Title: This Is Love
Author: Caroline Nolan
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Rachel Miller had love, life and happiness...until she didn't.
Uncertain of how to cope and move on without him, Rachel's life comes to halt as she mourns the loss of her fiancé Ben. Then one night she discovers it doesn't have to.
By way of dreams, Rachel and Ben continue to live the life they had planned together. It's unconventional, it's not even real, but it's enough for Rachel. For the first time since Ben's death, she's happy...whole. That is until she runs into someone she barely knew from years ago and suddenly real life is just as great as her dream one.
Now Rachel doesn't know what to do. Will letting someone new in threaten what she has with Ben? Or will their love story threaten her new happiness? Is it crazy to chase after a ghost while being caught up by someone very real?
I am a wreck right now, y'all. Just a puffy eyed, twitchy, ooey gooey ball of emotions. This. Boooook! Why have you not read this book yet?! Seriously. Stop reading this review and go read this book, and then come back and thank me later.
Listen, I know the blurb sounds sad. It was scary for me, too. I like my stories fluffy and happy, and tend to shy away from depressing ugly cries. So, a story about a woman (Rachel) who loses her fiancé only to reconnect with him in her dreams—ensuring she doesn't have to let him go, even if it's not real life—was a scary leap for me to take. It was the idea of how she'd reconnect with someone in her awake life, someone who may help her heal and move on, that pushed me to pick up the book. I love stories about hope, and that's what struck me with this one.
So, I went into the book pretty sure that I knew how this was going to play out.
And then it didn’t play out at all the way I thought it would.
It was SO MUCH better.
It was light, and tender, and humorous. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming and hopeful. It struck this perfect balance between respecting that Rachel was grieving, but allowing her to heal and live. I loved Rachel. LOVED her. She was so real to me. I loved how she struggled with her emotions and loyalties, but managed to stay reasonable and mature. I loved how brave she was. I adored her friendship with Tess (and my GOD, can we talk about what a scene-stealer Tess was?! LOVE.) And I cheered as hard as anybody for her as she pulled herself out of the darkness and let herself come alive again.
And Jax? Are there even words for Jax? Has there ever been a more perfect hero? I can’t tell you how many times he made my breath catch. He’s perfectly written—strong, and sexy, patient and kind. He had just the right amount of sense of humor balancing out his intensity. He was fun, gentle, honest and amazing. I lost my heart to that man right along with Rachel.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. Sure, it reduced me to a sobby mess a couple times, but it was so beautiful—and completely worth it. Despite the crying, I would not call this a sad book, at all. Caroline Nolan wrote this with such an exquisite, gentle touch; it left me so happy, my heart completely overflowing and a giant smile on my face. If you're looking for a breathtaking, stunning story about loss, healing, hope and the capacity of the heart to love limitlessly—THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED! READ IT!
~ Review by Shelly
Caroline Nolan used to work in the fashion world before turning her attention and love to writing. She is a lover of wine, coffee and chocolate and is not afraid to have them all at the same time. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their fur baby. This Is Love is her first novel.