She broke our hearts, she took him away from us and made us all blubbering messes in the wake of one of the most startling events in the entire Rosemary Beach series, but we knew along she would make it up to us, and when Abbi Glines decides she is going to make us feel, she takes no prisoners. In another brilliant instalment in a most-beloved series, we are back in the world of the Rosemary Beach crew, and this time around, two of their own need to find their way back to each other. This is a story of second chances, of putting back the pieces of one’s broken heart, and of healing in the arms of the one who never gave up on their love. It’s an emotional book, one that might or might not make us cry, but it will make amends for everything that its prequel has taken from us. And then some.
“I’m done running, and there’s nothing for me out there. What I want is in Rosemary Beach.”
When Tripp Newark left his childhood home in search of himself and to escape his controlling family, he left his girl behind. Three years her senior, Tripp never expected to fall for the brown-eyed beauty raised in a world so different from his own, but one look at her and he was lost. One summer together is all they ever got, but that is all it took them to fall in love and become inseparable. She gave him her innocence, he stole her heart and promised her a forever, but then one day he just took off and left her behind to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and to fend for herself. Eight years later, Tripp returns to Rosemary Beach, tired of running away and determined to fight back for the girl he still loves. But that girl is not the same girl any longer, the pain from losing two great loves in her life having changed her, made her numb to the pain and anger that ravished her gentle soul.
“You want that girl you left behind. I’m not her! Don’t you get it? She’s gone. I’ve lost her. I made choices that made me an awful person. I’m not worth all this time and energy you’re wasting.”
Once an naïve and impressionable young woman, Bethy Lowry’s life has never gone as she hoped, loss and grief hardening her heart and teaching her to shut her emotions off in order not to drown in them. She wallows in her pain, becoming emotionally catatonic and self-destructive, and when her first love suddenly returns to town, her already fragile defenses start crumbling down, his very presence in her everyday life being a constant reminder of everything she has lost and would never get back. The more Tripp pushes her to admit her feelings for him, the more she shuts him out, the memory of their time together only digging an even deeper hole in her own pit of guilt and despair.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to get over you.”
However, some things are worth fighting for, patiently, sensibly, lovingly, and Tripp is a man who is willing to do all that he can to make sure that the love of his life gets better, that she is happy again, that she forgives him for his mistakes, even if she never ends up becoming his again. He is gentle with her, gives her all the time and space that she asks of him, but he never makes her question his devotion to her or what he is willing to do to make her love him again.
“We may have been kids, but what I felt for you was real. It never changed or faded. Not once.”
In true Abbi Glines fashion, we are given a beautiful story of redemption, of second chance at love, life, happiness, and these characters unsurprisingly embed themselves into our hearts from the very start. The whole story focuses on the emotional journey of these leading characters, but all the other characters are also offered closure over the very event that broke them all collectively. It is a story that is born out of tragedy, heartbreak, an incident that affected each person differently, but all of them permanently, and it paves the road for them all to get rid of the burden of that pain and guilt, and finally heal. I could not help but sigh at the end of this book, my heart clapping in my chest like a happy seal. I loved every word, every sliver of pain, every ray of hope, and I loved loved loved that what we are given in the end balances out what was taken from us in the first place.
“Things worth having don’t come easy. You have to fight for it until you’re tired of fighting, and then you take a breather and fight some more.”