Title: Then There Was You
(So Much It Hurts Series Book Two)
Author: Melanie Dawn
Hosted by: The Book Avenue
In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover. Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life. There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope. Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I'd become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?
For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie...
No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did. Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live. I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor. This is our story.
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
I was looking forward to reading Then There Was You, the sequel to So Much It Hurts. I had really enjoyed the first book, but it had an ending that I was not expecting; I liked it and could understand it, but I didn’t love it. So when I heard that Chris King, the rock star and misunderstood bad boy-whom I had a soft spot for-was getting his own book I was so excited.
One night at his concert, Chris is reunited with Salem Honeycutt. The last time Chris saw Salem was fourteen years ago. Chris was seventeen and at juvie, going through heartache, and a hard time. Salem was twenty-four, his counsellor who at the time had struggles of her own as a new mum.
“The woman has been a bright spot in my darkest days. She helped me get thought a lot of ridiculously long and miserable days.”
The storyline, like before, is told in the past and present. The past gives you Chris and Salem’s back-story, and an understanding into the friendship they shared and the struggles they were both going through at the time. Chris and Salem helped each other in more ways than they knew. I like how Melanie Dawn was able to show that they had a true friendship/relationship, that there wasn’t anything uncomfortable or romantic about it.
“He was a lost and broken teenager who just needed someone to understand him – to really hear him. I was a hollow shell of a person who just needed a beacon of hope, a possibility for something positive. Together we complemented each other’s needs.”
In the present, you get to see what happens when they meet up again, the feelings they have for each other, and how their relationship develops. WE also get to see their up and downs and the hurdles they face, especially in relation to the age difference-a taboo subject for some. They both have their own issues and demons that they are still dealing with, but both want to move forward with their lives. There were some really sweet and meaningful moments between Chris and Salem
“Feeling that connection between us snap tight, despite the distance between us, wherever he was, how long it had been, or how many years that had passed. It still felt real, and now it was becoming something more”
“I made a connection with you that I never expected. You always listened to me. You never judged me. You always had the right thing to say. You were always there when I needed you.”
Told from Chris and Salem’s POV, it gives you an insight into what they are both thinking. I still have a soft spot for Chris, but it’s safe to say it’s now bigger. I loved that we get to see so much more emotion from him, and was glad to see his character grow although at one point I wanted to smack him around his head. I really liked Salem I was worried at first that I wouldn’t, but she was a strong character. My heart went out to her, with what she went thought as a new mum. I loved the emotions that Melanie put into this aspect of the story; so moving and touching.
Overall, I really enjoyed Then There Was You. I was so pleased that Chris got the HEA that he deserved. I like Melanie’s writing style and I felt that it was like the first book, well written, engaging from the start, and flowed well. I like again how Melanie added information at the end of the book for anyone going through what Salem did as a new mother.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Melanie has next planned for us. If you enjoyed So Much It Hurts then I recommend you read this one.