Any book that keeps me reading until the wee hours of the morning is going to get a 5-star rating from me… even if it gets off to a rocky start. I wasn’t enjoying this at first, and I actually set it aside for a couple of weeks while I recalibrated my expectations. It’s NOT a light and easy romance. It’s not even remotely a romance until about 100 pages in. But this turned a corner in a big way, and my love for it started to grow with every page. The slow build in intimacy makes the lackluster start worth it, and the ending is pure perfection. We needed the lows in order to appreciate the highs, and it all comes full circle. What starts off as a depressing, somber (and decidedly British) tale of family and friendship ultimately becomes a gorgeously nuanced love story.
This is about love and loss, and the story touches on some seriously heavy subjects on the way there. I can’t list all of the triggers without giving away major storyline details, but know that there are plenty of them. The story begins with a group of 30-something friends who have become a little codependent over the years. Those friendships are the best part of Eve’s life, and even those come with strings. So when the loss of one of those friends threatens to upend every part of Eve’s life, she doesn’t know what to think. There were secrets among them, and Eve can no longer take anything they’ve said at face value – nor can she get the answers that she so desperately wants. The loss also brings someone from Eve’s past back into her life, and that leads her to question whether she ever really knew him at all.
Since the love interest isn’t even a part of the story until at least a third of the way in, I’ll admit that I was thrown off by the dynamic at the start. Nothing about the heavy book I was reading matched that cute cover or the enticing blurb. I wasn’t even sure that I liked Eve all that much. This is a VERY slow-burning love story with no steamy scenes, and it’s got plenty of subtlety and quieter moments. If you’re paying attention, you’ll pick up on little kernels of information along the way that make this a richer story, but it takes awhile before the pieces come together. Once the romance kicked in, this got my full attention – and I loved it from then on. The author does a great job of making sure that both leads are complex and a little broken – but that’s also why they fit together so well. There’s history between them that makes the experience richer, and I loved the road trip scenes. And I ended up really loving the hero once I got to know him. So. Have a little patience with this love story, and you’ll be rewarded with an excellent read – just know that it might take awhile before you warm up to it. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this complicated romance.
International bestseller Mhairi McFarlane explores lifelong friendships, long-buried secrets, and unexpected love in a heartfelt, emotional new novel, perfect for fans of Evvie Drake Starts Over, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, or In Five Years.
Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.
But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.
In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…
They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?
About the Author:
Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane was born in Scotland and her unnecessarily confusing name is pronounced Vah-Ree. After some efforts at journalism, she started writing novels and her first book, You Had Me At Hello, was an instant success. Shes now written five books and she lives in Nottingham with a man and a cat.
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