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Bright Midnight: A Second-Chance Romance Kindle Edition
"This is one of the most emotional stories from Karina Halle I have read. Full of heartbreak, loss and longing, this second chance romance is as touching as it is uplifting." - Little Steamy Reads
"It had everything I could have wanted in a second chance romance and then some. The balance of sweet, smexy, angsty and humor was perfect for me" - 5 stars***** Kahea
"This book was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time." - 5 stars ***** Featherbound Books
"Bright Midnight is a beautifully written story of second chances, forgiveness, and two lost people coming together to finally find themselves." - 5 stars***** Booked on Lattes
- ASIN : B091V8459G
- Publication date : May 6, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3634 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 294 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #121,952 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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I’m going to mention the reason for the breakup, so stop here if you don’t want to know. Essentially, the story follows Anders and Shay, high school sweethearts whose relationship went down in flames. Anders was struggling at the time, so he pushed Shay away in every way that he knew how – including cheating on her. Eight years have passed and they’ve both made their way in life without each other, but a chance meeting brings all of those old feelings crashing back to the surface. Despite the way Anders did Shay wrong, she still remembers the guy that she used to love. As they reconnect and rediscover the people they are now, these two former flames realize that they might just be right for each other this time around.
I have no idea why the author chose not to mention the cheating in the blurb, but based on the way it’s brushed aside in this, I’m going to assume it’s because we’re supposed to forgive it. There’s more than one instance where Anders wonders why Shay is still upset about the cheating years later and I’m like… uh, because her trust was irreparably broken? It was kind of a big deal? I’m the kind of reader who can forgive an antihero who has cheated in the past (preferably not on the love of his life), but ONLY if there’s a ton of groveling and obvious personal growth. I didn’t feel that here. Anders is sort of a manhoe in present day, and while he says he’s sorry, I don’t actually think he says that it will never happen again. I don’t think he genuinely acknowledges what a big deal it was. And I don’t think the relationship is overly romantic in present day. Shay doesn’t make him work all that hard for her affection or her body, and their interactions in present day are broken up by frequent flashbacks that just serve as constant reminders to the damage that was done. I’d like to think that the Halle of present day could’ve handled some of these issues better, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here. I appreciated receiving an early copy (and am voluntarily leaving a review), but this was a miss for me.
Bright Midnight was a pleasant surprise, and something I've been looking for, for awhile. A second chance romance, it follows Shay and Anders, who fall in "teenage" love while in high school and their relationship was shattered and Anders moved back to his native Norway. We see glimpses of the relationship from the past, mostly from Shay's perspective, but through Anders' eyes as well. Fast forward several years later, both are in their mid 20's, and Shay has been traveling Europe for months. Happenstance has these two meeting up again, and the big question is, will there be a second chance.
What I loved about this book: Karina knows how to write angst - just enough that you feel the hurt, not too much that you want to throw your kindle across the room. And I absolutely adore second chance romances. You have all of that history to contend with as you discover, with the characters, whether their love is renewable or lasting.
I also loved the descriptions of Norway. Shay loves to take pictures, so we get to see Norway through a newbie's eyes, just as if we were seeing it too. The descriptions of the different villages, the mountains, the fjords, made me Google Norway and see what Shay must have been seeing.
My only criticism is that this book needed to go through at least one last edit. In the kindle version that I read, words in sentences were missing, and the name of one of the secondary characters was spelled differently throughout the book (Epsen/Espen) which was distracting enough to pull me out of the story the first couple of times it happened.
However, I recommend this book if you are looking for a solid second chance romance, something that can be read quickly, with all the feels.
It's set in a stunning backdrop, it's intense and heartbreaking, it's romantic and hot...there's so much good in this book.
Potential spoilers/regarding other reviews....
I just want to say, some others have mentioned Anders cheating as an automatic no go, ruining the book for them. I usually feel the same, and yes it was so sad to read (I cried through the confrontation scene), but it was part of Anders broken past and important to show that he has since changed and matured. He was a seventeen year old kid who made a terrible mistake. Please don't let that influence your decision to read the book because I think you'll find Anders forgivable!
I loved this book. The angst, wonder and second chance struggle of revisiting your teen trauma as an adult were beautifully, powerfully done. And the sex was smokin hot.
Deliciously emotional read and exactly what I needed.
I love all that Karina Halle writes, but this was definitely a favorite.
It had just the right angst, humor, heat, and her Amazing gift of taking you to the setting! Next stop, Norway!
Top reviews from other countries
Say that if you like her other reads you will enjoy this one.
I truly enjoyed every word in this story and couldn’t put the book down from the second it showed up on my kindle. I’m always a sucker for a well written second-chance romance. 😉❤️
As per usual, Karina brought to life such an original, well written story that hooks the reader from the very first page. The storyline has great flow, and romance that will keep your eyes glued to the page!
Karina Halle did a superb job of developing the characters in this story, not to mention how she impeccably depicted their deep feelings and emotions throughout every scene. Basically this story and these characters are fantastic and you need them in your life!
Like with all of her written works, Karina kept a perfect balance between heartfelt romance and angsty heartache. Plus, come on, who doesn’t love a good second-chance romance with a bit of tension and build up?! I sure do!
Anders and Shay were such intriguing characters, and I loved reading from both their points of view. Although they’ve definitely gone down a rocky road to get to where they do; by the end of the story, I think that it makes them all the more bonded to each other; simply being together after the challenges and struggles they faced. A perfect balance of feels, angst, and emotions, this novel and these characters were exactly what I hoped for and more!
I always try to keep my reviews of books vague to ensure I’m not giving any unwarranted spoilers but I can confidently say this... Anders and Shay’s story is a must read! 👌🏻 I think this is some Karina’s best work yet and I would HIGHLY recommend reading it!
Let me say it again: I love, love, love this story and know you will too! Five Stars!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
AUTHOR: Karina Halle
TROPE: second chance romance, travel, contemporary, new adult
POV: Multiple POV
MY RATING: 5 Stars
After graduating college, Shay travels to Italy with her then boyfriend. During the trip, her boyfriend breaks up with her and they go their separate ways. Shay decides to continue travelling around Europe while her ex goes home. Anders is working as a commercial fisherman in Norway while helping out at the family farm during the off days. Eight years’ prior, Anders was a new student at Shay’s high school in New York. The pair were both seniors. The attraction between the two was instant and they quickly became a couple. Over the course of their relationship, the pair drifted father apart until Anders did the unforgiveable. The couple broke up and then Anders was shipped back home to Norway. The book takes place in the present with flashbacks to the couple’s time together eight years prior. Shay decides that she’s going to travel to Norway to visit the country and that Anders always talked about. While on leave from his boat, Anders and his sisters run into Shay at the train station. The former lovers reconnect and navigate their past while trying to pursue a future together.
This was a really beautiful second chance romance. The book talks about whether first loves are meant to last. Both Shay and Anders think back on their relationship in ways that neither of them are ready to let go. Anders was going through a really rough time when he was living in New York with his mother. To Anders, he didn’t believe that he deserved Shay; therefore, he pushed her away the only way he knew how. He always knew that he’d go back to Norway and didn’t see a point in continuing on their relationship. Instead of talking to Shay and being there for her, he broke her heart. It was something that really carried throughout the book and prevented Shay from forgiving Anders. I probably read the party scene back when the pair were in high school a good five times. I teared up every single time I read that scene. I like how the author focused on the present tense and only had some important flashbacks to the past. The story was strongly focused on the pairs reconciliation. I couldn’t have imagined a better ending to this book.
This is one of the best second chance romances I’ve read. I loved how the book was set in Norway and the author was very descriptive in the landscape. If you are a fan of second chance romance novels, then you’ll love this book.