This book was not as wonderful as the previous one, but it was still a great read. The author has a great writing style, and I like that she writes anti-heroes. Her male characters are not billionaire playboys, or successful lawyers, or rockstars, just run-of-the-mill guys, blue collar, and bad boys too. They have a little bit of tender and a little bit of lawless, and they know what it is to live on the wrong side of the tracks and the law, but strive to be good. This story was a second chance romance story and there’s a beautiful baby boy involved.
Magdaline was raised in a strict home and didn’t usually go to parties. One night her best friend wanted to go to a party on the wrong side of town to meet with her boyfriend of the week and dragged Maggie with her. There Maggie sees Felix and Sam, who is begging Felix for a chance at love. Felix rejects Sam and meets Maggie and is instantly smitten. They start dating and start a love story that covers more than eight years in this book.
The author had a very interesting way of describing their story. It starts with the day Felix leaves jail, is greeted by Sam, who has visited him every month he’s been in jail but he doesn’t accept her lift, and is picked up by his younger brother Jared. Then Jared informs Felix that he had found Maggie. The story then makes a flashback to eight years before, when his story with Maggie begins.
Maggie has been dating Felix for a while and they have plans to be together forever. Maggie’s parents don’t know about her boyfriend and when they learn, she’s given a choice: go to New York, get a good degree and a good job; or leave the house if she chooses the boyfriend. Since the ultimatum was given with a backhand to the face, she goes to Felix and he moves her in with his foster father and Jared.
They struggle through several years, where Maggie tries studying and waitressing but it’s too hard and tiring. When she gives up her studies and later gets pregnant, Felix gets desperate to give her a good life and gets involved with the wrong gang and is caught and incarcerated. Maggie had forewarned him that if he proceeds with his lawless plans she would leave him, and she did. While Felix was in jail, she never came back to see him or bring the baby to meet him. Fast forward two years and Felix is free but Maggie nowhere to be found.
When he finally finds her, she’s a shadow of her vibrant previous self. Moreover, she lives in a two-bedroom guesthouse in the backyard of Jake and Warren’s house, and she seems to be their protégée, same as Archie, their little boy. What follows is the struggle for Felix to understand and forgive Maggie’s absence during his two years in jail and keeping his baby boy from him. For Maggie, it means overcoming the trauma she suffered after he left. It’s a beautiful love story of forgiveness and redemption, with strong feelings, passion and angst. Sam keeps making appearances, always trying for a chance with Felix, and in a plot twist later on, she’s a key element in Maggie’s trauma. This book feels like two stories, pre-jail and post-jail, with different characters. Felix and Maggie are changed by their experiences, and have to get to know each other again. The love never faltered, they just had to deal with their anger and abandonment issues.
The story is made lively with Jared interventions, who is smitten with his Frost, Archie who is precious and in love with cars, and the two crazy Vera besties, who add an element of funny crazy to some scenes. The book is riveting and heartfelt, I loved it although not as much as Cyanide. And now I’m off to find this author’s other books!