I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Why have a beating heart if I don’t know why it beats in the first place.”
Recently, I’ve been looking for a book that consumes me. That makes me feel. A book that would bring out all the stops. A book that would bring tears to my eyes as I read it for it’s deep meaning. Within These Walls is THAT book.
“Being inside these hospital walls, I’d seen it all, yet felt nothing anymore. I’d become immune to it all.”
Lailah Buchanan was born with a severe heart defect. She has spent more time within the walls of a hospital than her own home. At the age of 22, she wishes she can do daily things that most people take for granted. Something as simple as walking along the beach with friends, or even going out to dinner. Jude Cavanaugh is beyond broken. His past left him shattered. He is a ghost of the man he once was. Until Lailah. She is the sunshine to lead him out of the darkness. Jude didn’t think he would ever be capable to feel for another human being. Lailah makes him feel like living again. Her outlook on life is contagious. And he simply cannot get enough. But can he truly say goodbye to his past?
“Every angel has wings, Lailah.”
Jude is very hesitant in falling for Lailah. But being around her, she evokes feelings in him that have not surfaced in him in years.. How they meet is very unique and this makes their story special. Every moment with Lailah, Jude’s soul brightens. You feel it. And Lailah? Her damaged heart doesn’t hurt as much. But with Jude’s past he finds it so hard to move on. He wants to love again. But his heart belongs to someone else. Someone that can no longer feel his love. Lailah finds her way into Jude’s heart without trying. It just happens. Her soul latched on to Jude’s and does not want to let go.
“For one day, I’d felt real and whole, and finally, someone had looked at all of me instead of just the broken parts.”
Jude and Lailah’s story left me breathless and speechless at times. How can two people like themselves fall in love? But they do. And their story is one that I will never forget. Their story shatters anything you think you knew about love and all that it is capable of. How ironic is it that a girl with the most damaged heart could love a man as deeply as she loves Jude. And how can a man who’s entire world was taken from him every learn to open up his heart again. Love mends. It knows no boundaries. Their love proves that.
“I knew the depth of his love even without the declaration.”
What happens when love costs you? When you love someone so much that you are able to give them up just so you can save them? Jude and Lailah make the ultimate sacrifice. Their love. But again, it’s not what you think. Their love is deep, all consuming. Their love is beautiful. When life takes a turn, decisions are made, hearts are broken. But their love for each other remains constant.
“...she had ingrained herself to me, body and soul.”
I loved every moment of this beautiful story. I laughed, I cried, I lived this book. I finished Within These Walls in an entire day. And 24 hours I am still left thinking about it. Jude and Lailah are an unforgettable couple. They have forever left an imprint on my heart. This is so much more than broken boy meets sick girl. So. Much. More.
With one pudding cup snug in my pocket, I was the epitome of stealth.
I slipped through the door quietly, ignoring the fact that I looked like a creepy stalker, and I stepped into the darkened room like I had a purpose.
I did work here, so there could be a dozen reasons for me entering a patient’s room.
Delivering a fudge snack pack was probably not one of them.
Like the many times before, I tried not to linger as I entered the room, but with each passing visit, it became more and more difficult.
The first night I’d decided to do this, I’d quickly done this drop-and-dash routine. I had gone in and out without a second glance.
But then, I’d met her. I’d come to her room and found myself face-to-face with the girl behind my late-night pudding runs. She was shy and timid, her gestures clumsy and unpracticed. She was so different from the polished and sophisticated girls I’d grown up with. Even her name was awkward. It sounded like the classic Eric Clapton song “Layla,” but hers was spelled all wrong.
She had made me curious. I’d suddenly wanted to know what else in this world would make her smile.
J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she's not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.
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