Most of AlL You
by Mia Sheridan
Standalone | 352 Pages | Pub. 2017
Book Description (From Goodreads)
A broken woman . . .
Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.
A man in need of help . . .
Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.
Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .
Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.
Our Spoiler-Free Review:
I love Mia Sheridan’s books. Sheridan somehow always manages to wreck my heart and put it back together happier than it was before. Her stories are simultaneously heartwarming and heart wrenching and I wouldn’t want it any other way. And coming from a girl who runs at the first hint of emotion in most cases this is quite a compliment.
While this story is a little slower than Sheridan’s other books and might take you a bit to get into I promise you won’t be able to resist falling for Gabriel. He’s a man who’s struggling to recover from a terrible past and I fell for him so hard. I want to hug him and never let go. While some might not be able to relate to Ellie, I promise you’ll admire her character growth in this book. She’s a resilient heroine who’s strong in different ways than most romance novels.
Overall, this story is about healing and growth. It’s about two characters recovering from their pasts and “choices” and growing to love one another. I loved that Sheridan never shies away from the difficult and didn’t pretend like these characters could snap their fingers and be better – healing is a journey and its often long and hard. Sheridan represents that in this novel and it’s beautiful enough that it even melted my stone cold heart.
If you need a good emotional read check out Most of All You!
Second Chances Duet
by Claire Conterras
Duet |512 Pages | Pub. 2018
Book Description (From Goodreads):
Love and the right timing were two things I didn’t believe in.
Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together.
Timing was never on our side.
My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend.
My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her.
My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn’t built to withstand the winds coming in our direction.
Love and timing.
I didn’t believe in either.
Then there was you . . .
Our Spoiler Free Review
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
I don’t think I have ever screamed and ranted as much as I did when reading this duet. I ended up LOVING this story, but it took a long time to get there.
Tessa and Rowan’s relationship is not what I would call healthy at any point, but I don’t want to judge people’s choices. Lots of us know what it is like to not let go of your first love, even if they are not the best influence on you.
Tessa and Rowan are childhood friends who begin to date their senior year of high school. Typically, they break up before college and miss each other terribly. Tessa is pretty brutal to Rowan in the first book, but to be honest, I never liked Rowan so I am okay with that. You know they are going to work it out, but I kinda didn’t want them to. I wanted Tessa with the brother, Sam.
Neither of them have great examples of what relationships are supposed to look like, which makes Rowan pretty emotionally deficient. He sees nothing wrong with an arranged marriage to support his career goals, leaving Tessa behind to “chase her dream.”
This boy just doesn’t understand that he is her dream.
Ok, I got a little cheesy there. Gag.
Anyway, we do get some fun supporting characters. Celia, Tessa’s sister and Sam, Rowan’s brother are funny and quick. Celia seems to be the only character who has an idea of what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like.
“I’m tired of people judging women who genuinely don’t need men in their lives.”
I recognize tropes as a necessary evil, but there are some that are just not my favorite. One of those was used and almost stopped me from reading the second novella, but I pushed through and was rewarded. The second half was much more enjoyable and Tessa grew into a smart take-no-shit woman who I adored.
If you want a little bit longer romance, pick up this duet for summer!
Have you read Most of All You or Second Chances Duet? Let us know what you thought in the comments!