Cover Image: Before I Let Go

Before I Let Go

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars.  Wow wow wow. Ok first of all this writing was so beautiful. I’m talking every single page. It was such a deep emotional story. My heart broke for both Yasmen and Josiah. You could just feel how much they still loved each other and how heartbroken they both were. This book deals with some heavy subject matter that makes you feel like your own heart is being ripped out but hang in there because it WILL put you back together again. Theirs is the kind of love that you can’t erase even if you wanted to. It felt real and raw and messy and beautiful and healing and inspirational and it will stay with me for a long time.
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I love that Before I Let Go is not your typical romance. Sure, we've go the one bed hotel room, miscommunication, and steamy scenes but this book is much more real and deep than your typical romance. It covers therapy, depression, grief, divorce, and strained parent relationships. Not only does it address these topics, it gets DEEP into many of them. Oomph. It packs an emotional punch. I love that it clearly advocates for therapy, especially for men, and even more especially for Black men. Every little bit to help break the stigma is a win.

Then there's the romance. A divorced couple is afraid to admit they still have feelings for each other. It's not cutesy or sweet. It's real and passionate. The romance genre is dominated by butterfly love stories while Before I Let Go is more like a bull. I love how authentic this story and these characters felt. More of this please!

It was a bit too spicy for my taste and I didn't find it compulsively readable in that it didn't have a strong driving story, but I really appreciated it for its realness, covering of deep topics, and fresh take on romance.
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Stunned.

Kennedy Ryan is an author I've seen for a while. Why haven't I picked up her books sooner?

Before I Let Go was mature, deep, and emotional. The characters were incredibility well-developed and vibrant off the page. This story has grit and substance. Of course, there are plenty of trigger warnings, so please check those out before opening. This story just has been in awe. Beautiful. Striking. Wonderful. When a romance focuses on broken people and their struggles, but still has spice and swoon...you know it is a winner.

Thank you Forever Publishing and Netgalley for my copy.
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Like Queen Move (which I highly recommend!), this story is a second-chance romance. While Kimba and Ezra's love story is about childhood best friends finding their way back to each other, this one is about a divorced couple and, honestly, I found it very refreshing to read a story about how a couple fares AFTER the happily ever after.

One of Kennedy Ryan's great gifts is that her characters (and their struggles) always feel so real. On that topic, there are some important content warnings to be aware of for this novel: major discussions around depression, grief, loss of a loved one, and death of a child. You may wish to steer clear of this one if those are particularly touchy for you. 

That being said, this is a romance novel so it has a happy ending. Throughout the story, Yasmen and Josiah find ways to work through their pain and find joy again - together. If you love author interviews as much as I do, definitely check out this article where Kennedy Ryan talks about her research and writing process here: https://ew.com/books/kennedy-ryan-return-to-traditional-publishing/

Thanks to NetGalley and Forever publishing for sending me an e-arc of this title.
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OMG THIS BOOK. It simultaneously ripped my heart open but made me believe in hope and fate and that true love can conquer it all. Yasmen and Josiah have gone through so much trauma and grief and with a solid foundation of love and therapy and a really really really strong support system, will they be able to come back to each other? 

AND THERE ARE RECIPES. I die for a book that focuses so heavy on food and togetherness that also includes those special recipes. 

This was my first Kennedy Ryan title and it will NOT be my last. Superb writing and ability to dig deep into raw emotions.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Kennedy Ryan, and Forever - Grand Central Publishing for providing this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This was my first Kennedy Ryan! After this one, I went and found the rest and read them all within a few weeks. This was definitely in my top 5 favorite books of 2022. Make sure to check the trigger warnings before reading.  The book was very long, and definitely could have been condensed or some chapters taken out, but I was so into the story that I didn’t really mind how long it was. 

This review will be posted to my Goodreads and Amazon accounts immediately and also to my instagram account (@ginganinja333), and to my newly created bookstagram (@paulas.book.nook).
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This book was HEAVY, but also healing in the most incredible ways
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The book starts with Yasmen and Josiah falling in love. It’s a simple, deep love. One they write books about ;)
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But when life hits them where it counts, depression becomes the driver of their relationship. And as such, it ends in divorce
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It’s now been 2 years of co-owning the restaurant and co-parenting where the story picks up.
We see both Yasmen and Josiah try to move forward with their lives: together and separately
We see them struggle with co-parenting and how kids perceive a broken marriage
We see the reason for divorce
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We also get to see healing, forgiveness, acceptance, honesty, and second chances.
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This book has the BEST mental health representation I have EVER seen. It talks about medication and therapy. Finding the right fit for both. It talks about the stigma around therapy especially with (black) men.
I could talk about this for days. Im incredibly impressed with Kennedy’s knowledge and research on the matter.
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This book deals with very real issues and that’s what I love about it. It’s not fluffy and perfect. It’s messy and can destroy you. But there is a HEA, you just have to push for it
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Honestly this book will be the top 5 of favourite books of all time.
I cannot sing it’s praises enough
It had me crying and laughing and sobbing the whole time
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So if you like a GOOD second chance romance. Full of angst and true love
This book is for you
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*check tw and ensure you are in a good mental space for it*
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Before I Let Go is stunning. There! is that not enough for you to go grab the book right now?

First and foremost, I just want to put this out there…I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book’s dedication. When …not if..you get this book, just take a moment to appreciate the dedication.

Now, where do I even begin? It’s really hard to express how much I love Kennedy Ryan’s books and Before I Let Go is no different.

“Ryan is a powerhouse of a writer.”

-USA Today

I couldn’t agree more. 

Ryan’s books have always been emotional to say the least but there are also so many life lessons taught to us through these characters. I love the way Kennedy Ryan writes such strong characters  that always have the resilience to carry forth, survive and thrive. 

“I wondered if this-finding someone you can laugh with when everything hurts-was the stuff happily ever afters were made of. Not the sugarcoated kisses and hot-air balloon rides and romantic walks under a full moon.”

-Josiah Wade

I love a good second chance romance and I’ve read my fair share of them. Yet this book felt different. Perhaps it’s because it’s about a divorced couple’s second chance? I haven’t read much of those to be honest. But nonetheless, The magic of KR’s writing made it very realistic. It didn’t feel frivolous. It felt very grownup, real and you felt the hope, the hurt and the level of strength and understanding these characters would have gone through.
Ryan’s ability to tackle difficult social issues with such depth without being pushy or preachy is an experience on it’s own.

Before I Get Go is brilliant and you most definitely should not pass it up. Kennedy Ryan never fails to give us a stunner of a book. I’ve always said this to my friends, Kennedy Ryan’s books are therapeutic.
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An unbelievably powerful, and raw read. I don’t know if I’ll ever have more words, or even better ones, to explain how much I love this book. It was something that I didn't know I needed. Yasmen & Josiah are so easy to fall in love with. From the first page you're thrown into their whirlwind life and, from beginning to end, no one can deny their unbelievable chemistry. No matter how much they try to ignore it. Kennedy Ryan always does such a fantastic job telling her stories. She has such a unique, powerful voice, and she’s the absolute queen of emotional reads!

I don’t think I could recommend this book enough. Hands down another great read from this author, and another book that I can add onto my list of favorites for 2022!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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“Grief is a grind. It is the work of breathing and waking and rising and moving through a world that feels emptier. A gaping hole has been torn into your existence, and everyone around you just walks right past it like it’s not even there. But all you can do is stand and stare.”

This was my very first book by this author, and I am blown away. I read this in December and it crashed right into my top 3 of the year. There are no words for the way Kennedy Ryan writes a story. It is an unmatched talent. I feel like I fell right into the middle of every emotion she was detailing through her poetic prose.

This is a second chance romance that touches on extremely raw and heavy topics. Yasmen and Josiah try to navigate a divorce while coparenting and co-owning a restaurant. Their children play a huge role in the events surrounding the plot. They both heal as individuals and a family in this story and it is truly beautiful to see the character development.

As someone who has struggled with depression, I can understand that it comes in all shapes and sizes. Some days are brighter and others are nonexistent (as described through the blackout moments in this story). Ryan tackled these topics with the such care and grace. 

Thank you to Netgalley  and Forever Pub for the gifted copy! 


Content warnings below: 
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Death of loved one (off page), stillbirth, depression, grief, passive suicidal ideation (no attempts)
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This novel is a really emotional read, be prepared to cry but expect a satisfying ending. A second chance romance that's all the feels 🥺
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We love a second chance romance! I must admit I had a hard time getting into the first 30% but then I flew right through it. The writing style felt a bit clunky IMO until the flashback scene in the nursery which was SO well written. After that, every scene flowed pretty nicely. The characters were raw and real while following their journey through loss and love. It was steamier than I expected but a pretty good book. It's certainly become a bookstagram favorite. 

CW: pregnancy loss, still birth, death of a loved one
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This was a great story! Seeing a divorced couple coparenting, running a business together, and still in love with each other is something most other books don’t have. This second chance romance was well written by Kennedy. A fun read!
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I found parts of this book to be really sweet and fantastic, but overall it wasn’t the home run I thought it would be. I found the characters to be wonderfully lively and the difficult topics to be discussed in a perfectly delicate way. I also thought the growth we saw in each character was really satisfying. My only key complaint was just that the story itself felt a bit flat; I didn’t see much plot development throughout the book. I’m typically a huge fan of a good literary read, but I think that because I was expecting a heavier romance, I was looking for more plot components than character depth. Overall, still a good read that I’d recommend to some!
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This is such a beautiful book! My first Kennedy Ryan book and it did not disappoint. I was totally invested in these characters, and I appreciated how the author handled important, complex topics with care.
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This was my last read of 2022 and it was definitely a favorite!  This was my first book by Kennedy Ryan and it for sure wont be my last! Before I Let Go is absolutely beautiful, painful and don't forget spicy. I loved Ryan's writing . The characters felt so real even with the snotty teenager. I loved the angst between Yasmin and Josiah. This book gave me so many feelings. This talked about real adult issues, grief, second chances, growth and more. I couldn't put this book down.


I was so happy that I ended 2022 with a 5⭐️ read!


Thank you @NetGalley and @readforeverpub for this ebook copy in exchange for honest review!
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Thank you to the publisher and to Kennedy Ryan for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review. I absolutely loved this book. I had previously read Ryan's Kingmaker series and knew that I was a fan of her work but Before I Let Go is truly my favorite romance novel of 2022. Yasmen and Josiah were the perfect couple and parents until multiple tragedies left them emotionally stranded and ultimately divorced. Now as they start to move on, they are realizing that maybe they shouldn't. This is a great second chance romance showing how circumstances outside of your control can make or break you as a couple. The story was a great blend of emotional, reflective, and steamy. I can not wait to see what Ryan writes next.
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This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and Kennedy Ryan absolutely slayed it. From the angst to the swoon, this book is a ride and a half. There are some subjects that are touched on within these pages and Ryan writes them with such grace and poise. The depth and the representation in this story are something that is awe inspiring!
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4.5 - This is a heavy, heavy romance novel, bordering fiction rather than romance. Trigger warnings listed below. Yasmen and Josiah are divorced, coparenting, and running a business together. Their marriage fell apart after they lost Josiah's aunt and son (stillbirth after an accident) in short succession. Yasmen fell into a deep depression and Josiah wasn't supportive of her. The story takes place two years later, after Yasmen has healed and they keep being drawn towards each other.

The star of this book is the depth of its portrayal of the main character, Yasmen's depression and grief. This is probably the most realistic depiction of therapy that I have ever read in a novel. As someone who has been in therapy for almost 7 years and has had a number of therapists, I think that the main character's struggles with depression are so accurate in that it is hard for her to find a therapist who is a good fit, and it takes a combination of medication and long-term therapy with the right therapist to heal. So many books I've read have a magical therapist where the character goes to therapy twice and everything is resolved, and that is not the case here. It's also so realistic that unfortunately her family (husband and daughter) do not understand her depression and blame her for their family falling apart, and it takes themselves going to therapy to understand. I also like that we see the husband, Josiah, perspective on therapy and depression evolve (shoutout to the feelings wheel!!).

I do feel like the romance takes a back seat in this story, for better or for worse. After reading other reviews it does make me realize that we don't actually see much of the couple's love and growth together besides their sexual attraction. There is some minor drama with other characters Yasmen and Josiah date but they were set aside really easily.

Trigger warnings: Depression/mental health, suicidal ideation, death (of parents, parental figures), stillbirth, explicit sexual content.
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Kennedy Ryan can do no wrong. This book will take you on a journey, it will hurt but it will heal. I love that this is a second-chance romance between a divorced couple who own a restaurant together and are co-parenting so they're constantly seeing each other. They've been through a lot, especially the heroine. You know they still love each other and you're rooting for them the whole way through. And when they finally come back together it's so worth it. This book is beautiful.
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