Hello, book lovers!! It’s me again!!! I’m so proud of myself, scheduling posts ahead LOL! Today’s review is for the debut book of an author I “met” on Instagram (check out my Bookstagram account).
As you know I value honesty, specially when writing reviews and I try very hard to be as respectful as possible, because it’s NEVER my intention (or the point of a book blog) to upset authors and readers. That being said, I hope you enjoy this review and give this book a chance too!
Graham Wyatt might be 6’2” of irresistible muscled, tattooed, angsty Alpha male (and don’t forget the man bun)—but sorry, ladies! He’s a one woman man. Specifically, Mackenzie Thatcher, the love of his life whose heart he broke 5 years ago. Now that he’s out of prison (yes, prison…it’s a long story) he’s determined to redeem himself and prove he’s reformed his bad boy ways so she’ll give him a second chance.
Mackenzie, on the other hand, has vowed off love forever. She’s already experienced excruciating heartbreak, and she has no intention of ever getting near that particular fire again…especially with the very man who burned her in the first place. She’s perfectly happy being a badass independent woman, thank you very much. That is, until seeing Graham again stirs up feelings she doesn’t know what to do with (besides a little quality time with her B.O.B.).
She’s not going to give in easily, but he isn’t afraid to play a little dirty. (Like that time he showed up to her yoga class and took off his shirt…) Graham is determined to do whatever it takes to win her back, even when some drug-dealing demons from his past show up and threaten the progress he’s starting to make.
Can Graham keep from repeating his past mistakes and find redemption with the woman he loves?
This contemporary second chance romance from debut author Elle Maxwell is a full length novel that is a standalone with no cliffhanger.
***I received an ARC in exchange of an honest opinion***
“I want everything. I didn’t plan to throw all of this at you right now, but it’s the truth. I want to be…us, again.”
Us, Again is Elle Maxwell debut novel and I was very excited to read it. I confess I expected a bit more angst from it, but in the end I was left satisfied.
This is a second-chance romance, between MacKenzie and Graham. They were highschool sweethearts who got separated by a cruel twist of fate and years later find the way back to each other. But not without some challenges on their way.
I received this ARC a couple weeks ago and I started it, but unfortunately wasn’t feeling the story, at least not at first. I gave myself some time to start it all over again and I’m glad I did that, because I ended up getting a bit more into it. Specially on the second half of the book.
In the first half of the book, at least for me, it was clear this was a debut author, I felt like she hasn’t yet found her pace and the writing wasn’t quite there yet. Some things felt too forced and too stiff at times. But then it evolved and I got more into the story. It started to pull me more towards it, which shows a great evolution.
I felt it was a bit hard connecting with the characters, at first. They weren’t very relatable. Not only the main characters, but also the side ones, like MacKenzie’s best friend, who was supposed to be hilarious. For me the sense of humor on the book was sometimes good, a few times great, but most of the times too much. It felt too forced and ended up not being funny at all. Sometimes it was almost like everyone was trying too hard.
I’m not a huge fan of dual POVs and books in the first person and Us, Again has both. It didn’t bother me a lot, but that didn’t really help in me connecting with the characters. I had a hard time with that. Specially because some of their dialogues, or internal dialogues (specially Graham’s) didn’t feel organic to me.
This story had a lot of potential and even though it didn’t quite get there, it still left a good impression in me.
This wasn’t an effortlessly reading experience or a flawless book. And that is okay. Specially for a first book. I still enjoyed the story and the writing, specially in the second half. There weren’t many loose ends and the story is tied well together. The epilogue is also good and gives a great continuation to what the story started with its ending.
I believe Elle Maxwell has a lot yet to explore and that in honing her abilities, she will become a great writer and I hope she keeps writing. I think that once she matures her writing and skills she’ll bring a great book after another. I have a feeling about her and I cannot wait to see her developing herself as an author, because she left a good mark with Us, Again.
Click on the Buy the Book button above to buy Us, Again by Elle Maxwell.
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