So I’ve been thinking about my rating all morning… I am giving it a solid 3.5 stars – with a lean towards 3 instead of 4. I’m struggling with that though to be honest because I truly thought this was a lovely story and well written and the the characters were well developed.
We meet both Michael and Angie at the birthday of Billie both wife to Michael and best friend to Angie. When the unthinkable happens and she dies suddenly, they are both devastated.
Angie seems to be holding it together and moving on with her life better than Michael who, when we see him next, 10 mos later, is barely living. He is functioning for his children and that seems to be it. The pain and shock of her loss is threatening to destroy his family and so Angie steps in to help, both opening Michael’s eyes to what he is doing to his children and also to himself.
For Angie, while Billie was alive, Michael was only her best friends husband… someone in her life because of her friend. The same was true for Michael. This was his wife’s best friend and that was all he ever viewed her as. As time progresses, they find they have a mutual attraction to each other and maybe what they are feeling for each other isn’t just appreciation for the opposite sex. And this is where I started to get impatient. Their relationship certainly didn’t happen overnight – it was slow and gradual and built on emotion and chemistry.
In what I feel is very realistic fashion, they deny their feelings, hide them, ignore them. Anything in order to not acknowledge them… and then they do acknowledge them, they talk about it but both agree that acting on them is out of the question it’s too soon, and it wouldn’t be right because of Billie and what she meant to them. They aren’t meant to have that kind of relationship. And while it is incredibly realistic for the situation, it felt incredibly repetitive to me, the continual denying of the emotional and physical draw that these two had to each other. I found myself skimming at times, and that is why, in my head I went down to three stars instead of up to four. But the kicker here is that I couldn’t put this book down. I started it at like 8pm and stayed up until almost 1am reading!!
I completely understand that this is most likely realistically written, but it just felt too drawn out for me. I mean, they don’t even act on a single thing until 61% into the book. I get that the guilt and grief would be so overwhelming after being married to someone and losing them unexpectedly, and the author did an incredibly job of conveying that and showing how much of a struggle it was for Michael.
So all that being said, as I said above, I think this story was wonderfully told. If you’re someone who loves the slow burn, this is definitely for you. But I think anyone who is looking for an emotional, touching story of grief, friendship and love this is definitely for you.
Annnnnd After I reread all this – I think I may have talked myself into a 4 star review….
Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin for the ARC