One of the highlights for me was the details on the theatre. Knowing that Ms. Walsh has a great deal of personal experience in that area, her wealth of knowledge and the joy it brings her shown through her descriptions. I connected with that part of Emily's life, even though I have zero experience and know nothing about it myself. I love when that happens in a story.
Another of my favorite things was Hollis' family. They are so loving and caring for each other! And since Emily is in desperate need of such in her life, I loved seeing how they swept her up into being part of them and made her comfortable. Plus they helped provide a safe place for Hollis to figure out his relationship with his daughter. They truly are one of my favorite fictional families now. They're not perfect, none of the characters are, but the flaws only endear them further.
The romance bits were adorable, of course. (Which was only to be expected! This is a Courtney Walsh novel after all.) I appreciated that they were friends first, a good friends-to-lovers romance is one of my favorite tropes and Ms. Walsh handles the transition really well. Because goodness the chemistry between these two! Yet both Emily and Hollis have a lot of growing to do, so I especially appreciated the slow way the romance heated up, giving both time to process through all the stuff they needed to.
Overall, I really enjoyed the emotions I connected with while reading. The grief, the uncertainty, the fear, the familial love, and most of all the hope that threaded everything together from beginning to end. Several moments brought smiles, while others made me turn the next page as quick as I could to find out how a character would respond. Beautifully written, Ms. Walsh continues to solidify her spot on my list of awesome writers!
**I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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It was funny how you could miss something so much and not know you missed it until it was back in your life again.
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