Ah, this book. It's definitely a book that will tug at your heart strings. I appreciate Stacey Lynn considering her reader, though. This book is about Nicole, and her life after her husband and son are taken from her in the worst way possible. I appreciate Stacey's writing in that she didn't spend the first half of the book getting the reader to fall in love with Mark and Andrew, and then kill them off. This is not to say you don't feel the sadness and the hurt she's experiencing as a widow, but it doesn't totally stomp your heart out like it could.
Nicole grieves. She's been going through the motions and just getting by after her late husband and son were killed in a car accident. She wants to learn to live again, but needs a little help from her friend, Mia. Mia and Nicole decide to go out on the town one night. Little did they know what one night could do!
Enter, Zack Walters. Nicole approaches Zack in a bar, on a dare, to try to get him to buy her a drink. Zack's hesitant of her intentions, but only until he finds out she has no idea who he is. Zack is one of the biggest rock stars in the country. He had slipped into the little whole-in-the-wall bar for a drink before soundcheck with his bassist, Jake. Nicole is attracted to him instantly, and likes him for him.
Zack is instantly taken to Nicole. Of course he thinks she's gorgeous, but he also loves that she seems to like him, want him, for the person he is- not the rockstar everyone sees him as. Zack can't remember the last time he felt wanted for the person he is and loves. At this point (as the reader), I just wanted to squeeze Zack's cheeks and tell him of course someone will love him for him! He's handsome, thoughtful, loyal to a fault. Zack falls for Nic almost instantly. So much so that he asks Nicole to come on the rest of the tour as a photographer. Nicole likes him and knows this will help her move forward in life, so she says yes.
Throughout the rest of the book, we see the budding romance of Nic and Zack. Zack is ever patient and focused on Nic and doing whatever he can to get her to see how much he cares about her. Nic is hesitant because she's still grieving and doesn't really know how to move on. Because of all these complicated emotions, Nic tries to shut Zack out sometimes or run away. He always chases her, though. She finally lets him catch her.
"I'm standing here next to the man I love, who I don't know how to be with, introducing him to the man I first loved and don't know how to say goodbye to."
I loved this part of the book. I love that Nicole introduced Zack to Mark and Andrew, and brought him into this as a way to start their beginning and say goodbye to what once was. It was emotional, raw, and beautiful.
After that, it's all sweet love on the love train between Nic and Zack, except for Zack's evil on again off again ex. She creates a bit of drama and brings out Nicole's feisty side, which Zack loves. Unfortunately, the ex takes it too far and there's a time where you're really concerned what the outcome will be. Nicole starts questioning whether Zack is really all in with her, if he's really totally loyal to her. A little later, things get cleared up and Nicole realizes Zack has always and will always be only hers. She feels silly for ever questioning him, and I'm over here like:
How can you question Zack Walters?! Anyway, I know I left it a little vague on what happens as the big drama at the end of the book, but that's because I don't want to spoil it for you! It's a good read and there is a series, but it's based on different characters so you'll get the whole HEA for Zack and Nicole in this one!