Everything We Left Behind

Everything We Left BehindEverything We Left Behind (Everything We Keep, #2) by Kerry Lonsdale
Published by Lake Union Publishing on July 4th 2017
Pages: 348
ISBN: 1477823972
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three-half-stars

Everything We Left Behind is the sequel to Everything we Keep. In Everything we Keep, we hear Aimee’s story of love and loss. How she was informed her finance was dead to then have doubts and eventually find him alive but living in a fugue state. Her finance James, does not remember her and believes himself to be Carlos. He has married, adopted his wife’s son and fathered another son with her. Although his wife is dead, he has no recollection of Aimee who is heartbroken and feels as thought she has lost him for a second time. She is left with no choice but to leave him behind with his two sons and move on with her life.

In Everything We Left Behind, James/Carlos has come out of his fugue state. He has no idea where he is or who the two children are who are speaking to him in Spanish and calling him father. He eventually learns of his brother’s deceit and the life he led as Carlos. He is also devastated to learn that his life long love, Aimee is now happily married and the Mother of a young daughter. He is obviously angry about the deceit and betrayal of various family members and is attempting to move on with his life.

This book is told in the past and in the present day. We see Carlos living with his son’s and falling in love with his deceased wife’s sister, Natalya. We see him trying to hold on to who he is in the past, while also seeing him as James in the present day. James has a lot of his plate: he has two son’s, his finance is married, various members of his family have lied to him, he has lost 6 years of his life, and feels he can trust no one except for Natalya.

Like it’s predecessor, this book is about love, loss, family, betrayal, starting over and the search for the truth. I did enjoy Everything we Keep more than this book, but it was interesting seeing things from James/Carlos’ point of view. Lonsdale kept the pace moving and the story interesting. I was hoping for more Aimee in this book, but enjoyed the back and forth between the past and present of James/Carlos life. This book is well written and kept my attention. It did not pull me in quite as much as the first in the series but I enjoyed seeing how things evolved for James.

I received a copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

Everything We Keep

Everything We KeepEverything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale
Published by Lake Union Publishing on August 1st 2016
Pages: 296
ISBN: 1503935310
Buy on Amazon
three-stars

Received from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Aimee and James were childhood sweethearts who were planning on spending a life together. They have know each other since they were children and had big plans for their future. Unfortunately things did not turn out as they planned. James turned up missing after a business trip to Mexico. His body was found after months of searching and Aimee buried him on what was to be their wedding day.

On that same day she is approached by a psychic informing her James is still alive. Is this some cruel attempt to get money? Is she right? Is she wrong? These are the questions Aimee has to ask as she prepares to move on with a life without James in it.

As months go by, she does begin to move on and begin her new business. She also makes a new friend in Ian and things seem to be picking up for her. But then paintings go missing and she is again told that James is alive.

She decides to go to Mexico and do some investigating of her own.

Hmmm…there were parts of this book I really enjoyed. I liked the beginning, I liked the end. Unlike some reviewers, I actually liked the epilogue. But somewhere in the middle things got a little muddled for me. There were parts where I thought “come on already” and the explanation of Phil/Thomas/James and their business issues seemed a little contrived. Plus the connection of Laney/Lacey/ whatever you want to call her to 3 of the characters in the book – just did not work for me personally.

Did I like the book? Yes. Did I want to keep reading to see what really happened? You betcha. I just think she had too much going on in the middle.

three-stars