I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Two different people.
Two different worlds.
Two different dreams.”
This was my first read from this author, and definitely not my last. It can be read as a standalone. This beautiful, heartbreaking story was everything I love about a romance story. It was well written and my heart felt every single emotion.
“My heart is begging me to take a chance with the one person who hasn’t asked me for anything.”
Emery and Drake meet in college. Emery is a no non-sense girl. Her past drives her to be successful in school so she can make something of herself. Love? She has no time for that or boys. School is what is going to get her to where she wants and needs to be. Drake Chambers has his whole future riding on football. With football he can get everything he needs. Drake doesn’t do serious relationships, or even casual ones. Girls are distractions. Football is his life. And sadly, I totally understood why. Emery and Drake are both determined individuals. It isn’t until they find each other that they realize they are both capable of loving someone. That love is not a distraction. That it is beautiful. Their love is deep and passionate. But one decision truly changes everything. It changes their forever.
“I don’t have any control.” Or maybe I don’t want to have it anymore, because I’m passing the ball to her.”
Drake is immediately pulled to Emery’s attitude of not caring what other people think. She doesn’t care that he’s the star quarterback of the college’s football team or that every girl wants to be with him. Emery sees herself when she looks at him. She sees a broken man. A man so haunted by his past that he wants nothing more than to become numb to it. She sees that in him because she knows what it looks like. She is just as broken. While Emery fights her feelings and gives in, Drake is more hesitant. He has so much pain. You feel his inner turmoil. But when he lets go and gives in, it’s beautiful to see him open up his heart. To watch him fall irrevocably and hopeless in love.
“My heart is screaming for me to wrap her in my arms. My head is telling me to let her go before I hurt her even more than I already have. They’re fighting each other. I’m fighting myself.”
The love Drake and Emery shares is so deep. They understand each other’s pain. From the moment they met, you felt the electricity between them. While slow building, you come to understand their hesitance towards giving in. Loving someone for them always meant leaving to both of them. Drake tried to push Emery away as she tried to get closer to him. My heart broke for them both. For their past. For their want to love but fear of it.
“You’re the only one who can wake me up from my nightmare.”
I will definitely be going back and reading the first two books in the series. As stated before, it can definitely be read as a standalone. I did not feel like I was missing out on anything by reading this book first. I loved it so much that I cannot wait to go back and read the beginning to see where the side characters in this story began. This beautiful heartfelt story of pain, loss, and love captivated me for an entire evening. The one decision that changes everything broke my heart. I never expected that. Emery and Drake are truly amazing and inspiring. Their love knows darkness, but chooses to overcome it. Love truly conquers all. Love always wins.