Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Standalone (part of a series)
Published on: January 24, 2017
Rating: 3.5 STARS
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I have read this author’s other book, Rock Me, and I loved it. I purchased this book not long after it was published. Overall I enjoyed this book. Before I elaborate further, let me tell you first what this book is about. The story is about family, loss, love and forgiveness. It starts with a sudden, heart-breaking loss of Savannah’s brother Tommy Dugas who was a UFC fighter. The conflict arises when the man who was the cause of her brother’s death, Michael Larson, came to the funeral. However, to her surprise, after talking several times and starting to get to know each other, she learns that he is not who she was thinking about. As they get closer, they cannot hide their attraction to each other. Savannah then has to decide whether she wants to be loyal to her family, who still cannot forgive Mike for what happened to Tommy, and set aside her fear of the risk to be with a fighter (considering her trauma with what happened to his brother) or choose to fight for their love and accept him the way he is.
To be completely honest, I didn’t get really emotional while reading this book. But it doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it. I did, but not crazy about it. It really frustrated me because I always long for the moments when I can be really immersed in the story, completely connected with the heroine, be on the journey with her, and forget that it is not real. I want to be crazy about it (emotionally connected with the characters and to the story). But unfortunately, some things kept me from it.
The first reason I cannot connect with this story is because it is written not from her point of view but the third person. It made me disconnected from the story and the characters. Rather than experiencing the story myself, I was feeling like listening to someone else, outside of the story, telling the story to me, that created a long bridge between me and the characters. Since I was emotionally detached, I could not feel their emotions and thoughts. It was unfortunate since I think the idea is original and could’ve been developed better.
The second reason is I think Savannah and Mike’s strangers turned to lovers relationship progressed too quickly considering how difficult the situation they were in. It should have been given more thoughts. I cannot imagine two strangers can quickly develop a relationship in that situation.
The third one is the way Savannah’s family change their minds from hate and anger to forgiveness. Those moments felt too sudden. The explanation behind the decisions, unfortunately, could not help to reassure me. The story seemed to have been fast-forwarded that made it felt not real. Had those happened gradually with some detailed explanations on how the characters were thinking that way and finally coming to that decision, it would’ve made more impact on me.
However, I did enjoy Savannah and Mike’s heart to heart conversations. Those were deep and thoughtful that showed their chemistry.
He watched her, listening intently. No one had ever listened to her the way he did. Like every word was a treasure to be examined and considered.
“Michael, what if part of my healing is you?”
“Then I’m here, darlin’, and I don’t plan on going anywhere. We can give it time,” he suggested as she played absently with one of the buttons on his shirt. “No reason to do anything rash.”
Have I said that Mike is a potential book-boyfriend? 😉 Yep, he is amazing! In addition to the main characters’ heart to heart conversations, Mike is my favorite from this story. Despite his tough fighter persona, he is the man who will do anything for his loved ones and I adored him for it. 🙂