I'm not sure why, in the spur of the moment, I chose to listen to this audiobook. I had learned enough about the book in the "cheating heroes" thread...moreI'm not sure why, in the spur of the moment, I chose to listen to this audiobook. I had learned enough about the book in the "cheating heroes" thread at Amazon to banish it to my "not in this lifetime" list. But with gloomy weather enhancing a melancholy mood, I decided to embrace depression completely.
Tessa & Nick Russo, it would seem, have a life together that many aspire for yet few achieve. In their mid-30's and married 7 years, they are already enjoying an affluent lifestyle. Nick is a world-renowned pediatric plastic surgeon and Tessa was a professor until recently when she quit working to devote herself full-time to raising their daughter Ruby,4 and son Frank, 2. Tessa & Nick's relationship isn't one of earth-shattering passion fueled by copious amounts of sex as it had been when they were first married, but long work days and small children will do that to any marriage, right? More importantly, with love and commitment they are developing a solid foundation for their children and for their future as a family. Success in their endeavors can be attributed to one important factor...Tessa and Nick love each other.
What's love got to do..got to do with it? What's love but a second-hand emotion?
Valerie Anderson is a part-time lawyer and full-time single mother raising a 6-yr-old son. Her relationship with Charlie's father was over before the guy even knew Valerie was pregnant, so her twin brother Justin is doing his best to provide Charlie with the male guidance and loving attention he would otherwise be without. Aside from Justin, Valerie isn't close to any other adult. She has serious trust issues with pseudo friends and family members, her track record for hooking up with a good man is non-existent and she refuses to associate with wealthy - and therefore - pretentious people. Suffice it to say Valerie is a loner...and very lonely.
So the hero rides in on his white stallion and rescues the damsel in distress.
Dining out on their anniversary, Tessa and Nick are interrupted by an emergency call from the hospital requiring Nick's area of expertise. Tessa understands, as she always does, and goes home. At the hospital, Nick treats the burn victim, little Charlie, while Valerie, wide-eyed and horrified, tries not to fall to pieces. Fortunately, as a pediatrician Nick has excellent consoling skills with children that apparently extend to distraught single mothers. Charlie is going to need plastic surgery and Nick officially becomes his doctor. Nick bonds with Charlie as a father-figure and with Valerie in a way that is anything but fatherly. Pretending to themselves more than anyone else, Nick and Valerie insist they are just good friends; however, the sexual tension between them is palpable and it becomes just a matter of time. When Tessa goes away one weekend to visit an old friend, Nick and Valerie succumb to their desires and f**k the night away.
What you don't know won't hurt you. (Really? What stupid-ass penned that nonsense?)
Tessa knows something is wrong. Oh sure, Nick has been working longer hours than ever before but Tessa attributes that to the crazy clock a doctor lives by. She hasn't been feeling like much more than a mommy since she quit teaching but it had been Nick's idea for her to quit. On the surface, he seems like the same wonderful man she fell in love with years ago, but knowing him so well she senses something is amiss...he's pulling away. She finds his cellphone lying unattended; and though normally she wouldn't give it a second thought, that nagging woman's intuition insists she check his messages...
Oh what would we do without our well-meaning friends?
"I miss you too and no, he doesn't hate you. How could anyone hate you?" Tessa comes up with a hundred plausible scenarios for someone to send Nick this message because she trusts her husband completely. Come on Tessa...you've got more than enough clues. Then, while away visiting her best friend, Cate, Tessa gets a text from one of her newer "society" friends who feels an obligation to the sisterhood to inform Tessa her husband was seen standing "unnaturally" close to Valerie Anderson. Tessa stands firm that her husband is faithful, yet she cuts her weekend stay short and is on the first flight home.
Shame, thy name is Nick.
I'll stop here but believe me I can't think of anything more heart-wrenching than what transpires in the last fourth of this story. In fact, the entire book was tough to listen to. Not only was my heart in my throat most of the time but I had to pull the earbuds out at one point because I couldn't handle what was transpiring. Did I like it? I LOVED it! This is my first book by Emily Giffin and I now intend to read (listen to) every book she has written.. She has the gift of bringing her characters to life...people you can't help but come to know extremely well and thereby care for immensely. I can't wait to become so involved like that again!
The story is told in alternating chapters by Tessa in 1st person and Valerie in 3rd person, with an emphasis on her personal thoughts. Valerie played the martyr well, strong enough to handle motherhood alone yet vulnerable and helpless without a man. Yes Nick was married and had 2 children, but Valerie decided that they were responsible for his unhappiness. As she sneakily cruised by his house (yeah, like a stalker) she decided Tessa was a society snob and probably had a lover herself. Surely, she was anxious to get rid of him. Besides, Nick was wonderful with Charlie and her son needed a father! With all the rationalizing Valerie did to convince herself she was entitled to Nick - along with a healthy dose of hero worship - she came off as helpless and needy, yet vindictive and manipulative. Gah! I hated the bitch! How much pleasure I would have found in rewriting the story to have Tessa beating the crap out of her!
On the other side of the coin, I loved Tessa. She was experiencing some depression when all this began, probably due to the fact that she missed teaching, which meant daily interaction with humans older than 4. I know it isn't hard to succumb to the feeling that you are nothing more than someone's mommy. With a husband at work 12 hours a day, by the time Tessa & Nick had some alone time, all she wanted to do was sleep. But she wasn't a bitch or whiny about what she was saddled with all day, and she was never too tired for sex. I felt bad for her when Nick initially told her she was the one who had changed and caused the rift in their marriage. But Tessa was not a shrinking violet, a doormat or TSTL. As much as she loved Nick, she held her marriage vows sacred and (hell, yeah) kicked his ass to the curb when the time came. There is a major confrontation between Tessa and Valerie, and Tessa's ability to remain gracious at the worst of times is tribute to the good person she is and the woman Nick realizes he can't live without.
And Nick? Well yeah, he betrayed his wife and family in the worst way possible. And what he saw in Valerie we can only speculate, but I think he got caught up in the hero worship thing...being the knight in shining armor to both Valerie and Charlie. Whatever, he crossed the line that can never be uncrossed and lost the complete trust his wife had in him...probably forever. Nevertheless, Nick seemed truely remorseful for what he had done and his grovel was Oscar-worthy. I completely forgave him.
Short but sweet story about a guy who is guilt-ridden over the fact that he is in love with his dead best friend's wife. The narrator for this audiobo...moreShort but sweet story about a guy who is guilt-ridden over the fact that he is in love with his dead best friend's wife. The narrator for this audiobook, MacLeod Andrews, should be credited for giving this tired plot the oomph it needed to make this a worthwhile listen.(less)
While this is definitely one of my top ten favorite ebooks, the audiobook version of On Dublin Street is nothing short of fucking spectacular, and is...moreWhile this is definitely one of my top ten favorite ebooks, the audiobook version of On Dublin Street is nothing short of fucking spectacular, and is easily my favorite of the 400+ audiobooks I have listened to thus far. It is the only book listed for the narrator, Paula Costello, so hopefully it is her debut narration and we'll be enjoying many more books read by her in the future.
10 stars - 5 for Samantha Young's amazing imagination & creativity and 5 for Paula Costello's talent for bringing to life the gang down On Dublin Street!
Whew! I'm emotionally drained, I went thru a box of tissue, and I've got dark circles under my eyes from staying up all night reading...sure signs tha...moreWhew! I'm emotionally drained, I went thru a box of tissue, and I've got dark circles under my eyes from staying up all night reading...sure signs that I loved the hell out of this book!
Tru & Jake were the best of friends for the first 14 years of their lives. But then Jake and his family moved from England to the US and the two lost touch. It is now 12 years later. Tru received a college degree and now works as a music journalist for an indie magazine. Jake started up a rock band, The Mighty Storm, that has become world famous. Now on the European leg of a world-wide tour, the band is in England; and Tru has landed the job of interviewing the man who not only can make panties drop with just a flash of his devastating smile but the best friend that Tru has kept close to her heart for over 20 years. When they meet for the first time, it is like all the years melt away and they still have that special bond between them. Only this isn't an adolescent crush anymore but the he-gets-hard, she-gets-wet, tongues-get-tied, this-is-my-long-lost-soulmate type of crush. There is just one problem...Tru is in a committed relationship with Will, and they are very much in love. Did I say that was problem? Nah, at least not for Jake; because, as he tells her more than once, he always gets what he wants. Poor, arrogant Jake...if that was the case, we wouldn't have a story!
If you happen to be a fan of Thoughtless by SC Stephens, The Mighty Storm is the fix you've been looking for...and Jake Wethers is the man to steal your heart away from Kellan Kyle. While both books basically share the same premise (rock star + girl + boyfriend), the gist of the stories are very different; and in this respect I enjoyed TMS more because, although the results of the triangles were both disastrous and heartbreaking, Tru didn't vacillate between her choices and string us along for several unnecessary chapters like Kiera did. Sure, Tru wagered an ongoing battle with herself (no, not with her inner goddess) throughout the book but I expected & appreciated that because the story was told from her POV. I enjoyed Tru...in fact, all of the characters were likeable. Tru & Jake were the only 2 characters who were thoroughly fleshed out but that was perfect for me. TMS was their personal love story and I like nothing better than when an author focuses solely on the two main protagonists and leaves the sub-plots and secondary characters in the background or out of the story completely.
But truly, what elevates this story from good to great is Jake...hot, hung[image error], arrogant, cocky, talented, tattooed, sexy smart-ass that he was, lived the typical rocker life. He drank too much, got high too often and fucked anything that moved... until the day that Tru walked back into his life. She was his true best friend - his one and only love - and he tried hard to be the best man he could be for her. But even rock gods are human, and the best-laid plans complete with happy-ever-afters aren't as easy to come by as Jake once thought. The last 25% of the book was both heart-wrenching and painful to experience as Jake put it out there like no other hero ever has. Raw anguish, sincere grovelling and pure love...it was all Jake. Believe me, you won't be forgetting him anytime soon!!
“You’re my life, Tru. My everything. And you always will be." “I’ll never be good enough for you, I know that. But I’m no good without you, and if that makes me a selfish bastard for wanting you as badly as I do then so be it because I can’t live a life that doesn’t have you in it.”
Thank you Samantha Towle for giving us this kickass, awesome hero and the touching, beautiful love story that came with him!!!
This book begins with a letter written to the heroine of this story by her now-deceased fiance. If you can read through it without tearing up, then yo...moreThis book begins with a letter written to the heroine of this story by her now-deceased fiance. If you can read through it without tearing up, then you and the Tin Man are probably tight.
This is an excerpt from the prologue...NOT a spoiler:
“My Eva Blue. The fact I’m writing this letter pains me more than you could ever know. This isn’t something I ever want you to read but I know that you deserve a goodbye. You deserve so much more than that and God willing you will get the perfect life that we’ve spent hours together daydreaming about.
I’ve loved you since the moment I looked into those pretty blue eyes of yours. Even at five years old, I knew there’d never be a girl that could take your place in my heart. No one would ever compare to you. It would always be you for me, Eva Brooks. Always. Please remember that, you were all that ever mattered to me. No one else ever touched my heart the way you did. My life was marked with every year I grew more and more in love with the wild, crazy, beautiful girl next- door. I lived in awe that this perfect angel wanted me, that this amazing woman would be my wife. The life we planned. The life we dreamed about was what kept me going as long as I did.
I pray to God you never have to read this letter. I want this to be a letter I pull out of my box one day for you to read when we are old and gray. We can smile and realize how much we have to be thankful for that this letter was never needed. But Eva, if you do receive this letter from my mom one day, then know: I loved you until my last breath. You were the only thing on my mind when I closed my eyes the last time. Our time together was more perfect than anyone’s life should be. The life I lived was heaven on Earth because I spent it with you.
One day you will heal. Life will go on for you. Another guy will be lucky enough to find a place in your heart. When that happens, love him. Move on. Live that life of happiness that you deserve. Know that I loved you. Know that you made my life complete. But move on Eva. Love again. Live your life.” Love, Josh
Hardy Bradford is a high school senior who, by outward appearance, has it all going on. Tall, with dark hair, light eyes and rockin' a 6-pk, he's the...moreHardy Bradford is a high school senior who, by outward appearance, has it all going on. Tall, with dark hair, light eyes and rockin' a 6-pk, he's the picture you see when you look up "swoonworthy". He's the quarterback "on fire"...the one being scouted most actively by the top colleges in the country; and his girlfriend of several years, Cheyenne, is the best-looking female on the planet. Although Hardy knows his future as a football pro is more for his father than for himself, and Cheyenne - handpicked by his father as well - is NOT the girl of his dreams, he is content for now...until he meets Miracle St. James.
The first time Hardy lays eyes on Miracle she is sitting on a park bench. He is mesmerized by her emerald green eyes, her sweet smile, her seductive voice. Does her skin feel as soft as it looks, he wonders. Hardy is oblivious to anything but this beautiful girl in front of him until Cheyenne walks up and asks him if he is "into bald chicks now." The spell is broken and he walks away...but he doesn't forget. Five months later, Hardy is ecstatic when he discovers Miracle is now attending his school. Like a moth to a flame, he is drawn to her beauty...her sweet disposition...her joy in experiencing the little things in life that most people take for granted. Unfortunately, everything good that is Miracle is overshadowed by everything bad that is Cheyenne...and Hardy feels no remorse when he kicks Cheyenne to the curb. Yeah!!!
What follows is a touching story about two young people who are fortunate enough to find their lifelong soul mate in each other. The question is...how long is lifelong? Miracle had been diagnosed with cancer the year before, but treatment had been successful and she was clean; however, as the result of high med dosage, chemo, etc, she lost a kidney. Now tests on her surviving kidney are indicating problems...
Hardy is probably the best YA hero I have come across to date. He realizes early on that Miracle is the love of his life; and, while a few of his decisions are probably not too smart (like knocking her ex unconscious with little forethought) he is completely exonerated of any wrongdoing in my book. Miracle holds his heart; therefore, her happiness and well-being are foremost in his mind and affect every decision he makes. At one point Miracle calls Hardy her hero, and he realizes that is exactly what he wants to be...her protector, her lover and her savior...forever. But while Hardy envisions forever to mean he and Miracle sporting white hair & playing with their grandchildren, the heartbreaking truth is that Miracle might not live to see her 19th birthday. My heart went out to Hardy...he had so much conflict at home to contend with, his scholastic future was unclear, Cheyenne kept trying to break him down...yet despite all that, he stayed focused on Miracle and his quest to fill her life with happiness.
Please don't think you can read this story without shedding a tear. If you can, then you are probably made of stone.
Staring deeply into her eyes, Hardy prayed that all he felt for her would show, that she could see what he couldn’t find the words to say. When her lips curved into a tremulous smile, he cupped her face in his hands and pressed his forehead to hers, closing his eyes. Hardy whispered, just loud enough for Miracle to hear, “Someday I’ll marry you, Miracle. And maybe someday after that, I’ll deserve you.”
Although Fragile is told in 3rd person with an insight to only what Hardy is thinking, I felt like I knew Miracle just as well. The author, M. Leighton, must have poured her heart and soul into creating Hardy & Miracle because they were living, breathing people from the first page to the last. The dialog flowed smoothly and all characters used to build the story were thoroughly fleshed out. Best of all, I was told nothing and experienced everything. That is the make-it-or-break-it issue for me when I read a book and Ms. Leighton's presentation kicked ass! Indie authors rock!
Reading this book reminded me why I LOVE indie authors...you just can't get a sweet, touching romance like My Heart for Yours from a book turned out b...moreReading this book reminded me why I LOVE indie authors...you just can't get a sweet, touching romance like My Heart for Yours from a book turned out by a publishing house!(less)
Why didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a rev...moreWhy didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a review here on GR nor have I noticed it being discussed in a thread. O M G why not??!?
Julie Seagle has just moved from Ohio to Boston to begin her freshman year at Whitney College, only to find the "apartment" she had procured online (and paid 1st and last months rent) was a burrito stand! Fortunately, Julie's homeless situation was short-lived, as her mother was able to reach an old college friend living in the area who seemed genuinely happy to have Julie come stay with her family. And so began a year-long journey that was about to change Julie's life forever.
It didn't take long for Julie to realize that the Watkins family was the real-life version of Modern Family - completely dysfunctional but totally ignorant of the fact. Both parents were professionals who showed little compassion for their 3 children, and seemed to be content with being away from home most of the time. Their son, Matt, was a 21-year old college student and extreme techie geek who Julie forged a somewhat tentative friendship with. Their son, Finn, 23, was the free spirit of the group who was off to explore parts unknown and whose bedroom Julie was now "borrowing". Finally, there was the 14 yr-old daughter Celeste, who could only be described as "interesting". Oh yeah...there was one other painfully obvious member of the Watkins family (he sat at the table, he rode in the car)...Flat Finn.
FF (Julie's unappreciated nickname for Flat Finn) was a life-size cardboard cutout of the real Finn that Celeste carried with her wherever she went. While Matt had always had his nose in a book and the parents were busy with their careers, Finn was the fun-loving, carefree brother that always had time for Celeste when she was growing up. Now that Finn was out of school and away from home doing volunteer work in remote, foreign places, Celeste was lonely and missed him terribly... thereby prompting her to order his cardboard twin online.
Julie didn’t particularly care about Flat Finn’s presence. If everyone wanted to act as though it was perfectly ordinary to hang out with a flat, replicated family member, it was fine by her. After all, he was polite, not at all bad to look at, and didn’t hog more than his fair share of the Thai dumplings. Granted, his conversational skills were lacking, but he was probably just shy around new people…
Julie was cool with FF because she knew it was Celeste's way to keep Finn close and the loneliness at bay. however, she was not cool with the fact that nobody seemed to realize and/or care that Celeste was NOT a normal teenager. She did not interact with other kids, she dressed like a 6-year old; and, what infuriated Julie the most was that Celeste never used contractions when she spoke. Frustrated with the lip-zipped family members, Julie sought Finn out on Facebook. Delighted when she found both him and Matt, she sent each brother a friend request.
Matthew Watkins My visit to the O.K. Corral was… well…
Finn is God I “Facebook like” you, but I’m not IN “Facebook like” with you.
Julie Seagle Going to write a book called, “Binge, Screw, Loathe.” It will be about a hateful woman who travels across the U.S. visiting all-you-can-eat brothels.
It didn't take Julie long to completely understand why Celeste missed her oldest brother so much. Finn was witty and charming, understanding, compassionate and genuinely concerned about his baby sister. And, judging by the pictures he posted to Julie, as well as her interacting daily with his cardboard twin, Finn was - by all serious female standards - a total HOTTIE! As time progressed, the casual email correspondence Finn and Julie shared evolved into a personal Facebook chat where they conversed daily for hours. Finn would be home in the summer and Julie couldn't wait to finally meet and touch and kiss the guy she had fallen head over heels in love with.
For all the humor involving Flat Finn and the sweetness of Julie helping Celeste become a normal teenage girl, there is an essential element to this story that is very sad. I caught a glimpse of it coming but I stayed in denial until that was no longer an option. Then I started to cry.
As in buckets.
I...who never used to cry (before discovering indie authors)...was sobbing miserably. I do understand, however, that it was key to the plot and I love this author for pulling it off so beautifully. It also paved the way for a very happy ending!
Thank you, Jessica Park, for writing such a sweet yet poignant,touching story. I loved it and I'm in love with it! I loved how thoughtful and expressive Finn was and how he totally "got" the uniqueness that was Julie. I loved how the chapters began with the trio's Facebook status. I loved Julie's determination to make Celeste happy, even going so far as to put hinges on Flat Finn so he could sit comfortably! And I loved the Watkins brothers and their individual relationships with Julie. When it was over and I was reflecting back on the story, I came to the conclusion that, although extremely understated, Julia ended up with one of the best contemporary romance novel guys ever!
If you love college-age romances with happy endings, and can handle a scene guaranteed to make you cry (not just sniffle), then I recommend this book to you. Seriously, Flat-Out Love is a gem!
Thoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don...moreThoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don't know if it was because Andy Whitfield passed away, or because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11...maybe a bad case of the "Sunday blues" or simply because the angst was ratcheted up so high in the story. Whatever the reason, when all hell broke loose in Chapter 23, the damn burst. Reading with blurred vision is such a bloody nuisance but I had to finish the last three chapters to see if somehow, despite the cheating, deceit and lies, all 3 protagonists were able to find a measure of peace & happiness in the end.
Kiera and Denny, both in their early 20's, have been an exclusive couple for 2 years. When Denny is offered an intern position with a prestigious ad firm in Seattle, Kiera applies for and receives a scholarship to the University of Washington. Leaving small-town life behind they travel across the country...moving in with a close friend of Denny's from when he served as an exchange student in high school. Enter Kellan Kyle...an extremely good-looking, sexier-than-hell lead singer in a local band...and new roommate to the transplanted Ohioans.
What follows is an extremely intense story of a young woman who is torn between her love for two equally-deserving men and their unwavering love for her. There is no menage here, where in a fantasy world Kiera would keep both Denny and Kellan. This isn't erotica, yet the sexual tension is so prevalent and so fine-tuned you'll be buzzing with expectation. Told through Kiera's POV, it is a simple day-to-day story made complex by the unexpected attraction between Kiera and Kellan and the powerful, emotionally high-charged atmosphere that settles among these two as well as the unsuspecting Denny. Fortunately, even with the limited POV,the author won't ever leave you scratching your head and wondering 'what just happened here?' She leaves nothing to speculation and plays the entire drama out in explicit (although somewhat lengthy) detail.
As you can probably guess, there is cheating in this story. And while the idea of cheating in a romance novel might totally turn you off, at least the circumstances that prompt the cheating are not due to the overplayed drunkenness or selfishness or the big misunderstanding...they are simply due to inexperience, vulnerability and the inevitable loss in the struggle to follow one's head and not one's heart. As such, there are no bad guys in the story. Unfortunately, this greatly restricts the reader's ability to justify the cheating; and because of the devastating outcome, it was hard for me to forgive Kiera and be truly happy for her.
This book is angst at its best. I was riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and had to physically unwind & stretch cramped muscles whenever I took a break. But I loved the fact that a story could totally consume me like Thoughtless did...blubbering tears and all. The author, S.C. Stephens really has the ability to express feelings and emotions and internal struggle. She gets to the heart & core of the characters and thoroughly fleshes them out...so much so you will feel like a personal friend to Kiera, Kellan & Denny. Their story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and you will live every moment with them.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!
I finished this book 3 days ago and I'm just now coming out of the stupor that I've been wandering around in since. One Day isn't a book with many gra...moreI finished this book 3 days ago and I'm just now coming out of the stupor that I've been wandering around in since. One Day isn't a book with many gray areas...readers will absolutely love the story or they will hate it. I happen to be one of the former...so much so that I have spent all of my free time in the last 3 days hunting down pictures, articles, interviews, etc, related to the book and the movie adapted from it (opens nationwide August 19th). Since the author of One Day, David Nicholls, also wrote the script for the movie, I have no doubt that this is going to be that rare exception where the movie will be as good or better than the book. The actors they have cast to play the lead protagonists are a perfect fit. In fact, Anne Hathaway loved the book so much, she flew to London to convince the director why she was perfect to play the part of Emma.
The story centers on the lives of two people, Emma Morley & Dexter Mayhew, who meet the night of their college graduation on July 15, 1988. The one-night-stand they attempt to engage in doesn't pan out; instead, they opt for being friends. Little do they know, this "off-the-cuff" friendship they've settled for will cultivate and grow - encompassing Dex, Em and all of the book's readers. Thus, July 15, 1988 marks the day that changes their lives forever. For each year thereafter, the story stops on that same day to check in with Dex and Em.
One Day is a character study like no other. I don't think I've ever read a book where I have known the H/h as intimately as I do Dex and Em. Their hopes and fears, successes and failures - as well as the steadfast bond between them - is all absorbed by the reader. Whether you enjoyed the book or not, I'd wager very few could deny the amazing chemistry between Dex & Em, as well as how thoroughly exposed & vulnerable their feelings become as the years go by. You will laugh a little at them and cry a lot with them. In fact, there comes a point in the story where the laughter will cease but not the tears...definitely not the tears. Even for those of us that normally don't cry at the drop of a pin...you might surprise yourself here. Forewarned is forearmed...have the box of tissue handy!
I am not going to elaborate on the storyline because it isn't one to tell; rather, it is a story readers should experience for themselves. Although it is a fictionalized account, there are situations in One Day that might hit home as being very personal to you. Friendship and love... does one lead to the other or should heading in that direction be avoided? Can they exist synonymously...running deep and true and eternal? Is there one specific day that changed your life forever?
The only genre I read is romance and IMO One Day is a 10-star contribution. However, if you require your romance to be all wrapped up in shiny paper with a big bow on top (like I usually do), I would recommend that you do not read this book. But for those of you who are willing to step outside of the box, you will get an extraordinary, emotionally-gripping, "laughter despite the tears" powerhouse of a novel in return. The cover of the book says it all!
This book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us r...moreThis book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us read to escape to. In fact, it steps way out of the box. It is shocking, it is heart-wrenching, and it will take you to a very dark side of real life that you might not know much about and are probably better off for it. Yet despite all that - or because of it - the sweetest love story takes root from the very beginning of the story, grabs you heart and soul, and doesn't let go until long after you've finished reading the last page. Ryan is a true hero in every sense of the word, and I can't imagine anyone not rooting for him and Sara to find the HEA they so desperately seek and so rightly deserve. If you have a Kindle or Kindle-on-PC, please do yourself a favor and download this book as soon as you can.
First of all, if you are on the fence about whether or not to read this book because it is giving you that "chick-lit" vibe, you can climb down now si...moreFirst of all, if you are on the fence about whether or not to read this book because it is giving you that "chick-lit" vibe, you can climb down now sista and start reading ...this one is all about the romance.
My One and Only is Harper Evan's story, a 33-year-old divorce (and divorced) lawyer living year-round on Martha's Vineyard with her Toto-lookalike dog. She is attractive, successful...but OMG what a force to be reckoned with!. She is cynical, she is sarcastic and she has extreme OCD issues. Having as much to do with her personality as with her profession, she "gives advice" (think "forcing it down one's throat") to family, friends, strangers...wherever she (and only she) thinks it is needed.
Early on, Harper is telling Dennis, her hunky fireman BF of 2 years, that it's time to get married...reading him a list of changes he needs to make before they do the deed, and then whips out the engagement ring she bought for herself! I don't like doormat heroines, but would I enjoy an opposite to the extreme? Fortunately, we learn early on why Harper is so controlling, why she refuses to leave anything to fate, and why she is in the business of breaking up marriages, although to Harper's credit her clients come to her when their marriages are already in trouble, and she simply counsels them with her motto "accept in your heart what your head already knows". (Having been through a divorce, I might have spared myself the unnecessary grief and wasted time spent trying to make the marriage work if someone would have counseled me with that advice.)
Under Harper's many layers of self-imposed protective armor, we find there is a frightened and vulnerable girl beneath who has had her heart broken twice...by the two people she loved the most. Nick Lowery, Harper's ex-husband and the love of her life, is one of those two people. Now Harper is on her way to Montana to serve as maid-of-honor for her sister, Willa, who is marrying Chris Lowery, Nick's brother. Harper and Nick haven't seen each other for 12 years...
This is the first book I've read by Kristan Higgins and I was totally blown away by how talented she is. I admire authors in general simply because they have the ability to come up with an idea that they can stretch over several hundred pages. Then there is that select group of authors who are, to me, what movie stars are to my mother. I want to see them in person...be the first in line to buy their latest books...talk about them, talk with them...be eternally infatuated with each and every one of them because they provide my entertainment, and, therefore, are responsible for a big chunk of my happiness. In short, they are my auto-buys. With one book, Ms. Higgins is in. She is a fantastic storyteller and funnier than hell...which, IMO, is no small feat. I make an effort to avoid authors that try to be funny because it rarely works for me in a romance novel. But KH has that great talent of being subtly funny - kind of in the dry humor family - and I was LOL throughout the entire book! Not a big deal, you say? A common mechanism used by writers? Then let me rephrase that: KH (love the initials) has the unique ability to make you laugh out loud on one page and have you sobbing miserably on the next. No kidding! It happens so many times you are emotionally spent (but in a good way) by the end of the book.
My One and Only is also a great character study. Whether it be the wise-cracking priest, Father Bruce, Harper's Tammy Faye Baker-like stepmother BeverLee, or Nick's half-brother Jason (I wannabe Tom) Cruise, everyone who has a speaking part in this book is a lifelike, 3-dimensional character. Assessing these people through Harper's eyes is a delight, and for the first time I truly enjoyed a book written in first person. Harper is the "smart-ass extraordinaire" and so downright candid that it is a little shocking at first but wicked cool once you get used to it. In fact, I think I was suffering from a little 'heroine worship' there for awhile as she acted out in situations the majority of us would never have the nerve to attempt.
At that moment, Jodi Pickering, Dennis' high school girlfriend and a waitress here, shoved the prow of her bosom in Den's jaw. "Are you all set here, Denny?" she asked, ignoring me and giving my soon-to-be fiance a docile, cowlike gaze. "Hey, Jodi. What's up?" Dennis said, grinning past her 36-Ds to her face. "How's the little guy?" "Oh, he's great, Denny. It was so nice that you stopped by the game the other night. He just loves you! And you know, without a father in the picture, I think T.J. really needs ---" "Okay, we get it, Jodi-with-an-i," I said, smiling pleasantly up at her. "You have an adorable son and are still quite available. Dennis, however, is with me. If you would just take your boobs out of my boyfriend's face, I would deeply appreciate it."
Even Harper's dog, Coco, a tiny Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, had a personality (albeit that of a drama queen).
Though I'd checked on Coco numerous times throughout the day and Dennis had taken her on a few walks, she was in full Chihuahua orphan mode, huge eyes, still body, not raising her head from her tragic little paws, looking at me as if I'd just locked her in Michael Vick's basement...
I realize I'm putting emphasis on the book's humor but overall the storyline is very serious and quite heart-wrenching. This is Harper and Nick's very precious but very sad love story...two people who had found that true, once-in-a-lifetime love together but were unable to hold on. Their siblings' wedding will bring them back together for the first time in 12 years. Will they at least be able to get the closure they both need so desperately?
My throat tightened, and the nearness of him, the only man who ever made me feel cherished...it just sucker-punched my heart. "Sleep tight," I whispered. "You, too." God, I'd missed him. Nick was quiet, his skin as warm as I was cold. We lay like that for a long time, not talking, not moving. The wind blew, Coco adjusted herself and gave a little doggy snore. Nick's breathing was slow and even, and this...the two of us lying together, was as comforting and wonderful as anything I'd ever felt. And horrible, because it brought such a pain to my heart. We'd had something special and rare, Nick and I. There had been more to our marriage than loneliness and tunnel vision and wretched communication skills. There'd been times like this, lying in the dark...together. When I was sure he was asleep, I touched his hand. Just a little, just a little brush of my fingertips against the back of his lovely, wonderful hand. "You asked why I couldn't forgive you," Nick said, very quietly, and I jumped a little. "It was because you were the love of my life, Harper. And you didn't want to be. That's hard to let go."
*sigh* Such a good book. many, many stars ********(less)