Review: The Rest of Me by Ashley Munoz

A poignant journey of healing and second chances.

“The Rest of Me” by Ashley Munoz is a heart-wrenching tale of second chances, set against the backdrop of grief and the journey to healing. This contemporary romance follows Layla Jacobson, a conservative mid-thirties widow and mother of four, as she navigates life after the devastating loss of her husband, Travis. Despite the year that has passed, Layla and her children are still grappling with the pain of his absence.

Determined to find a fresh start, Layla relocates with her children to a new place, hoping to begin their healing process. It’s here that she meets Jameson Reid Harrison, an equine therapy assistant with his own broken heart. Jameson’s gentle and understanding nature makes it hard not to fall for him, and he soon becomes more than just a neighbor and friend to Layla.

Ashley Munoz does a remarkable job of delving into the deep emotions associated with grief and loss. The narrative is imbued with a poignant sense of sorrow and hope, making it a deeply emotional read. The story begins at a slower pace, focusing on the world-building and the characters’ struggle to move forward, which initially makes it easy to put down. However, the rich, emotional depth of the story calls you back, making it worth sticking through the slower parts.

One of the standout aspects of this book is its depiction of the passage of time and the slow burn of Layla and Jameson’s relationship. It’s a journey that feels realistic and deeply rooted in the characters’ need to heal before they can fully embrace new love. This is arguably one of the slowest burns I’ve ever read, but it pays off beautifully in the end.

The audiobook, narrated by Scarlette Everdeen and Sean Hardisty, is exceptionally well done. Their performances add an extra layer of emotion and depth to the story, making the characters come alive in a unique way. I will definitely be adding these narrators to my list of favorites.

“The Rest of Me” also features a third-act breakup that is both heartbreaking and necessary, raising the emotional stakes and ultimately leading to a satisfying resolution. This balance of vibes and stakes makes it a compelling read for fans of contemporary romance.

In conclusion, “The Rest of Me” by Ashley Munoz is a moving exploration of life after loss, the slow process of healing, and the beauty of second chances. While the pacing may be slow initially, the emotional journey is well worth it. If you’re looking for a deeply emotional, slow-burn romance with richly developed characters, this book is definitely worth checking out.

Book Stats:
Rating: 3/5
Tropes:  modern-western, neighbors,  second-chance-at-love, single-mom, single-parent, slow-burn, small-town, widow
Pop: 92%
3rd Act Break Up- Yes
Audio Narrators: Scarlette Everdeen and Sean Hardisty