Release Date: February 29, 2020
looked down at that fucking ring, my heart stopped.
Now, she’s back in town and after five years, I had no idea what’d happened.
Instead of her husband standing by her side, holding her hand, there was a
I wanted to know their story.
Because when it came to Melanie, I needed to know every little thing.
I wanted to love this book. The premise had SO much potential, and for the most part the story itself is good. I will say that I absolutely loved all the interactions between Jack and Amelia, Melanie’s daughter. The father/daughter day at her school was especially sweet and made me tear up a little. I actually started out not liking Jack at all, but how he treated Amelia and Melanie won me over quickly.
Now for the rest.
I decided to just copy and paste my notes because it was my honest, raw reactions as I read.
Ch 1- Jack spent less than 5 minutes with Melanie five years ago and barely had a conversation beyond introductions. WTF is he thinking, deciding he’s in love with her and hasn’t dated since? That’s insane.
Then in chapter 2 – “I’m not sure it’s called feelings right now since I barely know her.” NO SHIT
Then turns around and says he’s going to prove to her that she wants him as badly as he wants her.
NO. They had one conversation five years ago, and her husband died suddenly a year ago leaving her with a daughter. SHE DOESN’T WANT HIM.
In the beginning, Jack had a bit of a stalker vibe to him. I cringed at almost all of his narration. And since with the exception of the first chapter, the book is told from his POV only, there was a lot to cringe about. Like I said before, he did grow on me after a while and won me over. But in the beginning I was pulling for Melanie to run and never look back. Also, Max, her brother. Yeah I get the protective older brother thing, especially since they are close and he helped her through the death of her husband, but I hate the whole forbidding friends from dating the sister cliche. If the guy is that bad, why are you friends? Jack is supposedly his best friend of over a decade!
There are more, but those can be summarized easily. The editing in this book is, honestly, horrendous. I was letting it go because ARCs are almost always unedited, and I figured all the errors would be corrected before publishing. Then I reached the end and saw a paragraph thanking her amazing editor. I’m sorry, no. My fourth grader would catch these mistakes in a heartbeat – how did a professional editor miss this, unless it’s the author’s best friend and she doesn’t want to hurt feelings. And if that’s the case, someone else needs to be editing the books for her. Some examples: “dually noted” instead of duly noted. MANY instances of extra words being in the sentence that don’t make sense, or missing from the sentence, as if the sentence was highlighted and retyped but all the words didn’t get selected so they are still in the sentence. Several times the wrong word was used instead of the similarly-sounding correct word. Also lots of punctuation errors – the teacher was consistently referred to as “Miss. White,” apostrophes used for pluralization, random commas in sentences. There’s even grammatical errors in the excerpt below!
Another annoyance that kept taking me out of the story is the timeline. Five years ago Jack and Melanie meet when Jack’s mother is interviewing her for a job in California, where she is moving with her husband in a short time. Five years later she is back in Atlanta with a five year old daughter who didn’t exist before, and she wasn’t pregnant when they moved. And it’s referenced so many times – did no one do the math? Especially when Amelia turns six years old six months after they are back in Atlanta.
In short, if this book was re-edited, it would be so much better. The story itself is really sweet and worth reading for Jack and Amelia’s relationship alone. But the multitude of errors that should never have made it this far, and the horrible beginning, take a lot away from what could have been a great book.
in high school.”
I turned toward Melanie who was staring at me. I wondered how long she’d been
looking on or more so. How long ago did she move her chair to the side of the
table, so we were sitting next to each other, rather than across from each
“I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology myself,” I respond.
“You are?” Melanie cocked her head to the side. A look of disbelief crossed her
face and I tried not to laugh.
“I am. I loved studying about it in college. I took a couple of Greek mythology
classes between History and Literature. I even took a Latin class as well. The
culture intrigues me.”
“Same here. Anything I can get my hands on I love to read or watch about.”
“If that’s the case, I have a comic I’d love to show you. It’s about Persephone
Melanie quickly put her drink down and placed her hand over mine.
“Wait!” There was a stunned look on her face as she reached into her back
pocket, bringing her phone out. It was only seconds before she was shoving the
device in my face, showing me exactly what I’d been about to tell her.
“You mean Lore Olympus?!”
“Yeah,” I laughed at Melanie’s enthusiasm and when she pulled the phone away, I
saw a genuine smile plastered across her face as she looked at me.
“It’s one of my all-time favorite comics and it’s not just the story but the
illustrations as well. It’s just so cool to see the story come to life in a
different way than just words or even so, the way most people read about it.”
“Exactly. We can see these Gods in our time and see them be almost human for a
second. It’s quite a refreshing rendition to the Greek mythology world.”
“Did you see it was being optioned for a show too?!”
“I had not but that sounds exciting. I wonder if it will be animated the way it
is in the comics or if they are going to change it.”
“I hope they’d keep it the way it is but if anything, seeing that story come to
life would be amazing to watch.”
“I hope you wouldn’t make me watch it alone.”
It was a long shot but I stuck the comment out there in the open, hoping with
how this coffee date was going, Melanie would sink into the words and move this
in the direction I wanted it to go.
“Smooth move there, Jack.” She shook her head and leaned in closer to me, just
like she had at the bar. “I said this wasn’t a date.”
“Yet here you are in a dress, sitting next to me, giving me the smile I’ve been
so desperately wanting to get from you.”
“My smile?” She moved her hand to her lips and looked down at her drink.
I reached out, tucking my fingers under her chin and lifting her head up.
“You’re smile, Melanie.” I gave her a small smile myself. “Since I’ve known
you, I’ve never seen the smile you give others directed toward me. Now, you’ve
given me a smile that I’ve never seen you give anyone else.”
Florida, who is determined to write loves that last and are true to everyone
who reads them.
Creative Writing. She has been writing since her freshman year in high school,
where she finished her first and second book. Since then, she has pursued
writing poetry, young adult novels, and romance novels.
for inspiration among the forests, and finding all the new food to eat. Because
what’s better than writing? Eating an amazing burrito.