When you lose, how do you get up again?

Synopsis

When Lily’s husband dies, she moves to the edge of a tiny village, settling into a solitary life, her only real company her brother and his family. A quiet life becomes her safe space, with no risk of getting hurt.

When her brother offers her spare room to his oldest friend, Jack, Lily’s reluctant – but knowing how much she owes her family, can’t say no. 

A lodger takes some getting used to but to her surprise, Lily begins to enjoy Jack’s company. Slowly but surely, Jack encourages Lily to step outside her comfort zone. 

But taking risks means facing the consequences, and telling people how she really feels, means Lily might have to face losing them. But as the saying goes – you only live once – and being brave could mean Lily gets a second chance at love…

My review

Lily never expected to be a widow so soon and in so a tragic way. Having loved and lost, made her change her life into a solitary one. She lives now in a tiny village, close to her brother and his family as her only company.
So when her brother needs her help, as letting stay his best friend in her spare bedroom, it’s clear that Lily isn’t all too happy.
But with Jack’s presence in the house, Lily slowly learns to step outside and out of her comfort zone. And enjoys Jack’s presence…
However, can Lily find the courage to open her heart again, and not let her fear of losing again to take the upper hand? Because in the end, you only live once… 

There are some authors that you know you will immediately like, even if you haven’t read one single word of their latest book.
And Maxine Morrey is one of them! 

It’s obvious that Lily is a sad, lonely character and I mean this in the literal sense, she IS sad and lonely. We feel how she is still grieving over losing her beloved husband. And I could also understand how she kept to herself and didn’t wish to socialise and pretend everything was okay, when it obviously still isn’t.
But we also see the amazing Lily, as a sister, a sister – in – law and great aunty to her brother’s kids!
And she knows how much she has to thank her brother for, so if repaying him somehow means allowing Jack, her former crush, to stay in her spare bedroom, how can she say ‘no’? 

I absolutely adored reading how Lily and Jack are living at the same place. Reading their banter, their stubbornness but also being there for each other was just so amazing.
Jack may be part of the higher society, but he want nothing to do with it. In fact, he couldn’t be more normal!
He helps Lily, not because of duty or sense of obligation, but because he is just that kind of good guy.
And how he gently pushes Lily out of her cocoon, sometimes doing it the right way, but also messing up, made my heart melt. 

This isn’t a story about a maid in distress and a knight in shining armour, but I felt it more like equal distress and equal helping hands. And obviously mutual attraction but trying not to give in.
As a reader, we know that there will come a moment where resisting is impossible, and when it FINALLY happened, even if the author skipped the whole build – up and leaving us using our own imagination, I think I was as happy as the main characters! 

While I wanted Lily to make a quicker move, I could also perfectly understand her. There isn’t a timeline on how long grief takes, this is different for each person. And while frustrating for me, I could also comprehend why she was afraid to get closer to Jack. She barely survived losing her husband and if she has to go through it all again, I could see that it would truly break her.
But should we truly let fear let us miss out on the best thing in life, love? 

During this book, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. It made me happy, made me swoon, made me sad, made me angry, made me frustrated but also made me understand even better how grief and fear can change a person into only a shadow of how she/he was before.
But it also showed me that no matter how much someone suffered, or was afraid, for having the right person by your side it’s always worth of taking that terrifying step and turn into the glorious you again.

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