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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Always In Your Heart

    Do you ever truly stop loving your first love? Will there always be a part of them in your heart that you keep forever no matter what happens? Always was an emotional novel, filled with equal parts heartbreak, joy, and hope. It follows the story of Kailey, who due to mysterious circumstances nearly a decade ago, lost the love of her life, Cade. After mourning that loss for years, she has finally opened herself up again to the possibility of happily ever after, and is engaged to be married to Ryan. She is happy and appears to have everything she has ever wanted both professionally and personally. All of this gets turned upside down, however, when Cade, now homeless and clearly in need of help, resurfaces suddenly. The story is woven together by alternating between chapters in the past and the present. Though it is an effective way to tie our main characters together, I did find the timeline slightly confusing and did have to refer back to the beginning of the chapters to get the dates straight. I enjoyed many of the secondary characters as much as I did Kailey and Cade. Tracy and Jan are excellent friends to Kailey and support her immensely as she struggles to face her past and present. Tracy especially, wins the BFF award, for her unwavering honesty, even though it's not what Kailey wants to hear, but what she knows will make her best friend happiest in the end. I loved seeing the relationship between Kailey and Cade evolve and blossom. Yes, there is an instant chemistry, but they also connect on a genuinely deeper level. I had a smile on my face reading almost all of the chapters in the past. This, however, only made it more heartbreaking reading the chapters in the present. You mourn the relationship right along with Kailey and the mystery of what happened to Cade, kept me from being able to put this book down. I did feel that the resolution was abrupt and there are a few loose ends that don't quite line up. *** SPOILERS *** I thought for sure James or Alexis had some skeletons in their closet (more than what was revealed) and I felt James' sudden change of heart and offering to help was out of character. His willingness to give Cade financially everything he was due was a little too convenient, though it did allow our characters to have their HEA. Another issue I had was what really happened to Cade? Was he attacked as he tried to walk away with his homeless friend, Ivan? Who checked/signed him out of the hospital? Was there truly no one who would look for him, especially in those early days? It doesn't seem possible that he could fall off the face of the earth so easily. Ryan. Oh, poor amazingly woderful Ryan. I felt so terrible for him throughout the book. He was beyond understanding and I felt Kailey really disrespected him by not telling him the truth about Cade from the start. His toast at their engagement party made me swoon. Seriously, even though I was rooting for Cade, I still wanted Ryan to have some kind of happy ending too. I did not believe that Kailey truly loved Ryan, however, because he even commented several times that she had never opened herself up fully to him and that there were secrets she still kept buried. Kailey even suspected him of trying to hurt Cade, which is not something you would think about someone you claim to know and love. I felt his presence at the wedding was an unnecessary kick to the gut and just left an overall bad taste in my mouth. I understand that Kailey was conflicted and going through an emotional upheaval, but her treatment of Ryan really was shameful. ***** Always overall is fairly predictable and I had no doubt how the story was going to end, but this didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story. It was an excellent and heartfelt second chance romance and left me feeling hopeful that there are things in life that can truly stay golden. *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book.*
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