I am on such a book high, I could scream!!! Who knew a book I accidentally picked would end up turning me into a hermit for two days and then rocking my world to a point where I have no desire to start another?! This story was everything I seek, need, hope to find in a romance book, and then some. A modern fairy-tale of second chances at love, of true love surviving time, distance, life – from the very first page I was hopelessly captivated and unable to step away.
Liv is a modern-day independent woman. A self-made entrepreneur, she spends her days working at her diner/bar, successful in her business venture but struggling to achieve any real work/life separation. When her latest relationship fails due to infidelity, Liv finds herself wishing for a change, aware that something is painfully lacking in her love life, but unable to pinpoint the missing piece. And then one day, her childhood sweetheart, the only man she has ever loved, contacts her by email and everything changes.
“Looking back, and comparing that innocent love to my relationships since, it still feels like the only real love I’ve ever experienced.”
Danny has loved Liv since he was six years old. Inseparable from the moment they met, best friends at first, they were each other’s first love, but also each other’s first and only heartbreak. When Danny moved away with his family, he left a broken young woman behind who hid her own pain for his sake, his own heart even further shattered by her apparent indifference. They then lived apart on different continents for twelve long years, pursued their passions in life, made new friends, even dated other people, but never quite got over the one that got away. Both convinced to have loved the other more, they spent their adult life allowing that misconception to grow into a deep-seeded insecurity, believing the only real love they’ve ever experienced to have been one-sided.
“I know he meant more to me than I meant to him, way more.”
And then one day they are standing before one another, one look and every emotion they’ve ever felt for each other rising to the surface as if no time has passed. Their lives suddenly make sense again and their hearts no longer ache. They easily step back into the kind of relationship they should have had all along, quickly and effortlessly fitting into each other’s lives and plans for the future, their physical connection cementing a bond that was already bullet-proof.
“What is the accepted length of time before you change your life to be with the person you love? A day was all I needed.”
But soon old demons come knocking at their door, bringing back a decade of doubts, insecurities and dreads, their worse fears easier to believe than what is blatantly obvious to everyone around them. Told from both points of view, we get to see almost every scene from Liv and Danny’s eyes, giving us unique insight into both characters, knowing what they are feeling, thinking, stressing over, this only adding a further layer of intensity to already deeply emotionally charged scenes. This is not a story where the reader takes sides, there is no right or wrong in this scenario – we fall in love equally with both Liv and Danny, understanding what is in both their hearts and seeing where their actions stem from. As we watch them make up for lost time, we cannot help but feel every emotion, every beautiful nuance of their newly found-again love as time goes by, and we love every poignant moment of it.
“I can’t be any other way around her.”
Even though I am normally not a fan of social media references in contemporary literature, in this book they are utilised to aid the plotline, sparingly but purposefully, and they fit the story brilliantly. I won’t lie to you, this book ends with a dreadful cliffhanger, one that would have made me break something had I not had the sequel readily available to me. But I honestly feel that sometimes you need to fall before you can fly, and that only a storm could force Liv and Danny to let go of their past.
“I told you I had to finish something I started a long time ago… so here I am.”