Tropes: Close Proximity, Opposites attract, slow burn, friends to lover, Pining Hero,
Series: Bregman Family Book 4
With you Forever is book four in the Bergman Family Series by author Chloe Liese. This is by far the story I wanted the most about the family. Mainly because I simply fell in love with Rooney in Only When it’s Us. She was the feisty best friend who wasn’t afraid to push her friend to go for what she wanted. Axel is the Bergman Brother who is a bit shrouded in mystery. He is an enigma. He doesn’t always find solace in the chaos of his large over the top family. Instead, moments with his family are very difficult for him. Hard to relate and find comfort. Instead, Axel is a soul who grows with in the silence and reassurance of routine.
So, for these two characters who are opposites to come together you just knew the chemistry was going to be phenomenal. Given what both these characters have to overcome I knew that this story was going to go a bit slower and that it might not have the same flirting and chemistry we have seen in previous books in the series.
I will also be honest I got a bit caught up in other early reviews, many had shared how steamy it was. And the emotions they experienced while reading the book. This story had the opposite effect for me. By 60% in I was bored. I typically don’t mind a pining hero and while slow burns aren’t always my favorite, I was prepared for it. By this point in the book the flirting and passion fizzled. These characters seem to lack a true connection pulling them constantly together. I realize some of the lack of emotion from the hero is part of his character. Emotions are hard for all of us, but Rooney does not read a room at all. She just accepts the situation fake smiles and all. Again, I get that because of her childhood and upbring slapping a smile on and saying everything ok is ingrained in her. Even in her thoughts and shares she does not question his reactions or lack of.
This story feels stagnant and honestly, I wanted it to be over. I loved Rooney in Willa’s book she had a fierceness about her. While I know she is supposed to worn down by her chronic illness, but she really came off as flat. I do suffer from a chronic illness and even on my bad days and in rough moments I can still bring some spark if the moment calls for it. At one point she can do pushups and paint, but she is so beaten down she can’t manage some sass? Rooney and keeping secrets bugged me a lot. The fact that she never even took a moment to talk or question with Parker and Bennett about things just felt unnatural.
There is chemistry in this book, in the beginning but it quickly gets dumped. These characters in the beginning are fighting some heavy attraction. Axel’s pining might be some the thickest I have ever read. He puts every previous pining hero to shame. I do think these characters become complacent in their attraction and easily accept there is nothing to fight for and when both give in and settle for nothing the story becomes stale.
Overall, I just didn’t love this story. It is well written and well edited. I just felt like there were some missing pieces to the story. I also felt like it lacked the fun flirty banter I have come to love from this author. The story had a very sterile feel to it and romance is supposed to be messy. Love and HEA aren’t easy, you have to fight for it some.. this story lacked fight. I feel like this story might be read best as a standalone. If I hadn’t had the previous experience with the other story in the series it might have read better.