What a truly spectacular read this was! A new author to me, a new fictional world to now obsess over—this was a story that hooked me in from the very first page, and I never wanted it to end. From the impeccable characterisation of its key players—fascinating, realistic, and perfectly imperfect—to a heart-warming, multi-layered storyline that tugs at every last one of our heartstrings, I rarely find myself enjoying a book so completely, so fervently, and with such abandon, but everything about this story ‘got to me’, and made me fall in love with this author’s competent writing style. A great start to a new reading year, an automatic addition to my all-time favourites.
“When you’re made to feel like the worst sort of idiot, the biggest kind of failure, for showing any time of emotion—even tears at your mother’s funeral—you learn pretty quickly that if you don’t have feelings, then they can’t be destroyed.”
Raised by an emotionally abusive tyrant of a father and an absent mother, and conditioned to believe she would never be worth time or effort from anyone, Sayer Cole has had a lifetime of being made to feel lacking in every aspect of her personality. Being taught from birth that showing emotions was the ultimate sign of weakness has left Sayer entrapped in a carefully crafted shell of self-control and perfection that serves to distance her from everyone around her. But when she learns of the existence of a long-lost brother, she does not hesitate to uproot her entire life in order to find him, leaving behind a structured and predictable existence in favour of the mere possibility of finding someone who has the power to make her feel a little less alone in the world.
“Control was everything to me, and Zeb Fuller made me want to lose it even when he was sound asleep in his own bed all the way across Denver.”
But nothing prepares Sayer for Zebulon “Zeb” Fuller, her brother’s lifelong friend, their immediate attraction leaving her flustered and unable to stop fantasising about him. The owner of a successful construction business, Zeb is a ‘fixer’ by nature and a firm believer in second chances—both in relation to old buildings that without his restoration skills would be left to decay, as well as giving people a chance to correct past mistakes—and he has spent the past seven years trying to prove to himself and to others that his own past does not define him. Until that very past suddenly comes knocking at his door and changing his life forever.
“I would craft her, mold her into something that was made up of nothing more than desire, want, need, and satisfaction if she gave me the opportunity.”
Now forced to work together and spend more and more time in each other’s company, it remains as clear as day that they are each other’s opposite in every single way, yet their attraction never dims or becomes anything less than visceral on both sides. But while Sayer fights that attraction by locking her feelings in and hiding them under a façade of cold professionalism and emotional distance, Zeb is a man used to knocking down old walls, and Sayer might very well be the greatest and most rewarding project of his life.
“She was like the best treasure, the greatest gift I had ever been handed, and I absolutely planned on appreciating every single part of her.”
A stunning love story, complex and emotionally satisfying cover to cover, this book is the full package. The perfect balance of steamy romance and engaging plotline, I never stopped feeling while reading this book, and could not put it down even for a second. The author excelled in giving these characters life, their every trait jumping off the page and instilling itself into our hearts. Their every vulnerability, their every hang-up and flaw serves to make them even more ‘real’ and compelling in our eyes, and we never stop feeling invested in their story. I adored this book, absolutely loved every word in it, and would recommend it unreservedly.
“You are more than one thing to me and I want all of them.”