Running On Empty (Mending Hearts #1) by L.B. Simmons

Running On Empty

From goodreads: I had the perfect life.

Beautiful and loving husband.Three gorgeous little girls. 
Successful career. 

The only thing missing was the white picket fence.  I really wanted that fence. 

Three years ago, I lost that life.  I lost my husband.  And I lost myself.  But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness.  I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world.  I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse.

But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle.

There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down.  Absolutely no way. 

The question is…

How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?

This book totally surprised me and I felt happy when I was done reading it.  It’s one of those stories that are simply sweet and touching, leaving you with a smile on your face. L.B. Simmons had me at John Hughes.  There were so many references to those iconic movies that it brought me to my happy place!!!

I wasn’t expecting this book to make me laugh as much as I did but some of the scenarios and comments were hilarious.  And I wasn’t expecting to get choked-up!!  It was like a tennis match between my laughing and crying.

This is a story about life, loss and second chances at love. It’s also a story about hope because love doesn’t come around once in a lifetime.  Alex is a single mom and not by choice and has three fabulous kids.  L.B. Simmons writes wonderfully, she engages you in a way that puts you in Alex’s shoes.  She takes you from present day to the flashback scenes of a time with and without Derek, her husband.  I felt her loss, her grief, her anxiety of trying to do it all and at times, her anger.

Enter Blake.  Mr. Tall-drink-a-water Blake.  Mr. Motorcycle Blake.  Mr. I’m-all-man-and so-much-more Blake.  Blake is a childhood friend who is all those things plus a kind soul.  The friendship that was lost and then rekindled between Alex and Blake is sweet.  It’s the kind of sweet that makes you say in unison with all your girlfriends…Awwwwww!!!

The rekindling felt rushed and it should have happened slower, gradual, I wanted to be teased with the push and pull.  The push and pull didn’t last long and was over within a few pages.  With that being said, the general pace of the story moves along quite well giving us our moments of angst and our moments of I can’t believe Blake did that…that’s so sweet!  There were times when Alex was a bit too much to handle because she didn’t know when to stop talking but luckily Blake knew she was working through her issues.

My absolute favorite scene in the book is with the butterfly.  It’s beautiful and so descriptive that I had goose-bumps.  I could feel the wind, I could smell the air and I could see exactly what was happening.  It played out in my mind played out like a scene from a movie!!! I loved it and yes, I’m being vague on purpose.

“But you’ll never have your happy ending unless you’re brave enough to open the book and start your story.”

My final two cents: Need a book to make you feel good, make you happy, tug at your heart-strings and make you laugh??  This is your book! ;)



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