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Synopsis: Emmalyn Chase has a six month expiration date with men. She’s out celebrating the loss of her latest boyfriend with her friends when she runs into Lukas Upton, the old flame that broke her heart into a million pieces. Her mind threatens to fall back into the dark place it created when he left.
Despite Em and Lukas’ best intentions, fate has decided their fairytale isn’t over. Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way. While Em battles depression and her conflicting feelings for Lukas, Lukas struggles against his history of unreliability and indecision.
As Em and Lukas seek to redefine their romance, they find out how hard it can be to hold on to true love.
Robert turned to Emmalyn, concern written all over the deep frown in his forehead. “Are you okay? You want me to kick his ass?”
Zavia, Robert and Emmalyn grew up together, the threesome meeting in the second grade, when Em’s mother moved the family to the Charlotte suburbs shortly after divorcing Em’s father. Robert had a crush on Zavia for as long as any of them could remember. For Zavia though, it wasn’t love at first sight because she didn’t want the boy next door, but as they all got older and entered high school, and then college, she realized he was always the one for her. Robert’s 10th grade growth spurt that included facial hair and muscles didn’t hurt either. They married right after college and had their son, Jared, five years later.
“Robbie, not to be mean, but I’m pretty sure he’d pummel you.” Em smiled at him, a full smile, to soften the blow.
“He may be bigger than me and work out and all that, but I’m scrappy.” He flexed his skinny arm muscles, causing both women to burst out in laughter.
“Of course you are sweetie. I don’t think any fighting is necessary. What happened at the restaurant was just… an unfortunate series of events.”
“Yup, just call me Lemony Snickett,” said Em sarcastically from the backseat
“Emmalyn, I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. I know how much you loved him. But you did the right thing then.”
“Oh really? How can you be so sure?”
“Because I told you to do it. That’s how. And we can all agree I’m always right.” Zavia smiled at her friend and tried not to remember the frighteningly dark period Em went through when she and Lukas broke up five years ago.
Em had always struggled with bouts of depression — especially after her father’s death. After Lukas left she wasn’t much more than a ghost – going to work and home, never stopping anywhere or going out, for almost a year. Em was always so afraid that she’d run into Lukas that she stopped going anywhere they’d ever been together, going so far as to have her groceries delivered. She slept if she wasn’t working and it seemed as though she’d never break out of the gloom that surrounded her. During that time Lukas was transferred to an office on the other side of the country, and Zavia and Isabel were finally able to coax Em out of her funk.
Zavia did not want to go through that again. She needed to talk to Isabel before they took Em home.
“I’m going to run upstairs and see what is taking Isabel so long.” Zavia jumped out of the truck before either Robert or Em could respond.
“That was random,” Robert remarked before going back to scrolling through emails on his phone.
Em smiled at Robert. He really had no clue. “Not really. Zavia is going upstairs to tell Isabel what I should and should not be allowed to do over the next forty-eight hours.”
Robert paused but didn’t look up from his phone. “You’re not going to go after them are you?” He finally looked over at Em, who had a bemused look on her face.
“Nope. I know better than to try and stop Zee when she is in mothering mode. Besides, I’m not really in any position to argue that I can take of myself, am I?”
A BOOKAHOLIC’S FIX REVIEW
I’m going to go ahead and say that I feel this is a four-star read so that anyone reading this doesn’t get the wrong idea from the next section. I try to remain as objective as possible when I’m reviewing because I believe all writing deserves to be assessed on its merits.
This is one of those stories that appeals to a certain type of reader–and I’m not that type. I guess I agreed to review based on the title alone and didn’t bother reading the blurb or even glancing at the genre. While I read a lot of contemporary romances, I’m not the chick-lit type–hell, I’m not the chick-anything type. (I’ve never read or watched a Nicholas Sparks book/movie adaptation… Gimme James Bond, Han Solo or John McClain any day.)
The book was written well enough. I did come across typos but since it was an ARC, I tried to ignore the majority of them in hopes they were fixed before publication. I will say some are tense related though and that made reading troublesome at times.
The characters were a little underdeveloped. Some of the issues Em’s friends had with Lukas seemed a little over the top. I realized later on their objections had merit, once more of the backstory was revealed. If the details of Em’s mental instability had been highlighted earlier (and even expanded on beyond what we get) it would have come off more as protectiveness instead of extreme bitchiness.
The first third of the book is drama-centric. It revolves around the melodrama of the failed relationship and without a lot of detail, it comes off more like drama for drama’s sake. Again- just not my thing. I finally got into the story about half way through and that is when I started seeing just how well the story itself was constructed. I found myself wanting to watch the rest of the story unfold.
I did have some issues suspending disbelief during the events that lead up to the story’s conclusion. The way it played out suggested an earlier time period than the rest of the story making the ending seemed forced instead of organic. But I did like the emotion the author poured into the last half of the book, it shifted the focus where it needed to be- on the future of Emmalyn and Lukas.
About Lori Hendricks
LA Hendricks is an IT project manager by day and science fiction/fantasy novelist by night. A longtime lover of words, she reads science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels regularly (when there is time). When not reading, writing or working, LA can most often be found watching football or basketball with her adorable cat, Mona.