way did we find this story overly heavy, sad or depressing Sure, it was full of emotion but we also found it to be quite uplifting in some ways as we became excited with Rachel over the possibility of new love yet understood her hesitancy due to her feelings for Ben. This book was romance and second chance love, it was passionate, sensual, at times witty and so beautifully brought to life. Our only gripe was that we would have loved more ‘afters‘ but that could be because we loved these characters and weren’t quite ready to close the pages on their love story. 

“Do you know my greatest fear? My greatest fear is that someone else was meant to be the love of your life. It’s also my greatest hope.”

4.5 Stars 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Caroline Nolan, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny