When I read the sypnosis of this book, it sounded just like a book I would love. It was so much more though! This book was even better than I expected. It was my first book by this author and I was pleasantly surprised!
This is the first time in awhile that the person a cover of a book, actually matches how I think a character would look. It was a nice surprise, because it doesn’t happen that often.
The first pages of this book broke my heart. We don’t read what happens, but it can’t be anything good. Claire experiences a tragedy no parent ever wants to think of. She loses her daughter Abby. This book starts three years later and Claire is doing her best to get by day by day. She teaches a lot and is going nuts when she actually has to spend some time free during the summer. Claire isn’t really sure what she’s supposed to do with her time. Then Aiken moves in next door. He seems to be a lot younger than Claire, but not by much. After losing her daughter Claire doesn’t think she deserves a second chance at happiness, but Aiken is making it hard for her to resist the feelings that have been rising. Aiken is on a journey of his own, but this some how lets them bond. I love how this book shows the journey a person can go through after tragedy strikes. Aiken sees a woman who is in pain, but also wants to grow. I loved how Aiken pushed her at times, but knew when to back off. I also loved reading about Claire’s career. I studied something similar, so it was fun to have a character that is into something similar. The way the characters developed and the story unfolded, was at a perfect pace. I loved how everything developed slowly. Yes, Aiken and Claire had an instant connection, but it wasn’t instalove. Aiken really worked for Claire and they took it step by step. Near the end there was a plottwist I did not see coming. The author handled that very well and I am happy Claire got her closure. I really hope the author is planning on giving Mary a book though. After that ending I need to know more!
Claire has experienced every mother’s worst nightmare, but is still trying to live day by day. She feels guilty for wanting a moment for herself the night it happened and can’t help but wonder if she had done something different that day if the outcome could’ve changed. Work has become her life and she doesn’t see herself having another happily ever after. Aiken kind of scares her. He is making her feel things she hasn’t felt for awhile, but she feels guilty for feeling these things. How can she be happy when her daughter isn’t alive anymore? Claire grows so much in this book and is finally realizing she can move on without feeling guilty. Abby would want her to be happy. It’s nice to see she finally finds a little bit of peace. She is stronger than she thinks and starts to realize that.
Aiken seems like he’s still pretty young, but he’s 30 and has a lot of history of his own. His father was always waiting for his mother to come home, but she never did. Aiken moves to see if he can find out more about this woman who left him when he was 4 and is surprised to find Claire. Aiken is such a sweet and sensitive guy. He is patient and only want the best for Claire. Together they work on their demons and during that journey he finds something more. He may not get the ending with his mother that he wants, but he finds closure. I don’t think anyone would mind having him move next door, haha. Aiken is the type of guy that can tell when he needs to push or let things go. He will do anything for a person he loves and won’t give up. Another bookboyfriend to add to my list.
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Rachel Blaufeld is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense, New Adult, Coming-of-Age Romance, and Sports Romance. A recent poll of her readers described her as insightful, generous, articulate, and spunky. Originally a social worker, Rachel creates broken yet redeeming characters. She’s been known to turn up the angst like cranking up the heat in the dead of winter.
A devout coffee drinker and doughnut eater, Rachel spends way too many hours in local coffee shops, downing the aforementioned goodies while she plots her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end as lusciously as her treats.
As a side note, Blaufeld, also a long-time blogger and an advocate of woman-run anything, is fearless about sharing her opinion. She captured the ears of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog, BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and running a business, often at the same time. To her, work/life/family balance is an urban legend, but she does her best.
Rachel has also blogged for The Huffington Post and Modern Mom. Most recently, her insights can be found in USA TODAY, where she shares conversations at “In Bed with a Romance Author” and reading recommendations over at “Happy Ever After.”
Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two beagles. Her obsessions include running, coffee, basketball, icing-filled doughnuts, antiheroes, and mighty fine epilogues.
When she isn’t writing, she can be found courtside, tweeting about hoops as her son plays, or walking around the house wearing earplugs while her other son, the drummer, bangs away.
Connect with Rachel:
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TunnelVIPS/
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If you love a good romance, with a little bit of heartache, but more happiness along the way and a twist near the end you don’t see coming, this is a book for you!