When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.
Or that it would end so painfully.
Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.
As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?
Back To You is one of those books which I find difficult to review, because there are so many wonderful things to say about it. It touched me deeply for so many reasons and it’s a story I’ll cherish.
Lauren Monroe and Michael Delaney are two individuals bound by a strong friendship, a friendship they never thought it could blossom between them, because of their differences. They become inseparable and nothing seems to get in between them. Until something happens (and we don’t know what it is till the end of the book) that tears them apart, leaving them hurt and with no answers. Years later, they’re brought together again by unexpected life circumstance, and they’ll have to choose…Live in resentment or give second chances? And was there only friendship between them, or was there something more?
I fell in love with the characters and with their touching story. Michael Delaney is a man who’s been hurt by life events. He decided to react by hardening his heart and not letting anyone in. Until he meets Lauren, who’s the only one that can see right through him.
Lauren is the perfect heroine. Sweet and understanding, but strong at the same time. She loves people for who they are and her kindness is admirable–she doesn’t stop being kind to others, even when she’s been hurt.
The story intermingles chapters set in the past, where we witness Michael and Lauren’s friendship unfold, with chapters set in the present–Lauren and Michael meet again, and they have to face up to those feelings that no amount of time could extinguish.
I’m a sucker for stories about second chances, and this is one of those that moved me deeply. The scenes between Lauren and Michael made me clutch my heart and shed tears of joy. Forgiveness plays an instrumental role and I loved seeing the characters not giving up on each other. They were both willing to start again and clear up all misconceptions, and this made them not miss out on the beauty of their relationship.
There is some steam in the story, but more than it being physical, it’s emotional, which, in my opinion, sometimes it can be more powerful than descriptive sex. The love scenes in this book are among the most beautiful ones I’ve ever read, because of the feelings conveyed. The intimacy and tenderness between the characters melted my heart.
I give this book 5 stars.
Some of my favorite passages:
“If you really want something, you shouldn’t stop until you get it, no matter what you have to do.”
“That night with you, nothing compared to it. Nothing ever came close.”
“I always knew I would fall in love with you, but you were never supposed to love me back.”
“What did you just say?”
“I loved you. So much. My God, more than anything.”
“ ‘See, Red? When life hands you lemons, you know what you gotta do
‘Wow,’ Lauren said. ‘Yes, Mr. Cliché, I know what I have to do. I make
‘No,’ he said. ‘You scream, ‘Fuck you, lemons!”
“Everyone deserved the chance to be redeemed, and Michael had gone his whole life never having it. He never got to redeem himself with his father. He never got to redeem himself with his brother. And if he was trying to redeem himself now for what he’d done to her, then she was going to let him, even if it left her vulnerable.”