New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels returns to the Willow Creek Valley Series in this stunning small town, brother’s best friend romance.
Fifteen years ago, I fell for Jack O’Donnell.
I was just a girl, but I knew my brother’s best friend was the only man I’d ever love.
On my eighteenth birthday, when I asked him to kiss me, I never imagined it would change my life so completely.
I gave Jack everything that night.
In order to move on, we had to go our separate ways and pretend like nothing happened… as though it wasn’t the greatest moment of my life.
But even that wasn’t as heartbreaking as the secret we were forced to keep.
I’ve tried not to think about how much I still love him. How I long to be back in his strong arms or the way his hazel eyes make my heart race.
Until he kisses me again. And this time there’s no turning back. This time I know what it means.
We belong together and there’s no use denying it any longer.
But our feelings aren’t the only thing that won’t stay buried, our past resurfaces and threatens to destroy our second chance at happiness.
When our love is tested once again, will we be strong enough to stand together?
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Narrated by: Ava Erickson & Jason Clarke
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Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars
AH-MAY-ZING! Jack and Stella’s story is an emotional rollercoaster like no other that I’ve read by Corinne Michaels. Yes, I’ve said in the past that such-and-such story is better than the last. And I’ve always meant it… but Could Have Been Us totally blew me away! The secret history between Jack and Stella, how they have been in love with one another for 15 years but didn’t want to betray Grayson, how they come together during a crisis — it was all so well-written, pulls on the heartstrings, and had me in tears.
This book had me hooked from the first chapter, and I knew it was going to be a doozy. Twelve years of keeping their history together a secret, 12 years of ignoring what they felt for one another, 12 years of emotional baggage and not wanting to date someone else… I was ALL IN to see how Stella and Jack were going to make things work. The beginning of this book overlaps Return To Us (Grayson and Jessica’s story), and I loved seeing some of those scenes from Stella and Jack’s POVs. Like when Jack gets drunk and shows up at Grayson’s place swearing that he shouldn’t want to like “her” — now knowing that “her” is Stella!
Once Stella and Jack finally decide to give their relationship a go, I loved how strong they were together. I really thought that there was going to be a point where their past history and current situation tear them apart, but they fall back on one another and it was so wonderful to see them be so supportive and really work through things together.
One of my pet peeves in the best friend’s sister trope is when a romance is considered forbidden. I really liked that in Jack and Stella’s case that they were both afraid/hesitant to be together because of their shared tragic past and how Grayson would potentially view that event — not that they weren’t together because Grayson forbade Jack from dating his little sister for some arbitrary reason.
Could Have Been Us is a wonderful tale of past mistakes, future choices, what could have been, what should have been, and what finally is!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles.
Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed–reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.
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