Today it is my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley. Amelia Henley is the pseudonym of thriller author Louise Jensen and as I’ve long been a fan of her work, I couldn’t wait to see what happens when she turned her hand to a different genre. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part and to publisher hq for providing the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
This is not a typical love story, but it’s our love story.
Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever.
Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences.
Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…
A beautiful and emotional love story that asks, how far would you go for a second chance at first love? Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call and Miss You.
It’s not often I turn away from the crime thriller to open the pages of women’s fiction or anything that might be described as a ‘love story’ – typical or not. And, to be fair to the author, and to the books billing, this really is not your typical love story. From the very beginning you have the sense that the story will fall far short of the normally anticipated happily ever after of your ‘typical’ love story. That there is a sense of inevitability about what you are about to read. What you won;t be prepared for is just how far from the norm you are about to journey, and about how much of an emotional rollercoaster the author is about to take you on. Be prepared though as just as fates is often kind to our protagonists Anna and Adam, she also proves time and again what a cruel and twisted mistress she can be. You may need tissues. You have been warned.
Anna and Adam’s story begins as Anna is on her ‘almost honeymoon’ and he is on a holiday with his best friend. I say almost honeymoon as Anna is a jilted bride, whose betrothed left her for another woman right before their wedding day. From her descriptions of him, she has had a very, very lucky escape. Still heartbroken, she won;t come to realise just how lucky until she meets Adam. It’s not quite love at first site, but it is damned close, two soul mates brought together by fate and an errant undercurrent in a tempting Spanish sea.
Chapters alternate between Adam and Anna as we hear the story from their perspective. Adam is far more open to the idea of romance than Anna to begin with, absolutely certain from the start that she is his destiny. Anna is far more reticent, understandable under the circumstances, but it is clear from the off that this is far more than a simple holiday romance and Amelia Henley does a brilliant job of portraying the uncertainty that Anna feels, but the gradually blossoming link between the two of them. It is no surprise that they finish the holiday as a couple, even less that they are destined to spend the rest of their lives together. But, as we have already been told, this is not a normal love story and given the speed of their romance, it would be a decidedly shorter book if it were.
Their story is typical of so many couples. The one thing Anna wants is a baby and her struggle to fall pregnant and the resulting dischord in their marriage will resonate with many people. The tension, the misunderstanding and the inability to share their true feelings was so authentic. It is no wonder that Adam feels the need to make one last romantic gesture in order to salvage their relationship, although no-one could foresee what a change this will make to their lives as tragedy strikes. From what we have read before it would be easy to assume that what comes to pass is all Anna’s fault. The actual truth of the matter may surprise you. Take nothing you have read for granted because whatever you are expecting, it probably won’t be this.
It is hard to say much more about the story than that without giving too much away. This is a book that examines how far people will go to recapture a moment of happiness with a loved one, of the sacrifices that one person will make for another, and looking at what what really defines both love and strength. One of the key themes that runs throughout is that of the old adage ‘if you love, someone let them go.’ Easier said than done, as this story demonstrates with beautiful clarity and emotional results. It also moves beyond the basic premise of a love story taking readers in a surprising direction, challenging you to think long and hard about how you would react in similar circumstances and whether you would take untold risks if it meant you finding your way back to the person you love most.
This is a story beset with loss, with an underlying sense of sadness that is offset by a sense of hope too. The final chapters, whilst emotional, will also make you smile, that twisted sister Fate, playing her hand once more. The very final chapter, told from Adam’s point of view is poignant and emotional, leaving me with a rueful smile and a tear in my eye. It will take a truly hard heart, even harder than mine, not to be moved by what Amelia Henley has written and the closing sentiments that she leaves us with.
Emotional, thoughtful and beautifully written, Amelia Henley takes us through the highs and lows of Adam and Anna’s lives in a story that will linger in your memories for quite some time.
About the Author
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heartbreaking, high-concept love stories.
Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.
The Life We Almost Had is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and she can’t wait to share it with readers.
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