4.5 Stars Manning, Lake and Tiffany are back. And, they are just as angsty as ever. Which is a good, and a bad thing. :) This book starts where the previous book left off, with a little time jump, but with Manning in the same place he was when the previous book ended. Egads, this is tough to review without giant, major spoilers for the first book. So, I am going to avoid talking about plot. Because I don't want to spoil. Although, if you haven't read the first in the series, what are you doing here? Go read the first one. You'll thank me later. Jessica Hawkins writes the best angst, forbidden, push and pull romances. And, this one is no different. There are so many things keeping Manning and Lake from being together. Her age, his past, her sister, her family. And, the most powerful of all are the things that draw them together: their feelings for one another and the fact that they have not yet explored them, or even really started to, and this is part of the pull...will they even work together? Is the attraction something they can sustain? The pacing of this book was a little tough for me in places, as there was not enough, again in my opinion, of Lake and Manning together, so for me some of their push and pull, and that emotion, was missing a little in some of the story. And, then we get to the last 10% and, oh, the push and pull...FOUND IT. Oh goodness, I found it. And, on the other side, the things that were not the Lake and Manning relationship were important. Tiffany, well, she is important. She matters to the story, and she matters to their future. It pains me to say that, I admit that. Do I like Tiffany? Well, no. But, she matters. In a Maleficent matters to Sleeping Beauty kind of way and in a Cruella De Vil matters to some puppies kind of way, but she matters. There has to be a villain, the person who reminds you that there are others you like better. And, I can argue that she is incredibly well written, because you despise her. If she was a weak and badly written character, you wouldn't care. And, oh, you care about Tiffany. You so care. I am looking forward to the next one. Now works for me. October does not. By October, I may have to add Jessica Hawkins to the list of villains, for making us wait until OCTOBER. I recommend this book, but it is not a standalone, you do need to have read the first one.
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WOW, JUST WOW!!! My brain is mush still trying to process what I just read. I finished this Book in one sitting, I could not put it down, I was addicted to every word. Jessica Hawkins takes us on a emotional rollercoaster ride into Manning, Lake and Tiffany's world. You will feel all their pain and love for one another, these characters will be in your heart forever. This series is one of my all time favorites and I can't wait for the next book. I highly recommend this book and series, it is a must read. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
I suited myself up with as much armor and padding as possible before I dove into this book because I just *knew* it was going to take me places that I hadn't been in a while with a book with the slow burn angst alone. And by golly, it did. But I loved every bit of this story despite my suspicions and where it went because oh boy, it pushes the limits. So many feels, there's a particular intense scene towards the end regarding a charged conversation that only Jessica Hawkins can write and make come to life in technicolor vibrancy that it hits all the deepest parts of one's inner psyche as certain truths and realizations about reality set in, but yet I want to read that part over and over again. Lake grew up quite a bit in this book. I loved her innocence and purity in the first book. While she's still such the embodiment of sunshine and clear skies, she's also becoming a grown woman, figuring out what she wants and how to fight for it and to separate her own goals from her dad's. Manning, wow, I really felt for him and my heart hurt heavily for him, because he went through horrible things that he didn't deserve and those experiences shaped him and caused him to realign his future. Yet, Manning never stops wanting to do what's best or to help others regardless of where that puts him and I wanted to be upset and furious, but mostly, I empathized with him. He thinks Lake's heart is pure, but Manning's heart is gold, too, even if he can't see that for himself and sees it as black. Tiffany, I tolerate her because I understand her vulnerabilities but I'm still not joining her fan club, I just don't like how her desires overlap with Lake's when it comes to Manning. As for Charles, I'm actually interested in unraveling his character even further because he's obviously a perceptive planner and will do whatever it takes for his daughters to achieve happiness and his dreams are supposedly Lake's dreams. I basically shut the world out while I read this book and was on edge the whole time while consumed by this story and characters. (To the mom who tried to talk to me during swim lessons when I wanted to read this, I'm sorry that I wasn't more interested in our conversation compared to Lake and Manning's story, but if you had met them, you would've understood, too). All I can say is that I need more. Now. The countdown is already on until the next book comes out --> save the date for October 23.
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