Rating: 4.5 out of 5
One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?
I love this novel. It made me want to cry, and I think my heart shattered at least half a dozen times before I was done, but I really, really loved it. It’s heartbreakingly gorgeous… one of those slow-paced, emotional novels that starts with a tragedy and painstakingly works its way toward a happily ever after.
After being beaten to near-death, Landon is in a coma, his skull in pieces, and his fiance Dylan is barely coping. The first part of the novel is all about Dylan, as he tries to process what happened and to connect the man he fell in love with to the specter of a man lying in the hospital bed, barely clinging to life.
It seems impossible that only hours ago they were laughing in the park, holding hands and eating ice cream from the small corner stand; it’s like some distant memory, a fading dream.
This is hurt/comfort at its finest, and Becca really pulls no punches. The characters are real, the situation is brutal and unforgiving, and there are no easy solutions to any of the problems that Landon and Dylan face.
Once Landon wakes up, though, there are a slew of issues that both men must face. Their lives have changed, not necessarily for the better, and there’s no certainly that they’ll emerge from the wreckage in one piece.
The perspective shifts throughout the novel, which I didn’t like at first but quickly grew to appreciate. It would be boring if the entire novel was from Dylan’s point of view, so adding in the thoughts of Landon’s sister, Lana, and Dylan’s parents, really helped to open the story up.
And WOW, I loved the characters. All of them were beautiful. Dylan, who really loves Landon with everything in his heart and soul. Even when they’re struggling, even when Dylan is barely holding things together, there is not a single shred of doubt that Dylan loves Landon.
“Sometimes bad things happen,” Adele says. Dylan hears her lean back against the wall. “And there are no answers. But I know Landon is lucky to have someone who loves him as much as you do. And I know Landon loves you so much, and he’s not going to give that up without a fight.”
Literally the only complaint that I have about this novel is that it’s written in third person present tense, instead of the usual past tense. I really, really wish this was different. Every so often I’d read a sentence and get jarred out of the narrative because of the way it was written. But this is very much a personal preference, so YMMV.
This isn’t your typical romance. This is two wounded men struggling to reclaim what they’ve lost and to move past their trauma. But they do it together, and there’s so much love between them that I think this is more of a “romance” than most other novels in the genre!
Highly recommended, but be prepared for the emotional wallop this one packs!
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