Sunday, October 27, 2013

Love Realized by Melanie Codina

Title:  Love Realized 
Author: Melanie Codina
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Real Love #1
Release Date: April 2013
Main Characters: Jake and Gillian
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
For Jake, it's always been Gillian

It's been her since that day she unknowingly stole a piece of his heart.....when he watched her fall for one of his best friends. Resolved to the fate that she couldn't be his, he locked up the deeper emotions he felt for her and loved her as a friend. As friends, they went through it all together. Marriages, births, divorces and even death. But when a shameful secret Gillan has kept from her friends is revealed, Jake realizes that she needs him more than ever. He knew what it was like to go through heartbreak and he wasn't about to stand back and watch her endure it alone. He also knew she would turn to him for support. What he wasn't prepared for was the return of the emotions he had long ago locked away. Could he control these emotions again and did he even want to? Could he make her realize his love for her was real, or would she slip through his fingers again?

My Review:
I'm not a big fan of stories that begin with cheating and a failed marriage, so I wasn't so sure about this book when I started it...because it starts with Gillian married and finding out her husband, Logan, has been cheating on her...again. Yep, there's that icky feeling in my stomach, but I kept reading and I'm so glad I did.

This book is more than a romantic story. It's a story about a group of friends and family that are completely intertwined:
* is Sean and his wife Morgan
*Jake-- to Jason who's Logan (Gillian's soon-to-be ex) business partner
*Logan-- soon to be Gillian's ex-husband who's brother to Allie (Gillian's best friend)
Their lives are all intertwined and completely woven together, so when Logan & Gillian's marriage falls apart, it affects the whole group. BUT what I loved about this story was that Gillian did NOT let it adversely affect the whole group. Logan was a jerk, but he was her husband for 18 years and they have three kids together along with all those ties. She doesn't let him get excluded from the group just because they are over. I loved that aspect of the story. She's so emotionally mature. There's just never any question about it for her. Yes, he hurt her, but that doesn't mean he's a bad guy....for her friends or her kids. I really admire the way she handled everything in this book. 

Then there's Jake. LOVED him!! He saw Gillian first and made the mistake of pointing her out to his big brother and their friend when he was 17 years old. He never had a chance because Logan moved in on her before he got to. He's stood back in the friend zone ever since, but when Logan cheats on her, he's not willing to stand by any longer. 

There were so many great things about this book. I loved the story and the character dynamics. I loved the kids and how they all played a part in it all. I even really loved what both Gillian and Jake do for a living. She's a nurse, he's a paramedic. Everything was so good. There was even a touch of suspense at the end that was really masterfully done. I totally knew who it was, but it still ratcheted the story up another notch to make it even better. I'm so glad I picked this one up!

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