Any minute now, a van would drive up and Ashton Kutcher would slide the door open, laughing hysterically at my melodramatic performance on the front porch.
But nothing happened.
The words on the page jumbled into a toxic mess my brain refused to comprehend, much less accept.
Please consider this letter as a formal request to arrange a paternity test (DNA).
I barely remembered Chelsea Airy.
That wasn’t true—we’d gone out once, and we’d been friends for a while after. But I hadn’t heard so much as a peep from her since I’d gotten married. I’d reached out a
handful of times, but she’d quit responding and fell off the face of the earth. There hadn’t been a text, an email, a phone call, not even a Facebook message, much less a stork in the last five years.
My wife could forgive a lot, but she’d never wanted children—much less another woman’s.
Wow. Just wow! This is one of the best books that I have read this year. And yes, I read a lot but I haven’t given out tons of 5 Harlie’s lately. Lots of 4.5 but not 5’s. This one is definitely a 5. I’ve read Ms. Walls before (Girl Crush is hilarious and one of my top 10 this year) and with each book she just gets better and better. She writes with such emotional depth with her characters and just when you think that you have things figured out, she throws a curveball or two at you. There are many curveballs in this book but they are definitely worth the swing. None of them are misses. Just pure, OMG in the sense that they make you appreciate certain characters more later in the book than you did when they appeared earlier.
Don’t let the blurb give you the sense that there is cheating in the book. I hate a cheater but *spoiler* there is no cheating. They broke up for a couple of years. Trust me, this book starts off when they are in high school and continues until they are adults. Ms. Walls takes her time letting you get to know Cora and James (Carp) throughout the book. They are not perfect by any means and are products of their upbringing but on the flipside, they are very grounded. I loved how we really get to know these characters throughout the book. Each has some growing up to do and yes, even to the last page. *sniff*
This book does not have the angst that you would think that a YA/NA/Adult book would have. It’s about redemption, true love, second chances, and long-buried secrets that affected many of the characters that have long-reaching consequences. Cora and Carp are wonderful separately and together. Yes, they broke up for a bit but it was necessary for their character growth and of course, the child to be conceived. Chelsea is such a wonderful character. Seriously, I just loved her and she was exactly what Carp needed during his time awhile from Cora. He realized that he could have a friendship with a woman that wasn’t based on sex and she really helped him when it came to Cora in the long term.
I would be remiss to not talk about the secondary characters. Neil and Hannah are the perfect friends that Cora and Carp need during the story. They have a story, too but it doesn’t overshadow theirs. Carp’s parents and Gwendolyn/Dottie are great, too. They add the needed wisdom when Cora and Carp need it the most in the end. The secrets that revolve around Chelsea, Cora, and Dottie are just…OH MY. Never saw it coming and I really cried for Chelsea and Cora at that point. They would have been great friends with each other. Plus, then there is the child. I won’t go into a lot with the child but the child isn’t stupid. Chelsea made sure of that. Dottie, too. The child MAKES the story. And yes, Cora never wanted any children but once she realizes that she can truly help him through his grief and the child through hers, she’s a goner.
I usually don’t recommend a book that runs the gammet of emotions. Swooning, laughing, crying, cheering for characters and overall, just loving everything about a book but this is one of those rare treats that a reviewer lives for. I hated to see the story end. I was sad but the ending couldn’t have been more perfect. Or Promised. *wink*
Stephie Walls is a literary whore – she loves words in all forms and will read anything put in front of her. She has an affinity for British Literature and Romance novels and an overall love of writing. She currently has six novels out, four short stories, and two collections; all provocatively written to elicit your imagination and spice up your world.