** 5 out of 5 AMAZING/BEAUTIFUL/RIP YOUR HEART OUT stars!! **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
Leah Marino hasn't been on a date in two years. After discovering the man she loved had manipulated and deceived her, she refuses to even entertain the idea of a relationship. Instead, she focuses her attention on taking care of her family, a role she's assumed since the death of her mother and the one place she knows her kindness won't be taken advantage of again.
When a nostalgic trip back to her childhood home results in a chance encounter with Danny DeLuca, a smart-mouthed mechanic who's as attractive as he is mysterious, Leah's carefully cultivated walls begin to crumble. She finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Danny despite his unreliable behavior and mixed signals.
But Danny has a secret...
One that could shake Leah's already precarious foundation and bring her world crashing down around her. Suddenly, she's faced with an incredibly difficult decision--is she willing to risk everything for the chance at finding the love she's always wanted? Or are some obstacles just too big for the heart to overcome?
Oh wow...I don't even know what to say. This book had it ALL. First I love the writing style but then I always love anything that Priscilla Glenn writes. This book was so much more than a book. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought this was gonna be a light and fluffy read and I was so so wrong! I laughed and snickered. At around 70% I was bawling like a baby, then I laughed some more and then really really cried my eyes out. This book took my emotions and destroyed them before putting them back together. I loved Danny. This man is perfect. He's everything a book boyfriend should be. Beautiful, loving, and aching for things he can't have. Danny has a secret and it's a big one. I realized what was happening pretty early on but I was floored when I found out and then sobbed myself stupid when it actually happened. Leah is a strong person. She's been through so much and will sacrifice anything for what's important to her. Danny is important to her. We watch them (mostly him) struggle with what's the right thing to do and we watch him loose the battle to his heart. It takes them awhile to finally come together but once they do...hang on! He struggles with his relationship and how fast he fell for her, he struggles with his secret and what it will mean for them, he struggles with guilt. But under all that you know he will finally come full circle with Leah's help.
This book is amazing! I can't say enough about it. If this isn't on your TBR list then get it now. You won't be disappointed and you'll fall in love with these characters and their story. This is the kind of book that sticks with you. It's not going anywhere any time soon. I'm giving it 5 stars but it deserves 20! Check it out!
Leah has had a rough go of it. She lost her mom 15 years earlier, she caught her boyfriend cheating the night her father had a heart attack. She's done with dating and she doesn't trust easily. She teaches in high school and she's smart, quirky, witty and beautiful.
Danny is a black haired, blue eyed mechanic. I mean really what's hotter than a sexy man with his head under the hood of a car? He's loyal and funny. He wants what every man eventually wants but knows he can't have it. He isn't a womanizer or a douche and he's respectful to women. He's a little on the possessive side when protecting what's his. He's hiding a huge secret that will impact his life in a huge way. I felt so sorry for him because what he has to deal with shouldn't have even been an issue.
They meet when she's taking a trip past the house where she grew up. She ends up inside the house talking to the current owner when Danny shows up. There is an instant connection but she leaves. After losing her mother's bracelet she returns to the house and leaves her number in case they find it. Danny does and calls her and makes up an excuse to see her. They end up having lunch and they connect in way neither of them have before. When the "date" is over he leaves without asking her out again.
Over time they develop a friendship over the phone and after an intense kiss he leaves her again only to drunk dial her a week later. She ends up picking him up and taking him to his apartment and taking care of him all night. We learn that he's not a drinker but that particular night he is drinking because it's the 1 year anniversary of his best friend's death. Bryan and Danny were closer than brothers. She also finds out that he made up the reason to meet with her about the bracelet and that he's really into her but can't have her.
They go through a time after that night getting to know each other and dating. He hasn't told her his secret yet but she's ok with that. They are both falling fast but with his secret looming he knows he has to tell her. After they "break up" he realizes he's out of time and goes to tell her.
So what's the big secret??
Danny and Bryan were in a bar a little over a year ago just doing what guys do. A few guys tried to start something but were kicked out of the bar. The night progresses and they continue to drink. Danny goes to the restroom and when he comes out the guys from earlier are there. A fight is already happening and it's 3 against Bryan. When Danny finally makes it through the crowd to get to his best friend it's just in time to watch a guy kick Bryan in the temple. Bryan, we later find out isn't actually dead but on life support since his grandmother can't let him go (also the lady who owns the house Leah grew up in). Danny sees read and jumps the guy that kicked Bryan and they end up going out a glass window. He beats the guy senseless. Well it turns out that while they were going through the glass window, the other guys was cut by a piece of glass and it happened at an artery. Now Danny was just trying to help his friend but the guy dies and Danny is now looking at serious time for manslaughter.
This is a big deal since it means he's gonna be serving time and he's starting a new relationship with Leah. He doesn't want to lose her but realizes it isn't fair to her. She takes some time to think about it but in the end decides it won't be forever and she's sticking with him.
They go through with the relationship and falling in love but sooner than later his court date begins to loom. His grandmother decides to take Bryan off life support so Danny can say goodbye. This was a horrible scene. I had to put my iPad down and walk away for a few minutes because I was so messed up. It gutted me. Danny was pitiful.
Not long after Danny has to go to court and he ends up having to serve 21 months in federal prison. He's devastated and so is Leah but they plan to get through it. He leaves the courtroom in handcuffs and it's almost 2 weeks before he gets to speak to her. While in prison he gets the idea in his head that he's not being fair to her and when she comes for her first visit he breaks things off with her. It's not what he wants but he's afraid if he doesn't she won't know the guy who comes out of prison when it's time for him to be released.
The break up lasts a month. She shows back up at the prison and just puts it to him. Lays it all out there for him and he eventually sees that he can serve his time and still be with her after all is said in done. We get glimpse of the time he serves and what she's doing while waiting on him. He gets released early for good behavior. He served 16 months total and then he's free to live his life.
"So I guess what it comes down to...what I need to know...is whether or not I'm worth the suffering to you."
"Leah, I could suffer through anything if you were my reward."
The epilogue occurs a month after he's been released. We see her getting ready for a party in her bedroom and she looks in the mirror to see him standing in the doorway. He proposes to her and she of course says yes. His welcome home party ends up actually being an engagement party.
Awesome book! Great job once again Ms. Glenn! Take a look at this one. I promise you won't regret it!