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‘He cups my face, trapping my gaze on his. Melting me. Drowning me. I just want. There it is again, that terrifying four-letter word. “What do you want?” I whisper
“Real.”

This is our fourth book by Alyson Santos and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from her writing, it’s the absolute passion she brings to her stories. Alyson writes from the heart and it shows. It shows in the protectiveness of her characters, and in the way she tells their story. It’s all about the emotion, the characters.  Young Love isn’t some hot forbidden romp between a 38 year old divorcee and a 23 year old man, it’s a story of self-discovery, responsibility, loyalty, and love, about healing and taking risks with your heart.

‘Fairytales, they’re what shape moments like this. Dreams, fantasies, idealized versions of history that lie after the smoothing effect of time. My heart wants desperately to believe. Hope. Accept that maybe Jace is right and wanting something is enough to make it happen.
But this is no epic love story, and we certainly don’t live in a magical kingdom. No, this is reality, where hearts shatter and princes fall.’

Alyson Santos doesn’t shy away from delivering honesty in her stories, and as such Young Love is a raw peek into a love that seemed thwarted at every turn – by judgment, insecurities, and baggage from the past and present on both sides.

Sienna Porter is a 38 year old divorcee who seems to have lost her spark and her identity following her acrimonious marriage breakup. Sienna is surrounded by toxic people and plagued by echoes of negativity lauded on her by her ex, Joe and her mother Carol. Their constant criticisms ring in her ears in every decision she makes. She’s existing day by day and her best friend Karen seems to delight in Sienna’s misery and heartache.

When Sienna hires a contracting firm to renovate her Victorian terrace, Louis and his stepson, 23 year old Jace Beckett turn up. Sienna feels an instant attraction to Jace, yet chides herself for experiencing an awakening of feelings she hasn’t felt for a long time, if ever.  The attraction is mutual and some sweet harmless flirting ensues, much to the ire of Jace’s arsehole stepfather.

Sienna and Jake soon embark on a secret tryst that becomes so much more, though both have barriers standing in the way of their relationship as it develops. Jace with his deep responsibility to his eight year old brother Aiden, and Sienna weighing up the prejudicial voices in her head.

It is when their backstories unfolded that we began to really experience the connection between Sienna and Jace, as wounds and feelings are laid bare, Jace gives Sienna the self-confidence she so sorely lacks, Sienna provides Jace with the strength he desperately needs.

“Don’t hold back.”

Alyson Santos is a very expressive author, which we love, yet there were times through the middle of the story where some aspects felt a little drawn out. However, there were other times where we sat on tenterhooks whilst she broke our hearts because Sienna and Jace’s struggle felt so real.

A heartfelt story with an epilogue that was everything, we devoured it!  A beautiful, meaningful and perfect way to complete Sienna and Jace’s story. “I think I’m ready to kick life’s ass.” You go girl!

Synopsis

Sometimes you need to let yourself fall…

Recently divorced Sienna Porter has the life she’s supposed to. A house, career, even a hot young contractor working upstairs to distract her. At thirty-eight, she’s entitled to a little fun (according to her best friend, anyway).

Pain, though— it’s so clever in the way it infects hope and poisons happiness.

Jace Beckett should be flying high. Talented, driven, and disciplined, he’s far beyond his twenty-three years. He’s used to the game, the attention his looks and highly trained body get from women. Doesn’t mean he likes to play.

Doesn’t mean his own secrets aren’t intent on tearing him down.

It’s just a fling. Sexy. Temporary. It’s not supposed to last. It’s not supposed to transform into love. It’s certainly not supposed to become the air you breathe and everything worth fighting for.

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