Our Review

“You smile for people because it makes them comfortable, but it makes you feel like a fraud. You go through the motions of living but only so people will stop asking if you’re doing okay. You laugh to remind yourself that you can still physically make the sound, even though you’re so fucking numb you don’t feel it. And you keep to yourself not because you like to be alone, but rather because you’re the only person who truly understands.”

Bring on the water works- this duet hits you right in that emotional core and pulls at your heart strings. Incredibly passionate, thrilling and heart breaking, we felt utterly morose as we read, sighing deep breaths of relief when the mood was somewhat lightened through injected humour making us laugh out loud. The romance element had that old school swoony feel and the heat was scorching. Aly Martinez wrote every scene with depth and intensity, demanding us to feel every moment.

‘Hope had become my greatest enemy. Hope that I could change. Hope that I could move on. Hope that other people like me existed. Hope that, even if it was only for a few hours, I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. No questions. No judgement. No faking it.

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.’

Charlotte was a complicated heroine when we first met her. Our hearts were blown into smithereens when we learnt of what this –very lost- woman was going through after one moment of altruistic action sparked a tragedy that is every Mother’s nightmare. The thought of it had us sobbing uncontrollably. Whilst becoming an incredibly talented and sought after pulmonologist she’s still not living, merely existing. Fate throws a life changing meeting at her, causing complete upheaval and forcing Charlotte to question everything that has come before, now and what will come after. Our hearts bled as we inhaled every moment trying to savour but unable to stop reading as we experienced the darkness and felt the turmoil and gravity of grief.

“I can’t decide if we’re too real or not real enough…”

When we met Porter we immediately knew this man was something very special and he proved that every step of the way, on every page, and firmly cemented himself in our hearts. His story touched us deeply and as we went through the moments that shaped the man we completely lost it and had to put our kindles away to dry our crying eyes. At every twist and turn this man had our support and understanding and whilst there was an incredible vulnerability there was also a quiet strength alongside a huge beating heart. His sense of humour and quick wit is what brought the darkness into the light for us. The sparring between Charlotte and him was spot on and the connection palpable.

‘He kissed me. Apologetic and reassuring. Deep and meaningful. Heartbreaking even as it eased me. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Porter kissed me with hope.’

At the heart of this story beyond the drama and heart wrenching emotion is the strong sense of family and the love of parents and children. The fierce loyalty and protection ingrained in thoughts, feelings and behaviour. We felt quite worn out from crying and laughing by the time we reached the end of this duet, but the journey was worth it. We fell in book love!

‘It felt like a nightmare in the middle of the sweetest dream.’

Synopsis

THE DARKEST SUNRISE

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.
“You’re pregnant.”
“It’s a boy.” 
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.
Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.
“He’s gone.” 
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.
In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise. 
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”


THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET 

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Bullshit.
Words destroyed me. 
“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”
“Daddy, he can’t breathe!” 
“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.
Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.
“He’s gone.” 
In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise. 
“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

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