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‘You’re right. Love – the good, the real, the life-changing – is rare. You have to fight for it..’

There’s a saying – ‘write what you know’ and when it comes to military stories with pure heart-driven emotion, Rebecca Yarros really knows how to put her heart and soul into her stories. Something which is evident in The Things We Leave Unfinished – an emotional and exquisitely told love story within a love story. Faultlessly shifting her worlds between the horrors of WWII and present time. This is a book that was made to be brought to life with its spectacular imagery – this book needs to be made into a movie!

‘There’s a warning, a sound your heart makes the first time it realizes it’s no longer safe with the person you trusted.’

All you need to know about this book is covered by the author in her synopsis and you would be doing yourself an injustice if you didn’t go into this book blind and allow the author to lead you page by page through her heart-rending words.

In present time we meet Noah Harrison, a brilliant and popular author known for his ‘poignant’ endings, and according to Georgia Stanton, his less than stellar love scenes. Oh, if only she knew how stellar this man was – in more ways than she could imagine! Noah quite literally bumps into Georgia Stanton, the 28-year-old Great Granddaughter of much-loved romance author Scarlett Stanton, known for her beautiful HEA’s.

‘Lord, that man even made writing look sexy. His shirtsleeves were pushed up his forearms, and his brow was furrowed in concentration as his fingers flew over the keyboard’

Fast forward and we see Noah tasked with the job of finishing a manuscript started by Georgia’s grandmother, documenting her epic and searing soulmate love story set amidst the horrors and fears of World War Two. Everyone wants to get their hands on this manuscript, from production companies to Georgia’s greedy mother, but Georgia is guarding her Great Grandmothers story with her life. To her, Jameson Stanton and Scarlett Wright had a once in a lifetime love story.

“That’s the kind of love that stories are written about, Georgia. The kind that makes people believe it has to be out there for them, too.”

However, she does entrust their love story to Noah with a few caveats to ensure he creates the ending she feels Jameson and Scarlett deserve. What’s lurking in Scarlett’s unfinished manuscript and her letters she’s kept all these years, until her passing at the ripe old age of 100?

When we say this was a love story within a love story, we have two romances – Jameson and Scarlett’s and the evolving relationship between feisty Georgia and the headstrong Noah, though Noah certainly revealed his vulnerable side and we absolutely loved both heroes.

“I’ve been waiting my entire life to touch you.”

Set in the past in war-torn England, and present-day in Poplar Grove, Colorado, Rebecca Yarros does a wonderful job of bringing these settings to directly to our senses – we smelt the war, we heard the bombs, we felt the heartache, and in present-day, we felt as though we could breathe in the mountain air and visualise the picturesque scenery. Such vivid imagery heightened all our senses.

Georgia had been betrayed too many times to count and as such, had become hardened and cynical, and we couldn’t blame her – trust didn’t come easy for Georgia, however, there were times we felt she was a little unfair on Noah. Or maybe Noah was such a beautiful character we saw past his flaws?

“Gran used to say she saw the characters as fully fleshed-out people with complicated pasts, set on a collision course. She saw their flaws as something to overcome.”

The flow from past to present was effortless. The emotion gripping from start to finish –  our hearts feeling as though they’d just been in the middle of a battle. Insane chemistry, sublime writing, a beautiful legacy and heartfelt memories, searing love, painful loss and twists that sent us reeling. All these elements added up to one beautifully moving and unforgettable read. We did have a slight problem with authenticity of Scarlett and her sister Constance’s ‘voices’ which often sounded more American than British, thus taking us out of the moment here and there. However, this was a small hiccup in what was an extraordinarily moving story.  Grab this one reader, and grab the tissues while you’re at it – trust us, you’ll need them!

Releasing 23rd February

Synopsis

Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia Stanton has to start over after she gave up almost everything in a brutal divorce—the New York house, the friends, and her pride. Now back home at her late great-grandmother’s estate in Colorado, she finds herself face-to-face with Noah Harrison, the bestselling author of a million books where the cover is always people nearly kissing. He’s just as arrogant in person as in interviews, and she’ll be damned if the good-looking writer of love stories thinks he’s the one to finish her grandmother’s final novel…even if the publisher swears he’s the perfect fit.

Noah is at the pinnacle of his career. With book and movie deals galore, there isn’t much the “golden boy” of modern fiction hasn’t accomplished. But he can’t walk away from what might be the best book of the century—the one his idol, Scarlett Stanton, left unfinished. Coming up with a fitting ending for the legendary author is one thing, but dealing with her beautiful, stubborn, cynical great-granddaughter, Georgia, is quite another.

But as they read Scarlett’s words in both the manuscript and her box of letters, they start to realize why Scarlett never finished the book—it’s based on her real-life romance with a World War II pilot, and the ending isn’t a happy one. Georgia knows all too well that love never works out, and while the chemistry and connection between her and Noah is undeniable, she’s as determined as ever to learn from her great-grandmother’s mistakes—even if it means destroying Noah’s career.

Told in alternating timelines, THE THINGS WE LEAVE UNFINISHED examines the risks we take for love, the scars too deep to heal, and the endings we can’t bring ourselves to see coming.

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