Bookworm Annabelle Hart thinks she’s found the love of her life. But when her fiancé’s philandering ways shatter their happy future, she decides she’s through playing the victim. Now, rather than read about life, she wants to live it—starting with a sabbatical from her editing job in Chicago to travel the world. But the past refuses to let her go so easily.
He thinks he has his life figured out.
After watching the woman he thought he loved walk away from him, Holden Blackburn is still picking up the pieces. Content with his life as the owner of an English Inn, just outside the sleepy town of Alton, he’s living his new and peaceful normal. That is, at least, until Annabelle stumbles into his life, and he’s overwhelmed by a desire to learn all he can about her. Now if only he can get her to stay in one place long enough.
Will they risk their hearts on a new chance at love?
When her past returns in a way she can’t ignore, Anna panics, running from any possible future with Holden. She’s determined to keep her life from falling apart again, but she soon discovers the only place she feels safe is in Holden’s arms.
But some things even he can’t protect her from.
Annabelle Hart doesn’t have the greatest self-esteem. She tends to settle more often than she should, and she very rarely fights back when someone wrongs her. But when her world comes crumbling down—her fiancé’s true colors coming forth—Annabelle finally speaks up and begins to live for herself. Caught in a whirl-wind romance she wasn’t expecting, Annabelle begins to find herself, only to have a bomb shell dropped on her that changes everything.
This is a beautifully written story of heart-ache, new beginnings, and the fierceness of a mother’s love. Truth be told, I thought this NA novel was lovely from the very beginning, but it wasn’t necessarily setting itself apart from the many others I’ve read before it. That is, until Owens threw a kink into the story that I never expected; a kink that set this novel apart from all the rest, placing it in its own category of love and protection. And I loved it!
The characterization is superb—all the characters, even the despicable fiancé, are extremely real and easy to relate to, given the shifting circumstances throughout the novel. Annabelle has some extremely difficult choices to make throughout the novel, and I must say, I don’t envy her at all. And while I might not have made all the same choices in the end, she is an extremely strong character that came into herself as the novel unfolded, and I really enjoyed her.
Holden is, of course, extremely swoon-worthy, and I want him all to myself… Owens has indeed drafted the perfect man, and as he too picks up the pieces of his life, both his and Annabelle’s happily ever after dream is realized. Four stars.
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.