Cover Design: Sarah Hansen @ Okay Creations
“I’ve been under you, your spell, or whatever it’s called, since freshman year. And honestly, I’m glad I have, but moving forward, I’d love the chance to put you under mine, to show you what kind of man I am.”
Ben Miller was smitten with Elle James the moment he set eyes on her back when he was the new kid at her high school. They became quick friends and have been through all manner of things together over the years, only furthering Ben’s love for Elle. They are the best of friends but it seems like Ben’s love is unrequited, he’s willing to accept that, though, if it means keeping Elle in his life. But lately, Elle hasn’t been acting like the woman he fell in love with. Struggling with almost losing her twin sister, Elle has lost her way. Her recklessness leads to actions that have the potential to change her relationship with Ben forever, and not necessarily in a good way. As their paths diverge with Ben following his dreams and Elle facing the consequences of her actions, will the connection they share be enough to bring them back together? And will Elle finally discover what’s been right in front of her all these years?
While this book could probably standalone, I think it’ll be best enjoyed if you’ve read the other Beaumont series books, at the very least you’ll probably want to read Holding Onto Forever, the first book in the Beaumont – Next Generation series since the events of that book really motivates a lot of what happens in this one. I’ll admit, I was not a big fan of Elle in this book. At the start, I felt she was terribly selfish and treated Ben poorly, I wasn’t sure why he put up with it. I get that she was dealing with what happened to her sister, but I had to wonder how much of her behavior was actually her true personality and how much was caused by what happened to Peyton. She does show some growth over the course of the book, but by the end, I was still only lukewarm on her. I did like Ben, although I felt he was a little too weak when it came to Elle. It was clear that he was in love with Elle, but I had a hard time understanding why, since pretty much everything we see of them together is her walking all over him. There were a few flashbacks where we could see how things had been different once upon a time, perhaps if we were shown a few more of those moments I would have understood better what made him fall for her. His love for Elle aside, I thought Ben was a really good guy and I was glad that he at least attempted to focus on himself and his dreams at one point. There was plenty of drama to be had throughout this book and a lot of strife due to miscommunication and misunderstandings but all’s well that ends well, right? Fans of the series will likely enjoy seeing another member of the younger generation of the Beaumont gang find happiness and it’s always good to visit with the rest of the crew. We get to see more of Peyton and Noah, which was really sweet and of course, we get to see Katelyn, Harrison and even Jimmy and Jenna. It seems like Quinn is up next? I’m intrigued to see what his story is all about!