Why did I want to read this book?
This book is like an alternative version of He Belongs With Me by the same author, in which we get the story from Leo Maddox’s POV. Leo Maddox completely charmed me in that book so I knew I had to read this one as well and have the chance to get inside his head.
What worked for me?
It WAS great being inside Leo Maddox’s head. He charmed my wits out of me in He Belongs With Me but I fell in love with him even more in this book. There’s just something completely endearing about a man who has struggled with his secret and seemingly unrequited love who finally decides to go after the one person who will make him the happiest he’ll ever be.
I love how we get to see his extreme vulnerability when it comes to Clara and the magnitude of the feelings he has for her. How adorable that he calls her ‘killer’? Okay, that sounded way better in my head and if you read the whole story, you know that his sort of pet name/nickname for Clara is the opposite of creepy since he meant it like Clara is the one person who always brings him to his knees.
To be honest, Clara is my favorite twin (sorry, Maggie) and I was totally shipping her and Leo. These two have that enemies to lovers type of story down to an art made all the more poignant by their shared history and what they have meant to each other since they were kids that have made such an impact on their lives. They’re different people but they are similar in many ways too: like the facade they’re always putting up in front of people, their fear of being abandoned or rejected, doubting themselves at times, but most of all having feelings far stronger than they would ever know for each other. It was such a fulfilling read to watch them come together and be brave and throw that proverbial dice in the air and bet everything they have for their happiness.
What did not work for me?
Some of my misgivings about He Belongs With Me were not here since this is purely from Leo’s POV so minus all the Maggie drama (sorry again, Maggie), everything was just great. There was that little bit in the end where I felt more explanations would have been warranted so that I would have understood a character’s actions better but other than that as I’ve said, everything was just great.
My over-all take on it?
To be honest, I love this version a lot more than I did He Belongs With Me. I can’t get away from the comparison. But don’t get me wrong. That book was a great read as well. Color me biased. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m completely biased. But can you blame me? It’s effing Leo Maddox’s voice telling the story, of how he’s forever been in love with this girl and now he’s pulling all the stops to make a future with her happen. If that doesn’t pull you in, I don’t know what else can.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
About the Author:
Sarah Darlington lives in Virginia with her husband and amazing two-year-old son. She’s a former flight attendant, navy brat, constant day-dreamer, wannabe photographer, and an avid scrapbooker. She loves to travel and is working on visiting all 50 states.
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Have you read any of Sarah Darlington’s books? Do you think you’d want to know more about Leo Maddox with that blurb and review above?