"She's beauty for my ashes. And I'm hope for her heartache." (Cole Danzer)
I don't know what makes a great love story. Is it that instant attraction when boy meets girl? The passionate kisses and the fairy-tale ending? Or is it a lifetime of tragedy, paid in advance, for a few stolen moments of pure bliss? Is it the pain and the suffering that in the end you can say are worth it for having found the missing piece of your soul?
The answer is: I don't know. I don't know what makes a great love story. I only know what makes my love story. I only know that finding Cole when I did, when Emmy and I were running from a nightmare, was the only thing that saved me. That saved us. He was more broken than I was, but somehow we took each other's shattered pieces and made a whole. If that is what makes a great love story, if that is what makes an epic romance, then mine...ours is the greatest of them all.
©2015 M. Leighton (P)2015 Tantor
This book has two endings, one HEA and the other a cliffhanger - I have different ratings for each.
HEA - 4.5 Stars
The four stars goes to the execution and narration. I was able to imagine Cole, Eden, and Emmy's world, their present and their pasts. In short, I smelled the ocean, felt the sand on my toes and fingers, the cold of winter, and warmth of the hearth. M. Leighton was able to pull me in by the way she built the characters' world and develop each one of them from broken pieces to somewhat together as a whole. The dialogue was sharp and engaging, I loved the interaction between Cole and Eden and between Eden and Emmy. One thing I didn't feel believable though is that Emmy as a 6 year old, with not a lot of interaction with people in healthy relationships, seem to have too much insight regarding a relationship between her mom and Cole. (When you read it you'll see what I mean.)
The narration is also executed well by M. Makena and R. Wayne. I don't believe I have listened to either one of their narrations before but I think I will listen to more of Roger's. The performance were as they should be, neither one of them sounded too young nor too old. I believe, it is due to narration that I could imagine or internalize the characters and understand the subtext of their dialogue. The additional .5 star is for a well-written story, I understood the context without feeling like the author was holding my hand - the writing and dialogue was consistent and believable. I didn't read this book, I felt it.
So I subtracted half a star from perfect because, I don't think it's very realistic to believe that the happy ending is solid. Three people with PTSD need a lot more than each other to heal. I think that the HEA is fragile at this point so I think the ending is incomplete and abrupt. But I think it is rushed because of the alternate ending that leads to the next book.
Cliffhanger - 3.5 stars.
So all of the above but I am subtracting a half star from all the goodness because it is a cliffhanger. I'm sorry, it's one of my pet peeves - I NEVER buy a book that is not finished - I won't even look into it until all the books are out since I believe it is a waste of my time. The alternate ending is so out of context that I don't think it detracts from the book or the HEA. It is intriguing that I would like to read the second book (only when the third book is out, if there is one). But, I have reservations because I don't know how I would feel dragging these characters into more heartache. If this wasn't a Whispersync book, I probably wouldn't have wasted a credit on this (just because of the cliffhanger issue). That is how I loathe unfinished business, had I not known of the alternate HEA ending, I would not have even given this a chance.
I'm glad I did though because it was worth my time and then some.
I am an avid reader, not a professional book reviewer. I gladly offer my opinion of the books I read/listen to.
I enjoyed the unfolding story of this listen. The narration was ok....I did not care for the female performance as a male ...other wise it is a worth while listen! Cole has a tragic past of losing the daughter he loved and guilt for not spending enough time with her. Eden's past is beyond tragic ... and the result was the love her life, her daughter. The two broken souls fall in love with each other and share a connection with Emmy ... Eden's beautiful daughter. There are two ending you can chose from. The first was more in line with the story. The second ... I am not sure what to think about. It was incongruous with the Eden and Cole story I heard, however I suppose it could be a cliff hanger for another Cole and Eden story ..... definitely worth a listen! In my humble opinion it was worth the credit I used. Definitely would be worth a sale!
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
Eden and her 6 yr old daughter move to a little town in Maine, she's running away from her past and from the people in it and hopefully she's running to somewhere safe. She's heard talk of a mysterious man called crazy Cole but when their eyes meet, as he's building a sandcastle on the beach, two lost souls connect yet no words are spoken. It turns out Cole is the owner of the cottage she's renting and he's repairing the one across from her so they are constantly watching each other but seldom speak..... until, one day, tentative words are spoken which will eventually open the floodgates to let heartache, painful memories, anguish, tragedy, loss, suffering, regrets and sorrow in. But it also lets in desire, tender feelings, hope, forgiveness, healing, precious peace and, best of all, hard won love.
Wow, this is a hard hitting emotionally challenging book as Cole is broken, Eden is damaged and little Emmy trusts no-one, speaks to no-one and touches no-one but her doting Mom. It's a heart-wrenching story as they both eventually share in their devastating pasts and slowly learn to trust and heal through touches, looks, broken pain-filled words and passion-filled sex (but more loving than explicit).
Dual POV's but the majority is from Eden's, very good narration that connects and glues you to these loveable fractured characters, the story was heartbreaking, raw, painful yet beautiful and romantic too. But the two choice ending baffled me - A. continue to listen or B. skip to Chapter 33 so I continued to listen and was happily rewarded but curiosity can be an evil bitch so I also listened to option B. and wished I hadn't. If you too feel curiosity's curse and you MUST listen to both, but I hope you can resist, then skip to Chapter 33 listen to that ending then go back and listen to option A..... the true HEA ending us romantics eagerly anticipate.
Worth a credit? This was a well written but heartbreaking love story which I have to warn you (SPOILER ALERT) deals with the death of a child and child abuse (END OF SPOILER) but despite this these three fractured people find each other, let one another in and reap the rewards of becoming, still bruised, but whole once more. It's not a book I'd like to listen to again and it's one that will forever haunt me but it was a bitter-sweet 5 star creditworthy listen.
I tried to get through this book but by the tenth chapter or so I couldn't take it anymore. The female narrator was horrible. Her Maine accent was ridiculous mix between Boston and new York. She was so monotone, when the love scene come around I couldn't even tell. The only reason I gave the narration two stars is because Roger Wayne was awesome as usual.
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