Almost Mine by Lea Darragh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: eARC courtesy of Escape Publishing via NetGalley
To be honest, just from the blurb, I would not have come near this book at all. However, when I inadvertently won a preview from a giveaway, I could hardly refuse to, at least, have a quick read. My reluctance doubled at the end of the first chapter as the scene is set for something achingly heartbreaking though I kept pushing on for a few more chapters before I reached the breaking point. The only way that I’m going to continue to read it is if the ending is worth it soooo…. Yes, I had a squeeze at the epilogue.
My hesitation to read this book is this part of the blurb, “Cate has always taken Nick for granted… She knows he loves her, but she can’t love him back… She has darkness in her that can’t handle that much light.” And as soon as I’ve read the first few chapters, I knew that this was just too close to my own personal concerns and I really didn’t need to have that fleshed out in what I’m reading. Nevertheless, I did think the ending was worth the effort so I ploughed on and finished the book.
Cate was one confused girl and it started in childhood when she witnessed her parents’ broken marriage. She began to struggle with her identity, her self-worth, and looked for it in all sorts of places. Through all this, however, Nick, was always there for her. He loves her and promises to always be there for her. Is Nick and his love enough for Cate to find herself? Is he patient enough for her to finally realise what he means to her?
Aside from my initial hesitation, I found that it was exacerbated by the first chapter being set in the present time and for the chunk of the book to being flashbacks which spanned many years. You’d have to read through all these years before finally coming back to the present (the last 2 chapters). This makes a slow reading but all the cheesy romance kind of made up for the slowness. Remember Persuasion by Jane Austen? The first reading feels so slow but that’s because we’re set up for a delicious suspense.
I love Cate and Nick because of their steadfastness to each other. I could really sympathise with Cate and was cheering her on when she’s fighting hard to keep the future bright for both of them. I love Nick for his faithfulness to Cate throughout the years and for his adoration of her. Who wouldn’t want to have their own ‘Nick’ if this is how he thinks / sees of you…
‘…when I see you, my heart races and when you leave it stops. When you smile I smile and when you cry I want to bring hell down on the reason for your tears. All I know is that I would stop at nothing to give you everything, and I’d do this because I know that every need that you have comes from the deepest part of your heart, and not from an entitled want. You’re breathtaking when you daydream as you watch the wind blow through the tree tops, and when you use the very tips of your fingers to tuck your soft hair behind your ears and when you dip your chin and blush when someone gives you a compliment–.’
Yeah… cheesy…. *sighs* but I’d definitely fall for it every time ;D
Almost Mine is most definitely a romance novel though as I identified with Cate so keenly, it has dug deeper into my soul. I feel for Cate as she went through each of her ups and downs, the angst, the guilt, and finally acceptance. To learn that to love is to forgive and to forgive is to love… I am utterly relieved of having finished reading though I want to read it again.
This was meant to be a book review though it turned out to be rather of a self-introspection but I’m posting this anyway because I’d like the author to know that she’s touched at least one random soul in the world
Thanks to Escape Publishing via NetGalley for copy of eARC
Ps: FYI, I am happily married and I have just made sure (again!) that hubby knows I love him (I do!) though he knows, by now, that acts of service is my love language so I think we’re sorted 😉