Title: His to Cherish
Author: Stacey Lynn
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Date of publication: November 15th, 2016
Number of pages: 292
POV: Alternating 1st person
His to Love – Book 1
His to Protect – Book 2
His to Cherish – Book 3
His to Seduce – Book 4
Can it be read out-of-order from the series: Yes. The other characters from the other books do make appearances in this book but the focus stays only on the main characters.
Chelsea Dwyer arrives home from her job at the middle-school library in Latham Hills, Michigan, expecting another quiet evening—until she hears the screams for help through her living room window. As the first witness to a terrible accident involving two local students, Chelsea doesn’t anticipate how her own life will be irrevocably changed by the father of one of the boys. In the wake of tragedy, she’s the only one who seems to understand his grief. Chelsea’s a survivor, too—and she knows that there are brighter days ahead.
As a single father, Aidan Deveraux worked his entire life to provide a stable home for his son, Derrick. Without him, Aidan feels the deepest despair imaginable. The one thing that keeps him going is his connection with the woman who tried to save his son. Hard as he tries, Aidan just can’t stay away. Chelsea’s warm embrace is the comforting solace he desperately craves—and it doesn’t hurt that Aidan had noticed the beautiful librarian and wanted to ask her out for years. Now that she’s in his life, he doesn’t ever want to let go.
What a sad book.
When I started reading it, I wasn’t expecting how much this book would hit me in the feels. I mean, I was ugly crying for most of the book. Maybe because I have a child that is a few years younger than Derrick was when he died but I was really affected by Aidan’s raw grief in this book. And oh boy, was it raw and it made me cry.
Aidan was a single dad who raised Derrick by himself after Derrick’s mother jetted when he was 2. Everything that Aidan did was for Derrick and when Derrick died, Aidan was lost and almost consumed by his grief. He would sit in his backyard and drink himself into a stupor. He was also trying to avoid woman he called “vultures”. They are Derrick’s friends’ single mothers who would come over and offer to “comfort” him. He didn’t want that. What he wanted was Chelsea but he was too consumed by grief to even begin to make a move.
Chelsea’s story was equally sad. Her husband divorced her because she couldn’t have children. Which is sad enough but she ran into her husband and his new wife, who was pregnant. Talk about a burn. She has, for the most part, has come to term with that she was “half a woman”….as her ex had told her. To say I greatly disliked her ex is an understatement.
Chelsea was also there for Derrick’s skateboarding accident. She stayed with him, cradling his head on her stomach. She stayed in the hospital while he was undergoing surgery and she was there when Aidan, who had just heard about the accident, was told that Derrick had died on the operating table. She was there for Aidan the day of the funeral and for those awful weeks afterward. Forget that she was very attracted to him, he didn’t need that type of attention. What he needed was a friend and that is what she gave him.
The side story of Derrick’s best friend was heart-wrenching. When I thought this book could get any sadder, the author threw in Shane’s side of the story and the guilt he was carrying. Like I said….this book is a waterworks factory.
When the relationship between Aidan and Chelsea turned physical, the sex scenes were hot, hot, hot. But what made it even hotter for me was that they were friends for months before they even had sex and when they did, the sex meant something to them both.
This book was told mainly from Chelsea’s point of view with Aidan’s showing up every so often. Which I liked and it worked for this book.
The end of the book was definitely not what I expected and I loved it. What Aidan said at the very last line made my heart melt and again, waterworks.
How many stars will I give His to Cherish: 5
Why: This is not an easy book to read. Not at all and I am sure it wasn’t easy to write. The author did a great job capturing a parent’s raw grief over losing a child to a preventable accident and she did a great job showing while it might get better, the pain never goes away. The romance between Chelsea and Aidan was also very realistic and I loved how it started off as friends, moved to lovers and then, after Aidan’s screw up, to boyfriend/girlfriend. I liked that the sex was secondary and not at the forefront of this story (and don’t get me wrong, it was very hot when they did end up bumping uglies). The secondary storylines, while hard to read, were wrapped up in such a way that you couldn’t help but wonder what is going to happen to Mandy and Shane.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Explicit sex (of course), language, some mild violence. And also some pretty intense scenes of grief.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**