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 premise of this book is normally something I would love. Angst? Check. Second chance romance? Check. I duet I didn't have to wait for the next book? Check.
Unfortunately, this one I failed to connect with. So many positive reviews are out there so I recommend you give this book a shot or read some other reviews. But from the beginning of this book I didn't see the spark between the main characters and often was scratching my head at the behavior between the two.
I will forever love Claire Contreras for the Darkness series and Paper Hearts, but I think my personal tastes have evolved differently from her books.
According to goodreads, 2 stars is "it was ok" and as this was just ok for me, that's the rating I am giving it.
This book had me hooked from beginning to end. The writing is so flawless and the story is told so effortless that you have no choice but to be completely invested in it. I loved both Tessa and Rowan. I also was deeply frustrated by them. I wanted to scream at them a few times, but at the same time, I was completely hooked with their entire story.
I don’t want to go into too many details about the story but as with any good second chance, these two characters have history, a lot of it. Their relationship has always been complicated, and they’ve had all these outside influences as well. I think that’s one of the things that makes the book even angstier, which I loved!
Once the book ended I wanted more! This is book 1 of a duet, and there’s a rather interesting, huge cliffhanger. I’m definitely not so patiently waiting for Book 2. I can’t wait to see what Claire has in store for us. I absolutely recommend, plus you won’t have to wait long for the conclusion as part 2 releases March 15!!!!
“If I died right there, in that moment, with her arms around me, I’d die happy.”
First, this isn't a regular boy, no he is a smart, funny, a rower - I LOVE rowers, and the boy that every girl wanted. But Rowan didn't want just any girl, the only girl ever he even considered wanting was Tessa.
Tessa has known Rowan her entire life and she knows he doesn't want forever with anyone. She also knows his entire life he was taught to be ruthless, driven and self-centered. But that doesn't stop her from falling for the one guy who could never give her a forever.
So back to my original question, where do I begin? Because when I started this book I wasn't even sure how I felt about these two together or how I felt about how Rowan was in the past. See when I read Tessa's point of view, I was team #LetHimGo. Then I read Rowan's point of view and I immediately changed to #NoOnesPerfect.
That's because, over the course of the book, I fell in love. I fell in love with these two imperfect characters. I fell in love with the possibilities and my heart soared with hope. Then I finished this freaking HUGE cliffhanger and now I can honestly say I am just team #ClaireGiveUsTheNEXTBOOK!
At this moment, I just want to jump back into their world and see what happens next. Do I recommend Then There Was You? Absolutely, but read at your own risk, because you will fall in love and you will be dying for more!!!