Published by Atria Books (8.2.2016)
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: Paperback, 367 pages
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
Trigger warning: Abuse
To be completely honest, I never would have picked this book up on my own. I’m not a contemporary fan, and I’m even less of a romance fan. But, my good friend Erin highly recommended it – and in the utmost form of bookpushing, sent me a copy. So, I gave it a go – and I ended up being pleasantly surprised!
I never thought I’d enjoy it as much as I did. It’s definitely not something I expected to like. But, Hoover’s prose is very engaging and keeps you wanting more! I was shocked to find myself thinking about this book when I wasn’t reading it. Hoover has a way of making things seem real and relatable!
I like that this book didn’t shy away from the issue of abuse, but also didn’t condone it or romanticize it. Lily saw there was a problem and stood up against it. She overlooked the first time, but when she realized it wasn’t going to stop she didn’t make excuses for Ryle. And I love that there’s a bit of a moral there – things aren’t always black and white. It’s easy to judge when you’re standing outside of a situation, but when you’re actually in it, it’s hard to make what appears to be the right decision. View Spoiler »
I will say that I didn’t cry like I thought I would – it was heartbreaking at times, but didn’t have that soul crushing emotion that I was expecting (honestly, hoping for – I love when books make me cry because I forge an emotional bond with the story). It was actually the author’s note at the end that got me! I don’t usually pay attention to author’s notes, but trust me, this is one you need to read because it is fundamental to the story.
It’s been a while since I read it, and looking back I care about it a lot less than when I was actually reading. It hasn’t stuck with me, but I did quite enjoy it while I was reading and I think fans of romance will love this one! This was my first CoHo book and I’m sure I will be picking up more of her work in the future.
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5