My brain hurts. A lot. And I THINK in a good way. It would be easy to assign this a rating based on the success of the romance in this (hint: it would NOT be favorable), but that’s really, really not what this is. It’s psychological, paranormal, and boundary-pushing. The quality of the writing is definitely there, and the journey is all kinds of crazy. I can honestly say that the storyline is like nothing I’ve ever read before, and while there were times when I was adamant that I was hating it… it’s ultimately a very engrossing, uncomfortable, and unpredictable read.
The story follows Leeds and Layla, two people who meet and feel an instant spark between them. After a few sex-filled months together, their lust seems to have simmered into love, and things are looking up for these young lovers. But when an incident sends their lives into a tailspin, Leeds isn’t sure how to get back what they lost. Suddenly everything between them is different, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the woman he fell for. And that’s just the start of his spiral out of love and out of control.
The romance reader in me struggled with this book so, SO much. It both is and isn’t a romance. Yes, love is at the foundation of the story, but it’s centered on the psychological/paranormal elements, and messes with your mind in a big way. Hoover pushes the reader to the limit on what they find acceptable in a relationship, with everything from a love triangle to cheating to a hero who honestly is not all that likable – and more. I think I found it to be more fascinating than enjoyable, but I very much wanted to find out what happened next. Everyone is going to have a different response to this story, but it’s one that you won’t soon forget. So, in the end, I think it’s very successful in being an engaging, intricately planned read. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy via NetGalley (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this brain-bending story.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover comes a novel that explores life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love.
When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.
Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.
Bookshop PB: https://bookshop.org/a/18118/9781542000178
About the Author:
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s fiction novel It Ends with Us and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded the Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers signed novels donated by authors. All profits go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit http://www.colleenhoover.com.
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