Oh, how I love the sweet sorrow of a second chance romance, my heart racing even before I turn than very first page, but when you add a devilish side of revenge to the mix, you will find me quite literally unable to recognise myself in the mirror from the sheer euphoria that takes over me while devouring such a story. Mia Sheridan has given us a page-turner filled with so many heart-clenching moments that made me whimper in pain, I felt I needed to be sedated before I even reached the halfway mark. And even though the little jabs to my poor heart just kept coming, mercilessly and with no notice, I was addicted to every single sensation, mesmerised by these fascinating characters, the intense emotions that tied them to one another as they kept dancing that devastating line between love and hate. And once it was over, I swear I was ready to read it all over again.
We’d be gone tonight. We’d leave right that very moment. And as God as my witness, I would never beg anyone for anythin’ again. Not ever again.
We meet Brogan Ramsay at seventeen years of age, the son of a gardener, the only son of an Irish immigrant who brought his family to America seeking a better life for them all, only to find solace for his broken heart at the bottom of a bottle. Working and living on a large estate in upstate New York, Brogan fills his days by keeping the property’s expansive grounds in pristine condition, but his nights are spent dreaming of the owner’s only daughter whose every smile sends his heart soaring. One doomed encounter between them, however, changes both their lives forever, and sets the scene for the next time they see one another, seven years later, and under very different circumstances.
My God. He hated me vehemently. After all this time.
Lydia De Havilland might have been raised in comfort and riches, but she left that spoiled, pampered little girl behind when life taught her that nothing lasts forever, and that true loss comes from missing those dearest to her heart. With an older brother as her only living relative and a crumbling family business on their hands, Lydia has devoted her every waking hour to saving their company from ruin, until the rug is suddenly pulled from under her feet, and her only chance of getting it all back is to put herself at the mercy of a man who has hated her for seven long years.
“Here’s my offer: Come work at my home as I used to work at yours.”
Brogan is a man fuelled by anger and revenge. Hunger and despair have driven him to do all he could do to provide for himself and his family in their direst times of need, vowing never to beg for anything in his life again, but the memory of the humiliation, hopelessness, and pain he felt on that one day so long ago have also set his life on a course of vengeance and retribution his broken heart needed to survive. And now that the tables have turned, he finds himself with everything he’s ever wanted, and with all the power lying in his hands, but little satisfaction can be found in his enemy’s misery when his heart refuses to keep hating.
I hated her for manipulating me, for making me hope, and for the weakness I’d felt. And I couldn’t forgive her for it. I wouldn’t ever forgive her for it.
A story of vengeance and survival that shifts slowly into one of forgiveness and regret, but not before pinching our hearts repeatedly with loads of delicious angst, this was a book that I could have re-read five times in a row, without ever getting tired of the storyline, or any less affected by these characters and the powerful emotions running through them. I relished the way Ms Sheridan has given us a hero who never lost his heart and compassion, regardless of how unkindly life had treated him, but I absolutely fell in love with all that she has given us in a character such as Lydia—a resilient young woman who put her pride aside time and time again, out of love, loyalty, responsibility, but never lost that defiant spark in her eye that makes us feel so protective of her.
Somewhere deep inside, I had to believe there existed the sensitive boy I’d once known, even if only a shred of him was left.
Each book in this incredible series has moved me deeply, but this is the one that somehow found all my weak spots, all those elements a story needs to have to keep tugging at my heartstrings incessantly, and it played them like a fiddle. Poignant, romantic, heartfelt, and beautifully written, as always, this book was everything I seek in a great second chance romance. Heart pangs and all.
Sometimes forgiveness meant letting go… Sometimes forgiveness meant holding on.