Someone to Love

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 3 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

Someone to Love by Jenny Frame
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sequel to "Unexpected" but can be read as a stand-alone book. Davina Trent (lawyer) and Wendy (hip nanny) carry the story with children Alice and Noah adding to an ably written supporting cast in this opposites attract romance. There is love, some angst and music - a sweet, feel good tale with stops and starts. I wish the storyline was longer but Ms. Frame is yet to disappoint me with her writing. My only beef - the Peter and Dee bits which seemed odd....
Easy 4.25 stars
I rec'd an ARC from NetGalley/Bold Strokes Books for an impartial review.

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I am a huge fan of Ms. Frame and I have read every one of her books. I really liked this one; it’s not one of my favorites but it was a nice read. The chemistry between the characters and the dialogue, which is something that Ms. Frame excels at, did not disappoint. It was a nice weekend read and I can’t wait for her next book.
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Wendy Darling wanted a family, that simple wish didn’t seem like too much to ask for, right but while attending university she met the woman she really thought would be at her side making her dream come true. She grew  up with parents who really shouldn’t have had any children.  She grew up lonely but  from observing her classmates family lives she knew  how  a family should be. There when you needed them, always with a warm hug but they only made her feel like she was some kind of huge mistake. Bailey, Wendy’s girl friend turned out to be the loser her friends had warned her about. Then when  she moved out with no warnings she made it all the more awful by stealing all of Wendy’s money, leaving Wendy with a mountain of debt.   
    Wendy decided she needed a break so she traveled around the world making and saving the money required to pay off the debts Bailey had left her with. Now that she has done just that it’s time to come home again, started attending university and getting her life back on track. Having worked as a nanny, she decides that’s what she’d do while waiting for school to begin.
    Davina Trent didn’t have a better start in life then Wendy but instead of looking outward she closed herself off to any kind of relationship, a few nights spent with some woman now and again was perfect for her.  She runs the law offices she inherited from her father, a man who made her childhood  miserable with his cruelty. Now she had the life she wanted, helping couples get what they deserved following their divorce, all the while making herself a very wealthy woman. She didn’t want or need anyone else, thank you very much.
    After the death of her cousin David, (someone she hasn’t kept in touch)  she finds she's the only one able to take the two  children he’s left behind but quickly decides that as soon as she could she’d ship them off to some boarding school. But in the meantime, she needed someone to look after the children until that time came. Enter one Wendy Darling  who takes it upon herself to make these three strangers a family.
    I’ve read most of Ms Frames books and enjoyed them very much but this new book in my humble opinion is for me easily one of her best. Wonderful read. Very enjoyable.
ARC via NetGalley/Bold Stroke Books
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Davina Trent is a hot shot divorce lawyer nearing her forties. Her first cousin has been tragically killed in a car accident leaving behind two kids and Trent is their next of kin.  Trent's ex and her one true love, left her as Trent never wanted to start a family. Trent feels obligated to look after her cousin's children so she hires a nanny Wendy Darling, young, beautiful and determined to bring this family together, she also enraptures Trent. As is Wendy attracted to the masculine Trent but is determined to keep things completely professional. 
I really enjoyed the style of writing from this author and I was totally engaged in the story from the start. You could really empathise with Trent and how she dealt with her feelings, likewise with Wendy so credit to the author for making you feel for the characters. The first half of the book, I loved but I struggled with the 2nd half as I felt the connection between Trent and the kids was too fast and too easy so didn't find that quite believable.
Overall I enjoyed this storyline and the book.
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A good age gap romantic story with likeable characters. An interesting family dynamic that brings some drama along with the fun and touching moments. The romance was not perfect and the pacing was a little off at times. But overall a good read.
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Davina Trent is a divorce lawyer and doesn’t believe in marriage or family.  When her cousin dies and she’s left to look after his kids, her answer is to get rid of them to boarding schools as quickly as possible. In the meantime she needs a nanny.

Wendy Darling wants kids and a family of her own. Until that happens,  she’s working as a nanny, and a job with ice queen divorce lawyer Davina Trent will help her get back on her feet financially after a bad breakup.  But she’s shocked and dismayed at Trent’s attitude to the kids and her responsibilities. She wants to help Trent see that being part of a family can be wonderful. Can two women with such opposing views of the world ever be together – irrespective of the smoking hot attraction between them?

Trent is another butch character to crush over, and very different from any of the others Jenny Frame has written. She’s like a wounded animal, retreating into a tough and hard persona. But that’s not the real her. Seeing Wendy chip away at the ice, slowly but surely, was wonderful. We know Trent from her role in ‘Unexpected’ and I found it fascinating to see a side of her I didn’t realise was there. Dale and Becca are back, along with their two kids. They play an important part in the story and I really enjoyed being with them again. The interaction between Trent and Dale was especially sweet and endearing.

Wendy was a warm and loving character and the perfect person to bring Trent and the children together. She was younger than Trent, but wiser in a lot of ways. Their attraction was always going to be a problem given the age gap and the boss/employee thing – but who can resist true love?  It was about getting to be who you really want to be. About finding the love of your life and the family you want and need. A really great story.

I was given this ARC to review.
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more than 4 less than 5 stars rounded up
This author just knows how to make an interesting story. Someone to Love is another great blend of family drama and romance by her. Not a full 5 stars novel like Unexpected, but still a really good and entertaining read very close to 5 stars. Great writing again, some well done characters of grownups and children, but just a bit less engaging. The fans of butch femme romances with kids might especially like it. I'm totally looking forward to Jenny Frame's next book. She is one of my favourite romance authors and I love how she integrates romance, family, friends and more into one book.
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I read this book without knowing its  was sequel to anything  and honestly i did not notice while i read it. did not feel like i missed things. thought looking back i did not enjoy "Unexpected"  at all. this one thought i finished and i quit enjoyed it. yes I felt like many things were not my cup of tea. but over all the story was solid the characters were likable and the way the author written it was realistic.
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I’m slightly perplexed by this book. It’s a very good storyline and both the characters and the families portrayed in it are fun and engaging. For these reasons, I enjoyed the book a lot, but there was a hesitancy to the overall feel of the book. I’m perplexed, because I’m not quite sure why this was the case. It’s almost there. Very close to being great, but it needs some final spark that sets it alight. Possibly more should have been made of the posh one night stand. I’m not sure, but it needed just a bit more pizzazz. Having said that I would definitely recommend this book as a light romance. It has a sweetness that warms the heart.
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Trent is a busy and prestigious divorce lawyer. Her only serious relationship ended years ago, when she didn't want to have children. But then a call comes that her cousin has passed away, and she's the only living relative to take care of his children. She figures she can hire a nanny until she can send them off to boarding school. Wendy Darling agrees to nanny only until she can start university for her teaching degree. She soon falls for the children and aches to bridge the gap between Trent and the children who are desperate for love and affection. In the months that follow, the two women are unexpectedly drawn to one another and Trent is unexpectedly falling in love with the children in her care. Is it all just temporary or will Trent open her heart and accept their place in her life?

Another incredible book by Jenny Frame! This is a sort-of sequel to Unexpected, but you can definitely enjoy this book without reading that one. Having read Unexpected, and re-read it in anticipation of this one, it's lovely to be able to touch base with Becca and Dale and see the continuation of their story. Overall a lovely and sweet story with lots of delicious chemistry.  I really enjoy Frame's writing style although it felt a bit short in places, the Lady Claudia storyline didn't feel necessary and surprisingly I could have done with less Dale and Becca's story to keep the focus on Trent and Wendy. That didn't keep me from enjoying the book at all.  The kids and their relationship with Wendy was just so sweet and then on top of that Trent's softening towards the kids just piled on the sweetness. Despite the tragic beginning, this book was lovely and sweet and romantic and tugged at the heartstrings all around. 

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Hummm...interesting read. Why? Because Wendy Darling's name and connection to Peter Pan. Davina Trent and her connection to her previous lover (Becca). Although I am not pulled in by reads with a butch masculine character paired with to some extent a soft femme, I do read them. Wendy is looking for family and Trent is not looking for family. When two children are thrust upon Trent, she needs a nanny and Wendy is hired. The push and pull among Wendy, Trent, Noah, and Alice is so real and believable. I like how Trent was indirectly challenged by Becca's wife, Dale to be better.
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Take Me To Neverland, Peter….
This most amazing drama is a follow up to Unexpected.  This story focuses on Trent but there is plenty about Dale, Becca and the kids to make me ever so happy! Trent is a hugely successful high profile divorce lawyer.  She is single, foot loose and fancy free.  After the upbringing she had she is sure she never wants children, a wife or to settle down.  Lately she feels unsettled, like there should be more to life.  When her cousin tragically dies in a car crash she is left to deal with the aftermath, namely, Alice and Noah.  Needing a nanny FAST, she hires the ever so charming and VERY kid friendly Wendy Darling… Did I mention she is a youngish, beautiful hipster that posh Trent can’t stop thinking about?   Wendy has always wanted a wife and children, a family of her own but things haven’t worked out for her.  Instead she has dedicated her life to helping families reconnect and become happy.  After meeting Trent, she knows she will have her work cut out for her but she does see signs of hope….If only she can keep herself from falling for the stoic woman.  

This is one of those stories that will turn your heart into complete mush! It’s so gosh darn adorable and makes your chest tight with all the good feeling emotions…. Its precious and sweet and so much love… all sorts of love… Trent and the children and even Wendy have had so much pain but together they overcome it and come out stronger together.  I LOVED that smooth talking Scottish wonder woman Dale is back with her lovely speech patterns and her love for her belty woman, wee man and wee yin…. She goes make my heart go into overdrive… I adored that all the friends were together time and again and everyone rallied around to make life better for the orphans and in turn each other and themselves.  Seriously, one might think the only thing missing was a dog but the trip to Lapland took care of that and Becca has it in mind to get one for Dale so even that’s covered!  This is a wonderful, wonderful book and it won’t be long before I go read Unexpected and this book again back to back!
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Davina Trent is a structured, organised, child-shy divorce lawyer. In fact, she is so unwilling to have kids in her life that it ended the most serious relationship in her life. In a twist of fate, Trent, finds herself in charge of two kids when her cousin dies in an accident and she’s the only relative left. Not one to take active responsibility, Trent is willing to provide financially for the kids but actually leaves them in the foster care system. Eventually she brings them home with a plan of packing them off to a boarding school. The school can only take the kids in after six months so Trent hires a full-time, live-in nanny, Wendy Darling, for the period. Wendy wanted to be a teacher but got involved with a do-nothing scum who broke her heart and wiped out her bank balance. Unable to afford pursuing her degree, Wendy chose to travel the world teaching and nanny-ing for five years before returning to Britain.

 

There are a lot of typical lesfic and typical Jenny Frame tropes in this one. There is age gap. Poor girl-rich girl. Butch/femme (in fact Frame’s butches are always epically super butch and masculine-presenting). Opposite personalities. However, there is a sense of no real depth in this one with things resolving much too fast and must too easily. Like all of Frame’s femme characters, Wendy is totally likeable. After initial disbelief at leaving the kids in foster care, Trent evokes no particular feeling despite her frankly awful father and nanny backstory.

 

Frame’s writing flows well as always making this an easy, though not particularly memorable, read.
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I absolutely adored "Unexpected" and thought that the premise was fascinating. "Someone to Love" is a nice follow-up and we get to peek in on Dale and Becca and their family. This is an age gap/melting the ice queen/opposites attract story that still manages to feel a little different in a world of limited tropes. If you enjoyed Unexpected you'll love this worthy sequel.
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What drew me in to want to read this book was the premise - a wealthy lawyer suddenly has to take in two children and hires a nanny to care for the children. We all know how the story will go, but the telling of the story and what leads up to a happy ending is what holds the reader's attention. This book did just that. The characters were likable and relatable and this was the perfect story for the holiday season.
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4 Stars for Jenny Frame’s Someone to Love. I’ve been of fan of Frame from when she only had her online stories. 

This book is the sequel to Frame’s novel Unexpected. Frame specializes on Butch/Femme romances. Someone to Love centers on Davina Trent, Unexpected’s Rebecca’s former lover and current lawyer.  I don’t think you need to read Unexpected before reading this book. Trent could be the butchest of Frame’s butch characters.  Can a butch character also be an Ice Queen? If so, Trent would fit the bill. Thirty-nine year old, Trent is a successful and ruthless divorce lawyer.  She is always dapper, with a short haircut and dresses sharp in tailored suits. Even at home she is most comfortable in suit trousers, a crisp shirt and vest.

Trent learns that her cousin has died in a car crash and as his only living relative she is left to care for his two young children, Alice who is eleven and Noah who is six. Trent, who never wanted kids and is uncomfortable around them decides she will support them financially but will send them to boarding school. Unfortunately for Trent, the earliest they can be enrolled is in six months. So she needs to hire a live-in nanny.  Trent ends up hiring a twenty-six year old, guitar playing, attractive nanny, Wendy Darling. Wendy often sings to and with the children. In spite of her bohemian/hippy style of dress, Wendy is a very qualified, experienced nanny. 

I was probably more than halfway through, when it hit me. OMG. This is a modern lesfic retelling of the Sound of Music. One of my favorite movies of all time. I even met Julie Andrews once at a book signing. You’ve got the older father/butch parent whose relationship with the children is strained, children with no mother, and a younger guitar carrying singing nanny. There is no Nazis, nuns, or a Baroness, but there is a Lady Osborne who is after Trent and thinks Trent should “pack them off to boarding school”.
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I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Are you a non kid person in a world of kid oriented people?

Did you have  less than perfect parents?

Ithis is a story of two women and how they deal with those unfortunate histories. .

One is positive, one is negative... until tragedy beings them together for the perfect storm of growth, discovery and at long last, love.

Beleiveable characters, relatable back stories.
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This book was a little confusing for me. I liked the first 1/3, the second was mwah and the final one felt rushed.
I liked how the story was set up with Trent and Wendy, but there was some bits of Becca and Dale and all of a sudden they stopped, confusing...
Trent is an extreme ice queen that starts to take care of her cousins, she hires Wendy as her nanny. Wendy melts her heart for the kids and for her. The first time they get together was rushed and not necessarily at the right point in the story for me. 
The story also started with a character that kept popping up, but was never really dealt with. I also didn’t care for it, it was an awful storyline.
I would have liked more interaction with Dale and Becca and deeper talks about the trauma of the main characters. They have such deep seeded trauma, but it all evaporates with a few words? Sorry, but no.
And the worst part? Wendy’s last name is Darling, Wendy Darling.... she has this whole thing about finding her Peter Pan and living happily ever after. She starts to call Trent Peter and she calls her, Wendy *insert pause* Darling, or just Darling. This just makes me want to throw up.
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Firstly, Someone to Love is the sequel to Unexpected and I was excited when I heard Jenny Frame was writing this book. As much as this book is from Trent and Wendy's point of view, we still get to have moments from Becca and Dale from book one. And those two were as amazing as ever and really shone even in their limited page time. Dale… #swoon.

Trent is the epitome of an ice queen, with her crazy work ethic, emotional walls and her lack of friendliness but on the inside, she is a loveable puppy. In the first book, I was not her biggest fan, but in this book, she really made up for it. Watching as her walls come down and she embraces family life was terrific. 

My heart broke for the kids, Alice and Noah. They went through so much, especially Alice. What a tragedy losing their Dad, but Wendy really helps Trent and the kids learn to be a family, one that she ultimately wants to be part of. 

It's just one big bundle of love in this book!


For full review check out:

https://lesreveur.com/2019/12/03/someone-to-love-by-jenny-frame/
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Jenny Frame's latest work, "Someone To Love," is a spin-off of her previous book, "Unexpected," which I really enjoyed very much specifically because of the originality of the story and how Frame executed it with heartwarming resonance. In the story, there was an antagonistic character, Trent, who was one of the MCs' (Becca) ex, who really piqued my curiosity as I thought there was potential in expanding her storyline. And voila! Before I knew it, Frame announced that she would write a spin-off with Trent as the MC! Thus born this Book 2 of the Unexpected Romance series. Needless to say, I enjoyed exploring Trent's back story and what made her who she was. Also, I always find it intriguing to explore a character who starts off as an antagonist in one circumstance but transforms into a protagonist when the POV turns to that individual in a new environment and set of circumstances, thus, making her an even more layered character altogether.

Essentially, this story was an age-gap, second chance, and a totally unexpected romance between Trent, a 40-year-old divorce lawyer, who was still licking her wounds, mentally and emotionally, even years after she and Becca ended their relationship, and Wendy, a 26-year-old "au pair" aka nanny, who left the country to nurse her heartbreak 5 years ago and only just returned to London after working as a nanny to various families from different countries. How did these two individuals, both having experienced a major heartbreak in their love lives, from totally different backgrounds, not to mention, polar opposites in every sense of the word, cross paths, you might ask. Well, as serendipity goes, you'd never know what's lurking around the corner waiting to steal your heart just when you least expect it and when it strikes, there's no escape, no matter how hard you try. Despite Trent being hopelessly averse to having kids in her life and Wendy who loved kids, always dreaming of having a family of her own, it was Trent's sudden "inheritance" of two kids (from her cousin who died from a sudden tragic accident with no next of kin except her, their godmother!) who effectively ended her "freedom of singlehood" that brought Wendy into her life! Fate, it seemed, was not without a sense of irony, was it? (channeling Morpheus!)

I enjoyed exploring how Trent and Wendy's initial encounter that was laced with awkwardness and discomfort as both tried to establish their positions as employer/employee, guardian/nanny, in the presence of Alice, 11, and Noah, 6, both representing different symbols to them (a fear factor for Trent, which as I discovered, had everything to do with her childhood, and a culmination of pure love and affection for Wendy!), but as time went on, their relationship became more friendly albeit cautiously guarded, to eventually becoming more than platonic, much to their chagrin, respectively, for reasons they held dear in their hearts. But, when cupid strikes.... Frame has a knack for moulding romances that aren't clear cut or absolute at first, despite the presence of attraction, but takes her readers to her characters' journey of reconciliation and acceptance with heartwarming effect. This romance was no exception. In fact, Frame upped the game by adding in 2 kids into the fold, thus, complicating the otherwise smoother journey toward romance, which made Trent and Wendy's romance more multi-dimensional! At least for me, it did!

I loved Trent's character. Besides being an aloof, awkward, ice queen-type persona who had absolutely no clue about raising any children, I was thrilled that Frame had crafted a layered back story of her past which she skilfully peeled off as the story progressed. Childhood trauma. I wasn't expecting it, tbh. So when it was revealed, I was immediately intrigued and suddenly everything about Trent, her total aversion of having children in her life made sense to how she had been behaving since Book 1!

*Note: I feel like I should mention something here when it comes to women having children or not. I am a firm believer that it is perfectly ok and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who chooses not to have or doesn't want any children in their lives, be it giving birth to them or having them. When a woman decides not to have children, it doesn't always mean that she had a traumatic past or a bad experience that caused her to decide not to have children. Sometimes a woman just doesn't want to, period. If men can have that kind of freedom to choose whether they want kids or not, without any explanation or incurring a negative response from society at large, then women should be given the same treatment. Unfortunately, it s the social conditioning about women and their wombs, their maternal instincts, their existence as child-bearing tools, that has been ingrained in the society so deeply amongst men and women for generations, that some women themselves are the culpable parties for making others feel guilty for not wanting children without any "acceptable" reason. This mentality needs to be removed from the consciousness of humanity. That's my firm believe and POV.

Back to Trent and her childhood trauma, I was fascinated with the psychological and emotional effects of what happened to her when she was a child growing up. I won't divulge the reasons and circumstances revolving around her trauma here because the resonating effect needs to be experienced directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak, by discovering it yourself from Frame's carefully structured stages of the revelation that intertwined with Trent's growing relationship with Wendy. Childhood trauma, as we all know, cast long shadows. Unlike adulthood trauma, a child is more than likely to block out any unsavoury, difficult, traumatic event that happens to them that their growing mind isn't mature enough to grapple on to its meaning or effects. When a memory is blocked especially when it's a negative experience, and left unresolved, it always has a way of seeping through, usually in adulthood when something external triggers it when the mind's defence mechanism is no longer holding it as tightly as before or when the trigger is too strong that it penetrates into it, thereby activating the once blocked out memory. For Trent, it was the former, as a result of her growing relationship with Wendy.

In essence, Wendy was Trent's catalyst when it came to her attitude toward Alice and Noah, and her mindset of having children in her life, in general. What was more captivating for me was to find out the correlation between Trent's own childhood trauma and Alice's fresh one (after witnessing her dad's death in the flesh with all the horrors of a violent accident) that culminated into a full-blown PTSD. Speaking of Alice, I absolutely loved the development between she and Trent. The slow-burn rapport built between these two injured souls was written with grounded realism and authentic flair. My two favourite scenes from the book were of these two. One was when they were both in the car after Alice's visit to her therapist. The "contract" negotiation between them was pure Trent-style which incidentally worked out perfectly for Alice's character! You'll know when you read it and discover that these two souls weren't all that different after all! And, never underestimate the power of shared experiences regardless of whether they are positive or negative ones. The other favourite moment of mine was the zoo incident where Trent ended up finally having to open up a little of herself when she had the biggest scare of her life about Alice's well-being! It was poignant and effective. The shift in Alice's behaviour toward Trent was truly heartfelt as Frame managed to capture the inner psyche of both characters with emotional resonance. With all the "heavy" energy surrounding Trent and Alice as their relationship was explored from start to finish (but with a well-deserved uplifting result, no worries), Frame balanced that out with Noah as this utterly adorable, innocent and lovable 6-year-old who was obviously too young to grasp the depth of their father's death. Needless to say, he was a delight every time he made an appearance in a scene.

Now, talking of Wendy, she's basically the polar opposite of Trent, in every sense of the word! But that's the beauty of it, innit? Opposites attract! I enjoyed the push-pull between them for reasons that you will discover when you read the book besides the obvious. But there was one thing that jumped out at me when exploring Wendy and Trent's life journeys. One of Trent's childhood traumas happened to coincide with Wendy's own. The juxtaposition of their experiences, though, was portrayed with a keen sense of intrigue (for me, at least!) whether human behaviour is incontrovertibly causal whilst being irrelevant concerning whether reasons can be causes. Trent's behaviour went the negative way when it came to her mindset about children, whereas Wendy adopted a positive state of mind regarding children. Was Trent's negative or Wendy's positive behaviour toward the same topic (children), the result of causality (trigger point) or reasoning (motive or justification) or both (trigger and motive)? Hmm...thoughts to ponder. Incidentally, it piqued my utterly curious and inquisitive mind. Bear in mind, though, this is just my own interpretation! Frame might not even have that thought when she wrote this! Oh well... that's why art is interpretative, innit?

Anyway, the entire story was comprised of a series of unexpected relationships: An unexpected parenthood, an unexpected romance, an unexpected family, all wrapped around a compellingly told and written story about a group of individuals, adults and children alike, with secondary characters from Book 1 and the others, whose lives were destined to be entwined together. Trent and Wendy's respective journeys of truth and reconciliation about their childhood traumas and their process of letting go before they could eventually commit to their mutual love for one another and spending their lives together as a family, were depicted with such heartwarming effect that it was almost fairy tale-like! All's well that ends well, eh? Worth mentioning is, both Becca and Dale made an appearance as secondary characters, along with their kids. So there was definitely a sense of familiarity and warmth whilst reading this book!

All in all, I enjoyed this story very much, especially all the psychological nuances of every character, the meaning of family, and what mattered most in the end. Love. Acceptance. Letting go. If you're a fan of lesbian romance or you've read Book 1, "Unexpected," I'd definitely recommend you give this a read.

**I was given, with much thanks and appreciation, an ARC of this book, by BSB, in return for an honest review.
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