on October 20, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Ever since she was a little girl, thirty-year-old Rose dreamed of the day Harley would carry her across the threshold on their honeymoon. So what if this isn’t her actual wedding day, and that she’s only here because Harley was left at the altar just a few hours earlier?
Trading San Francisco for paradise and swapping her bridesmaid’s bouquet for a Blue Hawaii, Rose hopes she can finally escape the friend zone.
Once upon a time they had been more than friends, but life got in the way. She’s spent every day since wishing Harley would get a clue.
She’s always been his best friend.
He’s always been hers.
She’s in love with him.
He’s … not in love with her.
He’s … marrying someone else.
He’s … hiding something.
He’s … well—it’s complicated.
Where did this book come from?! This was my first Carmen Jenner book, so I had no idea what to expect, but I didn’t expect to be blown away with this emotionally charged, second chance, love story. When I finished, I was a blubbering mess, having been through a tumultuous gamut of emotions. I had no idea how this book would end, but I was fully-invested in the journey of friendship, loss, and true love.
“Harley and I have been together since we were five years old. Well, not together- obviously, because he was marrying someone else – but together in the sense that we’ve been best friends since the first day of kindergarten.”
Harley and Rose have been together since they were 5. Neighbors first, then best friends, their lives are intertwined completely. Their parents are best friends, they go on vacations together, and one is never far from the other. The book begins on Harley’s would-be wedding day. Harley’s fiancé leaves him at the altar, and in order to cheer him up, Rose agrees to go on his honeymoon with him. Now that Harley is single again, feelings are harder to keep hidden, and their friendship is put to the test.
“I thought even though I’d let him go, one day he’d find his way back to me. But I was wrong. And this is on me as much as it is on him, because I didn’t fight for us either.”
Told in alternating chapters of flashbacks in Rose’s POV, we learn that Harley and Rose were once together. I was curious what could have possibly come between these two when they have such a strong bond. The glimpses we got into their shared history were heartwarming and heartbreaking. Growing up doesn’t always mean growing together when life pulls us in different directions.
“It will kill me, but I have to let go of Harley Hamilton, because he’s already let go of me. And there is nothing sadder than a woman clinging to a ghost.”
I couldn’t wait until Harry got a clue and realized that Rose had never stopped loving him. I knew he needed time to get over what had happened. Would these two ever be able to move past friendship into something more? Would Rose be able to trust Harley not to break her heart again? Only time would tell.
This is a love story that will capture your heart. I was wrung out at the end from all my feelings over this book. I loved parts, and I hated parts (because they broke me), but either way, I couldn’t put this one down until I finished. The angst was off the charts and made me giddy, I loved it. Load up on tissues folks, you’re going to need them.
“That’s what love does – it breaks you down until there’s nothing left. We’re no different.”
“Do you love her?”
Harley’s temper flares as he meets my gaze. “Rose—”
“I don’t know.” He rakes a hand through his hair. A beat later it falls right back in his face. I long to reach out and touch it, but that isn’t my place anymore. “Yeah. I think so. When I’m with her I’m a different man, but when I’m here with you, I’m … I’m me.”
“God,” I breathe. “That’s so much worse.” Fresh tears prick my eyes. I cover my face, as if I could hide my torment or the despair that I feel in this moment.
As if I could hide anything from this man.
“I know.” Sadness chokes his voice, making the words almost impossible to hear. Harley pulls me close, folding me in his arms, holding me the way he has a thousand times before, but this time it’s infinitely different.
This time, it’s the end of us.