For anyone who knows me (the real me rather than the unbelievably amenable Twitter version) they will quite happily tell you that I am not known for my emotional side. At least, not the nice and cuddly kind of emotions. It takes a really good book to get me to a point of genuine tears and there are few writers who manage it. It’s not that I don’t read emotive books, it’s more that they just don’t move me enough. Over the past couple of years, Bookouture authors have managed to burrow their way to that very small, very hidden soft spot I keep well buried and got me to the point of choking on my tears. Probably the guiltiest author of the lot is the incredibly naughty but ridiculously talented, Kelly Rimmer.
The first book I read by Kelly Rimmer, pre NetGalley and pre blog, just simply because I saw it in my recommendations one day and needed something a little different to read, was ‘Me Without You‘.
The Official Book Blurb
If you enjoyed Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, One Day by David Nicholls, or The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – then make time for Kelly Rimmer’s stunning, heartbreaking new novel Me Without You.
A story of how love can break our hearts – and heal them.
A year ago I met the love of my life. For two people who didn’t believe in love at first sight, we came pretty close.
Lilah MacDonald – beautiful, opinionated, stubborn and all kinds of wonderful in ways that words could never quite capture. The woman who taught me to live again.
My Lilah, who gave me so much, and yet kept from me a secret that she knew would break my heart.
My name is Callum Roberts, and this is our story.
Me Without You is a book to make you smile, bring you to tears and remind you to hold on tightly to those you love.
Now my GoodReads review can be found here. As I said, this was pre-blog and pre-NetGalley so you’ll likely be glad to hear that it is a lot shorter than normal. Don’t let that fool you. I loved this book. It was hard not to fall in love with the characters of Callum and Lilah and although the title makes it clear there was little chance of a happy ending, I wasn’t quite prepared for the emotional journey I was about to go on. Their story was beautifully told, Lilah’s acceptance of her fate so poignant and the ultimate sacrifice made in the name of love so touching that it brought tears to my eyes. It is doing it again now as I write this and I read this book over two years ago. That is its power and its beauty. If you haven’t read it, please do. It is available here for UK Readers and here for US Readers.
The Official Book Blurb
Do you ever wish you had the chance to meet someone again for the first time?
When Leo and Molly met and married, they believed they were invincible. Together they could take on the world. But Leo, a war correspondent, lives for life on the edge, and when he takes a step into the unknown, tragedy strikes and he loses his memory. Molly rushes to help him fill in the gaps and soon they start falling in love all over again.
The trouble is, Molly is hiding something. Something big. The devoted wife at Leo’s bedside is a sham; Leo and Molly’s marriage was on the rocks long before Leo’s accident.
The closer Molly gets to her husband the more scared she becomes that he will remember. As Leo’s memory begins to trickle back will Molly lose the man she loves for a second time?
An emotional, heartbreaking read that will restore your faith in the power of love.
When I first saw that ‘When I Lost You‘ was available on NetGalley, I knew I needed to read it. I had been so taken with ‘Me Without You’ that I had to wonder if the magic could possibly be repeated. And the answer, as you can see here from my review, was quite simply, yes. Told from the perspectives of Leo and Molly, the story is split clearly in two. In the first half we have Molly’s take on the present and Leo’s voice relaying the past, the roles reversed in the second half. Although they are two very different and seemingly incompatible people, they share a common hurt and a very unique love which somewhere along the way they managed to lose. We follow them as they re-examine the past, wondering as they do if there is any way for them to ever reconnect. Kelly Rimmer creates such tension in their partnership but also such a beautiful synergy that you want, almost need, them to get back together. She takes you on a truly emotional journey capturing the journey of growing apart that sadly so many couple experience and bringing it to life on the page. It is available to purchase here for UK Readers and here for US Readers.
The Official Book Blurb
‘He’s dead and I’m safe, but I’m still scared. Sometimes I actually miss him, but then in the very next breath I find that I hate him so much that I hope there is a hell, just so that he can be suffering like he left me here to suffer.’
Olivia and David were the perfect couple with their whole lives in front of them. When beautiful baby daughter Zoe came along, their world seemed complete.
But now David is dead and Olivia’s world is in pieces. While she is consumed with grief, her mother-in-law Ivy is also mourning the loss of her son. Both women are hiding secrets about the man they loved. Secrets that have put the family in danger.
Something was very wrong in Olivia and David’s marriage. Can Olivia and Ivy break their silence and speak the truth? A mother should protect her child, whatever the cost…shouldn’t she?
Okay. So before reading my review here, I should take this moment to tell you that this book proved just how evil and manipulative Ms Rimmer actually is. By ‘evil’ I mean that she made me cry. On a plane!!!. Not in person, obviously, but she twisted and manipulated my emotions so much during the final pages of this book that I had no choice but to try and disguise my tears as a coughing fit, drawing strange and disapproving looks from my fellow passengers. I told you. ‘Evil’.
Oh my word. I was not ready for this book or that ending. As much as I joke, this is a difficult read at times with the subject matter, domestic abuse, highly emotive and for some a potential trigger, so it is best to exercise caution if this is a problem for you. It was not in anyway gratuitous or told for shock value, but it was no less hard to read about. And to think that there was someone who knew but turned a blind eye … Gah. I completely disliked Ivy, perhaps even more than David. Her refusal to see the bad in him clearly added to his behaviour but was it the only cause? This is a basic question of nature or nurture – only you can decide for yourself. But there is a truly heartbreaking twist to this tale and it was this, and a most poignant moment towards the end, that did for me. I had been doing so well but I couldn’t hold back any more. And here I go again. Soggy keyboard syndrome.
About the Author
(info courtesy of KellyRimmer.com)
Follow on Twitter: @KelRimmerWrites
When Kelly’s childhood friends grew out of make-believe games, she realised she’d have to become a writer (or join the real world with them, but that seemed far too dull). Several decades later, she lives in rural Australia with her husband Daniel nd their two young children.
***Confession: Kelly Rimmer isn’t really evil. But she is a master manipulator of emotions and she made me cry. Twice. A lot.***