Karina Halle

✬✬✬ 3.5 STARS ✬✬✬

“It’s okay to need me. I need you. I need you more than I can possibly tell you, Jackie. There’s no shame in it. It’s part of loving someone. You need their heart to help complete yours.”

I am a huge fan of this author. Lachlan from “The Play” is still my favorite hero by her and I don’t think I have rated any of her books below 4 stars. So let’s see how this one came to be a 3.5.

When will learns from his wife of more than a decade that she is pregnant with another man’s child the rage and hurt are almost overwhelming. Two years later he is done dealing with his ex-wife and he moves back to his native home in Vancouver, Canada. Will’s friend and business partner hires an assistant for him which also happens to be Ted’s estranged daughter who he last met when she was a rebellious teenager. He didn’t count on a sexy bombshell to grace his office.

Jackie just relocated with her son from the north of Canada. She ran away from home with her first love and had his child. Now, after seven years, she tries to mend the relationship with her parents. Without any financial resources to call her own she moves back into their house and starts working for her father. Jackie remembers Will, her father’s best friend, but the Will she meets at the office is so attractive that her thoughts start to stray into realms they have no business to go to. Will is sixteen years older after all AND her boss. And her father? He would blow a gasket.

“You’re magic, Will McAlister.” 

Will is a wonderful hero. He is gallant and friendly and so so bossy in the bedroom. He is 100% in when he decides to pursue his budding feelings for Jackie. Will is also amazing with Jackie’s son and treats him like a little person instead of a child which I really appreciated. Ted is a bit of a bulldozer and it was great to see that Will stood his ground when Ted tried to steamroll him. There is no question that he loves Jackie and that she is “it” for him, even with the heartbreak he experienced with his ex-wife he doesn’t shy away from his feelings.

”Tell me I have your heart. I won’t let it go, not for any moment, not for any reason. Tell me I have your heart and I’ll keep it next to my own.” 

Jackie brought the rating down for me. Will was very open about his feelings and it took the heroine until about 95% to actually realize that she loved him too. It was like she had an epiphany and all of a sudden everything else fell away. The reasons why she was on the fence about them were in my humble opinion invalid. Everything else factored in – to mend her relationship with her parents, her not wanting to need somebody else…the only reason I could have accepted was her son…while this was also a factor it felt only grazed in the story.

When it comes down to it “Before I Ever Met You” wasn’t Karina Halle’s strongest book. It was less angsty than what I’m used to which is not bad per se. I just felt the execution wasn’t what I’m expecting from this author. There were some  exceptionally great lines – but that’s par for the course for Karina Halle. However, there are lots of great reviews about this story so I do think that you need to take mine with a grain of salt. It might be a case of “It’s me, not you.”

“Before I Ever Met You” is as a standalone.

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