Loving every single book an author has ever written is daunting at times because you are always dreading that no story could ever match the quality of the last one. But book after book, Ms Glines keeps delivering such distinctive love stories, her trademark style recognisable from a mile, but each time injecting something new, something unexpected, something utterly addictive into these stories to keep us glued to our chairs and totally oblivious to the world around us. Apart from this being one of the most beautiful romances she has ever written, this book is also her most heart-wrenching one. Every part of this story touches your heart, confronts you with your worst fears as a woman, and then leaves you in a daze of blissful optimism and irrepressible cluckiness.
“I was a bastard, a heartless bastard. I didn’t deserve her, but I wanted her more than I wanted to breathe.”
Grant Carter is a broken man. His actions have driven the love of his life to flee from him and seek solace at her brother’s farm in Texas. But a broken heart is not all that Harlow is suddenly faced with, her passionate but short-lived affair with Grant having opened the one door she never even hoped of peeking through. And she has no intention of closing it, whatever the cost.
“I loved Grant Carter. I loved him so much. But I loved someone else just as fiercely.”
We watch the young lovers suffer acutely from the separation, desperately missing each other, wishing they never parted ways, but Harlow’s priorities have shifted now and she remains determined to stay hidden from the man she still loves and the media that is still hounding her. Grant, on the other hand, would give anything to find her—he leaves her daily messages, professing his love, apologising, begging her to call him, hating himself for allowing his fears to push her away, all in the hopes she would give him one more chance at showing her what she means to him.
“If I could hear your voice tonight, Harlow, if I could just hear you tell me you’re OK . . . I would be better. I would be able to take a deep breath. Then I’d beg. I would beg you to love me. I would beg you to forgive me.”
When they finally reunite, their love is the only thing they can both count on as everything else unexpectedly hangs in the balance, and their future together remains uncertain. As we witness their struggle to stay positive, to believe that fate wouldn’t have brought them into each other’s lives only to take it all away, we also get to feel their every fear, their every doubt, their every heartbreak. And this book will most certainly make you feel. There are parts of it that made me cry like a baby, there are others that are so emotionally intense that they made my chest tighten in pain, and then there are moments in the story whose sheer beauty left me utterly speechless.
“… I don’t accept that I won’t get forever with you.”
This book is quite the departure from its relatively light-hearted prequel. While in the beginning of their relationship the focus stayed on the chemistry between these characters and the irresistible attraction that wouldn’t allow them to be apart, this part of their story is all about the emotions, the sacrifices, the dreams, the hopes. Grant started off as an ‘acquired taste’ type of hero, one who acted on impulse and made a million mistakes in the process, but in this book we get to see a different side of him. His remorse and fear of losing the woman he loves change him, set his priorities straight and show him what his life would look like without her. Harlow, on the other hand, has always been a fearless heroine, a young woman used to looking after herself, and that aspect of her personality gets only amplified once she is forced to make some difficult, life-altering decisions. But we also get to see a softer side of her, a more vulnerable one, making her one of the most commendable female leads I have ever come across.
This story truly caught me off guard, I never expected it to take the turn it eventually ventured on, and every single second of it was a thrill to read. So, dive in, brace yourselves for your hearts to be stretched to their limits, but know that you’ll be alright in the end, because there is no greater romantic among us than Ms Glines herself.
“If we have a lifetime or only a few moments together, you will be the most important thing that ever happens to me in this life.”
I wished Mase understood. I hated seeing the fear flash in his eyes every time he glanced down at my stomach. He was terrified because he loved me. I didn’t want to scare him, but he had to trust me. I could do this. From sheer willpower alone, I could have this baby and live. As if Mase could hear my thoughts, he jumped down off the horse and leveled his gaze on me. Always the concern. I watched as he led the horse back into the barn. We had been out here all morning, and now it was lunchtime.
Mase’s stepfather had given him some land at the back of their property, and Mase had built a small log cabin on it.
Luckily for me, his thirteen-hundred-square-foot home had two bedrooms. No one knew about this place, since it was tucked out of sight, so when the media showed up at Mase’s mother’s front door, she just told them neither of us was there, and if they didn’t get off the property, she would call the police. Now that the media knew me as Kiro’s daughter, it was harder to hide.
Since then, it had been silent. We didn’t go into town, and I had been able to hide out in Mase’s log cabin. Other than the visit to the ob-gyn, which Mase’s mother took me to, I had been staying in seclusion. Dad had called a few times. I hadn’t told him about the pregnancy, but I had just found out myself last week.
Mase wanted to tell Kiro. He was sure Dad could force me to have an abortion. I knew it was pointless. I knew in my heart what I was going to do. No one was going to change that. And if my willpower to live wasn’t enough, my baby would be loved. The one person standing by me in all of this had assured me that she would raise this child and love it as if it were her own. Maryann Colt was the mother every kid deserved. When I was little and would visit Mase, his mother would make us cookies and take us on picnics. She would tuck us in at night, and after she would kiss Mase’s cheek and tell him she loved him, she would do the same to me. As if I belonged there.
And Maryann knew what it felt like to be a mother. She understood the need in me to protect this baby. She had held my hand when they confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. Her tears hadn’t been of sorrow but of joy. She had been happy for me because I was happy. That evening was the first time I had ever heard Mase fight with his mother. Maryann had stood by me while I explained that I wasn’t having an abortion. Mase had been furious. He’d ended up begging me to reconsider.
I knew that Grant would be worse. Telling myself that he had forgotten me or that he didn’t care was pointless. I knew better. He still called me every day and left a message. He wanted forgiveness and was possibly ready to take that chance of loving someone with my condition. But now the risk was so much greater. In the end, I didn’t think he would have enough strength to stick it out. I couldn’t forget the words he’d said to me the last time I’d seen him. Our chance was over.