Author: Melody Grace
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Juliet McKenzie was an innocent eighteen-year old when she spent the summer in Beachwood Bay—and fell head over heels in love with Emerson. Complicated, intense Emerson, the local bad boy. His blue eyes hid dark secrets, and just one touch could set Juliet ablaze. Their love was demanding and all-consuming, but when summer ended, tragedy tore them apart. Juliet swore she’d never go back, and she’s kept that promise… Until now.
Four years later, Juliet’s done her best to rebuild the wreckage of her shattered life. She’s got a great boyfriend, and a steady job planned after she graduates. Returning to Beachwood to pack up her family’s beach house to prepare it for sale, Juliet is determined that nothing will stand in the way of her future. But one look from Emerson, and all her old desire comes flooding back. He let her go once, but this time, he’s not giving up without a fight. And Emerson fights dirty.
A heartbreaking history. An unstoppable passion. Torn between her past and future, Juliet struggles to separate love from desire. But will they find a way to overcome their tragic secrets—together? And after so much damage has been done, can a love remain unbroken?
*This book contains adult situations and explicit content.*
“After all, pretending is what my family does best. Dad pretends he’s not a washed up academic with one failed book to his name and a taste for vodka martinis at four p.m. My sister pretends she cares about more than landing herself a rich lawyer husband with a country club membership and a six-figure bonus. My mom pretends she doesn’t regret throwing her life away on a charming British writer, or notice his late night “advising” students at the office, and the disdain in his voice whenever he does remember to stumble home. “
“Then he smiles, a flash of something true and reckless, so darkly beautiful I feel my heart stop all over again. This is what they write stories about, I realize, as if from far away. All those books and movies and poems I’ve read, this is what they all were preparing me for, the day when a strange man smiles at me, and makes me forget who I am.”
This is undoubtedly one of the best books I have read in ages. It was well written and finely honed, with not one wasted sentence. I was interested and transfixed throughout. From the first paragraph to the last, this story had a constant thrum of emotion that was held and sustained on each page. The emotion varied in-depth and intensity, and ranged from regret, grief, and despair; to passion, lust, and finally – satisfaction. I was brought to tears several times. At the least, either melancholia or anxiety were almost nearly always present. Our heroine, Juliet, suffers from panic attacks and self-doubt, she lives with the constant tension she has endured from her family – of not measuring up, never being enough. – which has carried over into all her adult relationships. She grew up and lived in a family more concerned with appearing to be a family, than with actually trying to be one. At age 18 she finds her first love and thinks he’s, “the one,” as she finally feels relaxed and accepted, so she is doubly devastated when it ends. Running into her epic love four years later proves she hasn’t deal with it as well as she thought, but the complications provide a second chance, and some smoking hot sex scenes. Epic love is an interesting concept, second chance at romance is a favorite theme for me, and toss in lots of steam… it was perfection! Melody Grace has a new fan girl!