Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
You've been warned
Read at your own risk
And now I understand.
"Just keep swimming".
Sounds simple doesn't it? But nothing in life is simple. Especially when you grow up in a violent household. But Lily finds a piece of quiet balance in the beautiful homeless boy she befriends. Her first love, her protector, her sanity in a world that is hidden from the eyes of everyone. And then the simplicity of first love is destroyed and life goes on. Lily always wonders what happened to Altas, Where did he go? Does he have a good life? But she must follow her own life now and make her own way in the world.
On the night of her father's funeral Lily meets Ryle. A funny, gorgeous, brilliant man who seems to be having a tough night also. He's funny, magnetic, and completely committed to his "one night stand" rule. So Lily tells him no, she won't be another of his "nights". But as fate would have it, Lily befriends Ryle's sister and so their two lives keep crossing paths. Ryle can't forget or seem to move on from Lily and gives up on his one "rule". A love story in the making? Perhaps, but fate isn't that kind. Longtime secrets show up at times where Lily is seeing her father in Ryle. So where do they go from here?
There are so many things I identify with in this story. I wish someone had told me to just keep swimming. I grew up in an emotionally abusive single parent house. So It has been a difficult path for my brother and I, but we did it, we broke the cycle. It ended with us making the choice to not be like our parents. So reading this story connected with me in a very emotional way. And even though it was Lily and Ryle's story, it was also Atlas'. He was my Hero in this story, and as I kept reading, I kept hoping for his HEA. So many revelations and "naked truths" (you'll understand the reference when you read the book). I appreciated reading each of their stories, each of the lives play a different part in the "whole" that makes it up. The journals, the "swimming" and riding the "waves" references. They all made sense to me. I almost let the "waves" take me under many times in my life, but somehow I did manage to keep swimming. I haven't made it to shore yet, but I can see the shore finally.
I almost read this in one day, but had to finish the last chapter and epilogue this morning when I was a little more awake and clear headed. I HAD to know how it all played out. And that's when the tears started, I couldn't stop the emotional flood at the end. It isn't a total HEA for everyone, but it is the HEA for my favorite homeless boy who carved an open heart for the true love of his life.
I don't know how this compares to CoHo's other books, but I appreciated the good with the bad. The truth with the love. The ugly and the beautiful. It all played out captivatingly. And I will be a dedicated fan from now on. Hope I didn't spoil to much of the story for you, there is a lot of things to discover in the lives of Lily, Ryle, and Atlas.