by Steven Manchester
I gave it 4 stars.
(taken from NetGalley)
Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige’s father nearly destroyed Abby’s spirit.
Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they’re hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She’s very protective of the life she’s made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn’t know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her.
He did it again!
Steven Manchester has packed this tale with so much emotion and honesty that it is nigh on impossible not to be drawn into this world from the first page. His characters are so deftly drawn, rich with detail and his descriptions are luscious. Every nuance is subtly depicted, each emotion is palpable and sincere, yet still diverse and distinct. In this story, the relationships of Abby, Paige and Rick take centre stage. Yet, even the lesser involved protagonists are impeccably complete. So much so, that I noticed how two other novellas have been written to fully explore these other ‘stars’. I will be checking those books out – for sure!
This is the fourth book of his that I’ve read – and I am never disappointed. Steven Manchester will both break your heart and soothe your soul with his words. It’s an easy read, a cosy tale that runs the gamut of emotions – and yes, I cried!