Was he The One who got away?
Late one night, Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.
Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school–the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through coming of age. But when is a high school crush something more?
This is a heartwarming story. I really, really, enjoyed it. The story tugs at your heart. The prologue begins in present day but much of the content beyond that is what leads up to present day events.
Nicki Johnson, the protagonist, at seventeen has experienced loss beyond anything someone should experience at such a young age. Her sister is taken from her after a terrible accident. Her mother is grieving and has failed to be present mentally or physically. She copes by keeping busy but this keeps her out of the house and Nicki is uncertain how to deal with her own grief but she knows as numb as she feels she doesn’t want to live that way. Her mother isn’t a horrible person but she grieves in a way that leaves Nicki a bit neglected. It’s easy to see how difficult the loss of her sister has affected this family as a whole. Enter Adam, the hot British guy at school. He is everything Nicki knows she should stay away from, but for some reason he’s the only thing on her mind. He does all he can to get to know her better but she keeps her distance fearing she will end up hurt. Although they know of each other, their interactions were limited in the past, but this year their lockers are right next to one another. This year, she will get to know Adam better and like it or not, this will be the year she risks her heart. Her world unravels as she allows herself a chance at happiness…but can it last?
Adam Kincaid steps into Nicki’s life in High School but thoughts of him have remained with her into her adult life. She opens up and bares everything to him. She allows him into her thoughts and into her heart. She discusses the loss of her sister, the way her family dealt with the loss and what she remembers. Although she’s been silently suffering, she lets her guard down with Adam who seems to be the only person that asks how she’s holding up. She feels a level of comfort with him that she doesn’t find with anyone else. Slowly, he becomes her rock. Flawed as she feels, he accepts all of her. He sees her scars, both emotional and physical yet he listens intently and accepts every beautiful part of her. He shares his dreams with her and she never criticizes, she simply encourages him to do what he loves. The few months they spend together in High School stick with them for a lifetime. But can these two find their way back to each other?
Nicki’s career has led her search for Adam. After googling him, she finds out he is currently dating a woman who is from an illustrious family. Knowing that his family is from the same circle she can’t help but feel inferior. She still thinks of him often and longs to see him but she won’t admit it. Two of her friends venture to Europe and while in England, they meet up with Adam who is as curious about Nicki and her life as she is about him. I won’t give much more away but this is a must read for second chance romance fans!
Yay or Nay?
This is a beautiful book. It captures the essence of not only a first love, but true love. One that outlasts even distance and time. It was an emotional ride for me, the story touched on some pretty heavy loss for someone so young. It made me feel for this girl who felt as though she had no one to turn to. Although she grieves with her family, they all handled the loss differently. They all had to grieve alone in their own way. Adam helps her through a tough time in her life but he makes a lasting impression and forever changes her.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good love story. Depending on how emotional of a reader you are, you may need tissues for this one! I don’t cry very often in general so I don’t get very emotional with many books, BUT this one had me a bit teary eyed at one point or another. This is a book about first loves, second chances, healing and enduring love. I love, love, loved it. I am eagerly awaiting the release of Book 2!
*This book was an ARC provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and comments are my own.*
Purchase Beside Your Heart for Kindle | Paperback
There was something about the look in his eyes and the feeling of our bodies being connected that was too much. Everything about being with him felt impossibly special, but was it? In a way, I didn’t care if the actual sex was as good for him as it had been with Kate or Meredith; he appeared to enjoy himself just fine. But did it feel the same way for him?
Only allowing him to rest on my chest for a minute, I turned over onto my side. I felt the need to protect myself, but I also wanted to know the truth—at least I thought I might. Timidly, I asked, “Is…is it always this way? When you’re with someone?”
He pulled me back toward him. Looking me straight in the eye, he somberly shook his head. “No. It’s never been like this for me.” Kissing my forehead, he ended the discussion. “I love you, Nicki.”
About the Author
Even before she graduated from law school, Mary knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.
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