‘His to Cherish’ was my first book in this series and also my first book by this author and let me tell you – it definitely won’t be my last because this woman can really write, not only well developed stories, but also endearing, relatable characters. Stacey Lynn delivered an emotional tale that really held me at the edge of my seat. Equally heartbreaking and heartwarming, this third installment in the series moved me to tears and held my attention from start to finish. Chelsea and Aidan’s story is a story about grief and loss, finding love and learning to live again, it’s a story that will make you feel so much and experience everything these characters experience, it’s a story that will show you how unpredictable and unfair live is, but also a story that will show you that time and love have the power to heal.
Chelsea and Aidan met each other two years ago when Chelsea was working as a school librarian and Aidan was registering his son, Derrick for sixth grade. They’re not really friends, more acquaintances, having a couple of friends in common, but they have been attracted to each other since then, neither of them try for something more for different reasons, ignoring their strong feelings. Their lives change irrevocably when tragedy strikes. Aidan feels that he lost everything, Chelsea being the only one who seems to understand him, to understand his grief. He feels a deep connection with this woman who apparently knows what loss is and what starts as a tentative friendship slowly blossom into more. But in order to have something beautiful and meaningful together, Aidan must accept his new reality.
‘His to Cherish’ was really emotional at times, truly wonderfully written and like I mentioned above, it also brought me to tears one time or two. Needless to say, Chelsea and Aidan’s story was hard to read at times, haunting, but also beautiful, heart-warming and full of hope. Their story will make you cry, but it also will make you smile.
The two main characters were fantastically portrayed, were relatable and every single one of their emotions felt real to me. They felt real, their grief felt real, but also their connection and love for each other as the story unfolded. Aidan was a character I felt deeply about. My heart broke for this man, who in one single moment lost everything he loved and cared about. I felt his pain, his despair, his fears, but also his love for his son. He was a great hero (even if there were times he acted like a douche), a genuinely good person, a sweet, thoughtful, charming man who I connected with from the very beginning.
Chelsea was such an endearing heroine. What I loved the most about her was how compassionate she was. Compassion is a quality I really admire on characters I’m reading about and Chelsea was the epitome of that. She was so sweet, caring and loving and the way she treated Aidan when his grief became too much warmed my heart. She was everything he needed…in every way and I loved her for that.
Chelsea and Aidan’s relationship was complicated at times, they having some ups and downs as the story unfolded, but I have to say that I really liked them together. They were good for each other in every way and their connection felt more and more palpable with each and every chapter. I truly felt how much both of them wanted their relationship to work, the respect and care they had for each other and also their love and devotion. There were many sweet, hopeful moments that warmed my heart, but I have to say the ending didn’t really satisfy me. I really wanted something more, the ending to be a little…different I guess and everything to feel like a real HEA.
That being said, this third installment in Stacey Lynn’s ‘Fireside’ series was really great, emotional with two endearing characters that will make you feel and a lovely romance that will bring a smile on your face.
“Talk to me.”
I opened my mouth to speak before snapping it closed. Anything I had to say would make me seem like an overemotional, crazy drunk woman. I wasn’t prepared for that kind of humiliation. Thankfully I hadn’t drunk enough to make my filter disappear.
“I’m just tired,”I said to satisfy him. By his scowl, he didn’t believe me.
His tongue slid along his bottom lip, and I inhaled a gasp of air. I needed it. Perhaps the alcohol caused my lungs to stop working correctly.
His eyes darted back and forth between mine. I frowned, wondering what he was looking for and what he saw.
Did he see the insecure girl who had to continually say goodbye to everyone she loved but tried like hell to hide the emptiness that brought?
“You’re always there for me.”
My nose twitched. “It’s not a problem.”
He nodded slowly, just once. I watched something happen in his eyes and then looked down as he fidgeted on his feet, shifting his weight. He seemed nervous, which made no sense.
His hand on my chin moved slowly to the back of my neck, cupping me and bringing me closer to him. He was a breath away from me, his face so close to mine, when he roughly whispered, “But I haven’t thanked you.”
“It’s not necessary—”
His lips hit mine. My eyes flew open and I gasped, opening my mouth. Instantly, his tongue pressed in, circling my tongue and tasting me. Oh . . . my . . . gosh. It was like heaven and hell wrapped up in the prettiest package I could ever receive. Better than a blue box with a silver ribbon from Tiffany.
He tasted better than I thought he would—clean and crisp—and I leaned in, wanting more.
No, I didn’t lean in. I melted.
My tongue tangled with his and a moan escaped my throat.
It was that sound that had both of us snapping back to reality.
He pulled away and my mouth was still open, my brain working too slowly to process what just happened, how absolutely incredible it felt . . . and the look of regret all over his face.
“Shit.”Aidan’s fingers dropped from my neck and I stood on my front porch completely dumbfounded as both of his hands flew to his neck, clasping at the back. He looked up at the sky and gritted out, “Fuck.”
“Aidan,”I said, reaching out for him. He dodged my touch and spun on his heels.
“I gotta go.”
About the Author
Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer.
She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library.