This book evoked every emotion, from heartbreak to anger to joy. I was hooked from the very beginning by the characters and the author’s incredible writing style. It is more than a romance; it’s a story of fate and sacrifice.
The story starts with a stab to the heart, but it is the underlying theme throughout and is a necessary tear-jerker moment. Thankfully, it’s very brief and just long enough to make you have to wipe away a tear. After that, it switches to adult Auburn, who is hilarious and has suffered a lot of loss, but does not let it keep her down. She is an incredible character that is impossible to not love. Since it is written in first-person, I was able to read her thoughts and she made me laugh all the way through, even when the scenes were more serious.
Owen, with the mysterious past and secrets, is equally loveable. He is what a man should be. He does not seek to own her. In fact, he is livid over the fact that another man lays claim to her. In his opinion, it is not a matter of ownership, but a matter of deserving and loving someone with all you have. He offers that to Auburn, but life has a way of coming between love and responsibility.
One of my favorite aspects of this novel is the meaning of the word Confess. It is the backbone of the story and brings new meaning to the word. Owen is an artist who paints people’s anonymous confessions. Some were incredible and shocking, while others were heart-wrenching and painful. A wonderful surprise is the inclusion of some of his artwork. They are truly magnificent and give the reader a true feeling for the confessions. The story starts with a confession and it ends with a confession. All the confessions in-between added so much to the story that I was overwhelmed.
I have read other books by this author and been a little disappointed due to the overwhelming stellar reviews. This time, I made sure to ignore any of the hype and go into it completely blind. I am so relieved that I did, because it is truly a beautiful story. The ending felt a bit abrupt and I wish it had a bit more meat to it, but it is a strong story throughout and the characters are consistent and incredibly well-developed. This is one book that will stay with me forever.
For the rating:
- Genre and general reading age – It is a romance, but there is so much more going on that it is also contemporary fiction. It is definitely for adults.
- Level of sexuality – There are definite steamy moments, but they are beautifully done and are not graphic. There is a scene that is hard to read, but was not over the top. It is a sensitive topic, though, and some readers might find it hard to read. I know I did and it only scratched the surface of what could have been.
- Is there graphic language? There is a moderate use of the f-word, but it is not extreme.
- Did I cry? I got misty eyed on more than one occasion.
- Did I laugh? Over and over. The first half is especially entertaining, but even the second half has moments that made me chuckle.
- Is this part of a series? Nope.
- Level of character development – Owen and Auburn are magnificently done. I was thrilled to read their story and they never lacked or left me wondering how they felt or what their motivations were. The side characters received less attention, but Trey had enough screen time to create strong emotions.
To say I loved this book is an understatement. It was beautiful and has left its mark. I flew through this book as quickly as possible, because I couldn’t put it down. It’s not a light and fluffy read, but it is addictive and I highly suggest it for readers who are looking for a more emotional read that is not time intensive. I am happy to award it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ shiny stars.