Title: Living Again
Author: L.L. Collins
Series: Living Again #1
Release Date: January 12, 2014
Kayley Carson thought she had it all…married to the love of her life, a great job, and a baby on the way. Then one day, her life changes forever when she loses her husband in a tragic accident. No longer sure how to navigate life after her enormous loss, Kayley clings to her newborn baby, her family, and her friends to keep herself living.
When she meets someone that challenges her belief that she’s better off alone, she has to decide if she is capable of letting him in after swearing she was never going to love anyone the same way again.
She’s not the only one with a painful past. He is struggling with trust issues after a previous relationship went horribly wrong. After a terrible misunderstanding brings out both of their insecurities, will the painful memories of the past keep them both from living again?
Living Again absolutely swept me off my feet. This is romance at its best. Each and every moment of this book was emotionally charged and full of love. Kayley’s story was all at once devastating, overwhelming, sweet, and heartwarming. This journey felt incredibly personal from start to finish and I couldn’t help but find myself fully invested in both Kayley and Alexis. When Ben enters the picture, all bets are off, because he is the epitome of classic romance. His words and gesture are enough to make any woman melt, but combined with his imperfections and moments of humility he is BBF perfection. Living Again was never just Ben and Kayley’s story. It always belonged to Alexis too. This story was about redefining love and family after tragedy and I think that added depth is why I fell so hard for this one.
“I understand you’re scared. You lost a lot. You thought you were with the one man you were going to stay with forever and he’s gone. I get that. But please, baby. Please. Give me a chance to show you he wasn’t the only one that can love you.”
Ben and Kayley both deal with very different heartbreak over the course of this book. L.L. Collins made sure that the resultant hesitancy and fear was ever present as they navigated through their new relationship. The genuine uncertainty allowed me to lose myself in the story, enjoying the transformations these characters went through. L.L. Collins does a wonderful job growing her characters and nurturing their relationships. The changes in her characters as they experience life and begin to fix what’s broken were beautiful and inspiring. I also adored every single secondary character in Living Again. You don’t just get a fabulous couple, but a slew of family and friends whose love and support knows no bounds. I couldn’t stop myself from being swallowed up by the vibrant and lovable characters that colored Ben and Kayley’s story.
“You see, this girl’s first love story ended much too soon, and tragically. This one can’t end that way, because this story deserves to go forever.”
This book is more emotional than I could have ever prepared myself for. I’m pretty sure I spent the whole beginning of the book crying only to find myself getting through the end the same way, but with an entirely different feeling. The pain and sadness that L.L. writes absolutely crushed me. She also knows exactly the right words to make your heart soar. There were plenty of fun and flirtatious encounters that left me grinning as well as just the right amount of steam to keep the chemistry between Ben and Kayley sizzling. This book will touch you, break you, surprise you, and mend you, ultimately leaving you feeling full and satisfied. L.L. Collins has managed to capture every type of love with this story. She hits you with the love of a partner, a family member, a best friend, and a child all at once until you’re so overcome by the warmth and grace surrounding this story that you can’t help but be absolutely consumed by it.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Living Again series:
Reaching Rachel (Living Again #2)
Guarding Hearts (Living Again #3)
Finding Forever (Living Again #4)
Breaking Free (Living Again #4.5)