For Never & Always
by Helena Greer
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Pub Date 28 Nov 2023 | Archive Date Not set
Hannah Rosenstein should be happy: after a lonely childhood of traipsing all over the world, she finally has a home as the co-owner of destination inn Carrigan’s All Year. But her thoughts keep coming back to Levi "Blue" Matthews: her first love, worst heartbreak, and now, thanks to her great-aunt’s meddling will, absentee business partner.
When Levi left Carrigan's, he had good intentions. As the queer son of the inn's cook and groundskeeper, he never quite fit in their small town and desperately wanted to prove himself. Now that he’s a celebrity chef, he's ready to come home and make amends. Only his return goes nothing like he planned: his family's angry with him, his best friend is dating his nemesis, and Hannah just wants him to leave. Again.
Levi sees his chance when a VIP bride agrees to book Carrigan’s—if he’s the chef. He'll happily cook for the wedding, and in exchange, Hannah will give him five dates to win her back. Only Hannah doesn’t trust this new Levi, and Levi’s coming to realize Hannah’s grown too. But if they find the courage to learn from the past . . . they just might discover the love of your life is worth waiting for.
A Note From the Publisher
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Note: There is content guidance listed on the second page of the digital galley but for your knowledge: past homophobia as experienced growing up in the early 90s/early aughts that manifests in symptoms similar to agoraphobia and treatment thereof, and grief from past death of a family member (not on page).
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 138 members
This book felt like a breath of fresh air and also asphyxiation at the same time. Levi and Hannah’s tension made it hard to breathe (compliment) and also gave me so much life. They’re so chaotic and unable to cope with the depth of their feelings for each other that it made me want to wrap them in protective blankets (but like together bc they love each other). The found family, the love, the angst, the everything about this book is just perfect. And all done with not an ounce of smut on page. Phenomenal work.
Great characters, and a great second-chance romance story. I loved the queer and Jewish representation, and loved the slow-and-steady pacing and witty banter. I’d love to check out more titles from this author.
I'm a sucker for second chance romances when done well, AND THIS WAS DONE SO WELL 😭 this book is like a manifestation of "How You Get The Girl" by Tay Swift
Technically, it's a childhood best friends to lovers to estranged couple who love/hate each other to second chance romance, and every aspect of this journey was written so well. Most of the book takes place in the present (the second chance romance), and there are chapters sprinkled in throughout the book showing the past.
This book has demisexual rep!! The author has done an amazing job of writing the confusion pre-discovery, the discovery process itself, and the discussions that happened when the MC mentioned this to the others.
Also! I have to point out the mental health journeys taken by the MCs! It was a long and hard road with plenty of self-introspection and understanding and healing, and, at the risk of repeating myself, this was also written so well 😭 I loved the hea so much, it was perfect, and it perfectly factored in the mental holdups and healings of both the MCs.
TWs - anxiety with symptoms similar to agoraphobia, homophobia (in the past, in a school setting), death of a family member in the past and the grief surrounding it
-- ty to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy!
Okay, okay, I typically don’t gravitate towards second chance romance (nothing against it, just not a top trope for me) but when I tell y’all this book was so good!?!
The representation in this book was so tasteful and Levi and Hannah were so incredibly chaotic lol but it was so much more than that. The found family, the mental health and queer reps?? So so good!
This book felt like a warm hug and the character development was so rich. I loved this book. Definitely read if you love:
💗second chance romance
💗childhood best friends
💗chaotic main characters
💗mental health representation
I’ve been anticipating Hannah and Levi’s story since it was announced (okay honestly since I finished the author’s first book). The pining and the history and the hurt and the growth were amazing. The characters were frustrating at times but in a way that made sense for the story and to move the plot along. I loved getting to see more of their friends and family throughout the story agin and loved all the celebrations and events. I appreciated the demisexual rep SO much. There’s a scene for Hannah that is very pivotal that I very much identified with as well. Making a big decision for yourself is so empowering!
I adored everything about this book! The representation was so authentic. Usually I get frustrated with miscommunication, but because it was centered in Levi’s mental health it didn’t feel contrived. The chemistry was fantastic and their growth as individuals and as a couple was perfection.
I have been anxiously waiting for Levi and Hannah’s book since the end of [book:Season of Love|60383010] and this did not disappoint. I adore everything about Carrigan’s Christmasland and this cast of characters and I loved that this book was about growing up and coming home. I related to Levi so much in both timelines (I love the demisexual representation so much!), and I loved watching the personal growth of both him and Hannah through this story.
While this book isn’t being marketed as part of a series, I think reading Season of Love before this will enhance your enjoyment of this book. Greer does add in mentions and details of side characters throughout the story but I could see it being overwhelming and potentially impacting opinions about pacing without having read the previous book.
The end of the ARC also mentions Tara’s book is next, which is very exciting, but I admit I am most looking forward to a potential Cole book.
I loved this follow up to Season of Love so much. I knew I would, the moment that Levi showed up on the page at the end of the prior book, but I didn't expect just how much.
I've read a lot of books this year with dual timelines, and I think this one hits the sweet spot of showing enough of the past to understand where these characters are coming from, and enough of the present to understand how and why these characters are coming together again now.
I love both Hannah and Levi for different reasons. Hannah for her relatability, anxiety, and desire to be loved in spite of her flaws; Levi for his exploration of how his queerness impacts the rest of his life, and the unpacking of his past: people are rarely all good or all bad.
It's hard to exactly put into words why I loved this as much as I did, but I know this was a strong follow up to Helena Greer's first, and I will be reading anything else she writes!
When I read Season of Love I was obsessed with Hannah and Levi and he wasn’t even on page, so I was dying for their book. I knew it was gonna be good and it has been!
This angst level was high. VERY high. I will no go into detail because I think it’s better to go in blind, but my jaw dropped a few times. Their love was so so intense. Levi was set on reminding Hannah that he loved her, though Hannah didn’t need reminders because she hadn’t forgotten him either. Since the beginning, their love wasn’t a problem in the relationship.
I admit that the more I knew about their relationship and their past… the more I thought that love wasn’t enough to save it in this case. I don’t know how I feel about how everything progressed. I really like them, but I think I liked them more as friends. Knowing the problems that caused their breakup made me a bit cold towards the present and their second chance.
Aside from this, I can’t deny that I loved this book and it was a big serve. The writing was amazing, the flashbacks were perfect to understand Hannah and Levi and the side characters helped a lot (especially Cole I love Cole so much).
TW: Emotional abuse, homophobia, panic attacks/agoraphobia
Steam level: Fade to black
ARC provided by Forever and NetGalley. Opinions are my own!