Forever Yours by Annie Charme
Publication date: October 28, 2021
What happens when your first love – the one who was everything to you, the one you planned your future around, the one who walked away and shattered your heart – walks back into your life 20 years later?
Steph is faced with this dilemma on the first day of her new job, when she finds her old flame Cal sitting at the desk across from hers. Things are different for Steph now. She’s no longer the broken-hearted college girl she was when Cal left her. She’s now happily married, the mother of two young children, and enjoying her career. But is that spark between Cal and Steph really gone, truly extinguished by all of the tears Steph shed after Cal left? Or is the flame still there, just lying dormant until they meet each other again?
Warnings: this book involves a LOT of cheating, and it is not a standalone.
With that out of the way, I will let you in on a little secret: I absolutely HATED these characters for the first part of the book. Cal was cocky and pushy and overly-interested in getting Steph to break her marriage vows. Steph herself was a hot mess, completely wishy-washy and constantly changing her mind about what she wanted. I seriously wanted to slap her on numerous occasions.
The back half of this book was so damn good, as we got to dig deeper into our main characters and uncover all of the real, raw, jagged emotions underneath the surface-level attraction, and as they began to rebuild the relationship that they thought was lost forever. And although I know this isn’t the end of Steph and Cal’s story, I really did like the way this book ended. It’s rare to find a part one that finishes so cleanly and elegantly.
Also, props to the author for giving us a proper middle-aged fat lady as our lead. I am SO. DAMN. TIRED. of the so-called “plus-sized” romance novel heroine really just being a gorgeous 20-year old who wears a size 14.
Additional CW: pregnancy loss, fat shaming
Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.