Review: Always Been You by Sadie Allen
There is nothing better than a sexy cowboy who is also a fantastic dad. It's like S.A. reached into my brain and pulled out my very own wet dream. Drool. Emma and Brazos are one of the sweetest couples I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. Their story is far from perfect. But their love is absolutely legendary.
Story Line: Our story begins 15 years ago when our two main characters are celebrating the end of their high school careers. I found this time line hilarious since I legit just got an invite to my 15 year high school reunion. So, that dates me. Yes, I'm the same age as Emma and Braz. That's never happened before so it was insta-love for me. What wasn't insta-love? Emma and Braz. You see, he already had a smoking hot girlfriend. And Emma? Stuck on the sidelines in the dreaded friend-zone. Now, fast forward to present day and Emma is back in her home town and her path crosses with Braz once more. Only this time? This time she's his daughter's teacher.
Braz and Emma remind me of my husband and I, if I'm being perfectly honest. We didn't take 15 years to finally hook up, but it wasn't until 5 years post graduation that our paths would cross and he finally saw me as more than just the queen of the band nerds. Braz was super popular in school and so was my hubby. Emma wasn't on my nerdy level, but I still absolutely related to her. That's honestly one of the things I loved most about this book - the characters are so easy to relate to. And even the intense scenes and the drama that unfolds - I could picture everything and there was never a single moment where I thought to myself "there's no way that would actually happen". This is a love story, but it's also the story of a small town that get's shaken up from its peaceful slumber.
Interaction: Emma isn't exactly thrilled to be back in her hometown. She's got a pretty big chip on her shoulder. And I totally get it. I think I was that devil on her shoulder quite a bit in the beginning. When she reconnects with Braz, I was that voice in her head saying "Do not give in, girlfriend!" But after that scene where they go horseback riding together (that's not a spoiler, folks. He's a cowboy. It was bound to happen), I was a goner.
Laundry: Slow, sweet, delicious burn alert, people. Don't expect our love birds to hit the sheets on date one. And if you do? Shame on you! This story is brilliantly told and it would go against everything these two are building if they were to fast forward to the naughty stuff. I kid you not, at one point I was like wait? They haven't had laundry yet? The angst and the foreplay and all the other fun stuff is enough to hold the attention of even the horniest of readers ;)
Depth: Truth time. I picked up this book expecting a super sweet love story - which I totally got. But what I WASN'T expecting was the intensity of some of the scenes. SERIOUSLY. There is a whole other dimension of stuff going on in this small town. I refuse to give away anything because I want y'all to be as surprised as I was. But just keep an open mind to possibilities with this story line. Because just when you start hearing the song "the final countdown" in your head thinking an epilogue is coming. Guess what? It's not. Your heart is about to be beating out of your chest and you're about to get real mad at certain characters and super scared for others. It's a winding road, but it's so good. SO DANG GOOD.