Diving In by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I literally just finished the book and was so moved that I picked up my laptop to write a review on the spot. This book really threw me into an emotional tailspin. I was happy, sad, laughing, smiling, and put my kindle down with such a sense of satisfaction that I had to share my thoughts with the internet.
This book picks up with Liam's sister, Brynn. I don't think you actually have to have read the other book to enjoy this one, but it was also really good, so you should. Brynn is skating through life trying not to make her mom too angry, but still manages to find some small ways to push her buttons. A few years ago (from when the story takes place), she witnesses a horrible accident that she is then blackmailed into keeping a secret. Maybe this event or others have guided her life choices, but where her brother left home, she never really did. She stayed with the "family business" and devoted her life to swim classes for adorable elderly folks and the dry cleaning business.
I think everyone can relate to not meeting someone's expectations, and, jeez, the dialogue in this book was just so... real. Something about how this author writes the quirky and sarcastic characters just reels me in every time. Brynn's carefully crafted (or lazily crafted) life starts to spiral when Gabe wheels into her store. The victim of the aforementioned accident, Brynn should obviously not spend time with him... but she does. Their relationship is everything you could want from a pair of wonderful misfits. I loved every second of their time together - even the struggles.
Sure, this book ultimately delivers an immensely satisfying HEA, but it really makes you work for it. There's love and loss along the way that just resonated so well for me. I hope it does for you, too. If you're looking for a quick ready (I was just going to read a few chapters and ended up devoting my night to it) and want to feel something more than passing entertainment, you should definitely pick this book up. It got 5 stars from me, which means that I'd re-read this again (and tell others to do so!).
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