Friday, March 12, 2021

Book Review: All You Need is Love

By Sara Steven

When you’ve loved and lost, how do you find the strength to let love in again?

Jemma thinks she’s found the love of her life. Scott is everything she ever dreamed of and she can’t wait to begin the next stage of their life together. But just as she is heading for her happy ever after, a shock revelation shatters Jemma’s life as she knows it. Left to pick up the pieces, Jemma's friends and family rally round to help her find the courage to move on.

Sam thinks he has his future all worked out. A thriving career, lovely home and an amazing fiancée. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself alone, far from everyone he cares about. Did he do the right thing by running away and trying to rebuild the tatters of his life alone?

This is the story of Jemma and Sam. Two lost souls, desperately trying to find closure and happiness. When a chance meeting brings them together a friendship is formed, but the guards are up.

Will it finally be their turn for a happy ever after? Or will the secrets from their pasts prevent them from moving on?
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

At first, I wasn’t sure when Jemma and Sam would intersect. It seemed that both characters were secure in their relationships, which made me feel just as secure. But much like Jemma, I was as shocked as she was when everything falls apart for her, and when Sam is hit with tragedy, it felt as though the happiness they both found slipped right through and away, and I questioned how Jemma and Sam would manage to go on.

The chance meeting for them is yet another underlying plot that hits too close to home for Jemma with her family, a gradual build up I really appreciated. It would be too easy to throw Jemma and Sam together instantaneously, but it’s perfectly drawn out in such a way that not only added to the suspense, but it also added to the realism within this story. Jemma needs Sam’s help, and Sam discovers that in many ways, he needs help, too. 

And speaking of realism, and realistic expectations: Jemma and Sam are sweetly flawed and are the way I’d expect them to be, having dealt with tragedy and loss and situations that can put a lot of strain on even the best of families. The two characters felt like two individuals you might meet in real life, who have a daunting story to tell. Sam runs away when things get too complicated and emotional, and Jemma puts on a happy face, even when she feels anything but. They can commiserate on shared hardships, but as the synopsis indicates, they both have their guards up and aren’t sure if or when they’d ever be ready to go beyond a potential friendship. Trust is hard to come by.

Told from both perspectives, I appreciated getting to see the inner workings of both characters, giving me a chance to learn more about them and why they operate the way they do. It was hard not to root for them and their potential future together, and hard not to feel empathy for everything they’ve been through and are dealing with. Given the honesty and realistic expectations within All You Need Is Love, it was easy to give this read five stars!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was previously published as Bear With Me.

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Jessica Redland
is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough, she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

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Jessica Redland said...

Thank you so much for joining in on Day 2 of the blog tour and for your lovely comments. So delighted you found this a 5-star read and that the two main characters felt so realistic :-)

penney said...

Great review! Sounds good and a new Author for me