The first half of this book is pure perfection, everything I could want in a romance novel – complex characters, a unique premise, CHEMISTRY that jumps off the page, and dialogue that makes you feel like you’re experiencing the love story as it develops in real time. I absolutely DEVOURED it, loving how much I was able to root for a hero who I previously would’ve considered irredeemable (if you’ve read Stealing Her, you’ll have a richer understanding of Julian, but this easily stands on its own). The second half, oh man, is an emotional push/pull that frustrated me more than once but kept me completely engaged and will quite possibly make you ugly cry. So, you’ve been warned.
The story follows Julian, a man who had all of the things a person could want in life – money, power, the love of a good woman – and he took it all for granted. After waking up from a coma, he realized that life went on without him… and became better for some of the people he loves. Single and heartbroken after the death of his mother and the end of his relationship, Julian heads to a cabin to get away from it all… only someone else had the same idea. Keaton lost the love of her life to cancer, and she’s grieving just as much as Julian. These two are different in so many ways, but find a connection in their heartache, and possibly a love that is stronger because of their losses.
It’s an incredibly moving book, and Rachel Van Dyken’s writing skill is showcased in a big way – there are some light and playful moments, some tenderness, some gut-wrenching angst, and a romance that develops over time. The first half is just so, so good – I love it when strangers meet and find an unexpected connection, so it really worked for me. I didn’t love the second half as much, only because the push/pull overtook the romance a bit, but I loved the emotion that was prevalent in that half. Fair warning that this talks about death, cancer, love, and loss in depth with scenes that may move you to tears. This series has been some of my favorite work from Van Dyken, and I’m ecstatic that Finding Him managed to be such a solid followup to the fantastic Stealing Her. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this emotional romance.
A novel about a shattered family, broken hearts, and healing love by Rachel Van Dyken, the number one New York Timesbestselling author of Stealing Her.
Coming out of a coma was one hell of a wake-up call. While I was in the dark, my estranged twin brother, Bridge, had replaced me in the company I owned and swept up my fiancée in the takeover. With my ruthless reputation, can I blame them for falling in love? I have to look long and hard at where I’ve been and where I’m headed. Alone time? The universe has other plans.
Our family’s secluded Vermont cabin comes with a gorgeous—if at first, unwelcoming—surprise. She’s renter Keaton Westbrook, a social media superstar struggling with her own private grief. As a winter storm bears down, we’ve found something to keep us warm—an intimacy neither of us expected and both of us need.
After we say goodbye, what happens then? Keaton and I are longing to reconcile with our painful pasts. I can’t bear to do it without her. Is it too much to ask of fate to give us a second chance at life and love?