If there’s anything that exemplify a good second chance at love theme should look no further than my own experience with a Lauren Layne book. This wasn’t my first LL book. The first book I read from her was the book entitled Only With You from her Best Mistake Series. Let’s just say, it didn’t quite register with me to say the least.
But when I read the blurb for this book, I knew had to read it. It called out to me. Forgive me for being melodramatic, but yeah, it has everything I want in my romance. And I’m a sucker for a good second chance love story that has impossible odds, and when it comes to impossible odds Alex and Emma’s story is it. I mean, how do you exactly forgive someone who who left you at the altar five years ago on your wedding?
The moment I started reading it, I could not put it down. This book exceeded my expectations. I laughed, cried and my heart rejoiced when Alex and Emma finally got their hard-earned HEA.
Five years ago, Emma experienced one of the most humiliating thing a woman could experience: She was left standing at the altar. After that incident, Emma became an ice queen and expert on all things break-up and ex related at Stiletto Magazine. She keeps herself from any emotional entanglements especially since Alex, the one who left her in that altar, works in the same building as her. Circumstances forced them to not only work together but to become neighbors are well, threatening Emma’s carefully constructed world.
Alex, for his part, felt he was the injured party. Emma left and cruelly rejected him on the eve of their wedding. And like Emma, he’s managed to cultivate a calm and collected facade but inside, it was another matter. With Emma being in close proximity, Alex’s reserve is tested every time they are together. And since they share a common group of friends, they are forced to spend time together. And the more time they spent with each other, the more those feelings come to surface, especially the ones they buried long ago. Slowly but surely, Alex and Emma learned that some things aren’t quite what they appear to be and they must come to terms with the feelings they tried to bury inside.
This book was about them reconnecting, confronting and finally understanding what really happened all those years ago. As the reader, I was very curious why Alex left her at the altar. What really happened? I was very tempted to hate Alex for what he did but alas, there was a deeper reason there. Of course, I was Team Emma all the way but I did understand a bit how and why it ended that way.
Lauren Layne did a fantastic job at setting up the tension between Alex and Emma. It was delicious. And then there’s the Stiletto girls who rallied around Emma. I loved their friendship. It’s very rare to have that positive female relationship being emphasized along with the conventional love story between the two main characters. Yeah, I’m also a sucker for books that feature a group of women friends.
Emma was written really well. She’s a very sympathetic character and I think every reader can relate to her on some level. Her loneliness, her drive, her devotion to her career, her friends, and her tenuous relationship with her family are all very relatable. I always have a soft spot for ice queen characters because they’re always the ones that hide the deepest hurts that you just want to reach inside your Kindle and give them a hug.
Alex Cassidy was less developed than Emma but he still won me over especially with his sweet gesture at the end. Being the vindictive bitch that I am, I wanted him to suffer a little more but guys…both of them already suffered a lot because of their immaturity in the past and by 50% I already wanted them get make up, kiss up and make babies together.
In other words, Alex and Emma are of those book couples that are truly meant to be. You kinda feel that if they don’t get their shit together, then they’ll be doomed to suffer for the rest of their lives and the reader along with them. So despite this book not having the conventional “grovel” that I tend to enjoy, I want them to be together so much it really didn’t matter just as long as I got my HEA. Don’t worry though, their HEA was very satisfying and very sweet, it’ll make you giddy with happiness.
I totally fell in love with the writing and the characters and I’m still kicking myself for not reading this series sooner. I definitely have a lot of catching up to do. And although, this is already the fourth book in the series, I did not get lost at all considering I didn’t read the first three books in the series.
Definitely recommended for readers who like something light with a bit of angst thrown in. Now excuse me while I buy the rest of the series…
Rating: 5 Stars!
ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley