Thursday, September 4, 2014

Now and Then - My Review of HAD TO BE YOU by Juliet Chatham

Had To Be You

Release Date: 08/05/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

After college, Rory Finn left behind the familiarity of her quiet, picturesque hometown to pursue a professional career in the city. With her sights firmly on the future, Rory pressed on in hopes of forgetting the past until a jarring bit of unwelcome news forces her to confront it. 

Her first love, the one she'd tried so hard to forget, is about to marry someone else. That pang Rory feels isn't envy, it's not even regret. It's love. But Rory can't be that girl. She won't. But if she doesn't, she'll never know what could have been. She'll never have another chance to tell him how she feels. 

As she embarks on an impulsive, desperate bid to win him back, her mission turns into an unexpected and emotional journey of rediscovery. HAD TO BE YOU explores a history of love from its tentative beginnings to what may just turn out to be its final bittersweet end, as Rory ignores her head and follows her heart. 

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About the Author

A lifelong New Englander, I divide my time between the North Shore and Cape Cod. My favorite things are beaches, boats, books, bars, the Boston Red Sox and boys, but not necessarily in that order. Consequently, you’ll probably find that these are the things I write about, too.

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I really enjoyed HAD TO BE YOU.  This book had everything I love in a story.  Thanks to the flashbacks, we get to see first love as it blooms between Matt and Rory.  We get to watch as the two friends fall in love and we swoon as we watch Matt grow up into one of the 'good guys'.

Because of Rory's past, she has plenty of commitment issues.  She is unable to fully trust in her relationship with Matt and she lets her past cloud her judgement regarding her future.  After spending several years away from her hometown and Matt, Rory is finally back home for a visit.

Matt and Rory clearly have strong feelings for each other still, but now there is the obstacle of Matt's new fiancee, Amanda.  Matt really does love Amanda, and he wants to be the kind of man that she needs. 

After his on again off again relationship with Rory, Matt has fallen for someone completely opposite of her, but in doing so, has changed himself into something not entirely comfortable.  Amanda is a determined and forgiving woman.  She works hard to keep Matt and not alienate Rory.  Amanda knows that playing the jealous fiancee will only cause her more troubles.

One of my favorite things about this story is that Matt and Rory have a deep and complicated history that is told in snippets through flashbacks.  These were absolutely imperative.  This story of love and redemption just would not have been the same without them.

4 out of 5 Stars

Adele - Now and Then

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