on September 12th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I had a perfect life.
The loving husband, the sweet little boy, I even had the white picket fence.
If someone took a picture of my family, I’d be the epitome of what they envisioned for themselves. I’d smile for the camera, laugh when it was appropriate and carried on with my life like there wasn’t anything wrong.
I was happy.
But it was all a lie.
Everything I knew or believed was a lie. I wasn’t happy. I was broken despite having everything anyone could ever want. I’d lay awake imagining a world where it would all vanish. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so alone.
To the outside world, I had the perfect life.
But inside all I had were fragments of what I used to be.
A loving husband, a sweet little boy, and a white picket fence.
My life was perfect.
But it was all a lie.
A year since her last book, Callie Anderson returns to writing about a true to life young mother trying to get through the pain of losing her husband due to an accident. Although this is a standalone the story has a connection to her previous book Broken Dreams as The Perfect Life reacquaints us with Stephanie, the best friend of the BD main character. Roughly a decade later we catch up with Stephanie as she returns to Savanah after 4 years trying to escape her grief. Does this have angst written all over it or what? If it’s by Callie Anderson its a guarantee, but this one is particularly hard because Stephanie feels as though his death was somehow her fault.
This story follows Stephanie as she tries to navigate life as a single mother and the return to Savannah is not something she necessary welcomes. With her son AJ soon beginning school, Stephanie is pushed to contemplate dating again. After an epiphany of sorts (loved being in her head as she thinks this through), Stephanie puts herself out there
“But since dating was now back in the picture, if I was going to do this, I would do it the right way. My way. With no bullshit, and no fear of never being good enough to receive a rose.”
And follows up like only a straight shooter would.
Me: I hate when people are late.
Within seconds, the three little dots began to dance on my screen. Before he could reply, I spat out another honest truth, my fingers tapping away at lightning speed.
Me: If you plan on ever lying to me, don’t waste my time.
Me: I tell people I’m allergic to cilantro but it’s because I hate the taste.
Me: I love the beach, but I’m petrified of the water.
Me: I hate pets. They die, and then you’re left heartbroken because your best friend is gone.
Me: I hate when people chew with their mouth open.
Me: Don’t ever order food for me.
Me: I don’t like to be told what to do. I’m very stubborn, so I’m warning you.
Luke: Ok. Care to share why you’re telling me all this?
I gnawed on my lower lip as I contemplated what to reply.
Me: Because this is my honest, ugly truth. There are things people try to hide when they first start dating, but then you discover these things later on. This way you can’t say I never told you.
Luke: Cilantro is a no?
Me: In the event you wanted to take me to a Mexican restaurant.
Off to a good start but nothing is easy and most certainly not perfect. Luke is dreamy and easily fits right into Stephanie’s life. This is a bittersweet experience and when Stephanie is confronted with an awful truth, it appears it was all for nothing. She’s conflicted by many things, Stephanie must access her ability to forgive and find a way to take control of her happiness.
I enjoyed this story and as always Callie Anderson’s writing. 4 Stars and recommendation. Once again, Callie Anderson delivers an equally sweet and gut-wrenching read.
~Review by Cyndi
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