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Delicate by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gosh! What a beautiful romance! Sports romance with the most gorgeous MCs. Valentina González was a promising tennis playe...

In the Black by Luci Dreamer

https://bestlesficawards.blogspot.com/
⭐⭐⭐☆

Michelle Mitchell (Mitch) and Lilly Tan were high school sweethearts living and idyll life in the small town of Bend City. Till Lilly chose to go away to study and in response Mitch cut her off completely. Ten years thence, Mitch is a firefighter. She loves her job and is kickass at it but hasn't spent a single day without thinking of Lilly who seems to have created a whole new life in Atlanta. 

When Lilly's beloved aunt, May, falls ill, Lilly is back in town. May owns a popular bar which she wills to Lilly. May's health deteriorates rapidly and Lilly's visit extends to become a longer stay. May and Mitch also have a close relationship so Lilly and Mitch meet and interact much more than expected or planned and find that their past connection never quite went away.

Initially, we were completely Team Mitch. We totally felt her, especially about the not-a-day-without-thinking-of-Lilly decade. We are never great fans of the plot device were a third party is treated poorly by one of the MCs as she finds her way back to love and that was exactly what Lilly was doing, so our empathy and liking for her was very low. But as the story progressed the understanding and liking flipped. 

Both Lilly and Mitch made missteps but on the whole, we felt Lilly's share of blame in their relationship's demise was less than Mitch's. Closing off communication -- neither talking, nor listening; not being physically present; refusing to read written communication in any form -- this is certain killing off of a relationship. This feeling got stronger because in the second half of the book, Mitch became more self-pitying about what had happened in the past and refused to move on from there. We have low to no patience with people who reject or delay love, so we found Mitch un-understandable, exasperating and downright irritating. We still didn't like Lilly's treatment of her girlfriend in Atlanta, but she was faultless with Mitch. 

We found the fire action in the climax rather long drawn out and admit that we skipped a lot of it. To us it was too long a detour from the main story about the relationship.

Despite our issues with both the leading ladies at different points in the book, this is definitely a good second chances romance -- so go for it.
⭐⭐⭐☆

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