Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: This is Love by Caroline Nolan

Rachel Miller had love, life and happiness…until she didn’t. 

Uncertain of how to cope and move on without him, Rachel’s life comes to halt as she mourns the loss of her fiance Ben. Then one night she discovers it doesn’t have to. 

By way of dreams, Rachel and Ben continue to live the life they had planned together. It's unconventional, it's not even real, but it's enough for Rachel. For the first time since Ben’s death, she’s happy…whole. That is until she runs into someone she barely knew from years ago and suddenly real life is just as great as her dream one. 

Now Rachel doesn’t know what to do. Will letting someone new in threaten what she has with Ben? Or will their love story threaten her new happiness? Is it crazy to chase after a ghost while being caught up by someone very real?

5 stars
Review by Jen Skewes

This is Love is Caroline Nolan’s debut novel and an amazing one at that.  When I was finished reading this book I wanted to look her up and find other books that she had written so I can add them to my TBR list.  But then I read the acknowledgements and saw that this was her first book and I was completely surprised because the writing was fantastic.  Ms. Nolan is such a talented writer.  The words flowed so perfectly.  The story told was beautiful and at times emotional.  And the characters she created were so real and people that you will fall in love with.   This is Love is a story about loss, love, friendship, healing and learning to love again. 

Rachel had everything she could have wanted.  She was getting ready to marry Ben, the love of her life.  But one phone call and she is left completely broken.  The love of her life was killed in an accident and she has no idea how to go on.  She becomes depressed and her mother and friends step in to help get her back on her feet.  It is over 1.5 years later and Rachel feels like she is finally trying to live again.  Slowly but surely she will get there.  When Ben starts to visit her in her dreams she feels once again connected to him and does not want to let go of that or him.  Then she meets Jackson Perry and while they agree to be “just friends” you know that there is more to what these two feel.  Rachel starts to fall for Jax but her guilt for moving on starts to take over.  Rachel needs to learn that letting go of her past does not mean forgetting Ben.  But in order to have a future with Jax she has to be able to move on, something that is not easy to do.  Will she be able to put the guilt behind her and have a future with Jax?

There have been many heroes that have become my favorites over the years.  But Jackson Perry completely worked his way into my heart.  That man captured me from the start. He was just amazing in every way.  He had this cockiness about him that I loved.  He wasn't cocky in an arrogant way.   It was more of a cute, sexy and adorable cockiness.  And especially loved when he was flirting with Rachel and that cockiness came out. He was lovable, sexy, fun and so gentle when it came to Rachel.  He didn't know a whole lot  about her past but it was enough to take it as slow as she needed.  He was every thing she needed in her life.  In a way he felt like a breath of fresh air that came into her life at the right moment.  He slowly woke up heart again, made her smile, helped her to love again. And he also slowly brought back the Rachel that she once was.  And that is exactly what she needed.

Rachel was such a wonderful heroine.  I honestly felt for her so much.  The moments when she had her “dreams” with Ben at night I felt how much these two loved each other.  I saw what a wonderful relationship they had and because of it I too fell for Ben.  So I understood her feelings and felt them with her.  I felt the guilt and the feeling of betrayal by being with Jax.  While I certainly understood her feelings,  I still wanted to see her move on be happy.  To find the happiness and the love of her life like she deserved.

As I mentioned earlier the writing in this book was amazing.  Going back and forth from Rachel’s dreams back to reality and the present day flowed perfectly.  And I wouldn’t have wanted this book any other way.  Because it was in those moments with Ben that you see a glimpse of the happy Rachel that she once was with Ben and you want to see that for her again.  I wanted her to find everything that she had once had with Jax and then some. 

I loved everything about this book, the writing, the storyline, the flashbacks, the main characters.  But is was also the supporting characters that I couldn't get enough of.  Paul was Ben's best friend and I loved how he felt that he needed to be there for Rachel to protect her and just to keep watch over her since losing his best friend.  Dylan is Jax's friend and I loved this guy.  He may have had no filter at times but he was there when it counted.  And then there is Tess, who is Rachel's best friend.  She was always there for her when she needed it, to comfort her, give advice, tell her like it is.  through good times and bad Tess has been there for Rachel.  She is the best friend that every girl needs in her life.  

This book brough out so many emotions.  At times it was heart breaking and sad but it was also fun and refreshing.  Jax and Rachel were so perfect together.  I loved the flrity banter between the two of them and how comfortable and at ease they felt with each other.  It was as if they had been friends for years before they became more.  Relationships like that for me are the best.  Where everything just seems so natural and real.  It just makes for such a wonderful love story between two people that in the end you hate to have to let go off.  And that is exactly what happened.  I did not want to put this book down and when it was over I wanted more. What an amazing and beautiful love story.  I look forward to riding more from Caroline Nolan in the future.  

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