Appealing protagonists, haunting love, and a twisty plot… A highly satisfying story!
Bryerly makes her foray into the world of romance with this solid entry, which explores self-destruction, true love, and deep addictions. At forty-five, Sophie Beaumont is a complete mess: divorced and alienated from everyone except for her ex-husband and best friend Sean McCaffrey, Sophie’s career as a lawyer is over, and she is struggling with severe alcohol addiction. Kirsten Hill, Sophie’s estranged aunt, has spent years waiting for her niece to sort out her life. When Sophie gets hospitalized the second time in a row for alcohol poisoning, Kirsten knows she has to take things in her own hands. She manipulates events to get help for Sophie: she persuades Sophie’s ex-lover Damon Monroe, a college professor who has no intention to be back in Sophie’s life, to rescue Sophie from her heavy alcohol addiction. What happens when the lovers who separated on a bitter note come face to face after twenty-seven years? Bryerly’s writing style is saucy and upbeat, as she turns the eccentric pair of characters’ interactions into an entertaining romance. Her characters are multi-dimensional, profound in their emotions, full of faults, and sympathetic in their dealings: Sophie is self-destructive and yet sharp-witted, edgy, and mean at times. But her close friendship with Sean and her deep vulnerability makes her a thoroughly appealing heroine. Sean, despite his personal issues and acute possessiveness, is charming and endearing and old-fashioned in his loyalty and love. He overshadows Damon with his relentless devotion and edgy personality. The eccentric pair (Sophie and Sean) share respect, compassion, and empathy as well as alcohol addiction and struggles with family issues and past demons. Their deep friendship is both convincing and enjoyable, and a subplot involving the circumstances leading to their divorce adds another dimension to the plot. Bryerly has done a solid job of merging the serenity of a deep friendship with the sweetness of true love: she expertly introduces plausible backstories of Sophie and Damon, weaving in deep-set love between the pair (Sophie and Damon). Their romance, despite being a bit of cliché in itself, is evocative, full of emotions, and deeply entertaining. A plethora of numerous twists complicates this intricate plot, keeping readers thoroughly invested in the story. With her skillful plotting, complex characters, and swift narrative, Bryerly has scored a winner. A must read for lovers of women’s fiction and romance.
Note: This title is free on Kindle Unlimited.