Saturday, 8 November 2014

Review ~ Here With Me (The Archer Brothers #1) by Heidi McLaughlin

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 Stars

“I’m here because six years ago I lost the love of my life, but now he’s back from the dead, and in a few weeks I’m set to marry my best friend. His brother.”

The way that this story was told was pure genius by the author, I have to applaud her for her ingenuity and it was so unique that you could not help but be taken in by this story. The prologue rips your heart out so is a great way to start this emotional read.

Ryley had her life pulled out from under her six years ago, the love of her life, Evan, was killed in action when she was pregnant. Finally after picking up the pieces and having to live for the sake of her child Ryley slowly but surely got herself back together, but it took many, many years. Her rock during this period was Evan’s twin brother Nate. These two have always been friends and Nate was there for Ryley and her son when they needed it. After many years, this friendship turns to more and Ryley and Nate fall in love, they get engaged and they are due to get married. The family have their issues with their new relationship, but it has been six years, life goes on and you cannot help who you fall in love with.

While Nate is on deployment Ryley gets the shock of her life when she sees Evan waiting for her at her house (it was once their house). She can’t believe her eyes; after all, she buried him six years ago. Evan is taken aback by her less than warm welcome and cannot understand what on earth is going on until he finds out that the military had declared him dead and buried him. Evan was under the impression that he was on a secret mission, he had been receiving care packages from home, with photographs, how could they possibly have thought he was dead, and if they did, who had been sending the packages?

“Someone did some serious covering up, and it’s costing me my life.”

This is a very emotional read, intertwined with that element of suspense. Obviously something has happened for Ryley and Evan to have been put into this situation in the first place, but who can be trusted? There is also Ryley’s new personal situation…Evan is not happy and feels betrayed by his brother, but the fact remains that everyone thought that Evan was dead and had moved on, but Evan does not see it that way.

“Everything I knew I had, everything that I thought was waiting for me, isn’t.”

This is one of those “what would I do” books, it makes you think and think hard. It is hard to imagine yourself in this situation. Ryley was devastated by the loss of Evan, they have one of those all-consuming deep and passionate loves, a soul mate kind of love and it took Ryley a long time to even begin to “live” again. However, she found that propensity to love again, in the form of Nate, Evan’s twin brother. Yes, I am not sure I could go there as I am sure Nate is a perpetual reminder of what Ryley had lost, but they did, and their love was built on friendship. Nate had become a father to Ryley and Evan’s child; they had made their little family and were all set to get married. They truly loved each other. Now Ryley finds herself in the predicament of loving two people at the same time, can that actually happen?

“I want to know how I get my girl back. I miss Ryley like crazy, and I want to know my son.”

My one problem with this book was the absence of Nate as he is currently on deployment and due back soon for his impending nuptials with Ryley. This makes the playing field extremely unfair. It was obviously Heidi’s intentions, else Nate would have been present but I just feel this would have been better if it was a fair fight. By no means do we know who Ryley will end up with, it is still not settled, but you can see how things are swaying like a pendulum and I just wanted Nate there to put his side across. We all know though how these authors like to play with our emotions, so maybe we are being led down the wrong path…who knows, but I cannot wait to find out.

The writing in this book was beautiful, it was emotional, evocative, fluid, heart wrenching and devastating at times. You felt their emotions, their devastation and their pain at being kept apart. I lived and breathed this story with them. Ryley is faced with an awful decision and she just does not know what to do, she wants answers yet she still has so many questions, her feelings are all over the place and she is faced with that constant push and pull. Her emotions and thoughts are like a tug of war in her heart and head, with Evan at one end and Nate at the other.

“I was the firework. I was the butterfly. I was every analogy you could think of. I didn’t see stars. I became the star. My first kiss was everything it was meant to be and more.”

All I can say is I need book 2 stat!! I want to hear from Nate, I want to hear what he has to say, his opinions and thoughts. I want to know what he perceives to have happened but most of all I want him to fight. I want this on a level playing field; this is going to be one incredible battle and one that I want a front row seat for. But I still keep thinking…What would I do?

“My SEAL is back.”

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