I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book was cute from beginning to end and I smiled so much while I was reading that my cheeks started to hurt! I mean it! This book was just that cute!
I have to be honest and warn you. There is one chunk of the story that takes a dark and twisted turn. And sometimes I did want to smack the main characters over their heads and tell them to “Get it together and admit you love each other already!”. But somehow the terrible violent act that is perpetrated against Harper, and her and Callum’s inability to admit their feelings to one another didn’t keep me from giving this book five stars.
No matter how frustrated I got with the main characters and how afraid I was for their safety at times, nothing can take away from how amazing they were together. These two people were soul mates, and their relationship had that special something that can only happen when a book takes it’s time and lets the relationship develop naturally.
Callum first sets eyes on Harper when they are sitting in the waiting room of social services. They have both just turned 18 and are about to be kicked out of the foster care system and thrown out into the world. When Callum meets Harper, he feels a strong connection and decides then and there that he will protect and help this girl no matter what. That is–if she will let him. At first, Harper is skeptical, she doesn’t know this strange young man who claims he will help her out, but it takes about ten minutes before she realizes that Callum doesn’t have a deceitful bone in his body, and she decides that she wants to protect him too.
That’s the great thing about this story, it was love at first sight for these two, but it was much deeper than “I thought that person was beautiful, so I fell in love right away.”. These are two people who have never had a family and have been disappointing by others their entire lives, and yet they allow themselves to bond with each other after just meeting. They trust each other completely and in a way that they have never felt safe trusting anyone before they met. There is no doubt that their love for each other is romantic, but they fight those feelings because they don’t want to risk losing the only family they have ever had. That’s why I was able to forgive them for refusing to give into their feelings for most of the book. It was tough to read sometimes, but it made sense. If I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t risk losing the only person I could truly depend on by telling him I wanted more than friendship either. I am a very impatient reader, but Harper and Callum have plenty of sweet moments where they cuddle and laugh so I was able to handle the fact that they wouldn’t give in to their feelings and enjoy watching their relationship develop slowly.
Harper and Callum aren’t the only great characters in this story. They make a few great friends and it was nice to read about them extending their family to other misfits and lonely people. The chemistry between all of the characters is effortless, adorable, and felt very real.
I am going to warn you about one portion of the book that did bother me, but there are spoilers in the warning so be prepared. View Spoiler »Harper has a VERY creepy ex-foster brother who stalks her throughout the book. He is able to kidnap her twice and assaults her both times. The first time he abducts her is short, (it takes place in a matter of minutes) but it is a little tough to read. It’s not overly violent, but he roughs her up. The second time takes place over days, and is much more difficult to read. He gets her on a plane, forces her to kiss him, and she has to stay in a room with him for a while. He doesn’t rape her, but it is threatened, and I personally had to skip a few of theses pages. I was a bit more of a lightweight when I read this book, but I still think this would bother me today. Just wanted to warn squeamish readers. the author lets Harper go through some painful things in those couple of days so prepare yourself. It’s really easy to skip those pages though and it’s a pretty small portion of the book. The rest of the story is very easy to read and happy. « Hide Spoiler
If you read my spoiler, I don’t want it to prevent you from reading this book. Despite a few serious scenes, this is very sweet and beautiful love story. I think most fans of romance novels have experienced their heroes and heroines going through trials, and they know that the painful moments just make the peaceful moments more enjoyable. Harper and Callum work for their “Happily ever after”, but they also live very happily together throughout the entire book.
View Spoiler »I love books about friends falling in love and marriages of convenience, and this is one of my favorite stories about either of those subjects. It does both of those sub genres well. « Hide Spoiler
I could continue to go on and on about how adorable this book is, but I will just tell you about one of my favorite scenes in the book, and hopefully that will help you figure out if you want to read it or not.
There is a scene where Harper and Callum are waiting in a long line in a government building, and For the Longest Time by Billie Joel starts to play, and Callum grabs her hand and starts dancing with her in the middle of the line. He notices that she is nervous and a little annoyed, so he does something to make her smile and break the tension. That is a perfect representation of this story. There are several moments like that. Sometimes it’s Harper doing something to make Callum’s day easier, and sometimes he does something sweet for her, but they are both always looking for moments to make each other’s life more joyful and peaceful. As a matter of fact, reading about their love made me smile quite a few times myself.
I would recommend this book to fans of sweet romances that are meant to be savored.
Because of language, violence, and some sexual situations, I would recommend this book for ages 16 and up. There is a mild sex scene in the book. It’s not fade to black, but it isn’t graphic either.