Friday, May 13, 2016

Book & Audio Review: Between Now and Forever by Barbara Freethy

Between Now and Forever by Barbara Freethy (Calloways, Book 4)

Publisher & Release: Fog City Publishing, LLC, January 2014

Time and setting: Present Day, San Francisco

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  303 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Nicole met Ryan when he was a handsome, cocky teenager with a desire to fly high above the clouds. Ryan encouraged Nicole to dream big and promised her a lifetime of happiness, but several years into their lives together, they were faced with obstacles bigger than either had ever imagined. Their love faltered. They lost their way and considered what had once been unthinkable—the end of their forever.

But now fate throws them a curve, an event that forces them back together, that strips their emotions bare and is both terrifying and strangely unifying. For the first time in a long while they have to face each other, and not only talk but also listen, because their lives depend on it—not only their lives but also the life of their six-year-old son.

Secrets and lies frame a perilous journey to the truth that takes Nicole and Ryan to Angel's Bay, a place where miracles sometimes happen. But in order to get that miracle, Nicole and Ryan must work together and learn how to trust and love each other again. Only then will they be able to save their family and find their way to happily ever after.

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Vikki’s Musings

I heard Barbara Freethy speak at RWA 2015 and was very impressed. When I discovered this book on sale for 99 cents and the audio version for $1.99, I decided it was time to read one of her books. I’m so glad I found this one!

Nicole Prescott is estranged from her husband when their autistic son, Brandon disappears from the Halloween school festival. Her soon-to-be ex-husband joins her as they search for their missing son.

As they follow the clues to find their little boy, Nicole and Ryan must move beyond their differences if they want to find Brandon. While on their journey, can they find their way back to each other and reunite their family?

Oh, my, Between Now and Forever is a riveting read filled with heart-wrenching emotion. The pacing is fast, keeping me in its thrall from the first page to the last. The plot is extremely well-developed, and the characters have wonderful depth. Ms. Freethy sprinkles in their backstory as she spins this tale of parents who are experiencing their worst nightmare.

Nicole’s character is wonderfully complex with many facets to her personality. I particularly enjoyed her self-realization that she was as much to blame for her separation from her husband as he. It showed a fantastic character arch. I could feel her pain and her emotions as if they were mine.

Ryan is somewhat of a tortured soul. The guilt over their separation eats at him, but the feelings of abandonment left over from his troubled childhood play mightily into the decisions he made and the deterioration of their marriage. As he struggles with his emotions while searching for Brandon brought tears to my eyes.

The depth of the love between Nicole and Brandon comes through loud and clear as they realize the love is still as strong as before the break in their relationship. The chemistry between them jumps off the page and is very tastefully woven into this remarkable book.

I listened to the audio version performed by Shannon McManus. She reads with the perfect depth of emotion, pulling me into the story. She is able to give each character their distinct voice adding greatly to my listening enjoyment. I will definitely listen to future books with Ms. McManus as the narrator.

If you enjoy an emotionally-charged story with a great building of suspense, and a heart-warming second chance romance, then you will love Between Now and Forever. If this is the example of the other books in this series, then I will be reading them as well. Happy reading!

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