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Reviewed by Jenny
Jenny: ✯✯✯✯ 1/2
“I’m recovering from a broken heart.”
“I’m recovering from a broken life.”
I want to hug this book! I fell head over heels in love with the characters, their story and Autumn Doughton’s wonderful lyrical prose in This Sky. Wow! The way this author would describe a scene! I could envision every demonstrative moment, every nuance of her characters and her vividly descriptive, exquisitely poetic prose had my heart soaring.
‘Pain doesn’t go away because someone kisses it better. Sadness doesn’t recede because a person posts an inspiring quote on your Facebook wall. Grief doesn’t sink into the shades the moment the sun comes up. You can’t sleep your way through misery. There are some hurts that become a part of you.’
This Sky pulled me in immediately as I became part of the story. You know when you’re reading a book and catch yourself grinning like love struck fool? Yep, that was me with This Sky. This story exuded a warmth that enveloped me.
The story was never bogged down with unnecessary angst, the relationship between the characters built at a believable pace, there was no insta love here. The secondary characters were a hoot and left me with a big smile on my face with a sufficient amount of drama to keep me thoroughly invested in Gemma and Landon’s story.
Gemma our heroine was delightful. My heart went out to this girl who had been the subject of public humiliation when a sex tape featuring her actor boyfriend Ren and a waitress, complete with Gemma’s reaction was splattered across social media for all to see.
“Gemma, you can’t stop the tide; but if you don’t stand in the water, it can’t pull you under.”
After wallowing for a while, she takes off with her Chinchilla, Weebit (he is so cute!) to stay with her good friend Julie in San Diego in attempt to start afresh and leave her broken heart and embarrassment behind and it is there she meets up with Julies neighbours Claudia and Smith, who decide what Gemma needs is a rebound guy as a bit of a confidence boost and a distraction from the events that had taken place.
Enter Landon ….be still my beating heart……Young, a gorgeous former pro surfer who spectacularly dropped out of the circuit after his life took an unexpected twist was a such beautiful character. This man certainly had his demons but his issues never dragged down the story because this author handled these emotions with sweetness, warmth and humour and it was executed beautifully.
‘Maybe the truth is that all I’ve ever wanted is to be good for somebody else.’
Neither is looking for a relationship and each has major trust issues, though it’s obvious they clearly have chemistry so they decide on a friends with benefits type of relationship but the heart knows what the heart wants and these two could build walls to the stars and eventually something would have to give.
“You were this beautiful, brilliant girl and for once it felt like I had something worth holding.”
As Gemma and Landon opened up and their painful pasts unfolded I found myself welling up as hearts and hurt were exposed, but these moving moments were peppered with fun banter that had me clutching my heart one minute and grinning the next.
The secondary characters were so much fun and provided lots of laughs and love along the way but it was the witty back and forth, the romance, emotion and beauty of the interaction between Landon and Gemma that made my heart all warm and fuzzy.
“You’re beautiful when you’re standing with your face tipped to the sky, when you’re sitting at the bottom of the stairs in the dark, when you’re on the beach, at work. You’re beautiful anywhere you go and I can’t seem to stop watching you. Did that sound creepy as I think it sounded?”
The steam factor wasn’t high in this book but it didn’t need to be because Autumn Doughton conveyed the intimacy perfectly and made me feel every moment of passion without the need for blow by blow (no pun intended) descriptions. There was beauty and feeling in the subtlety of these scenes.
‘At night we lay in his bed, nose-to-nose, our toes brushing and our hands tucked between our bodies, and we trade stories until our throats are raw and scratchy and our eyelids are drooping shut. This is how I learn Landon Young. Inch by inch. Moment by moment.’
Arrgghh see what I mean? I loved this standalone read! It was a perfectly sweet, beautiful, emotional, funny and completely swoonworthy story about hope, friendship, love and self discovery. I would have liked to have spent a little more time with Gemma and Landon because it did feel as though it finished a little too abruptly and I do love my ‘afters’, but that could be because I didn’t want their story to end!
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