Saturday 9 April 2016

Review ~ Life in Reverse by Beth Michele

Book Description:

A second chance love story 


Ember Bennett was my beginning...but she was also the end.

She was my downfall

And I never even saw her coming. 

She didn’t burst into my life demanding to be noticed. Instead, she slipped in under my radar when I wasn’t looking. Caught me off guard.

I should have been paying better attention.

Because I found myself drawn to her. Her quirkiness, her laughter, her brutal honesty.

I didn’t ask for her. Still I found myself wanting her. Needing her. Craving her.

I just couldn’t have her.


I was minding my own business when Vance Davenport showed up.

He wasn’t talking, yet somehow I heard him.

I wasn’t looking, but my eyes sought him out.

He became something I never expected. 

Until it all changed.

Then he became someone I wanted to forget

This is a New Adult Standalone Contemporary Romance

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“…without our memories, what are we? We have nothing. We are nothing. We’re...alone.”

Life in Reverse is a book that will tug at every emotion, a book that not only is one about second chance love but also about family, life, love, grief and friendship. A story that was one of slow build but so perfectly crafted and so emotive that you felt every expression, every smile, every touch. A love born from friendship till it wasn’t, but a love so strong it never left. I love a second chance romance and this was one of the most tender and inspiring ones I have read. From family to friends, this book has everything, was captivating and completely engaging and these two characters certainly left their mark on me.

“You have this way of breaking down walls, Ember. You fucking took a sledgehammer to mine.”

Vance was in a bad place, he was grieving in his own way for his mum who was no longer in the family home due to a progressive degenerative brain disorder, she was there in body but definitely not in mind. To see his mum in such a position was hard for Vance, he and his mum were so close it was like he had lost his best friend. Even visits do little to tamper the pain as when he is there, she doesn’t know it is him. For someone who screams extrovert on looks alone, Vance is actually an introvert, he keeps himself to himself, he reads like a pro and he doesn’t let anyone in. Having had to up sticks with his dad and brother was not appreciated and now settling into a new home, he just saw it as more distance between himself and his mum. He had misguided anger and this was his fuel, he was a bomb waiting to go off and I certainly didn’t want to be in the vicinity when it happened.

Ember was a really cute, artistic, whimsical, girl next door type that had a heart of gold and a mad crush on Mickey Mouse. Her mouth had no filter, she spoke the truth no matter the consequences but most of all you always knew where you stood with her. Ember was a triplet and was closest to her brother, a brother that had sadly passed away two years prior. Ember is struggling with her own grief and while her brother is no longer on this earth he is constantly with her in spirit and memories. Ember has her own guilt issues as well as grief, but it is this that makes her kindred spirits with Vance. Maybe these two are what one another need, if they ever get over the love/hate initial relationship that seems to have developed that is.

As I said above, I loved the slow build with Life in Reverse, there were a lot of walls to be broken down with both Vance and Ember and I am glad that this was teased out as both these characters were so stubborn at times I couldn’t see it being any other way. To see little chinks of their walls come down one by one was magical to read and one that I really appreciated. Vance was a tough nut to crack but when he finally appreciates what he has in front of him and finally opens up it brought tears to my eyes, yes I am a soft sap but I had envisioned this moment and when it finally happened I just got extremely emotional and wanted to give him a hug. But it is tender moments like these that made their story memorable and one that I was sure would stand the test of time.

“I had no idea I was walking blindly through my days.
Never really seeing.
Never really knowing.
But along came you.
Along came life.
Along came life.”

Life always throws curveballs and for Ember and Vance life is no different and as I said above this is a second chance romance. So life wasn’t ready for them then, but when their paths cross once again would anger and regret and that fear of getting hurt rule of would love once again conquer all.

“I don’t know much about love, except what he taught me. That it’s a quiet voice, a short distance between two hearts. Or maybe it’s a flame that flickers then dies out.”

With some great side characters that add an extra layer and some fun dialogue this book really was a page turner for me. A gay BBF and a crazy sister bring that fun factor to Ember’s life and Vance’s brother also adds another layer of crazy. While Vance and Ember are the more “serious” siblings, together they bring out their inner child and both were extremely adorable. From first to last page I was invested and I didn’t want to put it down. This is a book where I loved, laughed and cried but a book where I didn’t want to let the characters go. A great read from Beth Michele.

“I’m a forever kind of girl.”
“Well, you’re in luck then…it just so happens I’m in the market for one of those.”

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