BOOK REVIEW ~ THEN THERE WAS YOU BY MELANIE DAWN
February 7, 2019
Book title: Then There Was You Author: Melanie DawnSeries: So Much It Hurts #2Genre: Adult Contemporary RomanceRelease date: February 27, 2014
Out of despair comes hope.
Chris King never saw it coming…In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover. Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life.
There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope.Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I’d become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?
For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie…No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did.
Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live.
I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor.
This is our story.
4.5 UNFORGETTABLE STARS!!!
This book was a complete surprise!! I only intended on reading the first 10% to get a feel for the story but before I knew it, 4 hours passed and I flipped to the last page. What an emotionally gripping and realistic story this was…a wonderful delight!
So this is the second book in the So Much It Hurts series and to be honest, I didn’t care for the first. I had many reasons but number one was… I fell for the wrong guy and he didn’t deserve what he got in book 1!! After reading this book’s blurb, I’ll admit I was intrigued by Chris’s potential love interest, but still feeling apprehensive about it all and on top of which, questioning how the author could churn out a story that included rockstar angst, older woman/younger man drama, and the gloomy aspects of Postpartum depression. Needless to say, Melanie Dawn has flawlessly weaved all those elements into a unique and different second chance romance that kept me captivated from the very start to the very end.
Told in dual POVs, the story kicks off with present-day Chris and Salem in their separate lives; Chris in his famous rock star role and Salem who’s a single mom managing her teenage daughter. At one of his concerts, Chris and Salem bump into each other and it’s hinted multiple times that many years ago, they were each other’s solace in a time of darkness…
“At one very shitty time in my life, this woman was a fucking godsend.”
I feel like the author must’ve been reading my mind because just when I wished for a flashback scene so I could figure out Chris and Salem’s past connection, she provides me with one. I’m going to lay it out here…this flashback scene is one of the most powerfully written scenes I have ever read!!! I really admired and respected Salem’s altruistic heart, and even though she had postpartum depression, she was so dedicated to her counseling job. Reading about a younger Chris made my heart break; I could really tell he loved Kaitlyn (from book 1) but sometimes love isn’t enough and harsh circumstances get in the way, and sadly that was the case with Chris and his love for her. So it was during these times that a forlorn, struggling new mother Salem and a misunderstood and confused teenager Chris bonded and forged a special connection.
Mind you, there is nothing love about this early bond; it’s a pure, well-intentioned connection that both Chris and Salem needed in order to survive. Despite their age gap, these two understood each other on a deep emotional level and I liked that their relationship wasn’t defined by just a label.
Another thing I loved so much about this book was how real it was. Normally, any kind of Hollywood romance or rockstar romance provides a total escape from reality, but in this book, I liked how the author paced out the romantic relationship between Chris and Salem. They have so many factors working against them: older woman/younger man, famous rockstar/hometown nobody, counselor/ex-client, etc…so it makes it all that more believable when the author explores the characters and develops that budding romance rather it be an instant-love/lust relationship.
Simply put, I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I loved that the book had the perfect amount of rockstar angst! Salem is an original and refreshing female lead and Chris is a hero with a heart of gold…I couldn’t have asked for a better second chance romance than this one!
“You were there when I needed you. You talked when I needed you to talk. You listened when I needed you to listen…you were the light in my darkness. I will never forget you.”
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review.