Title: Reaching Rachel
Author: L.L. Collins
Series: Living Again #2
Release Date: January 18, 2014
Rachel has always been seen as a wild child, never committing or settling down. She wants it that way, so that no one ever finds out the truth. Deep down, she is crushed over something that happened years ago that resulted in losing the only man she ever loved. Then she meets someone who tries to convince her that she’s ready to commit again. But some things are not what they seem. Realizing too late that she’s in over her head, and with her life on the line, she comes face to face with her past in a way she never thought possible.
Devin was in love once, and it destroyed him, making him swear off love forever. After a promotion and subsequent move unexpectedly brings him into the middle of her dangerous situation, he must come face to face with his past and to the woman who broke him into pieces. But she needs help. Desperately. And maybe, just maybe, he didn’t know the real truth of their past. Can he help her survive the terrible ordeal she’s been through, and during it all, can he safeguard his heart from her? Or will the truth of the pain that has kept them apart show him that he can’t live without her after all?
This book contains difficult topics that may be hard for some readers and is suggested for a mature audience only. It contains strong language, sexual situations, abuse, and other content that may be problematic for some to read. Please keep this in mind when choosing to read this book.
Reaching Rachel was an absolutely fantastic addition to the Living Again series and once again L.L. Collins has managed to emotionally steamroll me. Rachel’s story is gut-wrenching and raw, dealing with difficult realities and the struggle to survive in the aftermath. It is becoming increasingly apparent that L.L. Collins strives to make her readers ugly cry with each and every tortured word. The fantastic character development and turbulent storyline delivered a journey that hit me hard, right in the heart. This book made me think and dream and feel, all of the things I hope for in a romance. I was immediately captivated by the flawed characters I could easily relate to and it took no time at all for me to find myself thoroughly invested in their happily ever after. While just as emotionally powerful, Reaching Rachel had an entirely different feel than Living Again, which allowed me to completely appreciate L.L.’s talent for unique, heartbreaking, and hopeful stories.
“He gave his heart to you all those years ago, and you still have it.”
Rachel is an unquestionably genuine character that had me on her side within minutes of beginning her story. There was a false confidence and an honest fragility about her that drew me in and kept me on edge while I waited for her story to play out. Rachel’s fear and vulnerability was so tangible that my heart ached for her every time she was faced with another reminder of her traumatic past. On the other hand, every bit of strength she demonstrated lightened my heart and made me proud of the growth L.L. Collins was demonstrating with this character. Devin might be one of my favorite BBFs of all time. His protective nature and total devotion to Rachel was enough to make me melt, but then we see the cracks in his armor, how afraid he is to lose Rachel, how helpless he feels when he can’t protect her from outside forces, and he turned me into a puddle. I love when an author isn’t afraid to expose the weaknesses of their male characters. It gives them an authenticity you can’t help but fall for.
“Are we going to spend the rest of our lives talking about what could’ve been, or are we going to live together the way we should’ve always, because we love each other now?”
I was greatly intrigued by Rachel when we first met her in Living Again, but I could not have prepared myself for the heartbreaking story that would unfold in Reaching Rachel. L.L. Collins really tugged at my heartstrings with this one. If there is one thing L.L. has perfected, it is bringing her characters emotions to life. I could feel every moment of sadness and regret that Rachel experienced but I also sensed how overwhelmingly haunted this young woman was by her past. I connected with her pain and felt the emotional weight of her story. I was completely consumed by this book, completely immersed in every high and low of Rachel and Devin’s journey. L.L. Collins has once again proven her incredible gift for bringing broken and damaged characters to life and forging a meaningful connection between them and her readers. I can only imagine what ugly-cry-inducing story L.L. has in store for us next in this series!
Add to Goodreads
Don’t miss the rest of the Living Again series:
Living Again (Living Again #1)
Guarding Hearts (Living Again #3)
Finding Forever (Living Again #4)
Breaking Free (Living Again #4.5)