I admit I love a good friends to lovers story, or the whole woman in love with her brother’s friend trope and when you add in some other type of trauma, I’m pretty much sold. When I read the blurb for Sydney Landon’s Always Loving You, I knew I had to read it, but I was a little leery because it is the 6th book in her Danvers series. Thankfully, this one can be read as a stand alone, although I’m definitely going to go back and start from the beginning. For those familiar with the series, this is Ava and Mac’s story and there were so many things to love.
Ava Stone was brutally attacked as a teenager and when her family sweeps the whole thing under the rug, she forces herself to pretend that she has moved past it all when nothing is further from the truth. Believing herself to be too screwed up from the assault, she refuses to admit her feelings to her brother’s best friend Mac who she has loved since she was a teenager. When it becomes clear that he is about to move on, Ava realizes it’s now or never and sets out to win her man back.
MacKinley Powers has known Ava since she and her brothers moved in with their grandfather next door as children. Everyone knows that his heart belongs to her, but on the surface she appears to only want a friendship. Unable to bear the pain of loving her from a distance, Mac is determined to put his love for her aside and begin to live his life. He has found a nice woman who any man would be crazy for and he convinces himself that he can be happy. When Ava starts acting crazy doing things like riding motorcycles and roller blading, his protective instincts kick in and he starts losing his battle.
Where to start. The beginning is a little difficult to read if rape is a trigger for you, but there are no graphic details. I love that Mac is the one that finds Ava after she manages to crawl to his door. While it is obviously not the same trauma, he too changed that night when he found the woman he loved had been hurt so horribly and he hadn’t been able to protect her. What made Mac so loveable was that he was just a genuinely nice guy that would do anything to protect Ava from further harm. He waited for years for her to be ready for him and no one could blame him for trying to move on.
Ava was a great heroine. There are many ways to write a character that has experienced something like Ava had and in this case even though she thinks she’s weak and pathetic, she’s clearly very strong. She fights like hell to get past what happened to her. Her interaction with the other women in the series who were introduced in earlier installments was a combination of heart warming and funny. She clearly craves that friendship but doesn’t like to put herself out there.
This book was emotional and funny and you can’t help but root for this couple. It appears that the group of friends are all very close and all interesting characters themselves, so I am looking forward to reading the first five books and keeping up with this series going forward. Sydney Landon was a new to me author and I am a definite fan.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Always Loving You
by Sydney Landon
Release Date: February 3, 2015