November 4, 2013

Title: Forever Innocent
Author: Deanna Roy
Publisher: Casey Shay Press
Published: September 28, 2013
Pages: 288

Synopsis: “Our baby died on prom night, and nothing was ever the same again.”

Corabelle doesn’t feel like any of the other college girls. On what should have been one of the happiest nights of her life, she and her boyfriend Gavin watched a nurse disconnect the ventilator from their seven-day-old baby. During the funeral two days later, Gavin walked out and never returned.

Since then, her life has been a spiral of disasters. The only thing that has helped is her ability to black out whenever the pain gets too hard to bear, a habit that has become an addiction.

When Gavin shows up in her astronomy class four years later, he is hell-bent on getting her back, insisting she forgive him. Corabelle knows she can’t resist the touch that fills the empty ache that has haunted her since he left. But if he learns what she has done, if he follows the trail back through her past, her secrets will destroy their love completely. And once again, she’ll lose the only person who always believed she was innocent.

First Thoughts: 3.5 stars Get our your tissues. This second chance romance will have you choking up by the end.

Plot, Pacing and Style: The first line of the synopsis says it all. Gavin and Corabelle have suffered the most awful, serious heartbreak four years ago. They had been crazy about each other, but the death of their baby changed everything. When they crossed paths again the two of them are very different people, but truly do need the other one to heal.

The beginning started off a little slow, but the second Corabelle let Gavin back in the littlest bit, the book moved right along.

I did enjoy the dual POVs since it showed that both characters were so damaged. Neither one was playing games, they were truly just trying to work through everything the best they could.

The MCs: Both Corabelle and Gavin had made choices that they both regretted…before and after the death of little Finn. They also chose to turn the choices into secrets that weighed them down even more. I understood why they did everything they did. They were both quite strong, actually, considering what they had to deal with.

Romance /Chemistry: I just didn’t feel it. I can’t put my finger on why not…maybe I didn’t know the characters well enough. There were definitely sexy scenes, but I found myself skimming through them, they just didn’t resonate with me. I think a slow love would have been better than hot and heavy.

Title/Cover: The title is about the baby, not the main characters, so once I got that I felt like the title suited the book. The cover is probably a little too sexy for me. I don’t know…kissing would be ok since they needed eachother, but the guy without a shirt is more suggestive of sex. I would rather have seen the focus on love, not sex.

Ending: I did love it, mainly because it was so real. It was hopeful and not perfect. It still showed that both Corabelle and Gavin have a very long journey ahead of them to begin their healing process.

Gripes/suggestions: I just didn’t connect with the characters personally, or their romance. I did connect with their grief as parents though…that part was very well done. If the romance had worked better for me, the rating would definitely have been higher.

Final Thoughts/Rec It? If you love to read about heartbreak (I do!) this book is for you. Ms. Roy made me feel like I was in the hospital after Finn was born, and the grief was overwhelming. So very, very well done. I look forward to reading more of this author, and seeing how the next book grows.


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