I think I've got a case of whiplash from how hard the theme changed smack bang in the middle of this book. The first half was the sweetest, fluffiest romance I've ever read... seriously, I was reading a lot of it with raised eyebrows, wondering where the heck the conflict was going to come from, or if there was even going to be any.
And then BAM.
Without any warning, all that sweet fluffiness is ripped away, and the entire second half of the book is basically just one massive storm of angst. I actually enjoyed the second half a lot better; the first was way too sickly for my taste.
I think I'd have liked this book a lot better if it had started in the middle, with Winter being reluctant to return to New York, and we'd had her and Austin's story told in flashbacks. As it was, they just felt too sickly-perfect to be real, and we didn't get to meet Cayden - technically the real love interest in the book - until 70% of the way through. We never really got to know him. In fact, I thought the 'man in the elevator' who turned out to be Cayden's BROTHER - was going to end up being the love interest.
The sort-of reincarnation thing that was going on actually made me feel slightly icky. Cayden was 10 when the accident happened and he basically got 'taken over' without his will or consent.
I feel like this would have been a much better story if it was a true 'second-chance romance' rather than a contrived supernatural solution. It was pretty well-written, though with a few editing issues like "our body's moved together" where it should obviously be 'bodies', and a few cases of hysterically overblown prose... I mean that literally, I had a laughing fit at the description of a cherry tomato as a 'round red temptress'.
I didn't hate this, but it wasn't really my cup of tea, and I think a darn good editing to rearrange the emotional themes of the book it would be a lot better. I'm giving it three stars.
Always: Two Hearts, One Soul Duet Book 1 is available now on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through ReadingAlley.