by Elena Matthews
Release: April 5, 2014
My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️
Twenty-eight year old Ava Jacobson though she was heading for calm waters, happily pregnant with her first child, while her fiancee Sebastian was serving out his time in Afghanistan. But when her baby announces herself three months early and leaves Ava struggling alone, recovering from a c-section with a little daughter fighting for her life and her man thousands of miles away. If not for her best friend Caleb and little Lilly's physician Dr. Bailey, she would'nt have been able to hold it together.
Neonatal Care Physicial Ashton Bailey is immediately taken with Ava and her tiny daughter, but knowing she is spoken for, he tries to keep a respectful distance. It becomes difficult however, when she is in need of support and he is eager to provide it, even if it is just as a friend. But when the bottom seems to fall out for Ava and she needs strong protective arms, he can't resist his baser instincts and alows his desires to come through.
For weeks Ava was battling her attraction to Ashton, his beautiful eyes a constant source of strength and encouragement to her. But when an unexpected return to a place she had wanted to leave behind brought back the dark memories that haunted her, she finally opened herself up to him completely. The result not only a complicated romantic entanglement, but also a resurfacing of old demons from which she no longer was able to hide.
Just as Ava thinks she has finally lost everything that mattered, the one person who has held her head above the water has come through for her again....
Good GRIEF!! What an emotional roller-coaster!! Excellent!
From a highly dramatic and emotional, but rather paced start, I was not quite sure where the story would take me. Pleasantly surprised when I started sensing a dark undertone that promised perhaps a type of psychological thriller aspect to this romance, I was not disappointed. The build up was very gradual, very subdued with a lot of overlying romantic turmoil that clouded the darker edges. But once the proverbial cat was out of the bag, and the dark twist was out in the open, suspense was high and the certainty that no deed goes unpunished, had me sitting at the edge of my seat.
Ava, at times I felt she was a bit of an emotional wreck, especially at first. That is until I got to know her better. Understood her better. And realized she was so much stronger than I had given her credit for. Even still, I can't agree with all of her decisions, but I haven't been in her shoes so it isn't my place to judge. I can't deny the incredible suffering and struggle, however, nor the blessing in the form of Caleb and Ashton in her life.
And good grief, where can I find me an Ashton? I have to admit, early on in the book I was wondering if he had some nefarious intent, but the man was nothing but perfection. Ok, he was kind of hitting on a woman who was already engaged, but he tried very hard not to overstep boundaries and filled a void left by the man who should have been there, but wasn't. His intentions were good but when instincts take over, what are you going to do?
Some difficult moral questions are tackled in this story, ones that are rather painful and difficult since the outcome has such a devastating impact on some. What do you do when you are faced with a choice between the right thing to do, and the right thing for YOU.....when they are not one and the same?
I have to caution readers about some of the subject matter in this book dealing with sexual abuse and suicide. As mentioned before, there are some dark elements at play that are slowly revealed and come back at full force toward the end. Please be aware that these topics are a part of the plot and may be cause for upset.
✨The intense, conflicted beauty and strength of ultimate survival!✨
**Copy provided in return for an honest review.**