Series: Promise in Prose #1
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on November 2nd 2016
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You know the old adage "if you love something, set it free?" It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The dumbest thing I've ever done. I loved her. I lost her. Hell, I let her go. And then spent five miserable years without her. To cope with the loss, I put pen to paper and wrote her a love story, knowing when she was ready she'd hear the words I couldn't say all those years ago. Turned out, not only would she hear them, but when Hollywood came calling, I made sure she got the lead role. After all, no one else could portray the character whom she'd inspired. Now she's within arms' reach and finally, she'll know the truth in my heart. Because that other cliche, "Actions speak louder than words?" I'm going to prove it. My words may have brought Ava Banks back into my life; I have to be enough to make her stay."
There’s something sweet about the boy (or the girl) next door type stories, but now with a bit more than the teenage angst thrown in. Gun-shy now, Tucker Manning’s hesitation when wanting to move forward with Ava Banks is understandable as he keeps his eyes on the present. Afraid to plan for a future, it’s up to Ava to convince him that she is worthy of her trust after an incident five years ago derailed their plans to have the romance that’s just like Jeremy’s and Sierra’s.
So the Banks family returns in all its glory and I’d never been happier.
It did take a while for me to start this story because it’s a preference of mine to keep brilliant pairings frozen in time so that they’ll be remembered for their perfection, and I’m glad I succumbed. As odd as it is to read about a fantastic pairing all grown up with children who are now falling in love, I loved the little inserts of Sierra’s and Jeremy’s ever-lasting affection for each other as seen from their children’s eyes; they’re just as hilarious now as they had been even after they’ve settled into married bliss and raising their children while still starry-eyed in love.
Yet my love-hate relationship with second chances rears its ugly head again when my trigger response is to root for the wronged party. As much as I liked Ava admitting the stupid blunder she’d made by giving Tucker up, I detested the platitudes that came after that regret was expressed—that time apart was perhaps a necessity—because it felt as tough excuses were simply made for a mistake that should be fully owned up to. But hard, cynical and jaded as I am, I actually felt that Tucker was too easy on Ava, a girl who’d essentially walked away and stayed away without the least bit of empathy for the dire family situation he’d found himself in. That he seemed to find himself in a position where he needed to hunt her down made me feel as though he deserved better, but it was gratifying to learn that Ava—despite several TSTL moments—did seem genuinely determined not to let Tucker go again.
There is much to like about Ava/Tucker nevertheless—their devotion to each other mirrors Jeremy’s and Sierra’s stalwart relationship—but don’t quite hold a candle to the latter still. But as I’ve written in several reviews: it’s probably just me.