When he runs into her in town, the shock of seeing her again brings an intense rush of emotions: love, guilt…and an overwhelming urge to find out if it’s still as amazing between them as it used to be.
It doesn’t take either of them long to give in to desire and discover the fiery passion they once shared burns hotter than ever. With each new touch, each moment of forgiveness, old hurts heal and the future they’d hoped for ten years ago becomes possible again. But their fragile connection is tested by a threat neither of them saw coming—a threat that could end their second chance before it even gets started.
Mia Amour. Her name had haunted me so much my bunkmate had once found me sleep-scrawling it on our cabin wall. He thought it had meant something—that I was writing a message from another dimension in a language he didn’t understand—but the reality had been far more simple: even on the other side of the world, I couldn’t get her out of my head.
Somehow, though, over time, I’d forgotten what her eyes did to me. How they could root me to the spot with a single glance and empty my mind of anything but her. Mia. I counted my heartbeats as they thundered in my ears. One, two, three, four. And then she tore her stormy blue gaze away from mine and walked out of the chip shop.
I reached for the empty space she left behind, and my faculties slowly returned to me as her footsteps echoed in my shell-shocked brain. As drawn to her as I’d always been, I drifted after her, but when I got outside, she was gone.
A thousand emotions warred in my gut, but the age-old frustration was so familiar I felt sick. Fucking Mia Amour. Deep down, I’d always hated her as much as I’d loved her, because there was no one else on earth who could make my heart pound like she did, my palms sweat, and my fingers tremble.
Cursing, I hauled myself back into the van. Gus followed a moment later, an open bag of chips in each hand. “Where’d you get to? It was your turn to buy tea.”
I tossed him a crumpled-up fiver. “Why didn’t you tell me your sister was in town?”
“Oh fuck.” Gus held out a bag of chips, then set it on the dashboard when I made no move to claim it. “Are we really doing this?”
I gave him a flat look.
He sighed. “Fuck’s sake. Why would I tell you? You two aren’t exactly friends, and you haven’t been a couple since I was fourteen and nicking Mayfair Lights from her school bag.”
Shit, had it been that long? Why was it that just a glimpse of her face could set me back a decade? The weight in my chest increased and I started the van, gunning the rickety diesel engine with a roar. “Either way, a fucking heads-up would’ve been nice.”
“But why, though?” Gus pointed a chip at me. “You want her number so you can catch up on old times?”
I wondered if he’d actually give it to me. Then pictured myself calling Mia and her reaction to hearing my voice for the first time in ten long years.
A legit shudder passed through me. I was done torturing myself for putting my family first, for giving up my entire life to keep a roof over my mum’s head, but that didn’t make the obvious anger in Mia’s eyes easier to bear. Her temper had fascinated seventeen-year-old me—sometimes I’d wound her up on purpose, just to revel in her flushed skin and sharp tongue—but I didn’t have the stones to take it now. My Mia angst tolerance was at an all-time complacent low.
I spared Gus another glare. “What?”
“Can I eat your chips?”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thank you to Carina Press for sending me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and being part of the blog tour.
With a new baby at home, sometimes I just want to pick up an easy love story and see how the characters get to their happy ending. Carina Press was kind enough to send me an ARC of Forgiven, and I was excited to read this spicy romance. Based in the UK, Mia and Luke struggle to learn to live in the same village again after years apart.
Story Moves Fast
We jump right into this story with Mia returning to their small town and finding out that her ex is back, forcing her to deal with their history while trying to open her story. I actually like that it moves quickly because I wanted to get to the good part of Mia and Luke figuring out how to be together again. We know that the chemistry between them means that they are going to find their way back to each other! The undercurrent of someone stalking Mia is very rushed, so it's not clear that this is actually a problem until later in the book. It would've added some tension if this storyline had been emphasized early on, but overall, the book is more about Mia and Luke than about someone messing with her life.
Mia Is a Bit Much
I had a hard time liking Mia - she gets so easily offended or up in arms about everything that it's fairly exhausting to read about her. Even in her own POV, it's never entirely clear why everything seems to cause her to lash out. I fully understand being angry with someone for abandoning you...but it happened years ago, he's apologized, and she still is often so rude. I wish we had more insight into her instead of simply "this is her personality". Ultimately, she was simply an "ok" character.
Secondary Characters Are Great
Although the story is about Mia and Luke, I found myself more interested in secondary characters like Billy (Luke's brother) and Gus (Mia's brother). Gus in particular caught my attention by being so different from both Mia and Luke. He's compassionate, calls them on their bs, caring, and super comfortable in his own skin. I realized that the next story is about him and I'm so excited to read his love story! He made a great addition to this book because Luke and Mia definitely needed a referee to calm them down or encourage them, depending on the character.
Overall, this is an easy read for those interested in a spicy love story, and one that's set in the UK so there are some fun slang terms for us Canadians (or Americans!). The location of the book was actually a big selling point of me because I felt like I was in a small town in England with all the British swear words and terms :).
FINAL RATING: 2.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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