Apr 27

Could Have Been Us by Corinne Michaels Review


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New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels returns to the Willow Creek Valley Series in this stunning small town, brother’s best friend romance.

Fifteen years ago, I fell for Jack O’Donnell.

I was just a girl, but I knew my brother’s best friend was the only man I’d ever love.

On my eighteenth birthday, when I asked him to kiss me, I never imagined it would change my life so completely.

I gave Jack everything that night.

In order to move on, we had to go our separate ways and pretend like nothing happened… as though it wasn’t the greatest moment of my life.

But even that wasn’t as heartbreaking as the secret we were forced to keep.

I’ve tried not to think about how much I still love him. How I long to be back in his strong arms or the way his hazel eyes make my heart race.

Until he kisses me again. And this time there’s no turning back. This time I know what it means.

We belong together and there’s no use denying it any longer.

But our feelings aren’t the only thing that won’t stay buried, our past resurfaces and threatens to destroy our second chance at happiness.

When our love is tested once again, will we be strong enough to stand together?

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Corinne Michaels is an evil genius. Vicious in the way she toys and torments her readers with the emotions of her characters. She literally warns readers of this in the bio on her website where she states that “she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak.” And boy does she ever do exactly that. Corinne doles out gut-wrenching stories like a mom passing out juice boxes to toddlers at the park, and I’m right there on the kiddie line for my Capri Sun. Brace for impact, folks, because Ms. Michaels is back, doing her thing and clearly living her best life with her latest novel, Could Have Been Us. A trying and tumultuous tale full of twists and turns, secrets and steam, love and longing. Prepare yourselves because this is one of those can’t-put-it-down but oh-my-gosh-I’m-reading-too-fast kind of stories, and you’re going to love it, I sure did.   

Stella and Jack, the little sister and the older brother’s best friend. A story as old as time, but one Michaels breathes new life into through the trials and tribulations of this couple. Stella and Jack’s story was a second-chance at first love of sorts, but on an epic scale. Having met as children through Jack’s friendship with Stella’s older brother, Grayson, they had their own history and friendship. Those feelings morphed and changed, and their fate was drastically changed one beautiful night. Outside manipulations coupled with poor timing results in an unimaginable sacrifice that left them both broken and scarred in its wake. I felt every single bit of this tragedy and all the resulting pain of it. Neither one of them truly healed or moved on from it, and Michaels left me in tatters as she took me through their heartbreak.

But as Corinne is known to do, she heals her characters, and thus her readers, after she strikes those brutal blows. An unthinkable situation winds its way into salvation for Jack and Stella, forcing them confront their past in surprising ways. I definitely ached for this couple and all that they went through, but I also felt such tremendous hope for them. But what I loved most about them was when they finally made the decision to be together, they were rock solid and all in, regardless of what was thrown at them.

An all-consuming second-chance romance, Could Have Been Us was Corinne Michaels’ signature blend of angsty feels, steam and romance. Michaels storytelling was so incredible in this engrossing love story, and I simply couldn’t tap my Kindle fast enough. I loved every word of this story, and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. Five smooches from me for Could Have Been Us by Corinne Michaels!

~Danielle Palumbo





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