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This is a beautifully written, emotional story about love, loss and second chances. Angsty and heart-felt, this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster and I fell in love with Emma’s character, and I loved her unique and emotional journey.
I think that perhaps everyone has a moment that splits their life in two. When you look bak on your own timeline, there’s a sharp spike somewhere along the way, some event that changed you, changed your life, more than the others.
A moment that creates a “before” and an “after.”
Emma Blair was living the life she always wanted. In her 20s she was married to her high school sweetheart, Jesse, had a dream job, travelled the world, and she lived in LA far away from her family and the life that, as a teenager, she desperately wanted to escape. She and Jesse live on their own terms, following their dreams and doing what makes them happy. And then her life is ripped out from underneath her when Jesse goes missing in the Pacific Ocean after a fatal helicopter crash. Consumed with grief and struggling to keep moving forward, Emma returns home to her family.
Slowly, she starts to live again. She finds work, she gets her own place, and she finds ways to cope with her devastating loss. And then she runs into Sam. Sam was a childhood friend who had a crush on her years ago, and from the moment they see each other again, attraction sizzles. Sam is different to Jesse and what they have together is very different to her old life, but with him Emma finds peace, happiness, and a sense of ‘rightness’ that has been missing for so long, and she makes the decision to let go of her past and take a leap into love for the second time in her life.
Good things don’t wait until you’re ready. Sometimes they come right before, when you’re almost there.
And I figured when that happens, you can let them pass by like a bus not meant for you. Or you can get ready.
But her life is turned upside down once again when Jesse is found alive, having survived a nightmare while fighting to make his way home to his wife.
Oh my God, this book messed with my emotions. Emma was lucky enough to find true love twice in her life, and when she is forced to choose between those loves, her heart is literally torn in two. Not only does she need to figure out where her heart truly lies, but she does it knowing that whatever she decides, she’ll be breaking the heart of somebody that she loves.
“I love you.”
“I know you do,” he says. “But I’m not the only one you love. And you can only have one. And it might not be me.”
The book takes us back in time so we get to see Emma’s life with both Jesse and Sam, and I love that we got to experience both of her relationships. It makes the present so much more meaningful, and I could understand and empathise with all that Emma was feeling. Jesse and Sam are both wonderful men, and I honestly loved them both, and I love the way the author didn’t downplay the significance of the men in Emma’s life, and the relationships that she had with them. She loves both of them dearly, and they love her in return. They are both good men, and her life with both of them was a happy, fulfilling one.
But a decision has to be made, and though I read with tears streaming down my face at times, I love the way this book played out. Emma’s decision was heart-wrenching and the angst levels are high, and though I didn’t always agree with her actions……I understood her reasoning, I felt her pain, and my heart ached with her as she made the biggest decision of her life. Her journey was beautiful.
I don’t think that true love means your only love.
I think true love means loving truly.
Loving purely. Loving wholly.
I loved this book. As I have come to expect from this author, I was sucked right into the story and struggled to put it down. Her writing is smart and beautifully emotive, and her story is realistic, heartfelt and romantic with wonderful characters and great development.
An unforgettable read. 4.5 stars.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.