Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date:April 7, 2014
Hosted by:Book Enthusiast Promotions
What would bring you happiness in a world that was suddenly empty?
For Lucy Crane, the answer is simple: her daughter. When her husband is killed in a tragic accident, Lucy loses her desire to live, but only one thing keeps her going – her unborn daughter. Focusing on being a mother helps Lucy cope with her loss, but kids grow up and they leave home, eventually. Eighteen years after losing her first and only love, Lucy is faced with the opportunity to find the happiness for which she’s always longed. Her own fears become her worst enemies as she learns how to embrace love once again.
Evan Donovan is also facing his own struggles. Forced to retire from the FDNY because of lung damage caused by 9/11, Evan moves to upstate New York where he hopes to find a little peace and quiet. Old habits die hard, and Evan’s hero complex and survivor’s guilt constantly remind him of how difficult it is to be vulnerable. But for the first time in his life, he’s tired of being alone.
Drawing strength from one another, Lucy and Evan discover how beautiful it is to let love be a part of their lives.
I love Melissa Collins! Let Love Be is the latest book in the Love Series and I am so in awe once again that a story can be so beautiful and so amazing that I just want more and more. Melissa Collins has taken us on a great journey through these books, and this one is absolutely no exception.
If you have read this series, you have fallen in love with Maddy and Reid and Melanie and Bryan… but did you ever wonder about Momma when it was all said and done? This is a special look into a new chapter of Momma’s life now that Mel and Maddy are all grown up. That is what makes this book so unique, the focus of it is on one of the most beloved characters in this series so far. Mel’s mom, Lucy.
Lucy lost everything when she was very young. Her one true love is gone and she is left alone to raise the child that was conceived in so much love. She knows she will never find a love as true again, soul mates only come along once in a lifetime afterall. But she has more important things to think about than falling in love again, if ever. She has an unborn child that is going to need every bit of her love and courage to carry on in life. Lucy knows that this child is so much more than just a baby, it is the baby that love created and will never be duplicated. And that’s just what Lucy does. She carries on. She loves that little girl with all her heart and she knows that no matter what that child will always know that she is loved and cherished.
Eighteen years later, Lucy finds herself alone again. Her baby is all grown up and living her own life, even her serroget daughter has moved out and is starting a family of her own. Lucy has never thought twice about what it would be like to be in love again, especially now after all this time…
Evan has been forced into a life of retirement after 9/11. It is not something he wanted and he is having a hard time with it all. But he is determined to find happiness out of all of the bad things he has been through. He knows his life is enough. He has seen enough as a fireman and done enough to have regrets, but being alone was never one of them. He wants to have a good life and he knows he can make his life enough…But he certainally wasn’t expecting to find Lucy.
But a chance meeting at a funeral sets this story in motion. The come from two different worlds, but the loss is still there. Evan loved his job more than anything and Lucy loved Jimmy more than anything. But in the end the just found themselves alone. But one small encounter turned into two, then there was some innocent flirting and then… well, I am not going to spoil the story for you, but as much as I love Maddy and Reid and as much as I love Mel and Bryan, there is something to be said about Lucy and Evan.
This is anything but an old people love story. It is actually a beautiful and charming story with lots of love and it’s hot and steamy. It’s tempered with angst and drama but it just so warm and inviting. Melissa Collins just writes the best characters. They are not perfect, they have all had their share of craptastic stuff happen to them but always in the end, they come out as the winners of the stories.
The thing that really got me with this book in the series is that Lucy and Evan are older, more mature and it wasn’t all angst and drama in the sense of the books I typically read, but because it was part of the Love series, it was a must read for me. I loved that it was a more mature perspective on a second chance at love for Lucy and the promise of a great love for Evan. That is not to say it was without steam or angst. There was plenty of both, but they just happened in very different ways that what we expect when we read a romance novel.
Melissa Collins has not only done a fabulous job with this book, but the entire series. This is a must read collection and this book is like the icing on the cake. I love the characters, the places, the story and most of all the love and compassion these characters share. These books are simple reminders of what things in life matter most, and mostly they are not things at all.
“Oh, I love this movie.” She settles on Forrest Gump as I grab my second slice.
“So, you already know about my history. What about you? Have you ever been married?” Forrest’s proposal to Jenny plays in the background.
“No. I mean, I’ve had a few relationships here and there, but work always got in the way. Staying single was somehow easier.”
“Same here. I mean, when Melanie was a kid, it was much easier to just focus on that part of my life.”
“Now?” I hazard a question that takes even me by surprise.
She puts her plate down on the coffee table and swallows back a large sip of water. “Now, I’m not so sure.”
Suddenly, my mind races with the possibilities of what her words mean. It’s crazy to think how just a few encounters with Lucy have made me re-evaluate my feelings. Obviously, she feels the same way. A calm and peaceful air falls on us as a small smile curls at my lips.
A comfortable silence fills the space as we watch the movie, recalling some memories when certain scenes come up.
Nothing prepares me for Lucy’s reaction when Jenny and Forrest get married and she tells him she’s sick. I try not to look at her, wanting to avoid making her feel like she’s in the spotlight or anything like that. I do notice a few stray tears streaking down her cheeks so I can only imagine what’s to come.
As we watch Forrest sitting beside Jenny’s grave, reading a letter from their son, Lucy reaches for a napkin. Clutching it to her chest, I can see her breathing rapidly. What were just a few tears earlier is now a steady stream. She doesn’t say anything, won’t even look at me, but I can’t watch her cry like this.
I shift on the small, overstuffed sofa and drape my arm around her. The top of her head fits perfectly into the crook of my shoulder. The scent of her hair takes over my senses; the sound of her softly sniffling through her tears tugs at my heart.
I alternate between squeezing her arm and tracing my fingers up over her shoulder. When she seems to have gathered her emotions, calming down a bit, my instincts take over and I act seemingly without thinking.
Or maybe I am thinking and I’m just afraid of what I’m thinking.
Gently pressing my lips to the top of her soft, brown hair feels like second nature. She tenses momentarily, and I realize I may have just overstepped my boundaries.
“Sorry about that.” I straighten in my seat and try to move my arm, but her fingers fall to my forearm. She looks up at me through long lashes with puffy, red eyes from crying.
“Don’t be.” Her voice is soft, angel-like. “It’s nice to be held.”
That piece of information prompts me to pull her even closer. “Well, I’m glad I could be of service.”
She laughs softly and then takes a deep breath before she shifts to move away from me, which just makes me pull her close once again. “Don’t,” planting another quick kiss to her head, “it’s nice to have someone to hold.”
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.
THE BOOKS IN THE LOVE SERIES
What would happen if you lost everything? If the people who were supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how would your world change?
Madeleine Becker lost everything when her parents died when she was ten years old. Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is forced to start all over again. The only way for her to move on is to build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her logic: she can’t get hurt if she doesn’t fall in love.
That theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He understands Maddy’s pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate his world. Maddy’s inner strength, snarky personality and breath taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past.
Together they find out what happens when they let love in.
If you’re lucky, you’ll fall in love – truly, madly and deeply in love. But what happens when that honest and pure love isn’t enough to erase your fears? What happens when your past rears its ugly head and threatens your future?
Maddy and Reid had that kind of love – the all-encompassing, Earth shattering, once in a lifetime kind of love. Then life happened. Old wounds that were thought to be long healed and scabbed over are ripped opened and they are forced to face the possibility that, maybe, they are not strong enough to fight their demons and embrace the light.
Together, they found out what love is, but now they will each need to heal on their own before they can ever be together again. They must face their fears and beat down their pasts in order to find their way through this crazy uphill battle called love.
They’ve let love in, but now, they need to find out how to Let Love Stay.
Perfection. We all strive for it, but what happens when the desire to be perfect consumes you? What happens when the need to bury your mistakes blinds you?
Melanie Crane has always been the perfect daughter, friend, student – she’s been perfect at everything, in fact. But when she lets her insecurities, the ones that she keeps hidden from everyone, get the best of her, she falters in her pursuit of perfection. Melanie crumples under the pressure and buries her pain. Numbed by sadness and guilt, she is determined never to let anyone find out how broken she really is.
Bryan Mahoney may appear to have everything in order. He’s charming, witty and completely swoon-worthy. In short, Bryan has life all figured out, but appearances can be deceiving. When the landscape of Bryan’s family changes in an instant, he’s left to pick up the pieces.
Not all bruises leave a mark. Now, weary and afraid, Melanie and Bryan must find a way to let love heal their broken and jaded hearts.
What comes after “they lived happily ever after?”
Maddy and Reid have seen their fair share of trials and tribulations, of love and loss. Facing down the biggest challenges of their young lives, they managed to survive and endure. With the future stretching out before them, they must learn to navigate new and unfamiliar paths.
Being new parents, starting new jobs, and continuing college is enough to overwhelm any couple. New challenges come up daily, as do small victories. Watch Maddy and Reid grow stronger together in this “one year later” tale of the everyday stuff that happens in real life.
With a solid foundation of love under their inexperienced feet – and with the help of their family and friends – Maddy and Reid learn how to let love shine, lighting the way for a beautiful future to come.