When I first met Seb and Autumn as part of the Begin Again anthology I hoped and wished that it wouldn't be the last time I read about them. The book fairies heard my prayers and I was so excited when JA DeRouen decided to make their story into a full length novel. This second chance, childhood friends to lovers tale will have you laughing, crying, and swooning from page 1.
This was such an emotional read. It was at times painful and heart wrenching seeing these two ripped apart and unable to truly move forward. There was so much baggage and unresolved feelings between Seb and Autumn, that even though life continued for both of them, it was built on such fragile foundations. I really appreciated the honesty of their struggles to reconnect and get past their feelings of betrayal and hurt. It also helped that from the moment Seb and Autumn cross paths again, Seb is all in and ready to fight for his happily ever after. But can you truly begin again or will the weight of past mistakes crush any chance at a new start?
There were a lot of great secondary characters in the story, but the two that stood out most to me were Aria and Brady. Aria was just too cute and watching her relationship with Seb unfold was so sweet and adorable. I also loved her crush on Isaac and of course her back and forth with Uncle Brady. I'm *really* hoping that we see more of Brady and a certain feisty barista ;) Him and Lexi were fantastic and I loved their frenemies banter. I would have loved to see a little more from Autumn and Seb's past, like some of the fallout/years after to help understand what drove them so irrevocably apart for 5 years. I understand that they were teens when everything dramatically changed, but I still found it hard to swallow that neither would ever seek the other out or attempt to make any contact at all. Everyone manages and handles pain and grief differently though, so it's hard to know what those circumstances would drive someone to do/believe.
This was a wonderful second chance romance that will have you feeling all the feels and leave your heart hopeful. I'll keep my fingers crossed that we'll be back in Haven, LA soon.