Now this is how contemporary romance is done. Marie Force has gifted us with an incredibly beautiful story of love, loss and finding the courage to love again.
I was immediately drawn into the story; it’s excruciatingly raw and completely relatable. I found myself laughing and grieving with Hannah and I wanted mostly to comfort her. What I found both equally beautiful and heart-wrenching was at the start of every chapter there was a snippet of an entry in Hannah’s diary starting when she first meets Caleb (her husband) at the age of twelve and continues on until the age of thirty-five. The bittersweet flashbacks give the story so much more depth and understanding into Hannah’s grief and reluctance to move on.
I love how human the characters are. I admire Hannah’s courage and her huge, caring heart. Seven years after her husband’s death, Hannah finally decides to take the first step and start dating but she is more worried about what people will think and more importantly what her husband’s parents will think. Thankfully all her fears are misplaced and she has a wonderful support system in her family and her husband’s family as well as the entire town.
Nolan is my total dream man. He is patient and kind and honest and I just can’t tell you how many times I dreamy sighed while reading the story. I really appreciate that the author created such a standup guy. There are a lot of books in the romance genre today about bad boys and womanizers but I gotta tell you, there is nothing sexier than a faithful man. Hannah and Nolan were paired together beautifully. Their love story is one of patience, understanding, and a love so pure and true, it makes you desperately hope for a love like this to truly exist.
I absolutely love the Abbott family and I especially love the father, Lincoln Abbott and his father-in-law, Elmer Stillman who are the self-appointed matchmakers in the family. These guys are quickly becoming my favorite characters. The duo are devising plans to help Lincoln’s kids (Elmer’s grandkids) find their happily ever afters. While the ultimate end goal is to see all the kids married off and happy, it has become somewhat of a competition between the two to see who can bring the most couples together. They are completely unrepentant and have easily worked their way into my heart.
We are also treated to a bonus short story at the end of the book featuring Nolan and Hannah called A Hard Day’s Night. Oh, and did I mention I LOVE the names of the books! The Beatles are my favorite band of all time and all The Beatles’ references are totally awesome!
I want to thank Cait Needham, Dee Baily, and Army Lt. Col. Rebecca Eggers who shared intimate details about their own losses with the author. I also want to thank Marie Tillman, Mary Tillman, Matthew Logelin, Jennifer Gardner Trulson, Jackie Hance and Janice Kaplan who authored books that have influenced Marie Force in the creation of this beautiful story (more details in the acknowledgements segement of the book). Thank you all for your bravery in telling your story and your courage to move forward. Your husbands, wives, sons, and daughters are heroes and will never be forgotten. Thank you for allowing your stories to be told through Hannah and Nolan.
This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I invite all readers to experience this incredible story of courage, family and most of all, love.
Reviewed by Elizabeth for Cocktails and Books