Published by Aria Fiction on April 16th 2019
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.
Can you truly forgive and forget?
Ambri and Henry have been best friends forever. They've been through the highs and lows of life with each other by their sides. The worst? When Henry's wife, and Ambri's sister, died. Together, they can face it all. Until one night destroys everything.
Two years after he stepped out of it Henry walks back into Ambri's life and she's more than a little shocked. But as old friends fall into even older habits they need to decide whether they can forget the past and embrace their future.
Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult and Anna Bell.
The Last Dance hits on all my favorite “angst” inducing tropes; unrequited love, rejection, friends to lovers, and redemption. Aimee Brown sets the story in Portland, Oregon (another draw for me), and gives us the story of teen-age friends becoming family and having it all fall apart after one emotional night. After having recognized deeper feelings for his best friend and “sister-in-law” Ambri, Henry finds himself at a cross roads and takes the cowards way out. Henry makes a few too many mistakes and finds that path to forgiveness is not an easy one. But you can’t help yourself in rooting for these two to find their way back to each other.
After leaving Portland and abruptly cutting ties with Ambri, Henry returns home with him his new love interest. At this point Ambri too has seemingly moved on, but fate has other ideas about their future. Ambri is a spunky and brave young women. She’s incredibly in-tune with how she feels, talented and compassionate, and she doesn’t give herself enough credit – making her entirely relatable. As her best friend, Henry was always there for her, well, until he wasn’t:
“Not that I’m anyone special, but he always made me feel as if I were. He was always the one to remind me that I could do anything I wanted.”
The story is told from both of their perspectives so we are always aware of te imtesity and depth of their relationship. Henry knows his mistakes are monumental, and when he finds himself a part of Ambri’s life again he begins to see the inevitable.
“What’s left of my heart now feeling like it would only show a flat line if on a heart monitor. I’m not over her like I’ve been telling myself I was. Not even a little bit.”
I was a bit worried about the “sister in law aspect”, after all Henry was married to Ambris’ sister Rory. But Brown does a masterful job at the intricacies of connection between these three individuals. We get to know Rory through both Ambri’s and Henry’s memories and see what an amazing person she was.
Brown creates an amazing world is this circle of friends; Ben and Claire, Noah, Karmen, and of course Ambri and Henry. There are so many nuances in their relationship, and moments that show who they are to each other. Their history is deep and not being in each others lives took it’s toll on their spirits. I found myself completely immersed in their world and read this in one afternoon and I can’t recommend this book enough. Browns’ writing is impeccable and I look forward to reading more from this new to me author.
~Review by Cyndi