From goodreads: Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.
Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.
When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.
Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.
The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.
This is a unique romance story about missed opportunities, forgiveness and self-acceptance. The journey of Alex and Dylan is painful yet beautiful because it deals with the harsh realities of war and the long-lasting impacts it has.
Charles Sheehan-Miles writes beautifully and the imagery he created with regards to Dylan’s experience in the Middle East was raw. But he also does a wonderful job in describing what it’s like for a soldier to come home and slowly assimilate back into civilian life. You couple all of that with running into your first love and you have a recipe for a fantastic book. The story moves at a good pace and I couldn’t seem to turn the page quick enough.
Not only was it easy to be empathetic when it came to Alex’s and Dylan’s story but I was also incredibly invested in them, as I was in the supporting characters. There is a ton of angst in this book which is my favorite because I love to be tortured at every possible moment when I know that love will prevail or so I hope! Dylan is so tormented by his past and even his present that Charles makes you doubt the entire time if their love that runs so deep will survive their circumstances and it’s exhausting!
The only concern I had with the story was Alex’s brief two encounters with Randy, someone whom she dated for a nano-second. There was something about that situation that didn’t ring true and that’s such a serious issue that I wanted to feel that to my very core. Now, with that being said, I felt everything else. I felt their angst, their regret, their happiness…I felt it all. The one person I wanted to see more of and maybe he’ll even get his own book is Sherman! He’s not in the book very long but he makes a lasting impression that left a void in my heart when he made his graceful exit! So Charles, if you are out there…he needs his own dang book!
Dylan had me at index cards!!! I’m being vague on purpose so I entice you enough to read this book without giving away too much.
“You and me…it’s our job to try to bring him back, okay? I don’t know if we can but…well…I love that guy. And I’m not gonna let him go off the edge if I can help it.”
My final two cents: I’m so glad I took a chance on this book and I can’t wait to read the follow-up book, A Song for Julia.