I’ve had an ARC of this book sitting on my kindle since August 2018. I picked it up and put it down several times, and I know it was more of a it’s-not-you-it’s-me situation. I adore Kate Clayborn’s writing style, but something in her immersive descriptions and attention to detail demands every bit of my attention, and I wasn’t in the headspace any of the times I picked up the book to really give it the time it deserved. I finally listened to the text on Scribd, and boy am I glad I did. Besides excellent narration, the Greer and Alex’s story grabbed and held my attention for the duration.
Greer and Alex are imperfect characters, and I think that’s one of Ms. Clayborn’s biggest strengths as an author, writing characters with big but realistic flaws. I always feel like I’ve met her characters or that I know someone like them. Even though I don’t personally know anyone who raised their sibling, or dealt with a chronic illness. Both characters were profoundly human and refreshingly natural to both critique and root for.
My favorite part of the story was the incendiary chemistry between Greer and Alex. It was delicious watching them eventually succumb to the sexual tension that was practically singing my eyebrows for the first half of the book. Whew.
I also enjoyed the unpredictability of the story. I’ve read thousands of romance novels, and many with similar premises to this one. So I was a little leery the climax and ending were going to be predictable and frustrating as a reader. They were not. I felt a mix of emotions going through the rise and fall of the book, but never frustrated and often refreshingly surprised.
While I genuinely enjoyed this book, I can’t say I was 100% in love. I wish there was a little more time seeing Greer and Alex’s new normal. While Alex’s changes and self-improvements were evident, I still wasn’t convinced he was okay settling down with Greer, even if it didn’t mean giving up his life altogether. His relationship with his father also seemed unfinished. On Greer’s end, I thought her eventual career was a little glossed over. She was working so hard to graduate and start her job, but I only felt her passion for social work at the very beginning.
Overall, this was a lovely conclusion to a great series. The book is a refreshing take on the best friend’s brother trope. Plus, we love a heroine who rocks the short haircut! Ms. Clayborn is a fantastic writer, and I can’t wait to see her career blossom.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**