Last week, I read the most breathtakingly romantic book, and I just have to share it with you. Last year, I read Galaxies and Oceans by N.R. Walker, and in my review of it, I wrote: “Galaxies and Oceans is maybe the most romantic book I ever read. Full stop.”
But maybe Galaxies and Oceans has been overtaken by this book. Or at least, it now has another book sharing first place as the most romantic book I’ve ever read.
Which book am I rambling about?
Vannguard Shaw has spent the last ten years serving a life sentence and adjusting to the ache of solitude. He accepts his fate, a sacrifice for the only man he ever loved and the one person who saw beyond his rough edges.
Drayton grew up with a trust fund and pre-planned future, but an unexpected encounter one night forces him to abandon everything and start from scratch. He is now a self-made man and developer of one of the most sought after electric exotic automobiles in the world with a fortune greater than that of his birthright. Yet, he’d surrender it all—again—for the only man who’s still ever-present in his heart.
After a decade and entirely too much distance between them, Vann is suddenly released back into a world that has been nothing but cruel. Drayton never lost hope they would once again reunite and pick up where they left off, but Vann’s stubborn nature and repeated encounters with a heartbreaking world prove to be a challenge.
Vann needs to tap into his fighting spirit’s reservoir of strength and hope life doesn’t punish him for taking a chance. Only then will he realize his own value and feel worthy enough to finally have Drayton’s heart. And their chance at forever.
A Worthy Man is book five in The Men of Halfway House series by Jaime Reese, and I’ve read books 1-3 (pictured above) before. All three books were five-star reads for me, but when the fourth book was released, the blurb didn’t speak to me, and neither did the reviews. The fifth book, on the other hand, did speak to me, so I bought it when it was released back in 2017. But as you all know by now, I’m a short story lover, and A Worthy Man is 425 pages long. Yes. 425!! So I put off reading it because I wasn’t in a mood for such a long story…and I forgot about it.
Until last week, when I scrolled my Kindle app on my e-reader and found it. And lately I have been more in the mood for lengthy books, so I thought “Why the hell not?”
And wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow. 😍
I was hooked from the first page, and Dray and Vann’s story never let me go. It’s a pretty slow story, focused on their relationship, and those are the kinds of stories I love the most. Yes, there are secondary plots, but they never steal focus from the romance. Dray and Vann’s emotions leapt off the page and settled in my heart and my stomach…and in my tear ducts, as evidenced by my tweets below 😀
And it did kill me, in the best possible way. I read it slowly because I didn’t want it to end. I re-read passages that were swoonworthy, and highlighted almost the entire chapter 9 because it was so beautiful and emotional. When I finished it, I lay slain on my couch with my e-reader pressed to my heart and stars (or maybe hearts?) in my eyes.
How will anything ever measure up to the romance level of this book?
If you’re in the mood for action or angsty or gritty or a book with the classic romance plot points where something bad happens at around 75% that makes you doubt there will ever be a HEA, this is definitely not the book for you. But if you, like me, love to read about an underdog who’s had to fight his entire life and finally gets something good in his life, if you love second chances and true love, if you love to read about people who really love each other, who’d do anything for each other, who are always there for each other, who never waiver in their feelings, this is the book for you.
Yes, it’s long. But it’s worth it. And it can be read as a standalone even though it’s part 5 in a series.
I’d give this book ten stars if Goodreads allowed me.