Ainsley came into my life in a flurry of vibrant colors, lighting my world up when all seemed lost.
It wasn’t our quiet nights by the creek or stolen kisses surrounded by a sea of cotton that saved me.
It was her.
She was my comfort when life threw one ugly tragedy after another at me.
Until she dealt me the greatest blow.
Now, abandonment, betrayal, and death darken every corner of my life. Anger and hurt burn bright where love and trust once lived.
But, now, she’s back. Sure, she’s changed, but I see through it—straight to her heart.
Themes: friends to lovers, second chance
This is the debut release from author Amie Knight.
I had never been kissed in my life, but I knew that this was special. I knew that kisses like this were rare and beautiful. A kiss like this was born from years of friendship and love.
There was a lot of emotion in these pages. I’m not going to lie, I did cry once or twice, and it was absolutely not what I was expecting to happen when I started reading this book. It was interesting to see how tragedy affected the main characters, and how drama also managed to bring them back together.
Knight did an absolutely brilliant job of establishing this relationship, with the first half of the novel following the Ainsley and Adrian as they met as children and grew up, and the second half bringing them back together following these gut-wrenching events. I really cared for these characters, and I found their relationship beautiful.
“Let’s pretend we are just a boy and a girl in love. That our lives aren’t encompassed in overwhelming sorrow and heartbreak. That we aren’t swimming in a never-ending sea of grief. Please, let me have this. This moment of beautiful in all of this ugly.”
Where I struggled a little bit was with Adrian’s character. For some reason, he just didn’t feel consistent enough to me, and I didn’t quite believe that he wouldn’t have gone after Ainsley when she left. Similarly, I felt like although the first half did a perfect job of setting everything up (before callously destroying it!), the second half seemed a little rushed for me. I wanted a little more pain, a little more tension, but instead it all worked out fairly easily and became more of a sweet read.
There were several subplots which just didn’t go anywhere, such as Adrian and his father, and the subplot with Anthony and Kelley (though maybe the latter is being left for a sequel? Let’s hope so).
She could run from me, but what she couldn’t do was hide her heart. Whether she liked it or not, I owned it. It was mine.
A stellar effort for a first novel, the first half left me devastated while the second was just a little too fast for such an emotionally intense read. This is definitely an author to keep watching.