The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed her—Jessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.
Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.
But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.
As you can see, I’ve been on a Mia Sheridan kick for my Beat the Backlist Challenge! It’s been nothing short of amazing. Nothing compares to Mia’s beautifully broken characters, who feel like real-life people I’d like to know. I absolutely adored how this second chance romance started out, with the innocence of childhood characters. They were sweet and serendipitous. I loved their ability to be there for each other when they had no one else.
Unfortunately, as the characters jumped forward into adulthood, I didn’t feel the same connection to them anymore. I don’t know what was missing. I possibly could have used more backstory, or maybe it was my dislike of the way Callen’s past manifested into his future choices. Regardless, I wasn’t as invested in this story as I have come to expect from Mia’s books.
One of my favorite things about this novel, however, was the wonderful Joan of Arc substory. I was totally invested in what was going to happen and I found Jessie’s career as a translator completely fascinating. I’d never before read of a character with a career like hers and I couldn’t seem to get enough. I also loved the vacation scene with Callen and Jessie – this part of the book held my interest the best. There were many heartwarming moments and surprises. Overall, this wasn’t a huge win for me, but I enjoyed aspects of it nonetheless.
Rating: 3 stars