Title: Healed (Forgiven #3)
Author: Rebecca Brooke
Published Date: October 20th 2014
Genre: NA Romance
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Emily Halliday and Andrew Bentley spent the last few years doing what every couple does. Meet, date, fall in love, and finally getting engaged. Life seemed pretty perfect. So what happens when the unthinkable happens testing their relationship and everything they built together?
The fighter that she is, Emily does everything in her power to save what they once shared, but will it be enough? Can Andrew overcome his fear to love Emily the way he always has?
Can love heal everything?
Healed is the third book in the Forgiven Series by Rebecca Brooke. Although not imperative, it would be better to read the series in order. I felt like I missed out on a lot of back ground and character development by not having read the prior books.
Main characters, Andrew and Emily, balance one another. Emily is a tightly wound college student with anger management issues. Emily describes Andrew as passive-aggressive in one scene, and I would have to say that he didn’t seem like a strong person. They feel like a real couple: they have strengths and weaknesses, and they’re not perfect as individuals or as a couple.
The first half of the book describes Emily’s and Andrew’s relationship and the very sweet marriage proposal. They are young and in love. Their families are warm, loving and supportive. Between fraternities, sports and engagement celebrations, there is a lot of drinking, dancing and carousing. With only one or two minor altercations resulting from misunderstandings, the story plods at a fairly slow pace. It is generally sweet, and life is good.
Life takes a turn when Andrew’s mother dies unexpectedly. Naturally, both Andrew and his father are distraught. As a result, Andrew’s father takes solace in a bottle and gives bad advice that Andrew follows. I really struggled to accept that Andrew’s father would give the advice he did. Since Andrew wasn’t portrayed as a really strong individual, I was only mildly surprised that he foolishly followed his father’s advice. The circle of friends remains strong and tries to offer support to all involved.
Emily is left broken: she is no longer feisty or angry. She is slowly moving on, when seven months later, Andrew and his dad get their collectively acts together, realize their mistakes and try to make amends. Although everyone hopes for a HEA, I found Emily’s and Andrew’s reconciliation difficult to buy given the amount of time that had passed and Andrew’s prior behavior. Emily’s parents are not mentioned again, but I cannot fathom them continuing to be accepting and supportive of the relationship given how badly Andrew hurt their daughter. Can love heal everything? I don’t think so.
Overall a sweet story, and I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read the entire series. I would recommend avid NA readers start with Rebecca Brooke’s first book in the series, Forgiven, and read on from there.
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