This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: New Adult Romance
Published by Love Swept
Released on January 20, 2015
The hardest thing she ever did- and she had done hard things- was walk away from the guy she loved, but one year later, he stands before her solid as ever and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Lety may know that she isn’t worth it and that they are all wrong for each other, but Brody knows a whole lot that she doesn’t- he knows that she is the one girl in the world that sees the real him and understands. She can push, but he’s not going anywhere.
Lety and Brody’s story started as background characters in book one, Once Perfect, and they were part of the dramatic scene near the end of the book. I would recommend getting these books in order, but this book is capable of standing alone for the most part.
It opens with Lety returning to school for her Junior year only to find her fiend of a father there causing trouble and making her life miserable. His violence terrifies people and embarrasses her, but it is the proof she needs to warn wealthy, fun-loving Brody that they don’t belong together. Brody disagrees and makes it clear that he’ll give her space, but he’s not going away because there are things in his past that he isn’t ready to share that put them more on equal footing. She knows that he is telling the truth because of the horrific scars he bears all over his back that he won’t talk about.
Lety’s new in-home job for a wealthy client leads her to the physical care of a man paralyzed from the neck down and his son that experienced traumatic brain injury do to a car accident. Lety’s compassion and curiosity are aroused when she sees the odd distance and longing that the husband and wife share along with the wife’s trouble connecting to her little boy. Lety also juggles her RA job at school, her clinicals and her classes all while avoiding her abusive dad, sending money home to care for her doormat mother and staying close to her little sister and her brother with his new businesses, wife and the baby on the way.
Her efforts to push Brody away aren’t successful so she decides that they can try to give it a go around their busy schedules. She withholds her trust by refusing his money and help and she holds back her love because she doesn’t want to end up like her mother. Brody is hurt by the wall she puts up and after learning his past, she knows that of all people Brody understands, but she can’t give him what he wants even while she braces for the time he finally gives up on her.
This story is as deeply emotional and heartwrenching as the first book. I loved it just as much and was glad of the story the author drew out. The story is told first person point of view with Lety as the narrator. This is good because as much as I loved Brody as the romance interest and his strong presence, the story is really Lety’s. She grows up physically abused, but as bad as that is, it is the mental and emotional abuse that really does a number on her. This leaves her nearly broken and unable to deal with emotions and relationships. The author doesn’t sugarcoat it nor does she allow the story to resolve easily. It felt true and real as a result. But it also didn’t feel dismal or hopeless because there is Brody.
Brody was the most dedicated, faithful, patient and loving guy I’ve seen in fiction for a long while. He wasn’t perfect as in without fault, but he stayed by his girl. He knew it wouldn’t be easy or fun and he ran the risk that she would never be capable of letting him in, but he put it all out there even with all that he had going on in his private life. His sense of humor and quick wit cracked me up even while I knew that he, like Lety was hiding a world of hurt behind his smiles and sunny nature. He was gorgeous, knew it and worked it to his advantage with every disapproving person he encountered and I give the guy points, he stood up to Lety’s lethally strong brother, Mateo and stepped in when Teo and Killian were squaring off over the Christmas dinner. It was agony watching Lety push him away, but understanding why she had these self-destructive thoughts.
[quote]My head jerked up. I ignored the pain it caused and melted into Brody’s warm stare filling with tears. “I’m grateful for you, Lety. You came from something horrible and became something beautiful…” Loc 2171 Lety and Brody from Once Loved[/quote]
Only niggle was that I felt a slight disconnect getting the history of the relationship between Lety and Brody in flashbacks. Their meet-up, their early relationship, their first break up and year apart are all told through memories and quick ones at that. I get why and I suppose it didn’t cause trouble with me making a connection, but I just like the ‘boy meets girl’ stuff first hand.
The situation with Carlos is more front and center in this story. He was mean, but he was also dangerous because Lety did what no one else in the family had ever done. She stood up to him by turning him in and starting a case against him. The man was crazed, drugged and twisted and now out for a spot of comeuppance to the child that wouldn’t just rollover and cower. The scenes with him present had my heart beating faster and my nail almost chewed off.
The time spent with Mateo and Evelyn from the first book was nice. I loved to see where things are at with them and seeing their storyline continuing in the background of Letty’s story.
Looking forward, I can’t wait for Sofia and Killian’s story. Good thing he is a huge bruiser of an MMA fighter because Mateo is going to kill him for going anywhere near his baby sister.
In conclusion, it was abso-fab in all its heartcrushing, tender, passionate, humorous, secret revealing and triumphant best. New Adult readers should snaffle this one up quick and I think even Adult Contemporary Romance fans might want to give this a go.
My thanks to Loveswept and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
This was a deeply emotional story due to a girl growing up abused. And for all its romance and ending on a high note, it can still leave a bit of melancholy (sometimes referred to as book hangover) behind with me. Have you experienced that with any books? Do you like reading these ‘feelsies’ or do you skip them for something lighter on the emotions? Anyone else read any of Cecy’s series?
Item Found: Microwave
Books N Tunes
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ Tears of a Clown/Tracks of My Tears
‘not by a long shot’
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