Drew Sellers is drowning in broken dreams and empty beer bottles. Hockey was his world, until a bum knee reduced him from superstar to has-been. Then he learns that, thanks to a one-night-stand back in college, he’s the father of a preteen girl with major issues. Her protective aunt sees right through Drew’s BS, but “Auntie P” is no stereotypical spinster. With her slender curves, toned legs, and luscious lips, she has Drew indulging in fantasies that aren’t exactly family-friendly.
At another point in her life, Peyton Watt would have been all over a cocky alpha male who pushes all her buttons like Drew. Right now, though, she needs to focus on taking care of her niece during her sister’s health crisis, all while holding down a job and keeping her own head above water. Besides, Drew’s clearly no father of the year. He’s unemployed. He drinks too much. And he’s living in the past. But after Peyton gets a glimpse of the genuine man behind his tough-guy façade, she’s hooked—and there’s no going back.
An interesting concept in the book, with the inspirational quotes and phrases that were shared with every twist in the story. Even the name of the book is based on one of them, that you most likely have seen a million and one times in the social media - "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain". And there are plenty of these inserted into the story, enough to notice them. A cute idea, but is it original?
When it comes to the characters, I really liked both Sara and Chloe. Sara's mature and generous spirit when facing the terrible disease and death at the young age was admirable. I was sobbing when it came time to say goodbye to her. Chloe was so brave while facing SO much turbulence in a young life. Her mother was dying, she finally had a father in her life, her aunt was living with them, and she is just starting to face the world of the teens, that in itself, is a big change in a girl's life. I loved her spirit, I loved her spunk, and her open heart and mind.
I liked the male lead, Drew Sellers, as well. His life changed at one big swoop, and anyone would find it hard to cope with the adjustments he had to make. Just losing your career is a big thing, but your wife as well, especially the way that went about. Then finding out you have a twelve-year-old daughter, finding out the child's mother is dying - logical that one would be an emotional mess.
The first half of the story is heartbreaking with the preparations to the death the family will be facing. The love and bond between the family members are obvious and brought out all the feelings in me as well. It was a tear-filled feast of emotional turmoil for sure.
After Sara death, the story changed and that is where my opinion of it tanked. I was struggling with Peyton's decisions, some of her actions are so selfish, I nearly didn't finish the book because I was annoyed with her.
The ending is a predictable love story, there wasn't anything that stood out, it felt like all the emotions were spent on Sara's death, and the rest of the story was just steps taken to the HEA.
I struggled with this review because I have such a split opinion of the story. I enjoyed the first half, the second one not so much. Payton isn't my favorite character, and I could not connect with her, or understand her and her actions. Yet the story is well written, it has a natural flow, and I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy the tale as it is, just surprisingly, the second half wasn't for me.
~ Three Spoons