This is the kind of book that grabs hold of you from the first word and doesn’t let go even after you have read the last word.
With the plot and characters so thoroughly and richly developed, and the writing so beautifully detailed, Glenn submerges her readers into the world that is Leah and Danny. You have no choice but to dive in, hold your breath and wait to come up for air. Because this book takes you on an emotional journey right along with the characters. I laughed, because it is incredibly funny and witty. I swooned, because it is wonderfully sexy and romantic. And I cried, because it is heartbreakingly sad and beautifully loving.
Danny is overtly cocky around her, yet quietly afraid. He found Leah was, “the perfect mixture of snarky and sweet, confident and shy.”
Danny is guarded by the secret he carries and he is afraid of being in a relationship. His attraction to her is undeniable and it rocks his foundation.
“With that one altruistic move, she had managed to become the measure of what a person should be in his eyes, the standard any woman would have to meet if she had even the slightest chance of winning his heart.”
Leah is a strong, independent heroine. She’s incredibly loyal and takes care of those she loves. Burned by her past, she is afraid of being in a relationship. For two years she hasn’t trusted her judgement when it came to men. Yet, their chemistry shakes her resistance, and the walls she had built begin to break apart.
“It was there even in the little things, like the way her body reacted to the timbre of his voice, or the simplest of his touches. The way seeing him in pain causes a lump in her throat, like she was the one hurting.”
I loved the slow build of their relationship, Leah’s ability to stand firm once she realizes Danny is who she wants, and Danny’s vulnerability and the undeniable need he has for the girl who “makes everything ok”.
He made a small sound in the back of his throat as he dropped his forehead to her shoulder. “God, how do you do that? he asked, easing her zipper down.
“Do what?” she asked softly, running her fingers through the back of his hair.
“You make it stop hurting,” he said against her skin. “Every time.”
Glenn knows romance! She knows how to convey romance. The first time they held hands, the first kiss, the first time they had sex and the time they made LOVE, were written beautifully! Each glance of the eye, each touch of the hand, knee or brush of the leg, were written with care. I didn’t know whether to cry or fan myself, sometimes I did both.
Things between them are easy. I loved the banter, it was witty, funny, sarcastic, but nice.
“Leah started to consider the possibility that he was reading from some type of handbook. And the title of it might as well have been How to Reduce Leah to a Besotted, Quivering Pile of Easy.”
I only had a few problems with the book. Danny’s self-inflicted torture over his “secret” is definitely one of the sad moments of the book. The guilt he feels is overwhelming. And, to be honest, I had difficulty understanding it at times. I also had difficulty with the constant referral to “the secret” and the fact that Leah was okay with allowing him to keep it from her, especially after her history with her ex. Once the secret was revealed, it didn’t seem to reconcile with his guilt. (And perhaps that’s just a personal issue, because I totally am a sucker for Danny! And the revelation of secret had the same effect on me as it did on Leah). I need to say, none of these issues ruined the book for me, I still LOVED it!
The resolution of the unique story line/twist/secret was handled perfectly! Heartbreakingly realistic, I love and appreciate the fact that Glenn stuck with the integrity of the situation and didn’t try to lighten it for the sake making all things happy and right in the world. Instead, she gave us characters that struggle with the reality they are in. Each one different from the other yet the same. It was extremely emotional for me and I weeped for them.
“Because when you love someone, you don’t bail when it gets hard. That’s when you stay the most.”
I mean, seriously ugly cry here!
This book will hang with me for awhile. It’s really good. I highly recommend it!