Love Like This by Melissa Brayden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was extremely excited to read this one. Hadley is my favorite character in the Seven Shores series. She stays very true to her character throughout the story, and even the conflict and resolution in the later part of the book is exactly how I would expect the character to handle it.
One of the things I like about this book is that the idea of love and sex is handled in a very “adult” way. (This applies to all the books in the series, even if I haven’t reviewed them.) Brayden did a fantastic job of showing that a relationship doesn’t have to follow the basic design of Meet, Flirt, Fall in love, Sex. She writes an engaging story that feels realistic, showing that sometimes love comes later. I’m aware she’s far from the first to do this, but she does this in a very smooth and believable way.
The pacing was also done very well. At no point did I feel it was dragging or being rushed in any way. I genuinely got teary-eyed at the ending. It packed quite an emotional punch!
Full Review with Spoilers
While I haven’t reviewed the other books in the Sevens Shores series, I have read all four. Hadley was by far my favorite character between the four in the best friend group that makes up the core characters of the series. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and passionate. She stays true to these character traits through the story. Hadley is assistant manager at an upscale clothing boutique. Despite getting familiar with her from the other character’s stories, I was a little bit concerned she would shows elements of being a snob once we got to know her more. I was happy to see this wasn’t the case. Through her job, she meets up and coming fashion designer Spencer. Hadley helps Spencer with her big break in the fashion world, putting her reputation in fashion on the line.
I like that this is a story of instant attraction, but not necessarily instant love. Their relationship is handled so well and the development of their relationship feels believable. I enjoy a story that handles adult relationships this way. Brayden does this very well. The pacing is handled well and at no point does the story drag or loose focus.
I got genuinely emotional at the ending of this story. Hadley and Spencer meet an impasse in which parting ways seems like the most logical option. Spencer has an amazing opportunity present to her, but requires her to move to France to pursue her fashion career. Both characters acknowledging that there’s more than sex between them during this dilemma is heartbreaking. I admit to shedding a tear when Spencer leaves and I couldn’t help but smile when she comes back for Hadley.
This was a sweat story that kept me on my toes throughout the story with great humor and even more amazing chemistry between the characters.