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Then There Was You

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Love and the right timing were two things I didn't believe in. Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together. Timing was never on our side. My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend. My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her. My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn't built to Love and the right timing were two things I didn't believe in. Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together. Timing was never on our side. My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend. My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her. My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn't built to withstand the winds coming in our direction. Love and timing. I didn't believe in either. Then there was you . . .


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Love and the right timing were two things I didn't believe in. Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together. Timing was never on our side. My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend. My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her. My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn't built to Love and the right timing were two things I didn't believe in. Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together. Timing was never on our side. My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend. My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her. My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn't built to withstand the winds coming in our direction. Love and timing. I didn't believe in either. Then there was you . . .

30 review for Then There Was You

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    4.25 stars!!! Oh the ANGST! I devoured this book. Seriously, I need the next book ASAP. The ending of this book shook me. I need to know what happens, and thank god the next book is released soon! 
 Tessa Monte is back in her hometown temporarily. She loves this town, but having Rowan Hawthorne, her first love, here makes things difficult for her. Rowan and Tessa were completely inseparable until they went to college, then things fell apart between them. It’s obvious that feelings are still there 4.25 stars!!! Oh the ANGST! I devoured this book. Seriously, I need the next book ASAP. The ending of this book shook me. I need to know what happens, and thank god the next book is released soon! 
 Tessa Monte is back in her hometown temporarily. She loves this town, but having Rowan Hawthorne, her first love, here makes things difficult for her. Rowan and Tessa were completely inseparable until they went to college, then things fell apart between them. It’s obvious that feelings are still there, for the both of them. 
 Crossing lines with Tessa would be disastrous. She had the kind of magic that turned me inside out. The kind that would make me believe that maybe I did bleed. No matter how hard it is, Tessa is determined to stay away from Rowan. He makes it completely impossible. The effect these two have on each other… sigh. You can feel the longing, the sexual tension, the love. You feel everything between them, even if Tessa is hell-bent on denying it. These characters are complex, complicated, and stressed me out. This story stressed me out. It made my heart beat a little faster, and I was glued to the pages seeing how things would turn out for these two. This story had drama, it had a slow burn romance, and also intense chemistry. Rowan and Tessa’s story had me on pins and needles. Then There was You is a stunning, passionate, captivating, and angsty romance. It hooked me and didn’t let go until I finished the last page. I always love Claire’s writing, and this story was not only well written, but completely addictive! If you’re looking for a angst-filled and powerful read, look no further! I’m so happy the second book is out in less than a month, because I’m not sure how long I could wait! I highly recommend this one. “Tessa,” he said over and over and over like a mantra. “My Tessa.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    CristiinaReads❀

    ➳Second chances are rare to find, but in this fictional world, Claire Contreras knows how to get you hooked, invested, and fall in love with her characters that are unique in every sense of the way... ➳As a reader who detests any sort of angsty romance I must say... this novel was not half bad. Also, as an avid lover and follower of Claire's I can say that her writing has made a way of a one-eighty degree turn. I am going to make this review short and sweet because I don't really have a lot o ➳Second chances are rare to find, but in this fictional world, Claire Contreras knows how to get you hooked, invested, and fall in love with her characters that are unique in every sense of the way... ➳As a reader who detests any sort of angsty romance I must say... this novel was not half bad. Also, as an avid lover and follower of Claire's I can say that her writing has made a way of a one-eighty degree turn. I am going to make this review short and sweet because I don't really have a lot of words that can describe how beautiful and elegant this novel is. The characters were described and explained throughly with every precise detail that a reader may need. The plot twists, the drama, the un-answered questions... everything is taking part of this novel if you are looking for something that can distract you for a long ride to come. ➳Yes, indeed, there is a cliffhanger, and in my opinion it is a cliffhanger that I found... rather... interesting? Not saying it's anything bad or something, but I found that part of the novel, a bit... rushed. I am of course anticipating the next novel just so the sake of me finds out what happens to Rowan and Tessa. Their chemistry of course is one that I can read over and over and over again. The way Claire describes it, with such raw, and pure emotions captivated my heart in every sense of the way. ➳Overall, this second chance at love romance is one that I would recommend for those who are NOT looking for a quick romance. If you have not read a novel by Claire before, I highly recommend starting off with her novel of The Complete Hearts Series. ➳Follow Me On: Blog ♕ Instagram ♕ Facebook ♕ Twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog

    *****FOUR STARS***** {ARC Generously Provided by Author} I tightened my hands at my sides to keep from reaching out just yet, hoping she’d contradict everything I threw at her. Hoping to end this once and for all. We weren’t meant to be. We never had been; we never would be. She wanted to be free of this place, and I had ties that rivaled the roots of a white oak keeping me here. THEN THERE WAS YOU has got to be one of the most painfully angsty books I've read recently. I think I’m not as strong as *****FOUR STARS***** {ARC Generously Provided by Author} I tightened my hands at my sides to keep from reaching out just yet, hoping she’d contradict everything I threw at her. Hoping to end this once and for all. We weren’t meant to be. We never had been; we never would be. She wanted to be free of this place, and I had ties that rivaled the roots of a white oak keeping me here. THEN THERE WAS YOU has got to be one of the most painfully angsty books I've read recently. I think I’m not as strong as I used to be because for almost the entire time I was reading this book, I was getting such a stomach ache from the mental turmoil. Not once did I find a happy peaceful moment. The main characters were extremely infuriating. I don’t know how two people could be so stupid that they were completely unaware that they were in love with each other. I could see it from the beginning and so could everyone else around them! It drove me batty! It may sound like I hated the book, but I didn’t. Claire Contreras has proven once again to be a very talented writer. Once I picked up this book I found it nearly impossible to put down. I was a glutton for punishment and now that cliffy has me counting down the days until I can get to the conclusion of Rowan and Tessa’s story. Rowan Hawthorne and Tessa Monte grew up together and during their senior year of high school, things took a romantic turn between them. But their time together was cut short because they had plans to go to different colleges that would keep them apart for the next four years. When they cross paths again, it’s years later and the two are practically strangers. The time apart plus the fact that Rowan’s parents bought out Tessa’s family’s fabric company had managed to destroy whatever semblance of a friendship the two had left. Tessa’s family has moved across the globe and she’s back home to clear out her belongings and start the process of putting their home on the market. Rowan and Tessa run into each other a few times and it’s clear she’s still holding a grudge against him. But he’s always been her biggest weakness and soon enough she’s succumbing to his charms. They have a hard time controlling their desires for each other but are convinced that a relationship would never work between them because Rowan doesn't believe in love. Tessa isn’t willing to risk her heart for someone who is guaranteed not to return her affections. Here’s where I felt like pulling my hair out! They obviously loved each other but were too stupid to understand what was in their hearts! Rowan has been groomed since he was young to become the CEO of his family’s company and his Grandfather has offered him the chance to take control of the company but it comes at a very high price. Will Rowan give in to the stipulation when it means possibly ending what he and Tessa have? Will Tessa let Rowan make the ultimate sacrifice? Here are my overall ratings: Hero: 5 Heroine: 4.5 Plot: 4 Angst: 4 Steam: 5 Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 5 THEN THERE WAS YOU releases on March 1st. If you hate cliff-hangers and waiting for the next installment, then wait until the conclusion to Rowan and Tessa’s story is released on March 15th! Not too long of a wait. iBooks: https://apple.co/2C4Fzcm Nook: http://bit.ly/2nPdMre

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog••

    Oh for the love of god....... fricken cliff hangers. I usually wait until all the books are out in a series that ends unresolved. But damn it I know the next book is out soon so why not, but why oh why oh why do I do this to myself. And holy shit I could throw this fricken book at the way it made me feel. Oh the feelings... I’m keeping this spoil free but I’m dying to get the next book and to let you all how impatient I really am Rowen and Tessa are childhood friends and lovers. Separated b Oh for the love of god....... fricken cliff hangers. I usually wait until all the books are out in a series that ends unresolved. But damn it I know the next book is out soon so why not, but why oh why oh why do I do this to myself. And holy shit I could throw this fricken book at the way it made me feel. Oh the feelings... I’m keeping this spoil free but I’m dying to get the next book and to let you all how impatient I really am Rowen and Tessa are childhood friends and lovers. Separated by college years and the lack of wanting relationship statuses, oh and that one word called love. They both fear the word love and relationship. So they both walk away without a fight. After college, Tessa comes home to tie up lose ends and get her divorced parents house ready to sell before accepting an apprenticeship in Paris or New York. Of course the minute she sees Rowen the feelings are back tenfold. However Rowen is still stuck on this “no relationship, no love” journey in life. Yet, he does want, need, and has to have her. He just won’t say it in the words, relationship or love. Rowen will go to whatever lengths it takes to get his parents company. This includes giving up all his wants, his needs, and his deep feelings for the one girl he's ever felt that connection with. So after weeks of finally getting the girl back on the pretense that "this is for fun", what better way to get this task accomplished then to just walkaway from her and enter a "contract" with someone else... This story, god this story..... I’ve enjoyed Claire Contreras in the past, loved her writing and stories. This one is a slow burn, like seriously burning.... and the angst, off the charts. The love between these two sizzles the pages. Leaves you begging for more. I definitely will be waiting, patiently, for the conclusion. I’m praying that my assumptions will be right!!!!!🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 .

  5. 5 out of 5

    MELISSA *Mel Reader*

    5 "My Tessa" Stars! (ARC provided by author) -He looked at me as if I were the world. Like I was the sun and he was locked in my orbit. Tessa Monte is a beautiful 24 yr. old woman who is following her dreams in fashion design. She has two weeks to decide which city to pick for her apprenticeship, but first she’s heading to her hometown to wrap up some loose ends. She’s torn between wanting to finally be free of this place, and never leaving. She has so many wonderful memories of home, but it wa 5 "My Tessa" Stars! (ARC provided by author) -He looked at me as if I were the world. Like I was the sun and he was locked in my orbit. Tessa Monte is a beautiful 24 yr. old woman who is following her dreams in fashion design. She has two weeks to decide which city to pick for her apprenticeship, but first she’s heading to her hometown to wrap up some loose ends. She’s torn between wanting to finally be free of this place, and never leaving. She has so many wonderful memories of home, but it was also a place that made her remember the boy who broke her heart. She fell for Rowan Hawthorne as a teen, & through the years a part of him always stayed with her. They were inseparable until their lives went in different directions. She’s never quit thinking of him, and of the summer he was hers. Rowan & Tessa’s paths cross again and old feelings are awakened. Her plans to avoid him end the moment she lays eyes on him. It’s impossible to ignore his affect on her. When he looked at her she felt that undeniable connection she’d never had with another man. She knew she shouldn’t open herself up to him again if she wanted to walk away unscathed, but she couldn’t resist her intense need for him. -He'd always been gorgeous, but damn. I wasn't sure many people could top Rowan. -I hated that I felt this pull between the two of us, hated that it had to be him to make me feel this way every time. -She was so goddamn beautiful and she didn't even know it. -Tessa was the only woman who could look at me and send my heart into a frenzy. Rowan didn’t believe in love or relationships, but he had no control over how desperate and unhinged Tessa made him feel. He knew they could never be together. It would never work. He’d wanted her for over ten years, but knew his place was at Hawthorne Industries. Their timing was never right, & he’d come to terms with his destiny, but when he was with her all his responsibilities melted away. He’d missed her, and wasn’t over her. Tessa thought she could have this time with Rowan, and then walk away. She’s leaving soon for good. She could play it safe, & guard her heart, but every time he touched her he took another piece of it, and made her feel everything. I adored this book! It reminded me exactly why I’m obsessed with this authors words. Claire Contreras writes the most beautiful stories that you can’t quit thinking about. This book was full of insane chemistry, love and angst. I fell hard for Rowan, & also loved Tessa. It’s nice to read a story about a confident woman who knows her worth! I can’t wait for the next book to get more of this couple! :)) -When I was around her the only thing I thought about was being around her. -My life began and ended on Tessa's lips. -She had the kind of magic that turned me inside out. -"When it comes to you, there's never any competition. You blow everyone else out of the water." -"I just need you. Nothing else." http://amzn.to/2FJqIrn

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pavlina Read more sleep less blog

    LIVE AMAZON http://smarturl.it/TTWYAMAZON 5 AMAZING STARS I'm speechless, I have no words!!This book was fantastic, I devoured it in one sitting!I couldn't write a proper review for days!I have so many feelings with this one , I was happy,frustrated and anxious! Rowan and Tessa take the reader in an emotional roller coaster!These two have a pretty heavy past. Their relationship is full of tension,ansgt and some really intense and steamy moments!I couldn't put the book down because I simply couldn LIVE AMAZON http://smarturl.it/TTWYAMAZON 5 AMAZING STARS I'm speechless, I have no words!!This book was fantastic, I devoured it in one sitting!I couldn't write a proper review for days!I have so many feelings with this one , I was happy,frustrated and anxious! Rowan and Tessa take the reader in an emotional roller coaster!These two have a pretty heavy past. Their relationship is full of tension,ansgt and some really intense and steamy moments!I couldn't put the book down because I simply couldn't wait to see what will happen next! There is the perfect amount of drama and the characters are simply amazing!The writing is captivating,beautiful and flawless!I can't wait for the next book!!This is a must read, one of my favorite books for 2018!!     

  7. 5 out of 5

    ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

    MY REVIEW can also be found on my blog: KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS ‘THEN THERE WAS YOU:’ Is a full length, contemporary romance novel and is the first book within the ‘second chances duet’ by Author Claire Contreras. Spoken in 'Dual Perspectives' In this we meet 'Tessa and Rowan' There's isn't an easy story to read, he will drive you insane at times but it's their story. In this we meet twenty four year old Tessa Monte who is following her life time dream of becomin MY REVIEW can also be found on my blog: KITTY KATS CRAZY ABOUT BOOKS ‘THEN THERE WAS YOU:’ Is a full length, contemporary romance novel and is the first book within the ‘second chances duet’ by Author Claire Contreras. Spoken in 'Dual Perspectives' In this we meet 'Tessa and Rowan' There's isn't an easy story to read, he will drive you insane at times but it's their story. In this we meet twenty four year old Tessa Monte who is following her life time dream of becoming a fashion designer and has been offered two apprenticeships and has a hard decision to choose which one is best suited for her, one is situated in Paris the fashion capital of the world, and the other one is in New York. She’s back in her home town for two weeks to tie up some loose ends and is also putting their family home on the market even though it pains her to do so. Being back in town is like taking a trip down memory lane, and it all leads back to one boy, that boy who stole her heart and then in turn broke it, these two were inseparable even when they were apart he was always forefront of Tessa’s mind. She wears her heart on her sleeve he wears a cocky grin on his face. People like me aren't mean't to fall in love. We aren't mean't for others to fall in love with us either. I'm too closed off, too guarded. Twenty five year old Rowan has never kept it hidden that love isn't for him, or even relationships really and he has his parents to thank for that, him and his brother Sam were raised in a loveless, emotionless household so it's always been a struggle to give himself to females but more so with Tessa, she scares him, the intensity of their times together, hs dad's mantra that was drummed into him as a kid he repeats over and over 'I do not bleed, I do not feel stupid emotions that won't propel me in life' Love was an illusion. An idea that society tried to sell you. I believe in respect and honesty, but love? Love had never been on my radar. Rowan was groomed to be CEO of the families empire since he was a young child at the age of seven and now it's come time for hm to step up to the plate and take over his family's business, but to do that there is a clause in the contract that he has to abide by, and this is where all the angst and frustration, the emotional upheaval will come at you. This does flit from Present to Past and even though I thought it was vital to the story it did take me awhile to get used to but once I got a few more chapters in I started enjoying it more. Their past isn’t the prettiest, it has its ups and downs, the pulls too and fro but such a heartfelt connection came through. if you're an angst whore then this book is for you!! I felt so many things whilst reading this, I cried, I was frustrated, I hated, I loved, then I was gutted. Being a kiwi girl it just made me love reading about our traditional Maori greeting. * Teaser used is off the Authors facebook page *      

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claire Contreras

    Then There Was You is now LIVE on Amazon! eBook: http://smarturl.it/TTWYAMAZON Paperback: http://smarturl.it/TTWYPaperback Then There Was You is now LIVE on Amazon! eBook: http://smarturl.it/TTWYAMAZON Paperback: http://smarturl.it/TTWYPaperback

  9. 4 out of 5

    ✰ Liz ✰

    ★4.5★ "I'm not afraid of anything." Then There Was You is the first book in the Second Chances Duet. A heartbreakingly beautiful story of two best friends who experience love and loss and then love again. "Love was an illusion. Love had never been on my radar." Tessa Monte and Rowan Hawthorne have been frenemies every since they shared a young romance that ended abruptly. Rowan is destined to take over his family business and Tessa, a flourishing fashion designer, has been offered an inter ★4.5★ "I'm not afraid of anything." Then There Was You is the first book in the Second Chances Duet. A heartbreakingly beautiful story of two best friends who experience love and loss and then love again. "Love was an illusion. Love had never been on my radar." Tessa Monte and Rowan Hawthorne have been frenemies every since they shared a young romance that ended abruptly. Rowan is destined to take over his family business and Tessa, a flourishing fashion designer, has been offered an internship in Paris that she cannot refuse. When Tessa and Rowan rekindle their love affair, their future becomes blurred as they both struggle with their desire to be together. "You will not give up Paris for me." Told in dual POV, Then There Was You offers an angsty romance of two people who love each other very much but cannot find the strength to be together. The internal and external forces are too great and despite their best effort to make it work, they are ripped apart again. The passion between the two is unmatched as their love grows stronger. The tempo of the writing flows naturally as every moment unfolds. With a complex plot and beautiful characters, Claire Contreras offers a stunning contemporary romance that I will never forget. Overall, Then There Was You will appeal to readers who don't mind angst. Although my heart is breaking after finishing this, I have complete faith in Ms. Contreras that she will make everything right in the conclusion. Thank goodness it is coming out soon! ***Second Chances Duet*** *ARC graciously provided in exchange for an honest review! For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

  10. 4 out of 5

    Olga therebelreader

    Wow.... From the start I was spellbound! I couldn't put it down. This is one of those wonderful intense reads that delivers everything you want. I loved it!! I loved the angst within. It was full of emotionally twists and turns. A totally mind blowing book. Onto the book, the story is told present day and utilizes flashback chapters to flesh out the past and present relationship between the protagonists, Rowan and Tessa. The flashbacks allow the reader to experience the evolution of their relati Wow.... From the start I was spellbound! I couldn't put it down. This is one of those wonderful intense reads that delivers everything you want. I loved it!! I loved the angst within. It was full of emotionally twists and turns. A totally mind blowing book. Onto the book, the story is told present day and utilizes flashback chapters to flesh out the past and present relationship between the protagonists, Rowan and Tessa. The flashbacks allow the reader to experience the evolution of their relationship. The author knows precisely how to progress the story and how to shift gears, making any transition seem effortless and seamless. Tessa has tried to move on without closure of what happened between her and Rowan years ago. The connection between them is toe curling, my heart was lost in their romance from the beginning. The author does a fantastic job of sharing their story...so bittersweet. They have that intense type of forever love with the ability to conquer the world, but the world isn't what their love must defeat; the stresses of life are what threaten their relationship and happiness. The entire story is beautiful, it is passionate, it is honest, and it is so much more than most stories. I highly, highly recommend this book. 5 huge stars from me. In short: Hero 5/5 | Heroine 5/5 | Plot (Point, Originality) 5/5 | Writing Style 5/5 | Steam 4/5 | Romance 5/5 | Angst-Suspense 4/5 | Darkness 0/5 | Humor 3/5 | Secondary Characters 5/5 | Drama-Conflict 5/5 | Mystery 0/5 | Twists 5/5 | Pace Fast | Action 3/5 ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads

    PS: I decided to review this series as a whole. This is a combined review for books 1 + 2! “One thing I learned in the aftermath of our love was that my heart can crack, break into a million pieces, and shatter like glass, but it kept beating.” This series is drama, angst, and heartbreak wrapped in a sexy package of heartwarming. Two books that suck you in and don’t spit you out until the last pages. If I had one word to described the Second Chance duet it would be: INTOXICATING. From the moment I PS: I decided to review this series as a whole. This is a combined review for books 1 + 2! “One thing I learned in the aftermath of our love was that my heart can crack, break into a million pieces, and shatter like glass, but it kept beating.” This series is drama, angst, and heartbreak wrapped in a sexy package of heartwarming. Two books that suck you in and don’t spit you out until the last pages. If I had one word to described the Second Chance duet it would be: INTOXICATING. From the moment I started reading I was lost to these characters as they undid me, consumed me, and completely intoxicated me. There’s so much back and forth, so much push and pull, so much chaos and tension, so many delicious twists and turns which make the angst tangible and palpable. It’s a saga that, for the most part, kept me on my toes. If you’re an angst lover, you’ll devour book 1 like a last meal, and if you like sweet and heartfelt then book 2 will act like a balm to the angsty wounds that book 1 gave you. It’s truly a tumultuous tale that has has a bit of everything for everyone, and man, I really loved the ride. The Second Chance duet is composed of two installments: Then There Was You (Bk #1) and My Way Back to You (Bk #2)! It follows the Hawthorne and Monte families—specifically Tessa Monte and Rowan Hawthorne. Tessa and Rowan grew up together, had a relationship in high school that fell apart when Ro went to college. They both go there separate ways, not staying in touch, until years later when Tessa is back in town to sell her parents house. In the first book the story unfolds in past and present chapters, inviting us to view the development of Tessa and Rowan’s romance but also showing the breakdown of that friendship and relationship. So much happens in these books. SO. FLIPPING. MUCH. But one thing is clear, it’s a roller coaster ride of emotion that’ll leave you absolutely winded. Now obviously, I can't disclose details because of SPOILERS, but this series is about second chances, forgiveness, and new beginnings. Where book 1 is a full on angst-fest that ends with a jaw dropping cliff, the second book is a complete departure in tone. It’s sweeter, more mellow, more relaxed, way less tumultuous, but still manages moments of angst that squeeze your chest and make your tummy drop with feels. Tessa and Ro are a couple who never quite find the right timing to make a relationship work. Rowan is closed off, broken from growing up in a home that oozed coldness. While Tessa is the opposite, her family (though somewhat in shambles) still manages to hold onto their connection and supports each other. Rowan and Tessa have to walk different paths in life and this is a showcase of the time it takes for them to work their way together. And man, is it bumpy. Overall, I really enjoyed this second chance duet. The first book had me completely enrapture, gripped by the romantic drama that played out before my eyes. I was giddy with anticipation of what was coming in the second installment. Playing it out in my mind. And while My Way Back to You didn’t live up to what I initially thought it would be, it still kept me totally captivated. The full on raging angst-fest we saw in book 1, went in a totally different direction in book 2. And while I admit it took me a minute to feel where the second half was going, to ultimately accept the tempered down angst, I was still enthralled by this couple, still drawn to what would become of them! I couldn’t put it down, and I’m sad the ride is over. It was so good and gave me so many beautiful, romantic moments. I truly loved it. And I absolutely recommend this. You won’t regret reading! Ratings: Bk 1 - Then There Was You - 5 Stars. Bk 2 - My Way Back to You - 3.5 - 4 Stars Overall Series Rating: 4 Stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    NMmomof4

    3 Stars Overall Opinion: This was kind of meh. It felt way too slow and took way too long for me to get into it, but then it did pick up and left me on a cliffy enough that I am ready to jump into the next book, My Way Back to You. I also stuck with it because so many of my GR friends seemed to like it, so it very well could be a "just me" thing 🤷🏻‍♀️ Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Tessa and Rowan's story. They've known each other since they were kids, but when Tessa returns home to clea 3 Stars Overall Opinion: This was kind of meh. It felt way too slow and took way too long for me to get into it, but then it did pick up and left me on a cliffy enough that I am ready to jump into the next book, My Way Back to You. I also stuck with it because so many of my GR friends seemed to like it, so it very well could be a "just me" thing 🤷🏻‍♀️ Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Tessa and Rowan's story. They've known each other since they were kids, but when Tessa returns home to clean out her parents house it's obvious that there is more to their story. Rowan is the definition of a commitment-phobe and Tessa isn't much better, so when they crossed the line of friendship to something more neither of them could commit when they went their separate ways to college. Add in some family and business drama, and Tessa is bitter about their reunion. They dance around each other, but finally give in to their strong attraction and connection. Tessa is leaving to start an apprenticeship, so they know their time is limited. There is some family and OW drama, some sexy times, and some big reveals...and it ends on a cliffy. POV: This alternated between Tessa and Rowan's POV. Overall Pace of Story: Not so great. It felt way too slow to me. It wasn't until probably 55ish% that I actually got into the story. I'm not quite sure why some things were drawn out so much, but I have a bad feeling that it's another instance of the author stretching things out in order to make 2 books out of what probably should've just been one book 😬 Instalove: No, they've known each other since they were kids. The story does start and builds upon old feelings though. H rating: 3 stars. Rowan. He is a mess! He has been damaged by his parents so much, and I definitely wanted to give him a good shaking!! h rating: 3.5 stars. Tessa. I thought she dealt with unrequited love pretty well. I appreciated that she put herself out there and expressed her feelings even though she knew she'd still probably get hurt. Sadness level: Low. No tissues needed for me, but I can see where others might get emotional with it at times. Push/Pull: Yes (view spoiler)[ They both push away (h more so at first but H more so overall) and I'd say that the H is the main pursuer of the relationship. (hide spoiler)] Heat level: Hot. They have some hot tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story. Descriptive sex: Yes OW/OM drama: Yes (view spoiler)[There is an OW that is aggressively pursuing the H and the H's mother is supportive of the OW's pursuit as well. This causes majority of the drama in the story. (hide spoiler)] Sex scene with OW or OM: No Cheating: Not technically (view spoiler)[They are never officially or exclusively together, so technically it's not cheating. The H does kiss and let OW touch him while casually with the h (and the H has slept with this OW in he past) (hide spoiler)] Separation: Yes (view spoiler)[They are separated for years before the story begins, but they were never officially "together" either. It is implied that the H had other partners and the h was with one OM during this time (and lost her virginity). (hide spoiler)] Possible Triggers: Yes (view spoiler)[Unexpected pregnancy (on page) and forced/arranged marriage for the H to OW (on page) (hide spoiler)] Closure: This ends on a cliffhanger and continues in the second part of the duet that already has been released. Safety: This one is probably either Safe with exception or Not Safe for most safety gang readers depending on personal preferences. (view spoiler)[ - Does Not have cheating technically (see above) - Does Not have a descriptive sex scene with OW/OM - Does have both the h and H pushing away - Does have a separation between the h and H - Does Not have abuse - Does Not have a HEA ending and ends on a cliffhanger (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dee Montoya

    Five Angsty Stars***** From the moment I saw the gorgeous cover and read the blurb for Then There Was You I knew I had to get my hands on this book. So you can imagine that the expectations were high, and let me tell you, Claire Contreras delivered; boy, did she deliver. This was a story with a lot of heart and lot of feels, a powerful romance that grabs you from the moment you start reading. Starting with the beautiful town setting, the meaningful back story and the realness of the characters, I Five Angsty Stars***** From the moment I saw the gorgeous cover and read the blurb for Then There Was You I knew I had to get my hands on this book. So you can imagine that the expectations were high, and let me tell you, Claire Contreras delivered; boy, did she deliver. This was a story with a lot of heart and lot of feels, a powerful romance that grabs you from the moment you start reading. Starting with the beautiful town setting, the meaningful back story and the realness of the characters, I simply couldn’t get enough. web hosting png Rowan and Tessa grew up together, same town, same school, same friends. Rowan was the typical gorgeous, player kind of guy, who had all the girls drooling after him, and needless to say that he took advantage of the situation. But there was one girl who stood up above all, Tessa. Rowan and Tessa become really close, the best of friends, always hanging out, having fun, and laughing around the beautiful sceneries of their town. It was only a matter of time before the attraction they felt towards each other became too strong to ignore. Something happened between them, that broke them apart and after graduation they both away, taking different paths. But now Tessa is back in her hometown packing up what’s left of her old life when she sees Rowan again. Old, and new feelings start brewing between them, but now they are adults, not kids anymore, and if they play into those feelings the consequences could be life changing. This romance is the perfect combination of angst and slow burn. One of those novels that make you reach for the tequila bottle, because it’s impossible to predict where the story will take you. I really loved this book, and I CANNOT wait to read the second part of this duet, I’ll be counting down the days until I read it. web hosting png

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wil Loves Books!

    “This was what people spent their lives searching for. This scary, upside down feeling that made them feel as if they were on the brink, between their first and last breath. I’d always held on to the notion that I’d rather be alone than sparkless, but since I’d tasted the sparks, I had been afraid they’d be strong enough to make me implode.” Ahhh this books was angsty perfection! There is no doubt that Claire is the Queen when it comes to angsty second chance stories. And those stories are co “This was what people spent their lives searching for. This scary, upside down feeling that made them feel as if they were on the brink, between their first and last breath. I’d always held on to the notion that I’d rather be alone than sparkless, but since I’d tasted the sparks, I had been afraid they’d be strong enough to make me implode.” Ahhh this books was angsty perfection! There is no doubt that Claire is the Queen when it comes to angsty second chance stories. And those stories are completely my jam, I crave them like I crave Nutella. So, Claire is definitely a huge favorite of mine. If you haven’t read Paper Hearts, pick it up now. It’s my all-time favorite second chance story. Then There Was You is no exception, the characters, the angst, the intensity, the feels, they’re all there in full force. This book had me hooked from beginning to end. The writing is so flawless and the story is told so effortless that you have no choice but to be completely invested in it. I loved both Tessa and Rowan. I also was deeply frustrated by them. I wanted to scream at them a few times, but at the same time, I was completely hooked with their entire story. I don’t want to go into too many details about the story but as with any good second chance, these two characters have history, a lot of it. Their relationship has always been complicated, and they’ve had all these outside influences as well. I think that’s one of the things that makes the book even angstier, which I loved! Once the book ended I wanted more! This is book 1 of a duet, and there’s a rather interesting, huge cliffhanger. I’m definitely not so patiently waiting for Book 2. I can’t wait to see what Claire has in store for us. I absolutely recommend, plus you won’t have to wait long for the conclusion as part 2 releases March 15!!!! “If I died right there, in that moment, with her arms around me, I’d die happy.” Download Today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Amazon US /   Amazon CA /  Amazon UK Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2BNsV5C

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sentranced Jem

    Title: Then There Was You (Second Chances Duets #1) Author: Claire Contreras Genre: Contemporary romance, Adult Publication Date: March 1, 2018 Download Today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2GR2MBu Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2oyQx5X Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2F9urR3 Oh the angst! I swear, I feel like I haven't read a book in a while that has this amount of angst. Then There Was You is my first Claire Contreras book and I loved it! I am a romantic at heart and I am a Title: Then There Was You (Second Chances Duets #1) Author: Claire Contreras Genre: Contemporary romance, Adult Publication Date: March 1, 2018 Download Today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2GR2MBu Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2oyQx5X Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2F9urR3 Oh the angst! I swear, I feel like I haven't read a book in a while that has this amount of angst. Then There Was You is my first Claire Contreras book and I loved it! I am a romantic at heart and I am a sucker for any angsty romance (within reason 😉), this book delivered it all. It's the type of slow burn romance that keeps you reaching for more even though it's well past midnight and you should be sleeping. The characters had such strong qualities to them. To be honest, you know what? This was such an 'odd' book to read. I swear i didn't get a moment of peace! Talk about Angst! Even when they were together, i felt the clock ticking , counting down until something bad happens. I couldn't bask in the glory that was the chemistry between rowan and Tessa... Sure i thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment of them together and as individuals but like i said... Tick tock! The angst is real in this one.. My young heart wasn't strong enough to withstand the torment and joy, the emotional uphill, the roller-coaster of this beautiful book. I loved this book! PS: This book ends on a cliff hanger. Tessa and Rowen will get you so frustrated that you'll get a whiplash with their back and forth, they will make you feel their pain, their hopelessness but most of all they will make you fall in love with them. For more ... www.jemimajamir.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Reads Ravenously

    2.5 stars The premise of this book is normally something I would love. Angst? Check. Second chance romance? Check. I duet I didn't have to wait for the next book? Check. Unfortunately, this one I failed to connect with. So many positive reviews are out there so I recommend you give this book a shot or read some other reviews. But from the beginning of this book I didn't see the spark between the main characters and often was scratching my head at the behavior between the two. I will forever love 2.5 stars The premise of this book is normally something I would love. Angst? Check. Second chance romance? Check. I duet I didn't have to wait for the next book? Check. Unfortunately, this one I failed to connect with. So many positive reviews are out there so I recommend you give this book a shot or read some other reviews. But from the beginning of this book I didn't see the spark between the main characters and often was scratching my head at the behavior between the two. I will forever love Claire Contreras for the Darkness series and Paper Hearts, but I think my personal tastes have evolved differently from her books. According to goodreads, 2 stars is "it was ok" and as this was just ok for me, that's the rating I am giving it. Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥

  17. 5 out of 5

    ~♡AB♡~

    Seriously??

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞

    4.5 ★'s “You’re going to ruin everything.” “But not you. I won’t ruin you.” This is a second chance romance and that's a bold statement considering Rowan is so @&$%!#....ugh, I just don't know what to say. He's not exactly broken and it's obvious that he's the way he is because of how he was raised so you can't totally fault him but still... Rowan and Tessa had a thing in high school. He wanted her to go to the same college as him but she's very independent and wanted to follow her dream so she did 4.5 ★'s “You’re going to ruin everything.” “But not you. I won’t ruin you.” This is a second chance romance and that's a bold statement considering Rowan is so @&$%!#....ugh, I just don't know what to say. He's not exactly broken and it's obvious that he's the way he is because of how he was raised so you can't totally fault him but still... Rowan and Tessa had a thing in high school. He wanted her to go to the same college as him but she's very independent and wanted to follow her dream so she did. And Rowan did his own thing. Now, they're both back at home and Rowan's got her in his sights...again. But there's all kinds of obstacles...both their families have split up, his family business bought out her family business, she has two job opportunities - one in New York, the other in Paris that she can't ignore no matter how much she wants to, he's being pushed into taking over his family business and she's only home for two weeks! So what does he do? He hires her to be his assistant for the two weeks...smart man! And it's a bittersweet two weeks. First stop, business trip to New York that has them spending almost every moment together and it's all kinds of wonderful but on the way home, he has to tell her some unfortunate news. Oh, did I mention there's an ~sort of~ ex hanging around like the snake she is? Oh yes...it's all kinds of angsty and all the things she did at the end...OMG, she's horrible, HORRIBLE ! There's all kinds of drama and I can't even tell you the half of it. Thank goodness for Rowan's brother, Sam, but I have a bad feeling about his future too. :( If you're an angst lover, you don't want to miss out on this duet. The second book, My Way Back to You, is coming out March 15, so we don't have to wait long! BTW...I can be very understanding about Rowan doing some of the things he did but the with "who"...ugh, how can THAT be forgiven?? :'(

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    Where do I even begin? I am not sure. This book had me all over the place! Then There Was You is the about a girl and the boy next door, but oh so much more. First, this isn't a regular boy, no he is a smart, funny, a rower - I LOVE rowers, and the boy that every girl wanted. But Rowan didn't want just any girl, the only girl ever he even considered wanting was Tessa. Tessa has known Rowan her entire life and she knows he doesn't want forever with anyone. She also knows his entire life he was tau Where do I even begin? I am not sure. This book had me all over the place! Then There Was You is the about a girl and the boy next door, but oh so much more. First, this isn't a regular boy, no he is a smart, funny, a rower - I LOVE rowers, and the boy that every girl wanted. But Rowan didn't want just any girl, the only girl ever he even considered wanting was Tessa. Tessa has known Rowan her entire life and she knows he doesn't want forever with anyone. She also knows his entire life he was taught to be ruthless, driven and self-centered. But that doesn't stop her from falling for the one guy who could never give her a forever. So back to my original question, where do I begin? Because when I started this book I wasn't even sure how I felt about these two together or how I felt about how Rowan was in the past. See when I read Tessa's point of view, I was team #LetHimGo. Then I read Rowan's point of view and I immediately changed to #NoOnesPerfect. That's because, over the course of the book, I fell in love. I fell in love with these two imperfect characters. I fell in love with the possibilities and my heart soared with hope. Then I finished this freaking HUGE cliffhanger and now I can honestly say I am just team #ClaireGiveUsTheNEXTBOOK! At this moment, I just want to jump back into their world and see what happens next. Do I recommend Then There Was You? Absolutely, but read at your own risk, because you will fall in love and you will be dying for more!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Coco.V

    🎁 FREE on Amazon today (8/30/2019)! 🎁

  21. 5 out of 5

    mejmi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I laughed at the end. Want to know why? Lemme tell you. Because I suffered through a bullshit read only to find out it was A CLIFFHANGER. AHAHA. You got me good Claire. This is a story about a man without a backbone. THE WORST kind of book hero to read about. He, for me, has zero redeeming qualities. 1. He lets other girls (Camryn or whatever her name was) touch him inappropriately because *khm* "IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING" and "he doesn't like her" and "they never dated" .. DONE, NEXT. I have zero I laughed at the end. Want to know why? Lemme tell you. Because I suffered through a bullshit read only to find out it was A CLIFFHANGER. AHAHA. You got me good Claire. This is a story about a man without a backbone. THE WORST kind of book hero to read about. He, for me, has zero redeeming qualities. 1. He lets other girls (Camryn or whatever her name was) touch him inappropriately because *khm* "IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING" and "he doesn't like her" and "they never dated" .. DONE, NEXT. I have zero tolerance with that bullshit. 2. He's SO SAD and he has this stupid mantra that he "doesn't BLEED" so he does stupid shit because he's "SO FUCKED UP". Boo ain't nothing cute about being an asshole. And when I think the suffering is about to be done 3. HE MARRIES ANOTHER GIRL BECAUSE THERE JUST ISN'T ANY OTHER SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. I mean.......... I just read a whole fucking book about a man unable to declare love to a girl and he ends up marrying someone else. LOL. NEXT. And last but not least. 4. The heroine ends up pregnant and that's where the book ends. GASP DRAMA OH NO, HE'S MARRIED, SHE'S PREGNANT. I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT. not. Claire, baby. NO.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰

    Tessa has been friends with the two Hawthorne brothers Rowan and Samson her whole life. One day she and Rowan became more. But it was never meant to be forever - Rowan doesn't do love and forever. And then he left for college, where he hooked up with Camryn. And then he forgot to mention to Tessa that his dad was buying her dad's company. Now, five years later, they're all back in Ithaca. Rowan kinda wants Tessa back. She's the only woman he ever felt anything for. Even though love is not his thi Tessa has been friends with the two Hawthorne brothers Rowan and Samson her whole life. One day she and Rowan became more. But it was never meant to be forever - Rowan doesn't do love and forever. And then he left for college, where he hooked up with Camryn. And then he forgot to mention to Tessa that his dad was buying her dad's company. Now, five years later, they're all back in Ithaca. Rowan kinda wants Tessa back. She's the only woman he ever felt anything for. Even though love is not his thing. But Tessa is still mad. And Camryn is still around, she wants to marry into the Hawthorne family. And Rowan kinda thinks Tessa is dating his brother - but they're only best friends. Plus Tessa will leave town soon. LOTS of things happening and complicating the lives of our darlings - and not everything will be cleared up in this book - BUT, book #2 will be out in 3 weeks ☺ What will happen to Tessa & Rowan? Will there be a HEA? READ THE BOOK TO FIND OUT! ══════════════════════════ That was adorable and a bit heartbreaking. At the very beginning I was a bit confused. First, the blurb didn't really tell me much. And then I started reading and I still didn't know much about things. BUT, once I met everyone and halfway got what happened and what is happening, it was ok ... It's a big story, with lots of past and present and hopefully lots of future for our darlings. But first poor Rowan has a huge fight on his hands, if he wants Tessa back! But he also doesn't want her back, because he doesn't do serious and he has to concentrate on the company, and Tess is leaving soon anyway. LOTS of problems to overcome for our darlings! And we love every second (and also every Rowan-goes-jogging-without-a-shirt-on-moment) of that journey! ☺ There's also lots of family in that book. Both sets of parents and grandparents are very interesting characters. We don't like most of them. And then we have Tessa's siblings. Did we meet Freddie in a previous book? It felt like he was supposed to be someone we already met. A bit weird. Or maybe we'll hear his story one day soon. Amazing first book in this duet - can't wait to see where book #2 will take us - hopefully to a very happily ever after!!! ☺ THEN THERE WAS YOU was a really exciting & sweet & heartbreaking second-chance-romance-family-drama-thingy! Run to your nearest amazon for your own ROWAN - this one is MINE!!! There were some tiny things I didn't love. Like I mentioned before - it was a bit confusing at times. And it was also a bit too much. There are so many people, when we only want to hear about Tessa and Rowan. And all this back and forth with them. It got on my nerves a bit. I wanted them to be together, and I knew going in that it wasn't going to end happily ever after in this first book, but some of that drama could've been avoided. I don't like it when authors create unnecessary drama. I hate Camryn and I hate that Rowan doesn't really care how Tessa feels about her. He should've thrown Camryn out of his life years ago. And he should've stood up to his family ages ago too. He seems a bit weak with all the business and family aspects. BUT - I really enjoyed reading the book and I can't wait to read the second one - I want that HAPPY END - but I'm also afraid that book #2 will have some more heartbreaking moments for us too .... ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (Angie & Jessica's Dreamy Reads)

    The first half of this book had me completely confused. I was torn. I didn't know what I was feeling, if I was feeling the connection, the chemistry, the backstory that I desperately wanted to feel and understand. I wavered between wanting to hungrily turn the pages to see where this was going and struggling to connect with it at all. It was such a crazy war I had going on inside me at first but by the end I was so glad I had pushed on. Truthfully, I had no choice BUT to push on. I was hooked. S The first half of this book had me completely confused. I was torn. I didn't know what I was feeling, if I was feeling the connection, the chemistry, the backstory that I desperately wanted to feel and understand. I wavered between wanting to hungrily turn the pages to see where this was going and struggling to connect with it at all. It was such a crazy war I had going on inside me at first but by the end I was so glad I had pushed on. Truthfully, I had no choice BUT to push on. I was hooked. Somewhere along the way I became totally gripped by this crazy friendship turned romance between Rowan and Tessa. I was GUTTED. I was consumed by their angsty push and pull, by the intoxicating, infuriating mess of emotions that Claire Contreras created here in Then there Was You. It was just... WHOA. It was so good and so brutal and so angsty. I need the second book RIGHT FREAKING NOW.  I won't even go into the plot details because JUST READ IT. There's so much happening, so much history between these characters, so much familial drama and reluctant feelings and career obligations and so much sexual tension. It's this chaotic mess of emotions and stuff I loved and stuff i hated and there's really nothing I can say other than I NEED MORE. A story I wasn't sure of quickly became a story I couldn't get enough of on these pages and it left me hanging on the edge for dear life silently screaming OMG, WTF, NO, YES, HELL FREAKING YES!!! This duet is shaping up to be deliciously romantic, wholly infuriating, and I can't wait for the second book. This was  just.. ughhhhh... so good. I wish it wasn't so good because I CAN NOT WAIT for more.. 

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luna Sol

    I loved this book. The emotions, the twists, the surprises and these two....sighs! Rowan and Tessa will captivate your heart. Full review to come closer to release. Claire Contreras writing is beautiful, the connection between the characters so intense and it really glued me to the pages to see what was going to happen. I just love it when a book makes me feel all the emotions. Congratulations to Claire Contreras on an amazing return. And OMG I need that second book!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•

    This is the first half of a fantastic angsty, second chance love story. Claire writes stories that are packed with emotion so I knew I was going to enjoy this duet. Rowan, Samson and Tessa grew up together in the same town, went to school together and were very close friends. In high school Rowan and Tessa began dating but when it came time to choose a college Tessa and Rowan went their separate ways. Neither of them realised it at the time but their love story had just begun. They are both now in This is the first half of a fantastic angsty, second chance love story. Claire writes stories that are packed with emotion so I knew I was going to enjoy this duet. Rowan, Samson and Tessa grew up together in the same town, went to school together and were very close friends. In high school Rowan and Tessa began dating but when it came time to choose a college Tessa and Rowan went their separate ways. Neither of them realised it at the time but their love story had just begun. They are both now in their early 20's, Tessa has returned home for a couple of weeks to tie up a few loose ends and make her decision on which offer she will take up for her much anticipated apprenticeship. She was hoping to avoid seeing Rowan but everywhere she turns he seems to pop up. He is insistent that she spend time with him which does nothing good for her heart and the emotions swirling through her. "I hadn’t realized that I could feel this way about him this quickly, but here I was, feeling like every nerve inside me was alight whenever he turned those blue eyes my way." There is a lot of history between their families and some of it still stings. However, Rowan makes Tessa an offer she would be silly to turn down, especially as it will open even more doors for her in the future. Although reluctant to agree at first, she takes comfort in the fact that it has a time limit and two weeks working with him can't be too hard right? Both of them are feeling the intense connection that they used to share because they never really closed the door on what they had and it seems, still have. Rowan is between a rock and a hard place though. He doesn't believe in love or relationships. His parents relationship has left a lasting impact on him. He has been groomed to take over the family business but has just been informed about a new small compulsory clause. It is obvious that he loves Tessa but his sense of duty over rides anything he feels. He does not want to clip her wings when she is on the edge of stardom, he doesn't want to be the person that holds her back from her bright future. There is a bucket load of angst towards the end of this book that left me feeling so heartbroken, angry, frustrated and sad. I cannot wait for the next book in this series to ease the ache in my chest! “You’re afraid of leaving, afraid of staying behind, you’re always stuck in a state of guilt for every decision you make because you’re too fucking afraid to follow what your own heart wants.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Berry ♡ Nice

    Amazing! I fell in love almost immediately. This story is refreshing. I laughed. I cried. I understood the struggles and decisions each one of them had to make. The bond and connection between these two is one that cannot be hidden. It's obvious they belong to each other. My heart broke for Tessa. My heart broke for Rowan...The hardest choices are the ones we make when we think it's the only one. Rowan is a swooned worthy-fall head over heels in love with kind of man. He is strong, tough and dete Amazing! I fell in love almost immediately. This story is refreshing. I laughed. I cried. I understood the struggles and decisions each one of them had to make. The bond and connection between these two is one that cannot be hidden. It's obvious they belong to each other. My heart broke for Tessa. My heart broke for Rowan...The hardest choices are the ones we make when we think it's the only one. Rowan is a swooned worthy-fall head over heels in love with kind of man. He is strong, tough and determined BUT also sweet, attentive, romantically possessive and selfless. I cannot wait for book 2. She was a light in this dark, ugly world, and with the power to turn your bad days around with a simple smile You're afraid of leaving, afraid of staying behind, you're always stuck in a state of guilt for every decision you make because you're too fucken afraid to follow what your own heart wants." Great character development! Plenty of them to love and hate.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dilek VT

    After reading my friend NMmomof4's review, it is a big No for me: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... After reading my friend NMmomof4's review, it is a big No for me: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  28. 5 out of 5

    MissDemeanor

    4 Stars (for now) This is one of those books where I totally understand why some readers love it but I also get why some hated it. I found myself alternating between the two and at certain times, I loved and hated the characters at the same time. I'm not even sure how to explain it. I guess it's a case of I feel so connected to the characters that I definitely felt for them. I felt their struggles, their doubts, and indecisions but at the same time, they (especially the hero) are SO DAMN FRUSTRAT 4 Stars (for now) This is one of those books where I totally understand why some readers love it but I also get why some hated it. I found myself alternating between the two and at certain times, I loved and hated the characters at the same time. I'm not even sure how to explain it. I guess it's a case of I feel so connected to the characters that I definitely felt for them. I felt their struggles, their doubts, and indecisions but at the same time, they (especially the hero) are SO DAMN FRUSTRATING. Or it could be a case of me enjoying the book as a whole but being annoyed at what the characters are doing at certain times. Our hero, Rowan, is the oldest son and heir to Hawthorne Industries - an international empire that built its image on being family owned. He's been groomed since childhood to take over the family's business and he's been taught to remain as unaffected as possible since emotions will make him vulnerable and weak. This upbringing led him to think of marriages as just emotionless contracts and things like love to not exist. He's not cold but he's certainly cynical. Rowan met our heroine, Tessa, when they were still young. Tessa is the opposite of Rowan. She's outgoing, cheerful and wears her heart on her sleeve. While his family is much richer, they basically ran in the same circles, with Tessa's family owning a furniture company. They've been good friends until they decided to cross the line and became lovers. They broke off before they headed to college because Rowan didn't think that it could work. He eventually changed his mind and asked her to go to the same college as him but she refused because she wanted to pursue her own dreams (attagirl). Years later, Tessa went back to their hometown for a short break. With the two clearly being soulmates, seeing each other again made them want to throw caution to the wind and give their relationship another try. They are, however, fighting a lot of personal battles. Tessa is not confident that Rowan will not hurt her again. She doesn't even know where she ranks in his life especially when there is another woman that his family is shoving down his throat. She's also been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to apprentice elsewhere and there is no way she is going to turn it down. Rowan's hands, on the other hand, are tied by family obligations. He's determined to take over their family business which means that he will stay put. His family also gave him an ultimatum - marry someone and save the company's reputation or lose the company. How can he ask Tessa's hand for marriage if he's not even convinced that love exists? Can either of them give up their dreams for the other? Rowan is one frustrating character. It's not that he's a bad guy. He's actually kind, sweet, caring, sexy, but... he is so unaware and just downright stupid at times. I completely believe him when he thinks that he's being selfless and what he's doing is for the best for everyone but the problem is that it's not... He acts like there's only one solution to every problem he faces but anyone with half a brain can come up with multiple options. He's just so exhausting. He means well but he's the type of character that you just want to shake or slap because he's bringing so much heartbreak to himself and the heroine. The way he handles situations is so eye roll worthy. I find myself screaming "DUDE! WTF?!" quite a number of times. I love Tessa. She has her priorities straight and I like how she sees things for how they really are. Sure, she has her frustrating moments as well but for the most part, I found her likable. She's the right mix of strong and vulnerable. There is also a weird OW situation on this one. I say weird because yes, there is another woman (Camryn) in the picture but she's not exactly Rowan's girlfriend. She's a family friend and he only had a few casual hookups with her. Anyway, she's the girl everyone (especially his mother) expects him to marry. She came from the right family and would be the perfect Stepford Wife for him. As expected, she's downright unlikable but the most frustrating part for me (and even the heroine acknowledged this) is Rowan's attitude towards her. While Rowan doesn't necessarily return her advances, he doesn't stop her either. And it's not only her advances that he doesn't stop, he doesn't do anything either when Camryn bashes Tessa. He's so spineless and weak when it comes to her. He knows that Tessa is bothered by it but he does nothing but to shrug it off. So, while she might not be his girlfriend officially, her annoying presence is felt all the time with the way he lets her get away with everything. It might seem like I hate this book completely but I really don't. There's something in the writing that's just so captivating. Even when the characters are at their most frustrating moments, I still find my heart aching for these characters. There's a scene, in particular, near the end that made me want to cry in both frustration and heartbreak. Despite their stupidity, I do want these characters to make it and have their HEA. Hopefully with much, much more smarts this time... :) On to part two!

  29. 5 out of 5

    The Book Bee

    REVIEW: NOPE I have a general rule of thumb with my books; if I find myself getting irritated with the writing and the characters, then I need to pull back and either give myself a pep talk or quit all together. I shouldn't be getting mad at the direction a story is going, and I shouldn't be dreading the rest of the book. So this is generally a turning point for me - the proverbial fork in the road. Either keep going, or give up so I don't taint my thoughts on the story any more than necessar REVIEW: NOPE I have a general rule of thumb with my books; if I find myself getting irritated with the writing and the characters, then I need to pull back and either give myself a pep talk or quit all together. I shouldn't be getting mad at the direction a story is going, and I shouldn't be dreading the rest of the book. So this is generally a turning point for me - the proverbial fork in the road. Either keep going, or give up so I don't taint my thoughts on the story any more than necessary. I don't like getting mad at a book.....and sadly, this one did that for me. I dreaded continuing. I wanted to shout, "Pick up the pace and give me something meaty!!" It said something to me when I found myself checking Facebook, posting on my blog, being an active mom (just kidding).....over wanting to read. I just couldn't mentally focus on this book because I didn't find anything worth grabbing onto. I don't understand why I couldn't connect and why I couldn't get sucked in to the book. This has never happened with one of Claire's books for me. Why!? Why couldn't I focus on this one and what was so wrong with the writing and storyline that I just couldn't connect with it? I was bored out of my mind in the very beginning, which is so unlike me with Claire's books. I really enjoy her writing style and her ability to pull me in to a story. I have never read one of her duets though, and so everything has buttoned up in one book and much quicker, so maybe that is what happened with this one. But the most disturbing part for me is that some things didn't make sense, and the writing was extremely choppy. So unlike Claire....and that makes me sad. I understand the importance of building up the intrigue and adding some mystery behind the plot so we keep turning the pages. But when I start out being confused for lack of info and many assumptions, and finish up being mad because of that trope-y turn/cliché ending, it is showing me something is wrong. I want conviction in decisions. I want continuity in themes. Family first? Buuut.....if the very reason for the parents to lose this "thing", why is there a contract for the son with the very potential of the same kind of "end", yet that is all ok? I can only say so much because the journey should be taken if you want to read this one, but it just didn't feel like there was any continuity for me, but there was conviction in the grandparents' requirements. Totally contradictory for me. It just didn't make sense. The upside was I got to commiserate with another blogger because we buddy read this at the same time, but the downside was that so many are loving it and I am not sure where the disconnect was for me. I couldn't get past some of the inconsistencies, some of the drama that was brought up without a backstory, some of the actions between Tessa and Rowan. It just didn't work for me, so I am bowing out. That ending, sadly I foresaw that a mile away and that's what made it worse for me. So cliché in some spots, so confusing in others. I am seriously upset because I was all excited for some more of Claire's words, but unfortunately with this book turning into being of the trope that I actually hate, I need to cut my losses. To be open and honest, I originally DNF'd this but ended up going back and skimming the rest so I could confirm all my suspicions and speak with confidence in regards to my feelings on it. ~BEE I'm sorry, Claire....I really do love your words. This pained me on every level #Heartbroken

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yvette (Booksandbandanas)

    Only Claire Contreras! Only Claire knows how to write a book of second chance love with angst, regrets, and a life that has been planned for you. This book was amazing! I cant believe it ended that way. Why?! Ugh. Claire takes you on a ride. The ride. A free fall of every single emotion you can comprehend in only an incredible story. I need book 2 yesterday! So many things I want to say about Claire’s amazing writing craft, she’s just that author who never ever lets be down, ever. She’s in a leag Only Claire Contreras! Only Claire knows how to write a book of second chance love with angst, regrets, and a life that has been planned for you. This book was amazing! I cant believe it ended that way. Why?! Ugh. Claire takes you on a ride. The ride. A free fall of every single emotion you can comprehend in only an incredible story. I need book 2 yesterday! So many things I want to say about Claire’s amazing writing craft, she’s just that author who never ever lets be down, ever. She’s in a league of her own when it comes to creating love stories that will stay with you forever. You meet Tessa and Rowan. The story starts out with Tessa returning home to finish up Some last minute things, like selling her childhood home so she can leave this town and the memories of Rowan Hawthorne forever. They have a pretty heavy past that stands childhood to teenage adult. First loves always stay with you, especially with these two. They are connected in so many ways, even when they think they aren’t. The ends and outs you’ll have to experience. But it’s just that an experience. This second chance love story is angst redden, heart pounding. Good. Good. Good. The words flow perfectly, the characters perfect themselves in a way that makes me love them even when I’m so mad at them. Claire has outdone her self in this duet and it’s not even over yet. Cannot wait to see the conclusion to this unbelievable addicting love story. Read this. It’s a amazing start to An unbelievable heart pounding duet.

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