Ever know what you want to say, but can't quite decide the best way to put it in words? Yeah? That's where I am because this is supposed to be about the book, but every now and then art reflects life. When the two intersect it's hard to separate one from the other. So here I am.
Lili is young, beautiful, and has way too much responsibility for someone her age...no wait, it would be to much for anyone, but especially for a 21 year old who should be out dancing, flirting, and eating up life. Instead she has a terminally ill mother. She has a 7 year old autistic son who owns her heart, but is unable to reciprocate that love demonstratively. Her father left her when it was too much. Just left. No financial support. No emotional support. Nothing. Bastard. (Gotta throw in a statistic here...there is an 80%-90% divorce rate when there are kids with special needs or significant health problems.) Lili is strength personified. She keeps it together, keeps her priorities straight, and loves fully without self pity.
Enter Ryan. An ex-Marine and an up and coming MMA fighter. Totally hot. Totally intense. Totally broken by his past. Where Lili is the epitome of strength, Ryan is the epitome of someone unable to get past his pain, betrayal, and shame (no matter how displaced it is). He meets Lili and recognizes that she is the balm to his struggles, but trust doesn't come easy for someone who has lived his life.
"I've got demons, Lili. And sometimes they drown me. Then let me be your life raft"
This book definitely made me feel. One of the things I appreciated most is that the author kept it realistic. Although there was definitely some drama and angst it was all very believable and not overblown. There were confrontations I expected that never came to be, but at the same time it fit the story.ing if I said that I didn't want to see Ryan kick his uncle's ass. The man needed a good beating and a long prison sentence, but given Ryan's fragility, it made sense that the confrontation never happened. (hide spoiler)] The ending bothered me a bit. The other 99% of the book was so expressive and the ending just seemed almost abrupt to me. It went from angst to HEA in a few sentences. The epilogue helped, but I can't help but wish for a little more.
So, back to the opening paragraph of my review. *takes a deep breath, sits back and stares at the screen for more than a few moments* I thought Ms. Hall did a remarkable job nailing life with a special needs child. The guilt you feel, the fleeting, occasional desire to run away, the hesitation to allow people into your life, the split second of jealousy when your child responds to someone else, the fear of public meltdowns, and the immeasurable joy they bring. Even though Lili's son, Javier, wasn't the main plot point, I appreciated the care Ms. Hall took in his part in the story. Thank you. It was beautifully done.