Cover Image: A Love to Last a Lifetime

A Love to Last a Lifetime

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Member Reviews

I do enjoy a story involving the one that got away, and it didn’t disappoint. This one is slightly different with a love triangle, as the one that got away returns.

This was uplifting and emotional. I really felt for Erin as these two supposed loves of hers really weren’t all that nice! She seemed to see things through rose tinted glasses a lot of the time. Her two best friends were great I loved them, they certainly tried talking sense to her. 

I loved the past and present chapters and how each chapter had a song title! 

Having previously read a couple of books by this author and enjoying them I was excited to read this one. 

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and the publisher for having me on the tour and for my gifted ebook.
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TRIGGER WARNING: Early onset dementia, sudden medical diagnosis, brain injury.

What happens when a past love reappears?

I was really looking forward to this. I did not find the characters very well fleshed-out or very visual though, which is a shame. I struggled to get into this novel, but it grew on me because of the pace and plot.

The plot was good and I loved the way that songs were woven into it and the therapeutic aspect of them in the characters’ lives and as a kind of life ssoundtrack. I remember liking some of the songs, and I have some on CDs. The plot and songs bought me back to my own teen/university years and was nostalgic. There’s so much emotion in this book.

The writing style is easygoing and relaxing and the chapters are a good length. A Love to Last a Lifetime is a great combination of past love, loyalty to the past or present and made me ask who Erin’s true love really was. Her teen love or her husband? I liked Erin’s friend and Erin’s parents, but Erin was hard to like. She seemed self-centred and indecisive.

I felt like maybe this was intentional though, as the other characters were so different. There’s a real feeling of doubt and being hesitant about what you really want in life running through the book as a theme.

Thanks to Clare Swatman and Rachel’s Random or present and made me ask who Erin’s true love really was. Her teen love or her husband? I liked Erin’s friend and Erin’s parents, but Erin was hard to like. She seemed self-centred and indecisive.

I felt like maybe this was intentional though, as the other characters were so different. There’s a real feeling of doubt and being hesitant about what you really want in life running through the book as a theme.

Thanks to Clare Swatman and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

3.5 stars
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A Love to Last a Lifetime

Thank you Boldwood Books for inviting me on this Blog Tour.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Genre: Romance
Format: Kindle eBook 
Date Published: 1/23/23
Author: Clare Swatman
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Pages: 315
GR: 3.74

I requested a digital advanced readers copy from Rachel’s Random Resources, NetGalley and Boldwood Books and providing my opinion voluntarily and unbiased.

My Thoughts: The story is narrated in a dual timeline, past and present tense in first person and third person POV. Erin let her first love go and fell in love with Greg for the last decade. Her first love, Adam, comes back to town after almost two decades. Swatman has a way with words and I really enjoy reading her books. Boldwood Books has some of my favorite authors. The past tense chapters does a great job of filling in the backstory on the characters. Gives a sense of how they got here. Swatman does a superb job at portraying the dementia of Erin’s mother, you can tell she researched this topic well. 

The characters were well developed, fleshed out, had depth, were emotional, and creatively built. The author’s writing style was complex, multifaceted, humorous, connecting, and keeps you engaged. The author keeps the storyline light and it flows well with a great pace. The subplot with Erin’s parents was a brilliant spin in the book. While I could connect with Erin, I did not like her character. Her best friends, as supporting characters, were fabulous. While I can understand her attraction to her first love, she should have left Greg fully before starting anything with Adam. However, this was likely the author’s intent in writing the book. The book brought about many emotions, from laughing out loud, to sadness, and even tears, all qualities of a well written story. 

I would highly recommend purchasing or borrowing this book. The audiobook would probably be really good too, especially with the past and current timelines. This book is already out in both book and audiobook format. The audiobook is listed on Hoopla (library).
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This one was a fabulous read, full of ups and downs, heartwarming moments, laughs and tears it had me gripped.

My full review is on my blog.
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Description 🔖

The one that she wants…

Adam Bowers; handsome, funny and with the charm of a rock star, from the moment she laid eyes on him, teenage Erin was smitten. But first loves don’t always last, and after a whirlwind romance, Erin and Adam go their separate ways. Yet, Erin never lets go of the feeling that Adam may have been her soul mate…

The one that she needs…

Greg fell in love with Erin in their first week at university. Solid, trustworthy and hopelessly devoted to Erin, he knows he’s better for her than the feckless Adam, who is forever leaving Erin broken-hearted, before winning her back with his charm. As far as Greg is concerned, it’s easy to promise the world, but it’s harder to love someone for a lifetime.

The one that got away…

Years later Greg and Erin are married, and although life hasn’t always been easy, Greg’s love for Erin has never dimmed. But when Adam comes back, in desperate need of Erin’s help, everything changes.  Erin starts to wonder whether fate is trying to tell her something…

Will Erin risk it all for the man she had thought was ‘The One’?

General Thoughts 🤔

This was such a great book to scratch my romance itch. It was easy to read but had just the right amount of angst to keep me reading. I am a bit of a sucker for a ‘one that got away’ storyline so this did kind of play into my romance needs straight from the off, however it actually ended up being better than I originally thought it was going to be.

When I had read approximately the first half of the first chapter, I thought that maybe I wasn’t going to get along with the characters as I was given the impression that they were in their thirties but they seemed immature to me. That very quickly passed though and I felt like I was one of the gang.

Characters 👫👭👬

I loved the friendship between Erin, Sam and Rose. I appreciate this book is a romance and I should probably be focused on the people caught in this weird past and present love triangle, but I had to mention this friend group. They were there for each other no matter what, but they weren’t frightened to call each other out on their shit either. These are the types of friendships I appreciate in my own life, so I loved following their little group.

The burning question though, is was I Team Adam or Team Greg? Honestly I’m really not sure. I don’t think I was particularly Team anyone; both men annoyed me a little bit. Greg was a bit of a wet blanket in my opinion and definitely not a man I would find myself attracted to. Adam however was the bad boy and we all know that a relationship with a bad boy never ends well. Did I agree with the choice that Erin made in the end? Yes, I think she followed her heart and that’s what all of us should always do.

Writing Style ✍️

This is the first Clare Swatman book that I’ve read and I really enjoyed her writing. The story was easy to follow, engaging and emotive. I wasn’t expecting to shed any tears for this book, however the side plot about Erin’s Mother really hit my heart. I liked that the whole story didn’t centre around Adam vs Greg.

The story was told via ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ chapters and I always really enjoy this structure. I like to see how the past catches up with the present. I do think there was potential to have a little plot twist thrown in towards the end; something that happened in the past we wouldn’t have seen coming maybe, however this wasn’t the case.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it went by in quite a whirlwind. I flip flopped between Team Adam and Team Greg and with any good ‘one that got away’ story, there were pros and cons to either choice. In the end, I think that Erin made the right choice and I was left feeling content for her. If you’re looking for an easy going romance with an emotional family side plot thrown in for good measure, then I definitely recommend this book.
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I have to admit I did struggle with this one, but I think it was just me and not the author. I did finish it can't say that I really enjoyed it. Sorry
Emma came across as selfish to me, seeing Adam in secret even though she knows how much her husband doesn't like him, which to me is like cheating but yet she gets angry with Greg her husband when he has been gambling again !
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The Blurb :
The one that she wants...
Adam Bowers; handsome, funny and with the charm of a rock star, from the moment she laid eyes on him, teenage Erin was smitten. But first loves don’t always last, and after a whirlwind romance, Erin and Adam go their separate ways. Yet, Erin never lets go of the feeling that Adam may have been her soul mate...
The one that she needs...
Greg fell in love with Erin in their first week at university. Solid, trustworthy and hopelessly devoted to Erin, he knows he's better for her than the feckless Adam, who is forever leaving Erin broken-hearted, before winning her back with his charm. As far as Greg is concerned, it’s easy to promise the world, but it’s harder to love someone for a lifetime.
The one that got away...
Years later Greg and Erin are married, and although life hasn’t always been easy, Greg’s love for Erin has never dimmed. But when Adam comes back, in desperate need of Erin's help, everything changes. Erin starts to wonder whether fate is trying to tell her something…

My Thoughts :
We meet Erin and Greg, struggling to keep their marriage together in the past few months due to Greg’s gambling habit, Erin bumps into Adam, her ex boyfriend and the one that got away all those years ago. Having not seen Adam in eighteen years, she knows she still has feelings for him and seeing him again tugs at her heart strings.
But Adam doesnt remember Erin as he was in a bike accident and suffered a brain injury.
Erin needs to think about what she wants to do, help Adam with his memory or try to rescue her marriage to Greg. With other things going on in her life Erin has a big descion make and one that could change her life forever.
The story was told in a dual timeline by Erin from her younger years to present day, which only added to the premise of getting to know her and her life in much more detail.
I enjoyed watching Erin grow and seeing her learn more about herself and where her future would or should go. Although the ending was a bit rushed, it was still a great read.
Clare Swatman has written a love story with such emotion and entertainment that you cant help but like and enjoy the characters that this love triangle brings. 
Its a story that will give you all the feels. 
I am looking forward to more from this Author in the near future.
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Thank you to my partners: Rachels Random Resources, NetGalley, and Boldwood Books. I appreciate the gifted ecopy, and I am leaving this review voluntarily!

1. Song Titles As Chapter Titles - I couldn’t love this more. And so many songs that I know and love!
2. Music - Music plays a huge part in this novel. From Adam being in a band to Erin becoming a music therapist, it is a prevalent theme throughout!
3. Amnesia And Dementia - Both are such difficult afflictions to read about and ponder. Swatman broaches both subjects and is able to leave the reader with a sense of hope in both cases. 
4. Romance From Many Views - The many romance possibilities that are intertwined within this novel had me hoping for conflicting things to happen. Generally, I am easily able to choose my side, but it wasn’t the case in this book. 
5. Confliction - Erin’s husband, Greg, struggles with an addiction and that coupled with his lies sure made me dislike him. On the other hand, Adam sure seems like he needs Erin in the present; however, if we are talking about the past, he can fly a kite!

An easy-reading novel - albeit with some hard topics in the storyline - that is sure to delight romance fans everywhere.
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I enjoyed the dual timelines, which offered more insight into the MC's relationship with both love interests. I liked the MC's heart-tugging relationship with her parents and their respective illnesses, especially with her mom's dementia. What I didn't love is that she came across as being selfish, and the old flame she still holds a torch for felt more teenage infatuation than real love based on the chapters in the past, so it was hard to believe she'd be so willing to risk her marriage over him. ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75
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My Review
I do love finding a new author to me, reading their book, loving it, then realising they've written lots more. Pure excitement isn't it..
I had the pleasure of meeting author Clare Swatman at the crime festival in Harrogate last year. She was much as I expected, fabulous.
So when the opportunity arose to take part on the blog tour for her latest book A Love To Last A Lifetime, I jumped at the chance.
We meet Erin, Greg & Adam in this story.
Erin & Adam were loves young dream. 
Each others first love.
While Erin is at university, Adam is off singing and touring with his band, not a care in his world.
It is when they go their separate ways that Erin meets Greg, settles down and they get married.
They have their problems and they seem to be reaching their peak just at the wrong moment.
But don't you know people always hold a torch for their first love.
So when Adam comes back into Erin's life years later, Erin wonders what would it be like if they had stayed together.
Would they have made it work? 
Suddenly Adam isn't as cocky or sure of himself as he used to be and he needs Erin to really help him. Will she risk everything she has with Greg for a chance to see if her first love is her real love.
So many times throughout reading I was thinking with Erin don't go there, do go there. My head was all over the place for her.
One thing I have learned though in many situations in life is that the grass on the other side is not always greener and I hoped all the way through the book that Erin would make the right decision for her.
Then again sometimes you have to move on from someone when a relationship isn't working don't you.
I felt so incredibly sad for Adam and the life he was living. There didn't seem to be anyone around him that really cared for him except Erin. We stand back in life sometimes and see who is and isn't there for us in our time of need.
Quite an easy yet beautiful read with love at the very heart of it.
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3,5 stars
The idea of this story really appealed to me and I love stories told first person as I get really drawn in that way, but sadly the better I got to know Erin, the less I liked her. I didn't like the way she treated her husband Greg and her obession with Adam so many years later despite how he had treated her was just not right. I enjoyed the role Erin's mother's story played within Erin's story, it was both touching, sad and heartbreaking. Overall the idea for the story was good, but it felt repetitive at times and the characters were not my cup of tea. I think my favorite person in the whole book was Sam. He was a gem!
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I have to start by saying I loved that each chapter started with a song title which linked within the chapter. Erin is torn between her husband Greg and Adam from her teenage years who unexpectedly returns in her life after a brain injury. An up and down read, the story kept you reading as you want to know who she will choose and does she manage to help Adam recover his memories.
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Thank you at @rararesources and @clareSwartman for letting me part of this tour and revewing this book. I loved love to ladt a lifetime straight the way . The story just drew me in. I really like Erin and i felt sorry for her due to her dilemma with her husband Greg who gambles and meeting her old boyfriend Adam who has lost his memory plus her mum has dementia in a care home and her dad is hoarder. Its so lovely that Erin has Sam and Rose her two bestfriend who try and support her and guide her. I did keep wounder in the book who Erin would be with and who i wanted her to be with but i loved the ending it was very right for her. The story is beaufully written and very engaging. The story is written in dual timelines in past and present. I did like this. This is the first book i have read by Claire Swatman and i will definstly read more from her in the future 5 stars.
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This really is one of those books where the author gets everything absolutely right – the first love that you were convinced was so perfect that nothing else can compare, the real life compromise of marrying the supportive friend who adores you, then the emotional rollercoaster when that first love reappears just at the point when life is going less than smoothly in so many ways. But real life never is perfect – as well as Erin’s disappointment with husband Greg and the temptation from a newly-vulnerable Adam, she’s also coping with her mother’s early-onset dementia and her father’s mental health issues. Every single character is beautifully and sympathetically drawn, each with their different foibles and failings – and your main thought as you grow to understand the ramifications of the decisions Erin needs to make is “what would I do?”.

It’s a story in which memory figures large. There are the flashbacks, where we find out more about Adam and Erin’s former relationship and Greg’s being there to pick up the pieces – and a deeply hidden secret in Erin’s parents’ past that adds intrigue to the storyline. But the elements of memory are also deeply woven into the story – Erin working as a therapist using music to unlock the past and ease suffering (something that really hit home with me, having witnessed it in action with my own mum), Adam’s own present day issues and the possibility of being able to help.

The whole construction of the story is extremely clever, tied together by the music that might trigger the individuals’ memories – as a rather older reader, I did find myself making regular visits to Spotify to extend my musical education (Blink-182 and the Pixies rather passed me by…) but that was something I rather enjoyed.

But what I enjoyed the most was the book’s emotional impact, and the portrayal of the different aspects of love that you feel at your core – these were real people living their lives on the page, and when they hurt, I hurt too. The portrayal of Erin’s mother’s decline was painfully authentic, but so sensitively handled – but I felt a deep sympathy for so many of its characters, every one of whom had a place in my heart. And then, after weighing up her options, Erin has a personal decision to make, one of the most difficult possible – and the book’s uplifting (and, for me, rather tearful) ending was everything I wanted it to be, and perhaps the greatest love of all.

I couldn’t recommend this book more – a moving and compelling story, tremendously engaging, emotionally complete perfection, and totally unforgettable. I can’t wait to see what this very talented author does next.
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This is the first book I've read by Clare Swatman and i loved her simple and detailed style of writing 
Thank you NetGalley and BoldWood books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS 
This is a story about Erin, a psychologist who's married to her once safe and reliable friend, Greg from university but has recently taken up gambling and almost lost all of their possessions.

With her marriage hanging on a thread, the love of her life, her first love,  Adam Bowers  who she hasn't seen in 18 years suddenly comes back in town and in need of her help

Now she's torn between her husband who's been her biggest support during her most difficult time who doesn't make her feel safe any more  and the boy who's return makes her whole body spark

MY THOUGHTS 
I'm not a big fan of love triangle troupes especially once the couple is married and i found Erin to be quite indecisive and confused, there was a lot of mental and emotional cheating towards Greg and to be honest, i couldn't see what she saw in Adam, he was selfish and a narcissist and their relationship together was  very toxic.

What i loved though was that her confusion and dilemma was clearly portrayed in details and seeing how torn she was made me resonate more with her instead of hating how indecisive she was. 

I loved Sam and Rose, her genuine and loyal friends who's support her fully but confront her truthfully and put some sense into her confused mind. 

The biggest thing portrayed  in this story is Dementia and this was the first time i heard of music therapy and it was interesting to learn about this whole new way of how our mind stores and unlocks our memories. 
and i loved how the story focused not only on how the disease can affect the sick person but also on her family members ( we see Erin's dad take up hoarding as a stress reliever after his wife is diagnosed) 

I thought the end was pretty rushed and it left us on hang with a lot of things that could have been showed for a better ending, i personally wanted to know how Erin moved on , what does she do, did she find another man?
did Greg quit his gambling addiction ? Did Adam Bowers regain his memories ?

RECOMMENDATION 
I rate this one a 2.5 stars but i look forward to reading other of Clare's Books and  if New adult and Romance is your thing, then this is a book you definitely have to pick.
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This was such an emotional roller-coaster, i loved the dual timelines it added a depth to the story that made it even more. The characters are so well written and you feel everything them. This book so so genuine and things the characters go through are so relatable. I am new to @claireswatman books but i will definately read more her narratives are so heart felt.
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I really enjoyed reading this book and working my way through all the stories that are interconnecting. It’s thought provoking, relatable and a pleasure to read
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A Love to Last a Lifetime by Claire Swatman is a story about Erin and her past and present days. It revolves around if she made the right choices in life including love.  There are a lot of triggers in the this book around parents dementia and cheating in the emotional way. Erin's marriage is at a rocky point because she keeps thinking about the one who got away and what would be different if decisions were made changed her life. While not all will relate to this book, it is not your typical rom-com, women's fiction. Definitely something worth reading.
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I love Clare Swatman books so I was excited to see this one. It is a story of Erin’s past and present and if she made the right choices. It’s told by Erin in dual timeline. What I loved about this book was Erin. Her honesty was refreshing and you could feel her struggling with her decisions.

This story is in no way a predictable womens fiction book. Erin is also loving with her mother’s dementia diagnosis and how it impacts her parents and their relationship. Add this book to your TBR and you won’t be disappointed.
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Featuring ~ dual timeline ~ now (1st person POV) and then (3rd person POV), musician, music therapy, amnesia, dementia, love triangle~ish, emotional cheating

Erin has been married to her 2nd choice Greg for 13 years. Their marriage is already rocky due to a big betrayal from Greg. The tension mounts when her old flame and love of her life, Adam comes back to town after 18 years.

Should Erin take it as a sign that Adam is back in her life and risk her marriage to help him? She is so drawn to him that she just can't help herself. Can't say I'm a big fan of the sneaking around.
Honestly I wasn't really rooting for either man ~ I didn't care for either one of them in the past or the present. Erin wasn't very likable herself either. And it was bugging me that she kept saying that she knew Adam ~ girl you haven't seen him in 18 years! That's an awfully long time to be apart and still think you know someone and they only dated for like a year too. I liked bff's, Sam and Rose ~ they were good friends to Erin.

Music plays a big part in this story. Not only is Adam a musician, but Erin uses music therapy to help dementia patients try to remember. She uses her skills to help Adam with his amnesia as well. All of the chapters are titled with a song too. It was interesting that just hearing a song could bring back so many memories for Erin ~ like how she was able to know where she was and what she was doing when she heard it last, that's a good memory right there.

Her mother has early onset dementia and I thought that was written well. Reading the pages when she visited her really yanked the heartstrings.

Overall, this was okay, but on the slower side with some repetition. I did figure out how it would end and I am happy with the choice she made although it was rather abrupt.

Side note ~ don't tell me you're working towards paying off your debt while you are on your 2nd bottle of wine of the night and you're heading to the pub every week. Put that money towards your debt dudes! At least they were eating at home and not eating out every other night though.
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