Follow up to the 2017 Kindle Scout Winner, Shelter My Heart
Do you remember your first love in high school? What if you never stopped?
For decades, Katherine “Kitty” McNally has secretly loved John Henshaw, the man lying shot and unconscious in the hospital bed next to her. Then again, maybe not so secretly. Those closest to her, including her soon-to-be ex-husband, have suspected it for years. Their story ended with a gunshot wound the last time, too. Life seems to have taken her full circle, but only the dead know the secrets she still keeps.
Detective John Henshaw fell in love with his “Kat” the moment she became his geometry tutor in high school. When they graduated, he thought their future was sealed. Wrong. Enter life’s nonstop curveballs. The worst two moments of his life were the two times he lost Kat. After thirty-five years and one failed marriage trying to forget her, he can’t escape the fact that he’s never stopped loving her. Maybe it’s just his ego, but he could swear he sees a spark of love in her eyes every time she looks at him. That’s what keeps him in the New Jersey town that holds his most painful memories. That’s why he accepted his place decades ago as a family friend to the McNally sisters.
As John recovers in Kitty’s care, they slowly rediscover each other. This is Kitty’s last chance to confront her past and rekindle their love—if John can forgive her once he learns the truth.
"Nicholas Sparks meets Colleen Hoover in dual timeline love story that will leave you breathless!" ~VIP Book Club Reader
**Romantic Women's Fiction - includes BOOK CLUB discussion questions. Contains adult content but minimal violence.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Oh my goodness, what words do I use to describe this book. Heartbreaking, romantic, guilty, funny, happy, sad, and finally happy ending. Told from both John and Kitty's voices, O'Connor weaves a story about love that spans over time that never ended. John and Kitty both loved each other with all their hearts but when circumstances, relatives, and situations get in their way, Kitty runs off. When they are reunited at class reunions, they realize that the spark is still there. Circumstances keep them apart - it is never the right time. When situations change, John and Kitty find that there may be hope but only after they tell each other secrets which they have been hiding for a long time. I read and really liked it but this one had me going for the hankies.
Favorite Quotes: Someone once asked me what I’d tell myself if I could go back in time. I wouldn’t say anything. I’d be too busy kicking my own ass from here to kingdom come for making the wrong choices. For thinking life would always be as good as it was when I was eighteen. “Great job, Kitty!” says the overly friendly instructor. “You did awesome for your first class.” I give her a tight smile and try to ignore the fact that I’m saturated and most assuredly going to wake up crippled tomorrow… They barely broke a sweat and look like fresh-cut flowers in their stylish weekend wear. I hate them. Being this close to Kat and not being able to touch her makes me feel like I’m dying of hunger in front of a locked refrigerator. In the end, I made the best of the worst choices for all of us. Sometimes you gotta surrender your heart and go all in. That’s what I’m doing. With us. One life, Kat. That’s all we’ve got. My Review: I adored this book and resented each and every interruption to my rapt perusal, and I should be ashamed to admit… I may have hissed at and ignored the ringing phone. This was my virgin voyage with L.G. O’Connor but I plan to haunt her listings from now on, she is a gifted scribe, a master storyteller, and my new favorite - even though she gutted me. The writing and storylines were simply superb, addictive, and well-crafted. I instantly fell in and remained immersed in Ms. O’Connor’s emotive and richly textured writing style, which featured my favorite dual POV and covered the characters’ history through three different timelines which each involved an epic, sensual, and bone-deep love for a soulmate, bad timing, family drama, betrayal, horrendous luck, and heartbreaking tragedy. Despite the sound of all that, the emotional tone was thoughtfully paced, deeply moving, and well-balanced without being overly angsty. I was engaged and intrigued throughout this heart-squeezing book with the only possible improvement being a longer epilogue as I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters just yet, but I’m greedy like that.
When you have a chance to find out if there is still something there, do you take it? But is the chance enough to lighten the shadows that have haunted you for years? In the case of Kitty and John, yes, the chance, the risk is completely worth it. Their romance started years ago. It was abruptly cut short due to outside forces, but the lingering feelings they experienced at such a young age stayed with them throughout the years. Some could say that their failed marriages attested to the love they had for one another. Some would argue they just weren't invested enough in those relationships. But, honestly, how invested can one be when their heart does, is, and always will, belong to another? Coming home was a blessing and a curse for both. They could stand on the precipice and see a future together, finally, if only the past wasn't so dark. Wasn't willing to stay in the past. What you don't know can't hurt you, right? Or however that saying is. Trouble is, it can. No matter how much time passes, when the past comes knocking and demands acknowledgement, the future can't begin until the past is dealt with. This story is, surprisingly, heavy. The overlapping timelines, the jumps between past and present, create an ocean of murky waters that need to be overcome to reach the shores of happiness. Ms. O'Connor is a new-to-me author. I haven't read any of the other stories in this series. But this story was worth reading. Kitty and John's transition from teens in love to adults still in love is beautiful to watch but not without white knuckles and anxiety. Theirs is a well-written, well-developed, highly-detailed story that will demand much from the reader but also give much in return. The happy ending was a long time coming, and I don't mean the length of the book, and it was satisfying to see them stand together at the end, hand-in-hand, hearts belonging to one another, ready for a future that should have been theirs all those years ago. Received from publisher for an honest review