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This is the debut novel from Heather Bentley and I am impressed! She gives us a really well written, emotional and romantic story that captured me and kept me intrigued all the way through.
Christina Harcourt lives a life of wealth and privilege, but it is not as perfect as it appears to be from the outside. Since the death of her beloved mother, Christina’s life has been at the mercy of her cruel father and grandmother. She gets fulfilment by volunteering at a local hospital, and tries to live a happy life, but she knows that the only way she can truly be happy is to escape, leaving everything behind, and that is exactly what she plans to do.
And then along comes CJ. CJ represents everything that Christina’s life is not – fun, carefree and blue collar. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous, smart, and a genuinely nice guy. Their chemistry sizzles off the page, and though Christina tries to keep him at arm’s length in order to protect him from her family (and to protect her heart), he’s not a man to be deterred, and they soon fall and fall fast for each other.
“There is something here. Something worth taking a chance on. And I want more than anything to give this a try.”
This is SUCH A gorgeous romance! It’s well paced, feels easy and natural, and is beautifully emotional. Christina opens herself up to CJ, telling him her deepest, darkest secrets, and he doesn’t hesitate to share his feelings with her.
“If you’re really serious, please talk to me before you ever think of leaving.”
He leans forward until his forehead reaches mine. “Because I just found you.”
But CJ hides a lot of himself away. And for a woman whose life has been built around lies, will she be able to cope with his secrecy? And what happens when his secrets are finally revealed?
The way this book begins, you know some of how the story is going to play out, but the way it all unfolds is really well done. I love both of the characters, and though they have their moments of stupid – both are guilty of being quick to judge and having OTT reactions – it’s not dragged out, and it works to add some intensity to the story, which I appreciated.
The story builds nicely up to the big climax, with some great twists and some interesting ups and downs for the characters along the way. I did think that the book ended a bit abruptly though – the build-up was there, but the actual ending was a bit subdued and felt a bit rushed. I was happy with how it all ended up, I just wanted something a bit more to truly bring the feels.
But I did really enjoy this one. It was an enjoyable book that sucked me in, and I was feeling along with the characters and rooting for them to find their HEA.
I’ll definitely be looking out for more of this author’s work in the future.
Review Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.