Steam Level: 3.5/5
Trope: Marriage in Crisis, Family secrets
This is book 3 in a series of Standalones
Aidan and Freya have been married almost 10 years. But in the last 6 months at a time when they were thinking of starting a family, things start to fall apart for them. Freya makes the very hard choice to ask Aidan to leave, to give them space to figure out what they need to be happy.
The story starts with Aidan returning home. Their problems are still there but he now realizes things must change. Aidan has so many demons he is dragging along with him that it is hard for him to live in the moment and be fully committed with out all the worries. A rough upbringing by a single mom Aidan thinks it is his job to protect everyone. To be the provider and make sure he and Freya never struggle. In hopes of providing a cushion for his soon to be family Aidan is working himself to distraction. Trying to everything for everyone all the while failing Freya and himself.
Freya is just simply unhappy. She feels her husband slipping away, in all ways. There is no more intimacy between them. He doesn’t seem engaged in conversation. Constantly on the phone or working. All this coincides with their choice for Frey to go off birth control and start a family. With here happiness in the balance, she needs a moment to gather her thoughts, she asks Aidan to leave.
As Aidan returns home Freya is caught up in the wonderful family Antics of her family. A surprise family trip to Hawaii to celebrate her Parents’ Wedding Anniversary. Has Freya trying to hide her floundering marriage. This book has the perfect balance of tears and laughter. The Bergman brothers stuck their noses where they didn’t belong but that is family.
Chloe Liese has a way of giving voice to those who struggle to find theirs. She helps some who try to cover up their struggles by giving them a voice. She allows those who feel hidden to be seen.
Aiden’s anxiety and worry are something so many struggle with. Freya’s loneliness, in her thoughts about her body and how it changed over the years, in her frustration at being shut out this is something many of struggle with.
This was a very different kind of romance and not something we often see a marriage in crisis. The Story of a married couple trying to find their way back to each other. This book is real and raw and full of so much emotion I lost count of the number of times I cried. I felt every one of Freya and Aiden’s emotions as they tried to repair their marriage. The genuineness of these characters and their feelings is incredible. Liese has a special gift in her writing. So many of our romances end with the marriage and never show the other side of the HEA. An HEA is a start not an end. There is so much work that goes into keeping your HEA. This was a beautiful glimpse into the struggle of love and marriage. This book shows us that the Ever After is Always. This book is extraordinary.