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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times bestselling author L.A. Casey comes an irresistible tale of first love and second chances.

Erin has had a crush on her brother’s best friend Ward for as long as she can remember. But eleven years ago he disappeared from their lives - breaking Erin’s trust, and her heart.

When the person they both love most - Erin’s brother Tommy - is nearly killed in a terrible crash, she and Ward are thrown back together for the first time. Their lives couldn’t be further apart. Erin still lives at home, working two jobs and dealing with a series of family disasters. Ward, now a multibillionaire entrepreneur and a household name, seems determined to make amends - but it may just be too little too late. And while Erin can’t deny feeling a spark at the sight of Ward, is it a spark of love or burning resentment?

At odds with one another but forced to share their heartache, have Erin and Ward really drifted apart forever, or have they finally found the anchor they both so desperately need?

©2018 L.A. Casey (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

NOT A ROMANCE BUT A SAD TRAGEDY

******WARNING******

******SPOILERS ******

If you like Romance, this is not it! This is a tragedy, plain and simple.

I didn't dislike the hero for leaving when he was 19 years old to better himself, but for the betrayal to his best friend and the people he called family.

The hero had his reasons for leaving, but he didn’t have to leave the way he did and when he did it. And he had no right whatsoever to take full credit for a project that was not his alone and which got him started on his path to becoming a billionaire. He doesn’t ever mention his best friend as co-creator of the project, he just takes full credit as the sole creator of it. I don't care about the hero's circumstances, this just killed it for me. He tries later to make amends by shoveling money his friend's way after he feels like crap for being a selfish, thieving @ss, and to assuage his conscience.

There are too many things happening at once: deaths, child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, blackmail, alcoholism, intellectual property theft, and I could go on.

Almost eight hours into the book the hero decides to grow a pair and tell the world that he didn’t create the project by himself, and that his best friend had as much to do with it as he did. I have always disliked people who trample others to get ahead, and those who take advantage and credit for other people's work. Sadly, our hero does just that. For me his redemption comes a little too late.

Also, towards the end, the author decides to kill a character who deserved so much better after all the crap this character has gone through.

One of many examples of why I dislike the hero: He lets a gold digger blackmail him into marrying her instead of letting the truth that he was not the sole creator of the project come out. He would rather marry a snake (to whom he has been engaged for a year) than to do the right thing which is to take responsibility for his theft and lie instead of wanting to keep his squeaky clean image in front of the world.

All of the above are some of the reasons I wouldn't recommend this book, but as it has so many positive feedback, don't let my opinion stop you from listening as you might enjoy this type of story while I do not.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hard Story but a good story overall!

Is this a multi-part story? No
Does it end in a cliffhanger? No
Genre(s) : Drama Romance
Instalove? No
Do the MCs act like: HS, YA, NA or Adult - Preteen to Adult
Was cheating involved? Yes and No but really no
Any major triggers to be aware of? Child abuse / sexual abuse - briefly discuss in light detail
Listening Speed? 1.25

4.5 Stars for me!
My rating range of this story... 3.5 - 4.75 Stars
If significant, why?
Biggest deduction?

Main Character Ratings...
H (Ward) = Start 8/10 to 2/10, Mid to end 8/10
h (Erin) = Start 7/10, 10-50% - 1/10, 70-end 8/10
TSTL Moment(s)? No

Narrator Rating(s)
M (Richard Sawyer) = 8/10
F (Chloe Lynn) = 7/10
If below 5/10, why?

If Comedy... Type? N/A
Funny, Cute, Cringe Inducing, Mixed or Just No!

Angst Level? Heavy
Light, Moderate, Heavy or Please Stop

Internal Monolog/Dialog? Heavy
Light, Moderate, Heavy or Please Stop

Scenes with heat... Yes
When does it start? Sort of 10%, really 50%
How much of the story? 5%
Anything beyond M/F?
If yes, explained

Heat Rating... 6/10
Clean or Fade to Black - 1 or 2
Normal to Descriptive 3-5
Detailed Descriptive Sex - 6-7
Um, Wow, Beyond Descriptive Sex - 8 or above

Was there so much sex or unrealistic sex that you rolled your eyes and/or skipped forward? No

The back story... The h is 11 and has a light crush on her brother's 19 year old best friend (the H) when they get the devastating news of her father's death in a car accident. The H refuses to stay when the brother decides to skip college for now to help with the family. 10 years later, the h's brother gets into a car accident and is in critical condition. The H, now head of a Facebook type company, comes home and encounters an extremely upset h and her dysfunctional mother.

Romance or Gist: Based on the first 40% of the story, I figured there would not be any as the h was insanely angry at the H. Little by little, the H softens her and they fall in love.

The drama explosion... There were several but the Gray's Anatomy ending was probably the biggest.
Did it feel Real, OK or contrived? Real mostly
Was it OTT? Yes
Separation involved? Slight
Was it resolved properly or rushed? Properly

Final Notes... This is a heart wrenching story which covers many bad things that can happen. The h and her family suffer a ton of tragedy, some as a result of poor decisions and refusal to communicate about serious family issues.

HEA or HFN? HEA
Book Source: Kindle Unlimited

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining!

I was following the story with avid interest! I was sad, happy, in tears, and in awe. So many bittersweet emotions and a sweet romance!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Warning - tissues needed

First off I have to say beware of driving and listening to this book because tissues are needed. As difficult as it may be, you are going to want to take this book slow. The author takes her time building the characters that you really feel as if you know Erin, Ward, and Tommy. The story starts with Erin at the age of 11. Sure there is a gap in time but the character development is there, so that you don’t feel as if you have missed that time. There are so many emotions with this story, you really feel for each of them. That was one of the things I really enjoyed about the story was it was a story about Erin, her brother Tommy and his best friend Ward. The author had a few hot and steamy sexy scenes but that was not what this story was about. Life is unpredictable and things may happen that you can’t control.
I so enjoyed listening to the story because the narrators did such a great job in bringing each character to life. I loved the accent of them as well and the way they said various words. They also brought that emotion into the telling of the story, you could hear the laughs and cries. I could listen to them speaking all day.
My only wish was that the author would have extended the last chapter more, like the first chapter was very long, so that a little more was filled in between those last two chapters, but that is just me. The story had a great wrap up after all the emotions through the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Heartbreakingly good!

New author and narrators for me.  Ooh Scottish 😁❤ OH FFS! Have a box of tissues ready for chapter 1 😭😭😭 and keep it handy... 😖 This was not easy to get through because of the constant hardships and secret skeletons. Overall, this was beautifully written and performed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

This book was really good.  I really enjoyed this author and look forward to read more books in the future.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Emotional Goodness!

I knew this one was going to be emotional, but it thoroughly chewed me up and spit me out. I'm complete mush. It's been a while since I've cried so much during a book. It was just what I needed to break up all the dark romances that I've been reading lately.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Black clouds to sunny sky

Don’t let other reviews keep you from giving this book a chance. There are some terribly cloudy days before the sunny days shine on these characters. It’s definitely worth a listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking

loved this book, heartfelt and heart breaking, but still glimpsing hope and happily ever after. Felt like I was part of the family looking in from the outside.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Rekindling a broken friendship

This story is about friendship, loss and pain...but also about forgiveness and healing. This author does a good job handling some very difficult topics. Worth the read/listen.

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  • Avid reader
  • 05-21-22

Brilliantly read with emotion!

one the best audio books I have listened to in ages! very moving and 'real life' storyline that had me engaged from start to finish!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amélia
  • 12-04-21

Woahhh ❤️💔💫

Woah. I read and listened to this book at the same time. As familiar with the Scottish language, I had no problem understanding but for those unfamiliar with it, it may be a bit uneasy to read it but the audio may facilitate that. I didn’t think I would’ve cried so hard at some point in this book. I’ve been heartbroken 💔, smiling, in love, the whole in once. That’s my first book from the author and she made me feel so many emotions at once. If you’re looking for a light book, don’t read it but come back later to this one once you’d feel ready for some emotion. I really enjoyed my reading ♥️

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • FBooks
  • 06-25-21

WOW! So heart felt

There are so many sad moments in this story, it is totally heartbreaking but as the same time it is such a beautiful, emotional and gripping story line that you cant help but want more because it is so utterly captivating and realistic. A must read. I love when audio versions are available on KU, its well worth it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-06-19

brilliant

this was one of the best books I have ever listened too. I have never cried so much. the characters were amazing the storyline grab you from start to finish

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  • Carcoura
  • 06-13-19

A beautiful audio book

I love L.A. Casey's books, and am so glad I purchased the Audible version of this one. The narration was fabulous and added even more depth to an already heartwarming story. Really special.

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