Author: Tammy L. Bailey
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Format: ebook via Reading Alley
Synopsis: Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend's brother, Henry Dalton.
It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.
Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?
This book left me smiling!
Lily gave her heart away years ago when a play marriage ceremony to her friend's brother, Henry, left her longing for the day that she could say those vows for real. After Henry's departure and coldly distancing himself from her, she's given up on ever winning the affection of her childhood crush. Instead, she's well on her way to marrying another man, one who she knows she'll never be able to love.
Henry may pretend to be aloof where Lily is concerned but it's all an act. He isn't as indifferent to her presence as he'd like everyone, including her, to believe. In fact, she's the only woman who has been on his mind since he left home. Drowning himself in alcohol and women never did quite cure him of the heartbreak of living without her.
Their reunion isn't an easy one. Starting off with the mystery of a love letter penned by Lily, Henry is left trying to figure out which man among them has won her heart. And Henry's sister's party games up the ante by pairing our couple with other partners, causing jealous feelings to emerge. There are waterfalls, play theatrics, and accidents along the way. When the truth comes out, Henry and Lily must decide if their childhood nuptials should be repeated... for real this time.
This novella was a quick read. I think it took me all of like 3 hours to finish it, but I found myself either smiling or gushing the entire time. I loved that there was so much emotion packed into such a short read. I felt excited, heartbroken, anxious, and may have let out a few happy sighs from time to time.
I'm glad this was dual POV. It helped to see both sides of the story as our couple reunite and face haunting memories while making new ones to keep them awake at night. I was surprised to see some spice in the romance here, too. It's not overtly scandalous but more than I typically see in a novella where things are usually skimmed over.
There was also some behind the scenes scheming going on and I caught on to it about halfway through. Yet, there were still several twists that I wasn't expecting. Henry's run-in with his parents was a little "convenient" but I let that slide because what came after was romantic bliss and I couldn't put it down.
I'm not sure if there are more stories to come with this group of characters but I very much want to see Jane find a match. I'd even be thrilled to have her hero turn out to be Waverley all along. Five suns!