Today dear reader I am on the blog tour for The Life We Almost Had (Published 3rd September 2020) By Amelia Henley. A big thank you to the publishers HQ for sending me a copy to review, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for the invite, thank you.
This is not a typical love story, but it’s our love story.
Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever.
Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences.
Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…
A beautiful and emotional love story that asks, how far would you go for a second chance at first love? Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call and Miss You.
About The Author
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heartbreaking, high-concept love stories.
Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.
The Life We Almost Had is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and she can’t wait to share it with readers.
Oh boy where to start dear reader. This book left me a complete mess. I lost count the amount of times I started ugly crying, trust me, not a pretty sight. You are going to need tissues if you are to survive this heartbreaking story. In fact, it should come with a caution on the cover. Warning! You will cry, a lot! Please make arrangements to have tissues and a fridge full of Ben and Jerry’s on standby. You are going to need it.
The narrative is told in first person by Anna and Adam. There are some chapters later on in third person from Oliver which becomes clear when you read the book (I won’t spoil it for you by telling you who Oliver is) but apart from that, this is Anna and Adam’s story.
Their story opens with a prologue set 7 years ago. Anna is writing a letter and is heartbroken. She wants to be done with the secrets, the lies and feels lost without Adam. The reader has no idea why they aren’t together and is pulled further in by Henley’s emotional writing.
The reader is whisked back 7 years ago. A jilted Anna is on a plane with her friend Nell instead of her fiancé heading towards her honeymoon destination, an exotic Spanish island. It just so happens that this is where Adam is on a holiday with his friend Josh. From the moment he sees Anna he feels drawn to her. She’s interesting and reminds him of Star from The Lost Boys. After Adam saves Anna from nearly drowning it becomes clear that the two were meant to meet and be entwined in each-others’ lives. There’s a bond between them and they understand each other. It may sound like your typical romcom setup but this is so much more than that. There are moments throughout the book that I did not see coming that left me shocked, saddened and anxious. I was a mess by the end, a sobbing, blubbering mess.
What I enjoyed most about this book was how Henley has crafted a beautiful, romantic love story whilst maintaining an honest, realistic grasp of the struggles relationships go through. We see the contrast of the start of Anna and Adam’s relationship in Spain to their married life back home as they desperately try for a baby. Dreams quickly get put on hold as Adam postpones his round the world trip in order to stay with Anna. Life happens as the couple fall into a mind-numbing routine of stress, work, bickering and alerts from an app telling them it’s time they engaged in intercourse. The romance is non-existent but the love is still there. They can no longer talk about their disappointments as easily as they used to about their dreams. They are both afraid of what the other might say and don’t want to hear it. Adam feels he can’t do anything right anymore and whatever he does is never enough. While Anna wonders if Adam blames her that they haven’t had a baby. They have slowly allowed themselves to drift apart, too frightened of talking openly and honestly with one another, afraid to admit the lie that is their marriage. For so long they have dreamed of having a baby, a family, and convinced themselves that if it didn’t happen that they were enough for each other. It makes you teary-eyed as you remember the tender, loving moments they shared on the beach back in Spain. How they laughed, loved and enjoyed every minute of life before they decided to stop communicating.
About a third of the way in Henley throws the reader a curveball. A devastating event happens which changes everything. The story takes a different unexpected turn. My heart sank as I read these two characters be thrown into chaos and ripped apart by the universe. The couple don’t seem to get a break as it’s one thing after another. The suspense killed me as I raced towards the end to find out if love really is eternal. I honestly couldn’t put this book down until I knew Anna and Adam’s fate. You become attached to them, their story, their love. I HAD to know. So much happens that I would love to tell you dear reader but I fear it would spoil the suspense and impact of the shock. You have to read it for yourself. It will make a lot more sense when you do.
There are strong, inspiring themes of fighting for what you want and knowing the times you have to let go. Adam has a saying “If you love someone, set them free.” whereas Anna finds it hard to let things go. There’s also a desire to appreciate the here and now. To live in the moment and what we have standing right in front of us. We go through life thinking there will always be a next time, another day or chance but sometimes there just isn’t. Life is unpredictable so live it to the full.
I give The Life We Almost Had By Amelia Henley a Five out of Five paw rating.
Love, love, loved it! I adore Henley’s writing style. I was fully absorbed and taken away to the sunny beaches of Spain. I could hear the waves roaring on the sea, taste the salt in the air as I felt the burning sand beneath my feet. Time slowed down and there was nothing but these two characters falling in love. I’m starting to feel teary just writing this. Oh my poor heart has broken so many times reading this book. To know that Love will always, always find a way. Pass the tissues…
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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Huge thanks for this amazing blog tour support Emma xx