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Then There Was You (The Second Chance Duet) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 4, 2018
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Pay attention to the "Second Chances DUET #1" part of the title, dear readers, because this angsty, steamy, emotionally compelling book ends on a cliffhanger.
Long before you get to the last page, you are so engrossed in this book that you won't notice anything going on around you. You will be consumed by Rowan and Tessa -- how they were together as teenagers and then broke apart and now might be able to come together again. How they each are so terrified of love and so resistant to marriage that neither can see the truth of what is happening between them.
Contreras throws a myriad of conflict at these two: family, business, and romantic. You find yourself wishing that the two would communicate with each other, yes, but that they would communicate with themselves. Tessa and Rowan deliberately choose to ignore how they feel because to acknowledge it would be to open themselves up to weakness. Rowan's fears of love are more concrete than Tessa's; in fact, I wasn't quite sure that I understood her entrenched reticence.
And then there is that ending. Sweet mother of heart-stopping endings, that conclusion will make you howl. The good news is that the conclusion is coming soon, but I want it NOW. Not just because I want to know what happens next, but, more importantly, because Claire Contreras writes the hell out of this story. She gives you ever feel in the Feelings Thesaurus, and she makes you experience them to your marrow. I love Rowan. I love Tessa. I love (most of) the supporting cast. And I love that I care so deeply about these people that I am desperate to know what happens next.
The one that stills holds a small piece of your heart hostage. For me that author is Claire Contreras, I fell in love with her writing while reading The Darkness Duet. If you haven’t read them I HIGHLY recommend that you do, like right now!
TTWY had all the feelings that I experienced when I read The Darkness Duet. I was instantly drawn into the story. Tessa became a dear friend that I was watching struggle with her feelings for the guy next door. Her self-doubt, her fear of change are relatable qualities. I say qualities because I don’t believe these traits should be viewed negatively, we’ve all experienced these feelings at some point in our life. These traits make her real, relatable. Beyond those she is smart, kind, compassionate beyond expectation.
I loved Rowan from the beginning. He’s trying so hard to protect Tessa from his perceived shortcomings and failures that he doesn’t see his worth in Tessa's life. He doesn’t see a reason to stand up against what is expected of him. Tessa tries to reach him, tries to make him see the truth but he is determined to protect her that he inevitably keeps hurting her.
I had plenty of moments where I was shaking my kindle and yelling ‘why’, or ‘no don’t do that’, or ‘if he does this’…. ‘Or that’. All those moments lead to the jaw dropping ending and had me begging Claire for MWBTY. Thank heavens the wait isn’t long!
This is a must read IMO.
Onto the book, the story is told present day and utilizes flashback chapters to flesh out the past and present relationship between the protagonists, Rowan and Tessa. The flashbacks allow the reader to experience the evolution of their relationship. The author knows precisely how to progress the story and how to shift gears, making any transition seem effortless and seamless.
Tessa has tried to move on without closure of what happened between her and Rowan years ago. The connection between them is toe curling, my heart was lost in their romance from the beginning. The author does a fantastic job of sharing their story...so bittersweet. They have that intense type of forever love with the ability to conquer the world, but the world isn't what their love must defeat; the stresses of life are what threaten their relationship and happiness.
The entire story is beautiful, it is passionate, it is honest, and it is so much more than most stories. I highly, highly recommend this book. 5 huge stars from me.
Hero 5/5 | Heroine 5/5 | Plot (Point, Originality) 5/5 | Writing Style 5/5 | Steam 4/5 | Romance 5/5 | Angst-Suspense 4/5 | Darkness 0/5 | Humor 3/5 | Secondary Characters 5/5 | Drama-Conflict 5/5 | Mystery 0/5 | Twists 5/5 | Pace Fast | Action 3/5
ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
Then There Was You is a beautifully written, slow burn, guaranteed wreck you!Read more
Then There Was You has me all kinds of twisted. I felt every emotion.Read more
Tessa, I love her independent fierceness.Read more