I’ve had this sucker downloaded to my phone for over a year so figured it was about time to get it done. Note to all: I knew nothing of the plot before going into it because I bought it a year ago and my memory is crap. The guy on the cover looked promising though. So what follows is likely ALL my fault. Or mostly my fault. I will not accept the blame for all of this. Namely the last ¼ when something I anticipated in the first hour comes true. This is the rare case that I will admit that it sucks to be right.
Tristan and Elizabeth do not meet cute. They meet when she hits his golden retriever (which is later described as a “small/med dog” so I am confused. My golden’s have both been large/x-large but maybe I fed them too many treats!). I will admit that I almost deleted the thing off my phone when this happened because I was not up for this, would never be up for this, truth be told. Elizabeth does the right thing and drives him to the vet since he’s running around town without shoes and the vet is a mile away. He verbally abuses her for most of the ride in front of her five year old daughter. Apparently she just ran into the town asshole. Of all the luck. He’s scared and I felt for him but he was being a real dick all the same. Fortunately the poor dog only has a fracture but what a completely crappy way to start out a romance! Tristan is so emotionally fragile that he breaks down into big heaving sobs when he hears that his dog is ok. Yikes. My heart was not ready for this level of heartbreaking sorrow and it only gets more crushing from there.
These two are so broken and so emotionally raw that it is painful to read their stories. Both have lost their spouses in a car accident. Tristan actually lost his 8 year old son and his wife. Neither are dealing with their grief very well. He has channeled his into anger and she is a walking zombie. The first half is so grief laden it is almost physically painful to read. They forge an unhealthy relationship based on sadness and sex. It’s frankly creepy and very freaking sad and it continues to hurt to read about these two. They eventually realize what they’ve been doing is not a good idea and forge a real friendship that turns into something more and I LOVED this. I was ready to give it 4 ½ stars. It was gorgeous and heartfelt and full of healing goodness. The book should’ve ended right here but sadly it didn’t.
Someone mistakenly thought that adding in some crazy plot twists, suspense and loads of unneeded drama were needed and turned the lovely ending into a shitshow of epic proportions before finally giving us a HEA in the epilogue. I’m bumping off a full point for all of this nonsense.
So anyway, if you want some drama in your reading life and need to shed a few tears then read this. The characters are very well written, well matched and the romance believably developed. The little girl, Emma, was the kind of child that I actually enjoy reading about in romance. She’s funny and loves scary movies and monsters and dogs. She is awesome and I want to read her book someday. There’s also an ongoing thread featuring feathers that will gut you every time they appear. It’s all worth reading. Just be warned that the first third, as my notes say, and my notes do not lie, is “so fucking depressing I may as well be reading a bleak horror novel.” The next bit is five star material and so beautifully cleansing after all of the pain but argh that last bit before the very end needed to be exorcised right out of the book!