Emma Sanders has always dreamt of being a bride, wearing fancy gowns, pretty pearls, and—of course—falling madly in love. Then life happened. Finding herself one fiancé short of her happily ever after, she leaves the fairytales behind. Some days are simply too perilous for pink gowns and pearls.
Riley Lockhart is the sort of man who can make a woman lower her gaze with only a smile. That he doesn’t realize his charm makes him all the more enchanting. Determined to save Emma the pain of her breakup, he steps in as a friend, but soon finds himself wanting more.
She was just a girl, but she somehow winds up being the strongest woman he’s ever known. Losing her is not an option and when life can’t be tied neatly in a pretty little bow, he holds tight to all that he loves—his Emma. His hero.
Sometimes the greatest scars are worn on the inside.
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Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars
This book has a beautiful cover, but the inside is a raw, messy, emotional, yet beautiful, story about love and life that will hit you hard. It’s been on my TBR list for a while and I’m glad that I was able to listen to narrator Brian Callanan bring this story to life.
Riley and Emma’s story starts out as the typical friends-to-lovers trope. He is her best friend’s brother, and the three of them share an apartment in NYC. After Emma is unceremoniously dumped by her fiancé, she and Riley grow a lot closer while Rarity is out of town. It’s not long before Riley begins looking at Emma in a different light. Has she always been this beautiful? He is in awe of her courage and strength, and they soon grow closer and take their friendship to the next level.
And then comes the news that will change their lives forever.
The second half of this book is gut-wrenching. I hadn’t read many reviews, so I wasn’t expecting the cancer twist in the story. As light-hearted as the first part was, the second half of this book made me shed so many tears. I thought Lydia Michaels handled it wonderfully, and as hard as it was to read that part of the book, it was well done and I related to the journey and trials that these characters were going through.
After some time passes, I will return to this book again.
I received a complimentary audio copy and voluntarily left a review.