Published by Forever on March 17, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Second Chance
Source: Netgalley, Forever
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Savannah Peachwood, Teddy Hamilton
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
Teagan Berkley is trying her best. A single mom raising a precocious teen, she may have given up on her dreams, but she's accepted her life in her small beachside hometown. Now the one person who abandoned her when she needed him the most has returned, bringing back memories of what might have been.
Derek Hartz arrives in town with a teenage daughter - and he's full of guilt over his failed marriage and the way he ended his friendship with Teagan. He's determined to set things right with her, but first he needs to gain her trust. Something he's not convinced he deserves.
As Teagan and Derek open up to each other-and confess their deepest secrets-it's impossible for them to deny what's always been between them. But just when their happily ever after is within reach, their complicated history surfaces again and threatens to keep them apart. Forever.
ALL I ASK
by Corinne Michaels
I’ve been wanting to read Corrine Michaels’s books forever so a standalone like this one seemed a good point to start. I think I’m now where a lot of readers end up when they read like it’s a profession – burned out and a little over the cliches and drama in some stories. So a book needs to be extra special to incite a lot of enthusiasm. Unfortunately All I Ask wasn’t that.
Beware: There be spoilers.
For one I had a couple of WTF moments, like how the hero, Derek, told the heroine Teagan stone cold that they shouldn’t talk anymore after being best friends for years. That after telling her she would never be without him in her life. He told her while she was close to her date giving birth to her daughter. And then the way he told her how he had always been in love with her came across like an accusation. This hero came across as weak for 75% of the story. He also was like a fish out of water dealing with his daughter, who was bullying Teagan’s daughter. He didn’t seem to make an effort to build a relationship with her although it was obvious that she was distraught over her mom’s death and lashing out.
Was Derek sorry about the way he treated Teagan? Yes, but I couldn’t find it in me to forgive him. He brought it on them and made Teagan suffer for it while he lived a fairly good life. I also thought it weird that he kept insisting how he loved his wife even though he also was in love with Teagan. Yet he walked away from her without a look back. He was a walking contradiction and his selfishness was a turnoff for me.
Then there was Teagan. Even after finishing this book I have no idea why she stayed with her boyfriend although she knew she was in love with her best friend. It was some really strange explanation about “not having an excuse as to why she can’t be with Derek.”
He’s the man I know one day I’ll be with, but right now, I can’t until I get my life straight. I’ll be ready to admit the truth, just…I need more time.
And if that wasn’t enough, the moment everything fell into place with the man she’d been in love with for half of her life she actually thinks about walking away from it…because money and getting out of town was way more important, apparently.
In parts this story was a little saccharine sweet, but it was the weak characters that threw me off. While this wasn’t the big winner I expected I still want to give Corinne Michaels another try – I know a lot of my book buddies love her. As always, please don’t take my words for gospel, there are many people who loved this story and it may be just a case of “it’s me, not the book.”