Monday, April 22, 2019

Review: Always You by Lucinda Whitney

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


She longs for the man who’s been writing to her for fifteen years. He wishes he could tell her it’s him. Can they come to the truth before it’s too late?

Simon Ackerley arrives in Lisbon for his temporary job as a consultant, not expecting to find his secret penpal easily. After all, he doesn’t know what she looks like or what her real name is. But when a biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity.

Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the English Academy in Lisbon, until the chairman hires a consultant without her knowledge. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, and she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him at work isn’t enough, he shows up at her book club as well. Her only solace is writing to the penpal she knows simply as Elliot.

As they work together, Isabel realizes Simon is nothing like her first impression and a tentative friendship grows between them. But how can she explore the possibilities when her heart belongs to Elliot?

Always You is a sweet secret relationship romance and it can be read as a standalone.

*Part of this story was previously published as One Small Chance. It has been rewritten and expanded to include new content and a swoony epilogue.*

My Review

I loved this sweet story with a "You've Got Mail" theme. The characters are well-fleshed out and the story and plot have a full arc. When I finished the last page I just had to sigh in satisfaction. The setting of Portugal played a huge part in making the story stand out. It was so fun to imagine the foreign location and accents and the vivid descriptions were subtle without taking over the narrative. I was able to connect with both Isabel and Simon and felt the emotions they were experiencing as they grew closer together in spite of the struggles they face. 

I read and loved it when it was first published as One Small Chance, but now with the added scenes and interactions between Isabel and Simon I love it even more! A fun couple to watch fall in love as Simon charms his way past Isabel's walls of reservation. Highly recommend!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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