Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hopeful by Louise Bay @louisesbay

3.5 – 4 stars
Arc received from author in exchange for an honest review

Hopeful is a cute, lighthearted second chance at romance, feel good love story. Louise Bay presents a sweet tale of college sweethearts falling in love, yet sadly drifting apart.  The beauty of a lonely woman journeying through life hoping to cope with her choices, move forward and repair a fractured relationship with one of the most important people in her world.

Joel and Ava, best friends and college sweethearts living in London, were young and head over heals in love. Being entwined in a close circle of judgmental friends, Ava believed it was best to hide their relationship.  Never the less, their feelings were true and they shared some pretty steamy nights together.  All seem well until circumstances tore them apart. Joel moved to New York and embarked on a successful career. Never wanting to be apart from Ava, Joel begged her to follow and live happily ever after. Ava found she could not leave her home, thus their relationship came to an end. But Joel remained forever in her heart. After eight long years, Joel has returned home. And this sets a chain of events turning Ava’s life upside-down, urging her to set a path and move on.

Ava was a peculiar yet likeable character.  I felt she was a bit  too insecure, immature and preoccupied with the opinions of her friends rather than being concerned about her feelings.  But as the story progressed, Ava’s managed to sort herself out, finding her inner strength by showing everyone in her life her true feelings for Joel.  Her character blossomed late in the story, but had me cheering as she fought hard to overcome her struggles.

I adored Joel and admired his confidence, strength and determination. But, found myself wanting to know more about him, his inner thoughts, and what was going on in his life during their time apart. I felt his pain in longing for Ava. On pins and needles hoping he could break through barriers and overcome obstacles.. Joel was a sexy and charming book boyfriend and a perfect match for  befuddled Ava.

Hopeful is a delightful, fast paced love story. Told from Ava’s point of view, we see their beginning relationship grow from a friendship into infinite love. Bay gives us a glimpse from both past and present tense and the transition between the time periods was masterfully written. An enjoyable story of eternal love, passion, life long friendships and discovering inner strength. 



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