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A standalone contemporary romance novel about love, hate, cruelty and forgiveness.
Her name is Lana. She wasn’t dealt the easiest cards in life. She wasn’t dealt the hardest. She has an illness, but she doesn’t let it rule her. The first time she laid eyes on her best friend’s twin brother she fell in love at first sight. It didn’t last very long. He was a hateful boy who made her miserable. The happiest day of her life was when he moved away to London six years ago.
His name is Robert. He breaks the ones who love him. He’s always liked to play games with Lana, see how far he could push her. He once thrived on her pain, but no more. Now she’s coming to London to live with his sister for the summer and this time he plans on being her friend instead of her tormentor. But Lana is scarred by his past bullying. She doesn’t trust him, nor does she have any reason to.
When the two find themselves living under the same roof, they call a truce. This summer will change both of their lives, as they put their history aside and learn one another from scratch.
When fear takes over, we use cruelty as a mask. Robert and Lana’s story will see their masks slip away as the love they felt on the inside shows its true face.
**Not suitable for younger readers. Contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.**
When it seems like Robert is going to behave himself, the tension in the room settles. He sips silently on his drink, occasionally shooting daggers at Kara or rolling his eyes whenever Gary says something.
After a while he leans in close to me so that his elbow brushes against my arm. “Are you on Facebook, Lana?” he asks, his voice low.
I turn to see him with his iPhone in his hand.
“Um, yeah, I am. Why?”
“I’m going to add you. What do you go by on there, Lana Sweeney or something else?”
“It’s Lana S. But there’s no need to add me. I’m hardly ever online.”
He taps my screen name into his phone and smirks. “That doesn’t matter. I just want to look through your pictures.”
I stare at him. “You want to look through my pictures?”
His smirk turns into a grin. “Yeah. Ah, there you are. Oh, look at your profile picture. It’s very…pure. I like it.”
I glance over his shoulder at my photo. My mum took it about a year ago on the beach. I’m looking into the distance, and my hair is blowing away from my face. The light of the sun makes my blue eyes stand out. It’s actually one of Sasha’s favourites; that’s why I picked it.
“Right, I’ve added you,” says Robert. “The next time you’re online you need to accept the friendship.”
“I will if you’ll tell me why you want to look at my pictures.”
He shoves his phone back in his pocket and stares at me. “You’ve got an…addictive sort of face. I hope you have lots of photos up because I plan on looking at you from all different angles.” On the surface his words are harmless, and I could be wrong, but the way he says them sounds kind of sexual.
“That’s really weird, Rob. In fact, I don’t like the idea of you looking at my photos at all. I’m not accepting that friend request.”
“Oh, come on, Lana, don’t be a spoilsport.”
“I’m not accepting it, Robert. Now leave it alone.”
We’re interrupted when Kara asks from across the table, “What are you two whispering about?”
“None of your fucking business, Boob Job,” Robert answers casually, knocking back the last of his scotch and slamming the glass down onto the table. I think he might be a bit drunk already.
This was my first read by this author and will definitely not be my last. I truly enjoyed this book by L.H. Cosway and highly recommend it to anyone looking to read about overcoming hate and cruelty and finding forgiveness and second chances in love.
Lana Sweeny has known Sasha and Robert Phillips since she was 12 years old when they moved next door to her following their parents’ divorce. Lana and Sasha immediately became best friends while Robert picked on her, bullied her and made her life a living hell growing up.
Now at 22 years old, Lana is going to stay with Sasha for the summer in London before she starts her PhD in Ancient Greek Mythology and she is looking forward to hanging out with her best friend yet scared to see the man that she hasn’t seen in 6 years that made her life miserable. Lana is sweet and innocent in all ways. She is still a virgin and very shy when it comes to men. It could be because her mother is a cop and has always made her afraid of men but my hope is that she can finally come out of her shell and enjoy living life and meeting new people. Lana does suffer from Type I diabetes and is very careful with her sickness and at times almost too much so that it hinders her from really living.
The first time that Robert encounters Lana, I am scared of what he will say to her and how she will react. And though he calls her by the nickname he gave her growing up (Tampon) because of her red hair, I can immediately see how he sees her in a different light as his interactions with her take on a more flirty and easy going tone. I love that this book does have brief interludes of Robert’s POV as I love hearing his thoughts and what he really thinks about Lana. He is protective and caring and what we originally see as bullying and cruelty is explained. Though I don’t agree with how Robert initially treated Lana when she was younger, I see his interactions with her as being a result of his childhood and coming from a family of divorce. Again, I don’t agree with how he thrived on hurting her but I can see how this boy was broken and didn’t know how to show caring and love because he didn’t know how to handle it. He was lost and confused and didn’t have the greatest role model in his father. Often times, I do feel that it’s hard for some people to express emotions or deal with feelings inside of them and I do feel that Robert fit into this category.
As the story continues and we see the relationship between Robert and Lana grow, I have tears in my eyes for lost time as we, the readers finally see the truth. And when Lana tries to push Robert away because of the unhealthiness of being together, will this couple EVER be able to find love and happiness together? Will Robert ever be able to prove to her that he could be good for her and exactly what she needs? Will Lana be able to forgive Robert’s cruelty and be able to move forward from those painful memories?
You will have to read this book to find out!
This was not your average romance story. It was different, dark at times but always all-consuming for me to experience. I went through a wide range of emotions while reading this book – I was angry at Robert for being such an ass, I laughed at his witty bantering and I cried and smiled. The ending for me spoke volumes to how they felt for each other – it melted my heart to see such a connection between them and it made me happy to see how much they have both grown as characters. It’s hard to show vulnerability to another but I felt that these characters were really able to open themselves up to one another and to fight for each other. I loved that they were able to take a chance on each other and to really give it a shot.
This was a full circle story for me and at the end it made me feel complete, at peace and totally in love with this couple. I wish that there was a little epilogue at the end as I would have loved to see them in the future (hint hint!)
Great job! I look forward to reading more from this author!
Some of my favorite Quotes:
“I’m so into you as a person, Lana, I might as well be living under your skin.”
“You’ve never been ugly. Don’t tell me you believed that crap? You are and always have been the prettiest creature I know.”
About the Author
L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.
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