Reviewed by Kini and Mandi
Kini: I read Fly with Me, book one in the series, earlier this year. It was a middle of the road read for me, except for the relationship between Dani and Easy. I LOVE the trope where one character loves the other from afar, but doesn’t/can’t make a move. Because I am a horrible person, I felt okay about the circumstances that allowed for Dani and Easy to have their own story. I had no interest in reading book 2. I am sure it’s great, but after I read Fly with Me, I was waiting impatiently for Easy’s story to end up in my greedy little hands.
I was not disappointed with this book. Dani has resigned herself to living a life of being “happy…ish.” Easy was tortured and felt like he isn’t worthy of Dani. Ya’ll know I love the tortured hero.
Mandi: Having a spouse die is tricky for romance readers to accept.. Our hearts love a HEA which means all heroes and heroines live to be at least 100 and die peacefully in their sleep holding hands. So when Dani’s husband dies in a plane crash – it was hard to take! (although they never starred in their own book together). A year passes before this book starts – a year where Dani has grieved and tried to accept her new life by herself. Living on an airforce base for her entire marriage allowed Dani to develop a strong sense of community with fellow spouses of air force pilots. She has a strong network of friends who are there for support – but the most support has come from her late husband’s best friend, Alex aka Easy.
Easy fell in love with Dani the first time he ever laid eyes on her – but she was with her then to be future husband, so Easy never told anyone or ever made a move. But he fell in love with her so hard, it’s been torture to watch Dani be in love with her husband. And then he dies. And Easy doesn’t know what to do with himself. So he protects Dani and cares for her and supports her the best way he knows how and it’s so romantic yet he is SO tortured over it all I could barely stand it!!
Kini, how did you feel about the progression of Dani feeling friendship to Easy to actually loving him? And all the mixed feelings about her late husband swirling around?
Kini: I felt like it was a fairly natural progression from best friend love to romantic love. Easy had already been acting as Dani’s best friend. Easy was there for her when her husband had been away. I think that Cleeton did a great job of portraying Joker as a character but not getting us too invested in him. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have worked for Easy and Dani. To me, all the feelings and apprehension that Dani and Easy had felt very true to their characters and circumstance. Also as someone who is working through the stages of grief, although not a spouse, this part of the book felt authentic without being overloaded. I loved that Cleeton didn’t make it all magically better. The way Easy was just there for her even though it was so painful to love her from afar, it was so agonizing, yet wonderful.
Mandi- What did you think of the progression?
Mandi: I always get nervous when there is a dead significant other because I hate it when the living hero or heroine realize they never really loved the dead person and they truly love the new HEA in the book. You are allowed to love the dead person! And thankfully in this book, Dani truly loved her husband and even though she falls in love with Easy, she recognizes her love for her late husband will never end. And that’s okay.
Let’s talk about how deliciously tortured Easy was in this book. He wants Dani so badly but also feels so guilty and I just wanted to hug him and rub his abs and say it would be okay!
“Don’t you get it by now? There is no one else. There never will be anyone else. There’s just her.”
Oh Easy. Go get her – she wants you too!
Kini: Mandi, I loved that quote too!!!!!
He cuddles with her! Before she is in love with him. If that doesn’t define tortured love, I don’t know what does. He brings her tiramisu after Dani goes on a date with another man. When Jordan and Noah’s baby is born and the way he thinks about Dani and her smile
Most beautiful fucking thing I’d ever seen. I stood there, bathing in her glow, corny as that sounded… I love you. I love you. I love you.
Oh Easy, that was so not corny, go get your lady!!!
The way that Dani starts to recognize she has feelings for Easy that might be more than friends was great. I loved the scenes in the bar when she was ready to throw down when Easy was off talking to other women.
“I told myself I didn’t sound defensive, that I hadn’t imagine Easy, my Easy as a man, a man I could want, a man who could make my body yearn for things I hadn’t felt in a long time.”
This book worked for me on every level. The tension. The love story. Easy’s torture. Dani’s grief and then love for Easy. I wanted to shout from the rooftops how excited I was for Easy to get his love and believe that he deserved it.
Mandi: I’m glad we get that epilogue too that shows the result of a little surprise during the book. Overall a really nice romance that gave Dani a second chance at love she so deserved.