I don’t even know where to begin with this, so forgive me if this review is a little rambley.
One thing I love about Claudia’s books is that the characters are real, and flawed, and their issues affect their relationships in realistic ways. These aren’t books with neat, clean, “I’m in love so everything is roses and rainbows” HEAs, but have more depth and substance to them. Her characters struggle, make bad decisions with good intentions, and work to overcome their issues so they can live their best lives. I love that – it’s important to read books like this, as opposed to books that hint at “baggage” as plot devices and gloss over everything for a pretty ending.
However, these same books can punch you in the gut with their honesty and rawness.
Abby and Wes are best friends. Abby came to Wes’s family as a 17 year old foster child. She learns from Wes that he was also a foster child, adopted by his family at age 5. He assumes they have similar pasts, since she exhibits some of the same coping behaviours he did in the past, and it turns out he’s the one who can calm her down and get through to her the most when she has panic attacks and night terrors. Their relationship grows over the years to best friends, with Wes visiting Abby all over the world until she finally moves back to Denver to work for Wes at the family corporation, a year after the death of his father.
However, in Denver Abby is haunted by the monsters of her past, and seems to worsen. Wes has fallen in love with her over the years, but is content with supporting her as her friend and tries to “fix” her. Abby is afraid to let him know the truth about her past and resists.
I went into this knowing that it’s the first part of a duet, thus ending on a cliffhanger which I normally hate. I was prepared this time, though, and am anxiously awaiting the sequel of this fantastic story! I wan to know what happens next, if Abby gets the help she needs, and Wes, too – he insists he’s dealt with his past and he was very young, but he has a bit of a saviour complex. I also want to read more about Sterling, his younger brother.
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