My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Alexis Murphy is done messing with the wrong kinds of men. She could not be happier planning a personalized Grace Evangeline wedding with her fiancé, Jeffrey, who is so…right for her. Or is he?
Stage star and spokesmodel, Bo Corrigan, could be the ultimate disruption. Alexis—Exi—is caught by his talent and sexual magnetism. Yet under the glow, she senses trouble, not only danger from Bo’s past mistakes, but something inside tearing him apart.
From the moment Bo sees Exi, he knows she’s special, but not only that—she’s real. Unlike the theater scene he’s been immersed in, she sees the man he is and won’t stop until she’s reached inside and brought that person from despair to life … if only they have time. With violent forces against them, can they get beyond the damage to love that heals and restores?
This is the second book in the Told You series, and I recommend reading the first book, Told You So before this one since Bo is an important character in that book and the main characters Grace and Devin play important roles in this book. The author quickly weaves in the backstory from the first book but to me it didn't feel like it was incorporated naturally. The story jumped right into the plot and I felt like some of Exi and Bo's initial development was lacking or superficial, but as I continued reading I was able to get a better sense of their depth and emotions. Although they are strongly drawn to each other, their relationship is brief before all sorts of drama starts happening. The pacing slowed for me in the middle of the book, but then Bo's path to redemption was amazingly portrayed, with realistic grittiness and finally an acceptance and surrender. I know I'm being vague but I'd hate to spoil any of the twists! There is quite a bit of change and growth experienced by Exi, Bo, and even Devin. I loved that Exi is an artist and still discovering her personal style and passion. There was a subtle theme of learning to find and seek after your own dreams, not what someone else expects or according to pressure from perceived societal standards, and it applied to both Exi and Bo on their journey and through their struggles. Definitely recommend to fans of the first book, and if you haven't read it, read it first! :)
(Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)