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The Memory of You

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When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love. Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime frie When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love. Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Steffi’s secrets begins to surface, will it bring them together…or tear them apart for good?


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When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love. Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime frie When Steffi Lockwood returns to Sanctuary Sound to start over, she has no idea she’ll also get a second chance with her first love. Steffi Lockwood has survived more than most. Recovering from an assault, she returns to her coastal Connecticut hometown to rebuild her life the best way she knows how: with her hands. But starting a remodeling business with one longtime friend puts her in the middle of a rift with another. Worse, being hired by her ex-boyfriend’s mother forces her to confront old regrets.Public defender Ryan Quinn wasn’t shocked when his wife left him, but he was floored when she abandoned their daughter. With his finances up in the air, the newly single dad returns to his childhood home in Sanctuary Sound. The last person he expects, or wants, to see working on his family house is Steffi Lockwood—his first love who shattered his heart.Although Steffi and Ryan are different people now, dormant feelings rekindle. But when Steffi’s secrets begins to surface, will it bring them together…or tear them apart for good?

30 review for The Memory of You

  1. 4 out of 5

    *Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: www.avonnalovesgenres.com THE MEMORY OF YOU (Sanctuary Sound Book 1) by Jamie Beck is a second chance contemporary romance and so much more. Besides a well written romance, life is very messy around both the H/h with close friends, family and major life issues pulling them in all directions. Stefanie Lockwood returns to her hometown of Sanctuary Sound after a brutal attack has left her with memory lapses which she brushes off as something time will heal. Steffi is a Check out all of my reviews at: www.avonnalovesgenres.com THE MEMORY OF YOU (Sanctuary Sound Book 1) by Jamie Beck is a second chance contemporary romance and so much more. Besides a well written romance, life is very messy around both the H/h with close friends, family and major life issues pulling them in all directions. Stefanie Lockwood returns to her hometown of Sanctuary Sound after a brutal attack has left her with memory lapses which she brushes off as something time will heal. Steffi is a carpenter by trade and starts a company with one of her two longtime friends who is a designer. Their remodeling business is just starting to take-off, when Steffi gets a job offer from the mother of her long ago ex-boyfriend. Steffi has many regrets about how she left Ryan. Ryan Quinn is a public defender who is not surprised when his wife leaves their marriage for a rich man, but he is extremely angry over her abandonment of their nine year old daughter, Emmy. Until the finances are settled in the divorce, Ryan moves back to his childhood home with his daughter. He is shocked and angry to find that his mother has hired Steffi to work on an addition to their home. Coming home with all of the emotions of a failed marriage and a little girl who is not accepting the changes in their lives, he is now faced with his first love who destroyed his heart. Steffi wants a second chance with Ryan. Ryan is not sure that is possible as he protects his heart and Emmy from being hurt once again. This romance is realistically written. It is a slow transition from anger to forgiveness. Steffi is not only dealing with her renewed feelings for Ryan, but she very much likes Emmy and understands that Ryan is trying to protect her from being hurt by Steffi because he does not yet trust her. She is also having more frequent periods of triggered amnesia episodes that could put herself and others in danger. Ryan is dealing with his renewed feelings for Steffi, but trust is a major issue. He also has to deal with his daughter’s feelings over the divorce and her wanting her parents to get back together. There is a lot going on in this book, but I feel Ms. Beck realistically handles all of the issues. All of the characters are multi-dimensional and interesting. I am looking forward to continuing this series. Steffi’s friends have stories to be told that I cannot wait to read, also. Thanks very much to Montlake Romance and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    3.5 Stars Many thanks to BookSparks and Netgalley for the chance to read this book early! The Memory of You by Jamie Beck was a cozy story to get lost in for a few days. I enjoy books like this one featuring realistic characters with simple lives I'm able to delve deeper into. In some ways, this story reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks book with its second chance love story and its simplicity. Women's Fiction has been a comfortable genre for me to read this year and I was exceedingly happy to pick up 3.5 Stars Many thanks to BookSparks and Netgalley for the chance to read this book early! The Memory of You by Jamie Beck was a cozy story to get lost in for a few days. I enjoy books like this one featuring realistic characters with simple lives I'm able to delve deeper into. In some ways, this story reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks book with its second chance love story and its simplicity. Women's Fiction has been a comfortable genre for me to read this year and I was exceedingly happy to pick up this book. After reading a few reviews, I've found many readers had a small problem with the stubbornness of the characters. Fortunately, I was not one, and actually found parts of myself in Steffi's personality. I can be as stubborn and difficult as they come and it was nice to see a character with these imperfections, being given the tools to make helpful changes through the loving advice of the other characters. In many ways, their advice to Steffi was helpful to me, too! Her need to be tough and tackle every problem solo was like looking in a mirror. Reading about how her character traits affect the other characters made me realize how unintentionally difficult I can be for those who are closest to me. For that reason alone, I'm thankful I read this book! I need to loosen up and accept love more willingly, as the main character of this story did. I appreciated being able to witness the push and pull between Steffi and Ryan as they smoothed over past issues in their relationship and overcame new obstacles as they occurred. The issues they had to tackle together were things that happen in real life every day but gave readers an outside look into these incredibly personal matters. It was interesting to have a peek into the various relationships both Steffi and Ryan had in their lives and how they came into play -- i.e. divorce, older parents, children, friends, and more. At times, I found the story to be a tad slow or over-descriptive in certain details, making this book feel a little longer than I wanted it to. I think this and the few unanswered questions in the end can be attributed to this book being the beginning of a series. Unfortunately, this tends to be a problem I've noticed in many books within a series. Where a standalone would edit out details that do not move the story forward, these things are left to contribute to the length of the series, with many questions left unresolved in the conclusion. In some ways, this frustrates me as a reader because I want everything answered now. However, I would like to see how things progress between the secondary characters' friendship in the future so this tidbit may have me reaching for the next book in the series. The Memory of You is available now!

  3. 4 out of 5

    .Under the pages

    Ten years ago Steffi left Ryan and her hometown behind so she could explore what life could give her. Now, ten years later, she’s back home trying to get her life back on track after going through a brutal assault. Along with her roommate, she’s running a remodeling business and her most recent job is on Ryan’s mother’s house. Which is completely fine because he’s now a married man, living in Boston with his wife and nine-year-old daughter. Or maybe not… because he’s actually back. I don’t know ho Ten years ago Steffi left Ryan and her hometown behind so she could explore what life could give her. Now, ten years later, she’s back home trying to get her life back on track after going through a brutal assault. Along with her roommate, she’s running a remodeling business and her most recent job is on Ryan’s mother’s house. Which is completely fine because he’s now a married man, living in Boston with his wife and nine-year-old daughter. Or maybe not… because he’s actually back. I don’t know how Jamie does it, but I cry with every story she writes. She has a way with words! Seriously, sometimes I think I can feel my heart hurting! Full review available at Under the Pages.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jultri

    Ten years ago, Steffi and Ryan had taken their passionate romance from high school to college, when she became overwhelmed by their commitment and decided to bolt. It wasn't her finest moment. She ghosted him without warning and disappeared from his life in order to find herself. She's now back in their small hometown, Sanctuary Sound, building up a renovation business with her best friend while still recovering from a vicious attack which has left her with concussion and memory lapses and perha Ten years ago, Steffi and Ryan had taken their passionate romance from high school to college, when she became overwhelmed by their commitment and decided to bolt. It wasn't her finest moment. She ghosted him without warning and disappeared from his life in order to find herself. She's now back in their small hometown, Sanctuary Sound, building up a renovation business with her best friend while still recovering from a vicious attack which has left her with concussion and memory lapses and perhaps more. Steffi has been unexpectedly hired by Ryan's mother to build an extension on her home. It turns out the extension is to accommodate Ryan, now a public defender, who has just returned back in town with his daughter following his recent divorce. Their first meeting was awkward and tense. Already dealing with the betrayal of his wife who ditched both him and their daughter for another man, Ryan is in no mood to confront the woman he first gave his heart to and who broke it in pieces when she pulled a disappearance act on him. Steffi wants a second-chance with Ryan, all too aware these last 10 years how foolish she was to throw it all away. They slowly reconnect again through forced interactions at his mother's house and Steffi's growing friendship with his little daughter. Ryan is wary as he has to protect not just himself but more so his daughter's heart from hurting, with Emmy still reeling from her mother's abandonment. Father and daughter cannot afford to face another desertion and Steffi hasn't exactly proven herself to be steadfast in the past. Then there is the issue of Steffi's memory lapses, which she refuses to seek help for. Perhaps they are manifestations of far greater trauma, but how do they move forward when there are still unaddressed things in the past holding them back? This is my first book by Jamie Beck. It was nicely written, but I do have issues. I don't get the necessity of Steffi ghosting Ryan, instead of just being honest with him and telling him she needs a bit of time to grow up and experience the world. Yes, she was 20 at the time, but they had a longterm relationship and he deserved far more than that, not to mention he might have understood, being the nice guy that he was/is. Then there's the significant professional misconduct Ryan was guilty of when he accessed her police file. Let's not even mention the violation of her privacy by this act like she hadn't been violated enough by the crime. Steffi's interactions with her friends also bothered me. She was serving her own agenda by pushing Claire to forgive Peyton (their friend whom Claire's partner at the time betrayed her with), because if Claire could forgive Peyton for her transgression, then maybe Ryan could also forgive Steffi. Emmy fluctuated from being true to age to way too wise for her years. The ending also appeared a bit rushed. This is an ARC provided by NetGalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Oh Jamie Beck, I had high hopes after you dialled down the angst in When You Knew but obviously the stress was too much and you've reverted to type in this latest novel. Stefanie Lockwood ghosted her high school boyfriend Ryan Quinn after she realised he could persuade her to give up all her dreams of leaving Sanctuary Sound and exploring a life full of possibilities. Now, after a brutal attack leaves her with a recurring concussion problem she has returned to Sanctuary Sound to set up a construc Oh Jamie Beck, I had high hopes after you dialled down the angst in When You Knew but obviously the stress was too much and you've reverted to type in this latest novel. Stefanie Lockwood ghosted her high school boyfriend Ryan Quinn after she realised he could persuade her to give up all her dreams of leaving Sanctuary Sound and exploring a life full of possibilities. Now, after a brutal attack leaves her with a recurring concussion problem she has returned to Sanctuary Sound to set up a construction and decorating business with one of her best friends. One of their first jobs is for Ryan's mother, she wants an extension to give further room for Ryan and his daughter who have returned home after his wife leaves him for another man. There was just too much everything in this book. Steffi is having episodes triggered by day-to-day events, in which she has flashbacks to the attack, which she subsequently doesn't recall - although the reader is left in no doubt as to what the flashbacks mean. Her two best friends have fallen out after Claire's boyfriend left her for Peyton. Claire is lame after a school shooting incident. Peyton has cancer. Steffi's mother died of cancer when she was a child, her father looks as though he is on the verge of dementia. Ryan hates Steffi for ghosting him, he had revenge sex and ended up getting the girl pregnant while still in college. His wife has left him for a millionaire but still wants half the house AND alimony. Ryan's mother is scheming to get Ryan and Steffi back together. I also found the signalling for the other couples in the series was a bit heavy handed. My prediction is that Claire and Peyton's millionaire photographer brother are secretly in love with each other, ditto Peyton and Steffi's brother Ben. I wanted less angst and more of Steffi's fledgling building business. I liked the interactions between Steffi and Ryan's daughter and think if there had been less angst flying around it would have been a more enjoyable book because those parts were fun, flirty and cute. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Bumped for release.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    3.5 stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    E-Reader Addict

    Try as I might, it’s hard to go into each book by an author I like without having preconceived ideas. To manage my expectations. Of course, no one picks up a book by an author they like and thinks “oh, I bet this one isn’t going to be any good.” Especially not when it’s one of your favorite tropes...the second chance love story. When I received the email saying I’d been approved for an ARC of The Memory of You, I actually squealed and did a little yes fist pump. So I was really looking forward t Try as I might, it’s hard to go into each book by an author I like without having preconceived ideas. To manage my expectations. Of course, no one picks up a book by an author they like and thinks “oh, I bet this one isn’t going to be any good.” Especially not when it’s one of your favorite tropes...the second chance love story. When I received the email saying I’d been approved for an ARC of The Memory of You, I actually squealed and did a little yes fist pump. So I was really looking forward to this book! And the first 30 percent was fairly good - not exactly what I expect from this author (which is complex characters and a multi-layered plot woven into a multi-book, epic saga-like family story), but I could see how she was setting up the next two books, and doing so without it being completely obtrusive. Then the book just seemed to go on and on, without any of the complexities or layers I was anticipating. The Memory of You is a fairly straightforward story. Boy and girl fall in love in high school, boy and girl - temporarily - want different things, boy and girl break up, boy has a rebound relationship and she gets pregnant so they get married, and girl lives with regret but moves on. Now it’s ten years later and Steffi has moved back to her hometown of Sanctuary Sound. She’s recently survived a mugging, and is experiencing blackouts, but a new renovating company with her best friend Claire is giving her hope and excitement for the future. Then the mother of her long-lost love, Ryan, hires her to build an extra room for her house. Apparently Ryan is getting divorced and is moving in with his daughter, so they need some extra room (nevermind Ryan and his daughter will just be there a few months, until the specifics of his divorce are settled…). Ryan isn’t happy to see Steffi, of course. But as they spend more time together, old feelings resurface. Their issues (mostly) get worked out. Then they live happily ever after. Actually, not really. We get a happy for now ending. Which isn’t my favorite to begin with, but was REALLY not okay in this book. There’s a big issue Steffi needs to work through but refuses to get help with, and Ryan finally talks her into getting professional help. The book then skips to the epilogue. The end. Where’s the drama? Where’s the hard work to get to a happy relationship? If you don’t want to dig into a deep, heavy issue and show your character’s emotions, why go there and only give it lip service??? So yeah, this one left me underwhelmed. 😩 I’m chalking it up to mismanaged expectations. I can only hope the next two books in this series are much better, because I’m looking forward to them already. Hopefully they won’t leave me disappointed like this one did. * thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Dnf at 18% There is too much happening in this book. Too many characters with complicated Uber-angsty backgrounds and complex relationships. But that wasn't what stopped me in the end. It was this: The alleged victim claimed that Ryan's client, O'Malley, had raped her. After reading through the file, Ryan had his own theory. The victim had prior arrests for prostitution. Meanwhile, his client had an IQ of seventy. His gut told him that the victim tried to take advantage of O'Malley and when O'Malley Dnf at 18% There is too much happening in this book. Too many characters with complicated Uber-angsty backgrounds and complex relationships. But that wasn't what stopped me in the end. It was this: The alleged victim claimed that Ryan's client, O'Malley, had raped her. After reading through the file, Ryan had his own theory. The victim had prior arrests for prostitution. Meanwhile, his client had an IQ of seventy. His gut told him that the victim tried to take advantage of O'Malley and when O'Malley didnt pay, she cried rape. His client's IQ ought to be low enough to argue diminished mental capacity, which would undercut the requisite intent needed for a guilty verdict. The really hard part was that his client had become enraged when pressed for the money and hurt the victim when he pushed her aside to flee the scene. This wouldn't be the first case where a prostitute file rape charges. Prostitutes did get raped sometimes, but he didnt believe O'Malley raped this one. How fucking judgemental. Prostitutes get raped. And beaten. And abused. And killed. But who fucking cares. They're prostitutes. They do it because they like it, dont they??? (and yes, I am being sarcastic) YES, I KNOW Ryan is the defence lawyer but this just hit me like a ton of bricks. I get why the author included it, (view spoiler)[ from reading other reviews, it seems that Steffi was attacked and raped (hide spoiler)] but this was just wrong on so many levels. Ryan came across as a cold hearted SOB. and with that sort of attitude, I couldn't relate to him any more. I'm not rating. This is my own personal response to one small part of a story. I just wish the author had thought a bit more.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aleen ~Lampshade Reader

    Originally posted on lampshadereader.com Received a review copy from NetGalley. One of my favorite Woman's Fiction authors, Jamie Beck, brings us a new book series set in Sanctuary Sound, Connecticut. The Memory of You has all of the signatures true to a Jamie Beck story and will guarantee a few heartbreaking themes as well as heartwarming. This series brings a certain divergence from a typically book by Jamie Beck. A form of PTSD plays a major role in each of the heroine's lives and while Steff Originally posted on lampshadereader.com Received a review copy from NetGalley. One of my favorite Woman's Fiction authors, Jamie Beck, brings us a new book series set in Sanctuary Sound, Connecticut. The Memory of You has all of the signatures true to a Jamie Beck story and will guarantee a few heartbreaking themes as well as heartwarming. This series brings a certain divergence from a typically book by Jamie Beck. A form of PTSD plays a major role in each of the heroine's lives and while Steffi's is not completely explained in every detail, it's pretty much apparent what happened to her.   Steffi moves back to her hometown to recover from a mugging (and horrid assault) that happened to her. For those who don't like to read about those kind of themes, no worries, nothing is really explained in full detail, just implied. That experience causes Steffi to space out and causes some added troubles for her.   She has a small business of home remodeling with her childhood friend and she finds that moving back to her hometown is not without troubles as well.   Enter: an old flame. This story also has the second chance at romance trope. Steffi and Ryan's relationship was hard won but well worth the emotional trust roller coaster. Steffi ghosted Ryan during college for completely selfish, but understandable reasons: (she wanted to live her life and didn't want to get tied down). While it is a cruel way to dump someone, I felt like Ryan wanted to hold on to that grudge way too long. "He'd changed, no doubt. She'd started that ball rolling; then his wife and his job had exposed him to even more injustice, making him cynical and, sometimes, bitter." Thankfully, that doesn't last too long in the story, and Steffi's problem is the main concern to the story and plot. However, let me point out the little gem that is their relationship when it does get rolling again: "Time slowed while they held each other's gaze, shoulder to shoulder, flashbacks floating around them like dandelion fluff. He suppressed the sudden urge to kiss her right there in the moonlight." The Memory of You is really such a robust read, full of relevant themes that can speak to a lot of people out there. While it tips the scale more towards Women's Fiction, it has enough romance in it to really balance it out. The friendships and family theme are prominent and introduces new characters that I can grow to love.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Up All Night With Books

    5 Memorable Stars Review by Amy Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Jamie Beck’s The Memory of You will be one that stays in my memory for a long time. The first book in the Sanctuary Sound series has stolen my heart! When Stefanie Lockwood returns to her hometown to start over after a life-shattering attack, she finds her path crossing with her ex-boyfriend who is openly still holding a grudge from when she broke up with him unexpectedly years earlier. Hired to renovate his mom’s house, 5 Memorable Stars Review by Amy Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Jamie Beck’s The Memory of You will be one that stays in my memory for a long time. The first book in the Sanctuary Sound series has stolen my heart! When Stefanie Lockwood returns to her hometown to start over after a life-shattering attack, she finds her path crossing with her ex-boyfriend who is openly still holding a grudge from when she broke up with him unexpectedly years earlier. Hired to renovate his mom’s house, she cannot seem to get away from him. Can she focus on her new business and new life, or will she find herself distracted by her bitter first love? Ryan Quinn cannot believe his eyes when he finds his ex, Steffi, in his mom’s house remodeling it. He is trying to recover from a broken marriage and raise his nine year old daughter. He has to protect his heart from the one who got away, but that seems to be easier said than done when he continually runs into her at every turn. As Steffi and Ryan work to put their broken lives back together, the pull of the past draws them to each other. Battling their old feelings and coping with new life challenges, will Steffi and Ryan find their way back to each other or discover its best to leave the past in the past? I am so pleased that this was just the beginning for Steffi and Ryan. This story had so much angst, drama, romance and raw emotion. It drew me in and I became a part of the Sanctuary Sound family. A beautifully written second chance romance that you will not want to put down. I am so excited for book two! **ARC provided for honest review**

  11. 4 out of 5

    A Klue

    The memory of this book is going to go down for me as mostly featuring a “boo-hoo is me”, whiny, unforgiving hero, who is mad at the world. By 40%, I was fed up with his never ending mantra of all the reasons he felt justified to stay angry about everything, especially towards Steffi, the heroine. The angst between these two became exhausting. I found myself wanting Steffi to tell him to go “stuff it” and shoot him a smile and mental middle finger every time she saw him. Yeah, kill that dude wit The memory of this book is going to go down for me as mostly featuring a “boo-hoo is me”, whiny, unforgiving hero, who is mad at the world. By 40%, I was fed up with his never ending mantra of all the reasons he felt justified to stay angry about everything, especially towards Steffi, the heroine. The angst between these two became exhausting. I found myself wanting Steffi to tell him to go “stuff it” and shoot him a smile and mental middle finger every time she saw him. Yeah, kill that dude with kindness, honey, so he’ll look like the bitter fool he is. What does Steffi do? She gives him half smiles and holds out for crumbs of renewed friendship, all while pining after him. At 46%, I realized I no longer cared how things worked out. She’d likely be better off if she erased him completely from her memory banks. By 60%, nothing significantly had happened. Suspecting some very unwelcome and unwanted “I want him back now” soon to be ex-wife drama and Steffi’s full reveal rape details that I just didn't need or want to fully experience just gave me more reasons to stop reading, folks. Title: The Memory of You, Series: Sanctuary Sound (Book 1), Author: Jamie Beck, Pages: 364, stand-alone but part of a series, doormat heroine, angry/needs to get over himself hero, married and getting a divorce hero, brutal rape/assault details/flashbacks. (I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not given any payment or compensation for this review, nor is there any affiliation or relationship between this reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori Boyd

    3.5 Stars for this quick read. First book I’ve read by this author, and would read other in series. Characters are flawed, likeable and relatable. Situations are realistic. This book is a great break from thrillers or heavy dramas. Thanks to NetGalley and Publisher for this ARC. Opinion is my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roses R Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-OS At age nineteen, Steffi Lockwood did the unthinkable, and ghosted her lover, Ryan Quinn. Though she truly loved him, he could always convince Steffi to see things his way. Steffi wanted to do some travelling before they married, while Ryan didn’t want them to be separated at all. Knowing how weak she was, Steffi chose to abruptly end all contact, and leave Ryan behind. After weeks of unanswered calls and messages, heartbroken Ryan has a rebou As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-OS At age nineteen, Steffi Lockwood did the unthinkable, and ghosted her lover, Ryan Quinn. Though she truly loved him, he could always convince Steffi to see things his way. Steffi wanted to do some travelling before they married, while Ryan didn’t want them to be separated at all. Knowing how weak she was, Steffi chose to abruptly end all contact, and leave Ryan behind. After weeks of unanswered calls and messages, heartbroken Ryan has a rebound affair, which leads to an unplanned pregnancy and marriage. When Steffi comes to realize that Ryan is everything she wants, it’s too late. Fast forward about ten years, and Steffi has now returned to her home town, having opened a remodeling business with her friend. She’s very surprised to get a commission from Ryan’s mother. Though they had a great relationship when she was dating Ryan, she didn’t expect such a warm welcome now after the cruel way she dumped Ryan. Even more surprising is to find out that Ryan’s marriage has fallen apart, and he and his daughter, Emmy, are temporarily living with his parents while the details of his divorce are ironed out. Ryan is less than happy to come home to find Steffi happily ensconced in his family home, working on a fairly long term project. He’s unhappier, still, to find that Emmy seems captivated by Steffi. The feelings that Ryan has tried to keep buried come back full force – the anger, the betrayal, and the confusion. He decides to give Steffi a wide berth, but she’s there every day, now apparently wanting to bury the past and be friends. Steffi actually wants to be more than friends. It didn’t take her long a decade ago to realize what a huge mistake she had made, and just how cruel her actions were. She’s greatly ashamed of how she acted, and no man has ever come close to touching her heart since then. While she doesn’t expect Ryan’s forgiveness, she does hope to make him understand that she was young, unwise, and feeling somewhat smothered. If friendship is all they can have, she will accept it. As the days pass, Ryan and Steffi talk, and she tries to explain why she acted the way she did. Though Ryan actually does forgive her, and rather quickly, at that, he’s not sure he can trust her again. His ex-wife left their daughter totally in his custody, and he begins to envision how things might be if he, Steffi, and Emmy created a new family. Ryan and Steffi attempt going on a date, and are regaining some of their old magic. The situation abruptly changes when their kisses become heated, and Steffi totally loses it. It seems that Steffi was mugged several months ago, and suffered a bad concussion. She is still having episodes where she appears to zone out, and either becomes zombie-like or combative. Is there hope for a rekindled love to be lost because of Steffi’s injuries? THE MEMORY OF YOU is a compelling read, and for those who avoid reading about it, does include sexual assault and the lingering effects. Ryan is truly a dream hero. His fairly quick forgiveness of the huge wrong Steffi did to him is nothing short of amazing. Then his care and patience with her as the details of her assault come to light made me fall in love with him. It’s hard to judge Steffi’s actions when you haven’t experienced the trauma she did, but I found her avoidance of her symptoms and the danger they posed frustrating. When Ryan and Steffi are finally able to physically connect once again, I was very sad to be told that it happened, rather than seeing it. By that, I don’t mean that I was needing an explicit sex scene, but it was such an important milestone, I wanted to watch it unfold. All of us have made mistakes due to youth and inexperience, and Steffi is no exception. Second chances at love are rare, and so sweet when things work out. THE MEMORY OF YOU covers some difficult subject matter, but deals with it in a realistic way. A strong love that never died, forgiveness, healing, and new beginnings make for a very captivating and satisfying read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Didi

    3.5 Stars rounded Up I’m a newbie to Jamie Beck’s writing so I jumped into the story without any expectation whatsoever. All I based things on was the blurb - the second chance tale it promised and it didn’t disappoint! This book is the first installment of a new series (which taken in the town’s name) that revolved around a circle of friends who‘d grown up there, including Stefanie Lockwood. “The Memory of You” told her life after she went back to Sanctuary Sound following a brutal assault in the 3.5 Stars rounded Up I’m a newbie to Jamie Beck’s writing so I jumped into the story without any expectation whatsoever. All I based things on was the blurb - the second chance tale it promised and it didn’t disappoint! This book is the first installment of a new series (which taken in the town’s name) that revolved around a circle of friends who‘d grown up there, including Stefanie Lockwood. “The Memory of You” told her life after she went back to Sanctuary Sound following a brutal assault in the city; and built construction business with her best friend. One of their first contract happened to be the Quinns, parents to her ex boyfriend, the situation that put Steffi to confront old regret over the way she ended things with Ryan. I’m a pretty suggestive reader and boy was it hard not to take umbrage over young Steffi’s conduct. Her adult self was genuinely remorseful over what she had done though, and willing to do anything to make amends without being a doormat about it. She was also pretty realistic, instead of dreaming to rekindle her relationship with Ryan the moment they met again. These facts raised her points in my opinion. Not to mention how she survived the assault and dealing with the after-effect, all in all making this book so heartbreaking yet relatable to anybody IRL. Beyond Steffi’s problems, the book also delved into the issue of broken family and its effect to everyone involved. This was not only applied to Ryan and his wife, but also Steffi’s own family. I got to hand it to the author and her weaving through the plot, playing with the readers’ (our) hearts; I was torn between annoyance and sympathy to poor Emmy, pissed at Val while pitied her at the same time, I understood Ryan’s wariness but soon raged at his holier-than-thou attitude, and so on and so forth. It was quite a complex situation all around that I couldn’t help to fell for them, even when I didn’t particularly like some of the characters. The even-paced flow of the story combined with alternate POVs between Ryan and Steffi was blend into believable chronicles, where there was shades of gray marring the black and white of life. Everything was a mess and nothing was irrevocable. You could almost connect the dots when clues hovered between the lines, the menacing question of what to do about Steffi’s lapses, I was surprised nobody (in the book) realized it sooner!! In a roundabout way, what Ryan did with that knowledge warmed me up more to him. With the tough decision that could jeopardize the budding romance rekindled between Steffi and him, that he didn’t pick the easy way out was both jarring and relieving. So yeah, what an introduction to Jamie Beck’s writings this was. A complex, multifaceted chronicles of life that somehow affecting on another. I could disregard a couple of stereotypicalities in favor of the simply unembellished issues the characters dealt with. Without a doubt, I’m looking forward to the following books of “Sanctuary Sound” that - from what I glimpse here - would be no less troubling and filled with clashes between “former friends.” Can’t wait!! Advanced copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Knight

    Ryan Quinn had his heart shattered by his high school sweetheart, Steffi Lockwood. He thought the gorgeous Val was the answer to his prayers. But returning to his parents house with his daughter, Emmy after his marriage to Val failed--Ryan realizes that Val wasn't the only person at fault for the failure of his marriage. Steffi Lockwood is starting a new business with her best friend Claire. She doesn't have the option of being picky who her clients are--even Molly Quinn, who Steffi hasn't spoke Ryan Quinn had his heart shattered by his high school sweetheart, Steffi Lockwood. He thought the gorgeous Val was the answer to his prayers. But returning to his parents house with his daughter, Emmy after his marriage to Val failed--Ryan realizes that Val wasn't the only person at fault for the failure of his marriage. Steffi Lockwood is starting a new business with her best friend Claire. She doesn't have the option of being picky who her clients are--even Molly Quinn, who Steffi hasn't spoken to since she ghosted Molly's son in college. Steffi thought breaking up with Ryan was the right thing to do. She wanted to see the world without any hinderances. Ryan wanted to start a family and begin a new life together. Steffi ghosted him with the support of her women's soccer team. But ten years later, she questions whether she made the right decision even though Ryan seems happy with his wife and daughter. After Molly hires Steffi to convert the screened in porch to a fuctional family room. Steffi has to deal with Ryan and his daughter Emmy during the construction. Steffi wants closure with Ryan. Ryan hates her for what she did to him. Ryan notices how sweet Steffi is to his daughter and how Emmy confides in Steffi. All of his old feelings resurface, but Steffi has a secret that even she doesn't entirely understand. She blanks out and freaks out. Steffi thinks its from the numerous concussions she suffered while playing soccer--the last concussion, a mugging in Hartford. But Ryan knows it's something more. Something that she blocked out and that could keep them apart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie Taylor

    ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the first story in a new series by the talented Jamie Beck - her Cabot series was excellent, so I was delighted to get the chance to read this book. The premise for the series is set out early on, and we know the three main protagonists - I rather liked this as it made me think about each woman and their impact on each other. I am curious to see progress in underlying stories through the future installments. I di ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the first story in a new series by the talented Jamie Beck - her Cabot series was excellent, so I was delighted to get the chance to read this book. The premise for the series is set out early on, and we know the three main protagonists - I rather liked this as it made me think about each woman and their impact on each other. I am curious to see progress in underlying stories through the future installments. I did find the story a little slow, but it was in part building the new world of Sanctuary Sound and so forgivable. Steffi is a strong independent woman, who is making a new life for herself with one of her best friends back in their home town. She is struggling with blackouts after an attack, but is determined not to get the help that we al probably believe that she needs. I did wonder if her stubbornness was come by honestly as she had mostly grown up around her father and brothers; her mother died when she was barely a teen. I liked her clear skills as a builder, and as a friend to Ryan's daughter, but her dealings with Ryan are incredibly stilted for a significant part of the book. One couldn't really just blame her, as Ryan behaved in a very rigid and unforgiving way. It was a relief when they finally started talking, although other issues in life kept interfering. I am keen to read on and find out how things move forward for Steffi's friends.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book via Netgalley. I have mixed feelings about this book: it was too slow till 60%, but then i quickly warm up with it. I will give it 4 solid stars. Firstly, i took this one because i liked the blurb: “the heroine dumped her bf”, it was refreshing, too many assholes heroes dumping their “true love”, blah-blah-blah... I was curious why she did it? The I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book via Netgalley. I have mixed feelings about this book: it was too slow till 60%, but then i quickly warm up with it. I will give it 4 solid stars. Firstly, i took this one because i liked the blurb: “the heroine dumped her bf”, it was refreshing, too many assholes heroes dumping their “true love”, blah-blah-blah... I was curious why she did it? They didnt live together, they were away in different colleges... But she felt suffocating by him... I didnt understand this either... I mean, they didnt see each other on daily basis... Ok. She made a mistake, a huge one. She was regretting this mistake for almost 10 years. Then they had a 2 chance. I will not write too much spoilers. Only that he was a man divorcing his rebound wife, with child... At 60% of book i starting to like it more and more. This is a story about forgiveness, about redemption, about two caring people. The hero was such a good man, excellent father, caring son... I like this author a lot. This book has a lot of triggers. But it was so worth to be patient and finish it. No OP scenes, no cheating.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book via Netgalley. I have mixed feelings about this book: it was too slow till 60%, but then i quickly warm up with it. I will give it 4 solid stars. Firstly, i took this one because i liked the blurb: “the heroine dumped her bf”, it was refreshing, too many assholes heroes dumping their “true love”, blah-blah-blah... I was curious why she did it? The I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book via Netgalley. I have mixed feelings about this book: it was too slow till 60%, but then i quickly warm up with it. I will give it 4 solid stars. Firstly, i took this one because i liked the blurb: “the heroine dumped her bf”, it was refreshing, too many assholes heroes dumping their “true love”, blah-blah-blah... I was curious why she did it? They didnt live together, they were away in different colleges... But she felt suffocating by him... I didnt understand this either... I mean, they didnt see each other on daily basis... Ok. She made a mistake, a huge one. She was regretting this mistake for almost 10 years. Then they had a 2 chance. I will not write too much spoilers. Only that he was a man divorcing his rebound wife, with child... At 60% of book i starting to like it more and more. This is a story about forgiveness, about redemption, about two caring people. The hero was such a good man, excellent father, caring son... I like this author a lot. This book has a lot of triggers. But it was so worth to be patient and finish it. No OP scenes, no cheating.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Ms. Beck loves to give her readers female characters that have made it out of tough situations. From the beginning, Steffi pulls at your heartstrings with the bewildering, tragic flashbacks & concussion symptoms. Claire & Peyton should see what’s going on with their friend but have issues of their own that they are struggling with. Now, Ryan Quinn, Steffi’s high school boyfriend, is back in town with his daughter & his mom is matchmaking. She’s remodeling part of her house using Stef Ms. Beck loves to give her readers female characters that have made it out of tough situations. From the beginning, Steffi pulls at your heartstrings with the bewildering, tragic flashbacks & concussion symptoms. Claire & Peyton should see what’s going on with their friend but have issues of their own that they are struggling with. Now, Ryan Quinn, Steffi’s high school boyfriend, is back in town with his daughter & his mom is matchmaking. She’s remodeling part of her house using Steffi’s company & so is throwing them together. The characters & their relationships are amazing realistic & pull the readers into the story. The plot & the descriptive dialogue keep you involved & interested. I loved how I was able to see emotional growth from each of the characters as the story progressed. It’s unreal what our minds will do to help us deal with trauma until it decides we can handle it. I can’t wait until the next story from Jamie Beck.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    This was my third book by Jamie Beck, and my favorite thus far. She deals with difficult subjects in her novels. This book still dealt with some heavy subjects (assault, divorce, betrayal), but I think Beck managed to make it a little lighter by injecting more playfulness between the characters and by having the little girl play such an integral part of the story. Emotions played a major part in the story. Steffi and Ryan were an item in high school, but when Steffi went off to college she broke This was my third book by Jamie Beck, and my favorite thus far. She deals with difficult subjects in her novels. This book still dealt with some heavy subjects (assault, divorce, betrayal), but I think Beck managed to make it a little lighter by injecting more playfulness between the characters and by having the little girl play such an integral part of the story. Emotions played a major part in the story. Steffi and Ryan were an item in high school, but when Steffi went off to college she broke things off with him in a very uncaring way. Now they are both back in the same town again and being thrown together. Ryan has a soon-to-be ex-wife, new full time care of his daughter plus all the hurt from his past with Steffi. As if his being screwed up isn't enough, Steffi is trying to deal with having been attacked by two men. As they come together again each tries to help the other, but their "interference" just might drive a wedge between them again. I'm already anxious for the next book in the series. I received a copy via Netgalley. All thoughts are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caro

    3.5-4 stars. What an emotional read. Here we have Steffi and Ryan, they are coming back to town for different reasons in their lives, but soon the find that old feelings hardly die with time. Steffi is dealing with some serious issue from her past, and Ryan with his wife leaving him and his daughter. So, they are both not in the best of places. Because of this (and others) this read is more on the angsty side. These two have a lot to work out, not just the couple stuff. Even though it wasn’t a bad b 3.5-4 stars. What an emotional read. Here we have Steffi and Ryan, they are coming back to town for different reasons in their lives, but soon the find that old feelings hardly die with time. Steffi is dealing with some serious issue from her past, and Ryan with his wife leaving him and his daughter. So, they are both not in the best of places. Because of this (and others) this read is more on the angsty side. These two have a lot to work out, not just the couple stuff. Even though it wasn’t a bad book, I was expecting a little bit of lighter issues, lol. I love the cover and the blurb, so I was expecting more fluff. Like I said, it’s not a bad book, you just need to prepare for some heavier things. Still, I’ll read the rest of the series, Ms. Beck did a great job in here, angst or not. *Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy for which I’m giving my honest opinion*

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arrington (agirlandher_books) Moore

    A huge thank you to BookSparks and Amazon Publishing for a early review copy of this book. The Memory of You is the first in an upcoming Sanctuary Sound trilogy. I cannot wait to travel back to Sanctuary Sound in the next book. This starts the story of Steffi and her high school friend Claire starting their own construction/interior design company in their hometown. One of the first jobs they get is at the childhood home of Steffi's former boyfriend that she ghosted in college. She quickly comes A huge thank you to BookSparks and Amazon Publishing for a early review copy of this book. The Memory of You is the first in an upcoming Sanctuary Sound trilogy. I cannot wait to travel back to Sanctuary Sound in the next book. This starts the story of Steffi and her high school friend Claire starting their own construction/interior design company in their hometown. One of the first jobs they get is at the childhood home of Steffi's former boyfriend that she ghosted in college. She quickly comes to find out that he is moving home with his daughter as he is in the mist of separating from his wife. Is this a sign of fate that Steffi and Ryan's story is not over? This is such a great story of friendship, redemption, and how people grow and change. This was a quick read that had me hooked from the minute that I picked it up. This would be a great book to pick up for fans of romance. Look for it on shelves on October 30th!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bette Hansen

    Loved this book. At the core it is a wonderful second chance romance as Steffi and Ryan are reunited after ten years, Ryan's failed marriage and his precocious little girl. The story is so much more though. Ryan is finding his way as a single dad as he works his way through a rough divorce. Steffi is happy for the second chance she has been given withe Ryan but it's clear things aren't as wonderful for her as she tries to portray. Whatever her issues Steffi needs to face and deal with them befor Loved this book. At the core it is a wonderful second chance romance as Steffi and Ryan are reunited after ten years, Ryan's failed marriage and his precocious little girl. The story is so much more though. Ryan is finding his way as a single dad as he works his way through a rough divorce. Steffi is happy for the second chance she has been given withe Ryan but it's clear things aren't as wonderful for her as she tries to portray. Whatever her issues Steffi needs to face and deal with them before her life will ever be normal again. These characters as well as several secondary characters are well developed and they feel like people you know. The book has a nice flow and is very well written. I can't wait to get more in this new series. I highly recommend this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dora Okeyo

    I'll say that this book is easy to relate to because it shares the journey to healing and forgiveness and clearly shows how we struggle to overcome the hurt. I was interested in reading it when I came across it on NetGalley. It's the first I've read of Jamie Beck's work and she's got a way of blending anger with pride and stubbornness in her characters. She also knows a thing or two about Meddling characters and you can't help but love how they scheme to have their way. I do wish that as a perso I'll say that this book is easy to relate to because it shares the journey to healing and forgiveness and clearly shows how we struggle to overcome the hurt. I was interested in reading it when I came across it on NetGalley. It's the first I've read of Jamie Beck's work and she's got a way of blending anger with pride and stubbornness in her characters. She also knows a thing or two about Meddling characters and you can't help but love how they scheme to have their way. I do wish that as a person I'd overcome my bias and not get so impatient with some of the characters in this story, but even then, what good would that do? My parting shot: it's worth a read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. Triggers: Assault/rape This book has a good plot and story line, but it just didn't grab me. I'm not sure if it was just the mood I was in or if it was the way the story was written. The characters are sound but I think Steffi's independence is, while well-written, a little over the top. I completely understand blocking out traumatic things that happen to us but I think her inability to talk about the assault at all is a litt I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. Triggers: Assault/rape This book has a good plot and story line, but it just didn't grab me. I'm not sure if it was just the mood I was in or if it was the way the story was written. The characters are sound but I think Steffi's independence is, while well-written, a little over the top. I completely understand blocking out traumatic things that happen to us but I think her inability to talk about the assault at all is a little too much. While we may not want to open up to family about the things that bother us, normally we have at least one good friend, sibling, that we open up to, even if we don't go into detail about what's wrong. Ryan is written almost the same way. He's still holding a grudge from 10 years ago when Steffi dumped him out of the blue. To top it off, his wife has practically abandoned his daughter to pursue a relationship with another man. His anger at the entire situation is heartfelt and honestly, I feel like he should consider therapy as well. This book has a lot of story line to resolve and I think the ending was rushed. Granted the epilogue helped, but I think the ending could have benefited from a few more chapters. ~~Wicked Reads Review Team~~

  26. 4 out of 5

    Peg

    The Memory of You is an engaging, emotional and well-written novel. Twenty-nine-year-old, Steffi Lockwood is a businesswoman, driven, and independent. She owns a refurbishing company, with her close friend, Claire. Lately, Steffi has become irritated, over her friend’s nagging. Steffi admits that her dissociative episodes were puzzling and bothersome, but not enough, to see a specialist. Steffi has already checked with her neurologist and was satisfied with his findings. Claire disagreed and want The Memory of You is an engaging, emotional and well-written novel. Twenty-nine-year-old, Steffi Lockwood is a businesswoman, driven, and independent. She owns a refurbishing company, with her close friend, Claire. Lately, Steffi has become irritated, over her friend’s nagging. Steffi admits that her dissociative episodes were puzzling and bothersome, but not enough, to see a specialist. Steffi has already checked with her neurologist and was satisfied with his findings. Claire disagreed and wanted her partner to seek a second opinion. Steffi refused to see any more doctors, and counseling was out of the question. Steffi would reconsider, however, when her stubbornness, put a little girl in danger. Letting go of Ryan Quinn, was Steffi’s biggest regret in life. She left him ten years ago without saying a word. Ryan was devastated. He took up with a girl who was the complete opposite of Steffi. When Val, his rebound girlfriend, announced that she was pregnant, he married her. While working on divorce negotiations, Ryan moved back into his mother’s house, taking his daughter, Emmy, with him. Ryan was livid when he found Steffi Lockwood with his mother. Steffi’s heart stopped when she saw the man, whom she has loved forever. Although she knew that she had no reason to expect forgiveness from Ryan, she desperately wanted it. Life is never black and white. It’s messy, complicated and filled with hope, happiness, hurts, and disappointments. The Memory of You is a well-written, emotional book, about relationships, divorce, forgiveness, and love. I cared about the characters right from the start and was emotionally invested in their lives. I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next in the series. Thank you Montlake Romance and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This story had a whole host of different emotions to deal with. Steffi and Ryan were high school sweethearts and then Steffi decided she needed to see the world, and broke Ryan's heart. He was never able to forget her, however, he did try to move on with his life with marriage and a daughter. Steffi returned home and began her own construction business. She took a renovation job for Ryan's parents. However, little did she know, Ryan and his daughter Emmy, were moving back home as he was going thr This story had a whole host of different emotions to deal with. Steffi and Ryan were high school sweethearts and then Steffi decided she needed to see the world, and broke Ryan's heart. He was never able to forget her, however, he did try to move on with his life with marriage and a daughter. Steffi returned home and began her own construction business. She took a renovation job for Ryan's parents. However, little did she know, Ryan and his daughter Emmy, were moving back home as he was going through a divorce. Steffi, being the strong person that she is, convinced herself that she could deal with this change of events. But, Ryan had other plans. He could not forgive her for what she did to him and tried to avoid her at all costs. Emmy, however, loved spending time with Steffi and learning about the work she was doing. With this budding friendship, Ryan had no choice but to start talking to Steffi again. And, once he did that, it was hard to go back to all of that hatred that he had for her. Especially after she poured her heart out to him as to why she left. The more time they spent together, the old feelings began to emerge. However, Emmy wanted more than anything for Ryan and her mom to get back together. He had no intention of doing that. Things between Steffi and Ryan (and Emmy) changed when Steffi had one of her blanking out episodes. This was due to the fact that she was assaulted and had a concussion. At least, that is what she remembers and chooses to believe is the cause. When they went to a fair, she had one of these episodes and lost track of Emmy. Ryan, being an attorney, needed to find out what exactly happened to Steffi, so he did some investigating himself. There is so much emotion between Steffi and Ryan. So much that they have to deal with in terms of overcoming how things ended between them and how to overcome the obstacle of his impending divorce and Steffi's physical and mental problems as a result of her assault. Ms. Beck does a great job dealing with and explaining Steffi's issues. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jacki

    What I liked: The writing style Part of a series: Sanctuary Sound Standalone HEA Epilogue I had a hard time staying interested in this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC from NetGalley.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    I always feel terrible saying this, but unfortunately I just couldn’t even finish this book. I had trouble connecting with the story and the characters. The writing did not draw me in, and much of the conversations felt stiff and all over the place. This is my first book by this author, so maybe it’s just a one off. This was a miss for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    BookAddict

    If you’re looking for something a bit deeper that's emotional, wholesome, heartfelt and inspiring, you’ll love Ryan and Steffi's story! Steffi and Ryan were high school sweethearts with dreams and plans for a life together until Steffi ghosted Ryan with no explanation. Ten years later, Steffi has returned home to Sanctuary Sound to start a construction/renovation/decorating business with her best friend Claire. When they accept a job adding a family room to Ryan's childhood home Steffi has no id If you’re looking for something a bit deeper that's emotional, wholesome, heartfelt and inspiring, you’ll love Ryan and Steffi's story! Steffi and Ryan were high school sweethearts with dreams and plans for a life together until Steffi ghosted Ryan with no explanation. Ten years later, Steffi has returned home to Sanctuary Sound to start a construction/renovation/decorating business with her best friend Claire. When they accept a job adding a family room to Ryan's childhood home Steffi has no idea that Ryan has returned home with his nine-year-old daughter and they'll be living with his parents as Ryan's divorce gets finalized. With so much romance writing slapped together in a few days and passed off as publishable work, it’s refreshing when an author invests the necessary time in research to make a story compelling, accurate and believable, and Beck certainly did her homework for this one. Not only are there considerable details about Ryan's work as a district attorney, but Steffi suffers dissociative episodes due to repeated head injuries and an assault several months previous, and all of these details breathe life into the story. Although there are not detailed descriptions, Steffi's situation may act as a trigger for some readers, but Beck is careful with the portrayal. Ryan and Steffi’s story pulled me in from the very beginning and I flew through this book, reading it in one sitting. Ryan’s shock at seeing Steffi and the way it brought back the old hurt and anger, as well as the love that never quite died was authentic and believable and certainly made me sympathetic. It was easy to see there were still feelings between them but they had so many obstacles to deal with. Between healing old hurts, a less than amicable divorce and Steffi's unresolved trauma, they certainly had their work cut out for them. My heart was fully invested and I eagerly traveled the journey with them to see how everything would work out. I loved every aspect of this book. The strong, independent, construction worker heroine with a critical vulnerability and the kind, big hearted hero trying to find a new normal as a single dad. The ups and downs as they navigate their second chance along with the aspects of divorce and Steffi's unaddressed trauma are as heart wrenching as they are captivating. The secondary characters add additional dimension and are so well developed and compelling that it makes the reader eager for the next book in the series. If you like a small town, second chance romance, you absolutely can’t go wrong with this evocative, uplifting, phenomenal story. *I reviewed an advance copy of this book freely and voluntarily, having made no commitment to provide a review and receiving no compensation of any kind from any source for this review.

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