Reviewed by Kini
Favorite Quote: I want you forever, Amelia. Please say you’ll be my forever.” With my hands gripping him tightly, my legs not letting go, and my mind fixated on one man and one man alone, I say, “I will be your forever, Aaron. That will never change.
When I first read this blurb, I was pretty sure this book was had the potential to be really disappointing, but I wanted to give it a shot. There is something about the trope of the “other” sibling that I really enjoy, I don’t know why. Anyway, this book really surprised me and I really liked it.
Aaron, our hero, is 30 and living his best life. He owns his own home, co-owns a business, lives in a small neighborhood with mostly senior adults, has some great best friends, and likes to binge eat Little Debbie snack cakes. There’s a scene with him and his dudes getting drunk and binging on Swiss Rolls and Zebra cakes and there was no way I couldn’t love him.
Amelia, our heroine, has moved back to town to be closer to her sick dad. She and her boyfriend decide to do the long distance thing for a bit while she settles and he works on relocation. Amelia ends up renting the place next to Aaron. This situation is chock full of angstyness because Aaron and Amelia just to date and were in love. Except three years ago Aaron broke up with Amelia and it quickly becomes clear that neither are over it.
So you know how in a lot of Hallmark movies, the lady is off living her life and slowly develops feelings for the new dude but all the while still has the dude she is dating out there somewhere? That is exactly what happens here. After some initial weirdness and awkwardness, Aaron and Amelia fall into a friendship. Amelia struggles with her feelings for Aaron and what to do about it. There is never full on cheating and it’s not quite a love triangle, but I can’t say those things aren’t in this book either. Lines are a little blurry. If those things bother you, this book probably will not work for you.
Aaron really struggles with his worth as he grew up feeling like he didn’t deserve things like happiness and love. Because no one ever gave them to him. He’s always been the “other” brother. That lack of self worth was the rationale for breaking up with Amelia. When she reenters his life, he has a hard time seeing and accepting that he is worthy of love and loving. Of course, he learns he is worthy of love and I was there for it.
I thought for the most part it was handled well. It wasn’t too drawn out and had the appropriate amount of angst. I really enjoyed Aaron and his friends. I believe that both his friends Racer and Tucker are from previous books, but this book stand alone well. There were a few continuity issues that I had with the book. Aaron mentions that his friends are his brothers and they’ve been through so much together, but they’ve only known each other three years. I know you can’t quantify how long it takes to become close, but it just felt like that wasn’t enough time. There’s a scene with Amelia’s day that was over the top cheesy and predictable and I had to skim it and move on.
Overall I enjoyed it. The book has funny moments, sad moments, and everything in between. I was invested in their story and them falling back in love. We do get to see glimpses of their lives together previously and that was good. I felt like I didn’t quite get enough of parts of their individual stories, particularly in relation to their families. There were definitely some eye rolly moments, but I was swayed by my own love for Little Debbie’s so I was destined to enjoy this book. There is also a scene where Amelia orders a Raging Bitch beer, that beer is brewed by a local to me brewery and that made me happy. If you can handle cheating adjacent type behavior and are looking for a quick read with a decent balance of fun and emotion, you might enjoy this book.