Before We Were Us

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Pub Date Sep 10 2024 | Archive Date Oct 10 2024

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Description

She can’t remember. He can’t forget.

When Lauren Wentworth wakes up in the hospital after falling from a ladder, she has more questions than answers. Way more. She knows where she is—the wilds of New Hampshire. But she’s apparently lost the last four months of her life. Is she really contemplating forfeiting her big-city dream job for a position at a rustic resort? And how did her number one nemesis become her adoring boyfriend?

Jonah Landry is crushed to learn Lauren has forgotten their entire summer together. Terrified of losing her for good, he determines to help her remember their deep connection as she finishes her obligation to the resort. But soon it becomes apparent Lauren doesn’t want to remember falling in love with him or rethinking the entire course of her career. She wants to pretend the summer never happened and move on with her life. Without him.

As Lauren falls back into the steady routines of resort work with Jonah, she’s relieved her memories haven’t returned and remains resolute about her big-city future. But as autumn leads into winter, she begins to see glimpses of the Jonah she’s forgotten. Will she be able to resist the steady love of this patient man? Or is her heart destined for its own freefall?

  • Charming contemporary romance
  • Book length: approximately 83,000 words
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

She can’t remember. He can’t forget.

When Lauren Wentworth wakes up in the hospital after falling from a ladder, she has more questions than answers. Way more. She knows where she is—the wilds of New...


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ISBN 9780840716682
PRICE $17.99 (USD)
PAGES 304

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Average rating from 106 members


Featured Reviews

BEFORE WE WERE US by DENISE HUNTER is a beautifully written love story that takes place in the wilds of New Hampshire at the lovely Pinehaven resort.
Tammy and Tom Landry, who own the resort, employ Lauren Wentworth to help their son Jonah run the place while they slow down due to Tom’s health. Jonah is finishing his degree before taking over the resort from his parents and Lauren is filling in the time and gaining experience before she stsrts her dream job in Boston in January.
They fall in love, after a bad start in their relationship, and all is going well until Lauren falls off a ladder onto her head and suffers from amnesia…….
I like the way the author shows how Lauren’s abandonment by her mother affects her emotions and how Jonah understands her and is desperate for her memory of their summer romance to return……..
Before We Were Us has all you need in a romance novel. There is depth of feeling, unrequited love, anger and hurt and also unconditonal love.
I highly recommend the novel as a great read.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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After putting herself through college, Lauren’s dream job as a corporate meeting manager at one of the most prestigious companies in Boston is within her reach. She first has to gain some experience at a rural family-owned resort where one can rent a cabin in the woods of New Hampshire. The Pinehaven Resort had been in the Landry family for several generations.
The owner’s son, Jonah and Lauren have become close over the months they have been working together. She is surprised she is actually enjoying herself, especially the company of Jonah. While describing her idea of converting an old barn into a wedding destination, Lauren falls off a ladder and is rushed to the hospital. Although Lauren recovers from her injuries, she has lost all memory of the last four months, including the growing relationship with Jonah. As she gets back into her work, she decides she doesn’t want to remember, and now is only interested in finishing her time there and moving back to Boston.
Jonah, however, is heartbroken about the state of their relationship, which is pretty much non-existent. He makes every effort to rekindle the friendship and love they had before she lost her memory. Slowly things improved, however, the move back to Boston gets closer every day.
As I read this charming, engaging story, the characters, the cabins, and even Graham the dog, came alive in my imagination. Not only did the story draw me in, the descriptions are vivid, characters are lovable and relatable. Although my heart hurt along with Jonah’s, I had great sympathy for the situation Lauren found herself in. I nearly read it straight through; just couldn’t put it down.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All comments and opinions are my own.

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This isn't my usual read but I was intrigued and it didn't disappoint. Seeing the accident have a toll on Lauren and Jonah was very hard but it showed how we can go through challenges that can make or break us. Beautiful read overall.

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This is a wonderful love story. Lauren and Jonah meet and have a not great relationship until they do. After an accident, Lauren does not remember that she is in love with Jonah. She is shocked that she gave up her "dream job" to stay in NH and takes it out on Jonah. Bless his patience and love. This is a heartfelt love story and I highly recommend it. I was given an advanced reader copy and this is my honest opinion.

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I really enjoyed this emotional amnesia story from Denise Hunter. The characters are great, the setting makes me want to go to New Hampshire, and the plot twists add a lot. There are fun, humorous incidents interspersed with the discouraging times. And then there’s the dog!

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." #BeforeWeWereUs #NetGalley

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This was such a heartwarming read. I fell in love with the characters, the setting, all of it. The writing was superb!! I can't believe I've never read anything from this author previously. She has such a beautiful way of weaving a story, and I love reading about places l've been to (New Hampshire, White Mountains etc), it makes me feel more immersed in the setting. If you are looking for a sweet, non spicy romance this one is definitely for you!
Thanks to NetGalley & Thomas Nelson Fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Denise Hunter is one of three authors that try to read every book they write. Denise’s latest book,“Before we were us”, is another of her’s that I will read again and again. Through the years I have read several books from other authors where someone loses their memory, but this is entirely different from any I have read.

One of the main character, Lauren, has a chance to have a dream job in event planning. The requirement is that she works first at a family-owned resort to get experience. Here she meets Jonah, the future owner and her boss. She is not impressed with him. Her opinion changes through the summer and eventually grows into love. It all changed in a moment. As she was climbing down a ladder, she fell and hit her head. She lost her memory of the last four months.
The last she remembered she didn’t like Jonah and surely not love him. This is a story of second chances. Can he win her heart again or will she take that dream job in another city?

Loved the book and highly recommend it. "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

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I have very high expectations & standards when it comes to a romance/love story. Denise Hunter is a new author to me & she exceeded my expectations with Before We Were Us. This book is beautifully written, well developed characters, and has the ability to evoke very intense emotions while reading it. Hunter will break your heart, numerous times throughout this book, but manages to piece it back together just as many times. If you want a book to make you ugly cry, in a good way, this is the one for you~

Thank you NetGalley & Thomas Nelson Fiction for an ARC copy of this book.

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This was òne of my favorite Denise Hunter books so far! It had all the healing and sweet romance that made for a perfect read. Loved both of the main characters and the location...let's just say I'd love to spend a summer there in New Hampshire with the Landry family. Highly recommended!

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📖📖 Book Review 📖📖 Our memories are an integral part of who we are. I remember when my mom had to have 9-hour brain surgery, she told the doctor to stop the surgery if she started to lose her long-term memory. The team interviewed her to get to know her so they could assess this as they progressed through the surgery in which she remained awake. What happens to us when they disappear into thin air?

There was so much hope for the future…what if you woke up and could not remember any of it? When Lauren falls from the ladder in the hayloft, her whole world as she knew it disappears. Before We Were Us is an exquisitely written novel that perfectly balances the whole range of emotions that make us vulnerable humans. This heartfelt tale will have you feeling all the feelings and contemplating life.

Review is posted on Goodreads and the final review will be posted on instagram ahead of the publication date.

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Before We Were US by Denise Hunter is a heartwarming romance that I could not put down. Lauren Wentworth and Jonah Landry were in love and the future looked bright to them until Lauren had an accident and she did not remember falling in love with him. When they first met they got off to a rocky start because Jonah had been hurt by a previous relationship and Lauren reminded him of her. They quickly because friends and then fell in love. The story alternates between the time before the accident and the present day. She wakes up after the accident and all she remembers is what it was like before she fell in love with him. Jonah is patient, kind and willing to give her space. He keeps hoping that she will remember the love they shared. This book kept me engaged. Will she remember or will she fall in love with him again? I loved it that he was willing to let her go. I loved that his family was very supportive of him. I love all the characters that Denise Hunter creates.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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I really enjoyed reading this book, it had everything that I was looking for and enjoyed from the romance novel. It had that element that I wanted and enjoyed the overall concept. Denise Hunter has a great writing style and I enjoyed how good everything worked. It left me wanting to read more and I enjoyed what was going on.

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Let me first say that I have read every book Denise Hunter has ever written, and I will continue to do so. Forever. She is my go-to for a great romance that tugs the heart strings or sob quietly into my kleenex (because we don't have handkerchiefs anymore). Denise Hunter has written many novels, but I believe this one might be her best yet! What a wonderful story! An excellent romance by one of the top Christian contemporary authors, but I think anyone regardless of religion would enjoy the deep romance and well-plotted love story. Wonderful, captivating writing gives this novel the depth and ability to pull in any reader. Vivid, descriptive story-telling, with interesting characters that have depth to them, and are skillfully rendered. At the end of the book, they seemed more like friends than book characters to me. I highly recommend this author and all of her other books I have read have been nothing less than fantastic. She is definitely an auto-buy author for me, and I can't wait to own this novel in print. And yes, I had tears in my eyes several times - but good tears :)

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This is a great read!
Love is much more than a feeling. It is a commitment and sometimes means we need to let go.
A freak accident, lost memory, and a love so true are intertwined in this romantic read.
The characters are well developed.
Your heart might ache while you read, but this story is well worth your time.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. My opinions are my own.

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Charming and heartwarming. I fell in love with everything about this book. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC!

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Before We Were Us by Denise Hunter is a beautiful story of finding your way back to love. Lauren wakes up from a fall only to discover that several months of her life are missing from her memory. In those memories is her falling in love with Jonah, the man that she once couldn't stand. In Lauren's new reality she one again can't stand Jonah and can't comprehend what could've possibly changed in order for her to fall in love with him. Jonah has to use great amounts of patience to show Lauren why she fell in love with him the first time.
This is a lovely story that would make a great Hallmark film. The characters are written well and the flashback scenes are integrated well to give you some back story.

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Before We Were Us has an idyllic setting and wonderful characters. It’s a heartwarming and emotional love story about the fear and frustrating of overcoming adversity and moving forward, and of not giving up.

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I really enjoyed this sweet, but at times heartbreaking, romance! On the day Jonah was going to propose, Lauren falls and loses her memories of the last 4 months of falling in love with him! Jonah’s patience and unconditional love are really put to the test and she just puts more distance between them, even as they work together! The reader is on pins and needles as we read with intense emotions. Will she ever remember? Can he ever forget? Character development is great. I love this author's books! Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC. My review is my own personal opinion.

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Another novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I simply couldn't put it down.
I loved the quirky characters and they eventually became my friends. I really hated to say goodbye to them.
I highly recommend! 5 stars for an engaging novel
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

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I always love Denise Hunter! This book was super! I cannot imagine what life would be like to lose a part of your memory. Lauren lost not only her memory, but a very significant part of her relationship with Jonah. He has amazing patience with her and lets her find her own way. First impressions aren't always what they seem. Luckily they get beyond it, not once but twice!

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Such a sweet story, it kind of reminds me of the movie, While You Were Sleeping! I love how the author mixes in little unexpected surprises throughout the story. Jonah and Lauren were great characters as well as Sydney, Graham, Meg and Jonah's parents.



The resort sounds like a place that I would want to vacation at! The author does a great job of making you feel that you are there!



Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

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Before We Were Us is a sweet romance novel…Lauren fell in love with Jonah and then fell and hit her head the day he was going to propose. Losing all memory of the summer they fell in love, she only remembers Jonah as the guy she didn’t like, let alone love. Jonah is a really understanding guy…maybe a little too perfect? But no complaints here! His love and patience shine through while Lauren tries to piece everything together that fall. But fall will soon be over, the snow will start to come, and Lauren has to decide if she’s going to stay. Very sweet and touching, I loved this book.

I received an advance copy from netgalley in exchange for a review and opinions are my own.

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My thoughts: Before We Were Us is Ms. Hunter's latest release and as per usual, we have a winner. Laurel has her plans for the future mapped out in advance and nothing is going to stop her. Not even a handsome man in the middle of nowhere. Jonah knows what he wants to, but he feels it all slipping away.... This is a great romance and would make a great Hallmark movie. If you love romance grab your copy while its on preorder.... Highly recommended. I was given a copy free and all opinions are my own.

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Denise Hunter always write big stories with big emotions. This one is felt a little different as it’s a present day dual timeline. It starts off so warm and fuzzy and I was instantly in love with Lauren and Jonah. Then a tragic accident and I felt myself reeling with the characters. It was so hard to watch the story play out (in a good way). Trying to imagine myself in Jonah’s shoes, the love of my life there before me every day with no memory of us. My heart was shattered. There is redemption though, as we catch glimpses of early days through flashbacks. Tenderness, sweetness, and playfulness balance out all the hard emotions. Watching Lauren dredge through her memory loss, trying to pick up where she thought she left off, and processing through new emotions, was sorrowful. Seeing two hearts so full of love, yet feeling so alone and forgotten definitely took my emotions for a ride. But true to Hunter’s fashion, big love and romance perfectly outweigh any sadness. The sparks and deep love between these two characters is breathtaking. And I loved every minute of it.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.

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first book i've read from denise hunter and won't be the last!!! i thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish!!!

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Can you fall in love twice with the same person? That’s the question you’ll be asking yourself when you read Before We Were Us. I love finding a book where the characters feel so relatable. My heart broke for Jonah when Lauren couldn’t remember their love. Even though I hoped she would get her memory back, I couldn’t have predicted how this story would end. But it was good!
Sweet romance, a country setting and lovable characters put this book on my list of favorites for 2024. It’ll give you all the feels!
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Denise Hunter likes writing about the east coast small towns and while this is a departure from the North Carolina area of the Appalachian Trail, it is just as engaging as her novels taking place in those areas. The crux of the plot of this book is when Lauren gets amnesia the day Jonah was going to propose to her. She falls off a ladder in the barn that she is converting to a wedding venue and hits her head, giving herself a concussion and amnesia. She only loses four months, but it's the four months of her relationship with Jonah. She remembers the early stages of "I don't like you," but has forgotten the stages where he grew on her to the point that she fell in love with him.

The way Denise handled the amnesia is a breath of fresh air compared to how other authors I've read have handled it. I appreciated how she didn't try to "fix" everything but allowed it to flow organically, as real life would.

I really appreciate the way that Denise brought about the love story between Lauren and Jonah. His love never waned and he worked to rekindle the emotions within Lauren.

This is a five star book, with two thumbs up, and a magical barn wedding venue.

Thomas Nelson Fiction provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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As always, I’m left wanting more—and that’s a good thing! I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the Landry family. I want to spend more time with Jonah and Lauren. To make sure Tom’s health stays good.

To hopefully see Meg happy one day with her HEA. There’s so much more I want to know about these imaginary people. They make my heart smile.

I received an advance copy from the publisher. All opinions are mine and have not been solicited.

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I really loved this story about Lauren Wentworth goes to work at a resort for experience in New Hampshire on Loon Lake. She is there to help the family resort increase revenue. Once there, she feels like part of the Landry family and falls in love with Jonah. They are fixing up the old barn to be a venue for weddings and other events. See falls coming down off the ladder. She hits her head and loses her memory . She knows she is suppose to have a job at Glitter, a very elite event planner business. She calls and cancels . when she finds out she did that, she asks to be considered again for the job. She gets it but when she goes back to Boston to her friends and new job, she discovers that is not what she wants. A GREAT READ.

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What an amazing book! I connected with the characters immediately. The story was perfect! This was a book that I didn’t want to end. Will absolutely recommend this book to others! And, I look forward to reading more from this author.

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This book has an original storyline with a setting that I could identify with. The characters were well written & relatable. It was a fun read that I couldn't put down!!

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On the opening pages of Before We Were Us, by Denise Hunter, Jonah Landry is ready to propose to Lauren Wentworth. However, before he can get the words out, he must hear the sound of this woman’s body hitting the floor in the place that could have held their future wedding!

Jonah is not sure which way to turn when he discovers that Lauren has forgotten everything about the past four months. Lauren takes time to try to recall her past!

It’s fun to watch Jonah and Lauren slowly find their way back to each other. You only wonder where they will land!

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What if you just had the most fulfilling, romantic summer of your life, but you can’t remember any of it? Goodness, I LOVE a good memory loss romance and Denise Hunter does it spectacularly! This story has everything the romance-lover could want…charming romance, conflict, interesting characters, a lush setting and an enthralling plot. This enemies to lovers to memory loss romance is one you won’t want to miss!!!

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I really enjoyed this book! I’m reading it during a heat wave and really wish I could live at the Pinehaven Resort! After Lauren’s accident and memory loss the author provides flashbacks to the timeframe that Lauren can’t remember. At first I wondered why she wrote them as flashbacks, but that’s when the interesting twists are revealed. Denise Hunter is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and I am looking forward to her next book!

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Enjoyable read, interesting plot line with characters you care about. Ready for this one to become a Hallmark rom-com.

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This is a tender and moving story. My heart was entirely involved from start to finish. The love story definitely has its high and low points.

The setting of Pinehaven Resort is idyllic and serene with its trees, cozy cabins, and the lake. It's a place where families made memories.

The characters are wonderful! They are so easy to relate to. Lauren has had a goal for her future and was aspiring to attain it. A temporary job at Pinehaven has her questioning her "dream" job. Jonah is ready to run the resort and focus solely on making it profitable. When these two met, sparks started to sizzle(not in a good way). Then the sparks turned into a flame of love! Their love is tested and even put on the back burner for a while.

The ending was perfection! When Jonah hands Lauren her gift, my eyes shed tears of joy!

I was provided a complimentary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This story warms my heart and such beatiful love story of Lauren and Jonah. My favorite part was the background on Lauren and Jonah of " their before". I love that Jonah was so patient and compassion toward Lauren after the accident . I understand Lauren 's viewpoint on life because many children's terrible childhood as her can effect every part of your life. I glad that Lauren comes to her senses with loving support. They madly love with each other, and they can't live out each other. I thank you Netgalley and Thomas Nelson publishing allow me to review this book . #Before We Were US #Netgally

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This book made me ache but in the best way. I was feeling Lauren's confusion and discomfort and Jonah's pain right along with the story. Both of their characters were very sympathetically done so you felt the push and pull of both sides of their stories. The story worked, but Denise Hunter's always do. I enjoyed reading it despite the somewhat unpleasant topic. It was different from a lot of the romance books out there, which was a welcome surprise. I also liked how the ending was done and that it was kind of unexpected in how it was done.

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This was such a great literary fiction read! I loved this book from the very first page to the very last page.

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Heartwarming read. Lauren is an ambitious young woman striving to over come her past. Goal oriented to achieve her dream job she is sidelined working at a small cabin living resort for 9 months to prove she is worthy for the premier job. Friction with the handsome son of the family owned business leads to sparks. Trauma brings kinks to the story. Fantastic read. Recommend. I was given an advanced reader copy of this well written book by NetGalley and I am freely sharing my review.

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I’m not usually a fan of memory loss love stories, however, I am a fan of Denise Hunter. Her writing style makes me love this story regardless. I particularly loved the ending. The wedding gift. The infusion of memories they had made to bring them to who they were. The concept was done well and beautifully.

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A sweet love story of strength and recovery that draws you in and keeps you engaged until the very end. Bring your Kleenex because you will need it!

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I loved this book and didn’t want it to end! A perfect happy book to escape into and I would recommend to anyone needing a feel good romance. Jonah is so patient with Lauren as she struggles with her loss of memory from the summer they fell in love. The setting of the mountain resort is dreamy and I can’t wait for Denise Hunters next novel!

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I really enjoyed reading Before We Were Us! Denise Hunter did a great job with character development. I was able to empathize with both sides of the story and want a positive outcome for each. I learned about traumatic head injuries as well. The ending was enjoyable as I was glad things were left a little messy because that's how life really is.

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“Before We Were Us” by Denise Hunter
A Sweet Contemporary Romance
A story that wrapped me up in its web and held me close to the very last punctuation mark. An excellent sharing of the trauma that can result from memory loss and the subsequent journey to put one’s life back together again. And, Yes, the tears flowed like a tsunami, and the smiles did abound, too. Happy Reading ! !

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As soon as I read the synopsis I was intrigued. I kept thinking about Before We Were Us even before I started it.
I had high expectations and they were all met. As soon as I read the first page I couldn’t put Lauren’s and Jonah’s story down. I needed to know how it ended. It’s a heartbreaking story yet beautiful and full of hope. I throughly enjoyed Denise Hunter’s writing story as it’s effortlessly fascinating.

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you are a romance reader, this book is everything you’d ever want in a love story; thorough character development, unlikely attraction between characters, conflict, emotional roller coaster, captivating setting, and a sprinkle of humor. The conflict in Before we Were Us is rather frustrating, but that is what made the ending so satisfyingly beautiful. Then there is the setting; I wanted to look up the New Hampshire location and take my family for a week.
Lauren, grew up in the foster care system, got herself on her feet and somehow managed to put herself through college. Lauren’s dream job as a corporate event planner for one of the most prestigious companies in Boston is within her reach. Her glowing resume lacks one thing, experience. To gain this resume bullet, she takes on an internship at a rural family-owned resort where one can rent a cabin in the woods of New Hampshire. The Pinehaven Resort had been in the Landry family for several generations.
The owner’s son, Jonah and newcomer Lauren didn’t hit it off in the beginning but have become close over the months they have been working together. Being a city girl, she is surprised to actually be enjoying herself, especially the company of Jonah. While describing her idea of converting an old barn into a wedding/event venue, Lauren falls off a ladder and is rushed to the hospital. Lauren recovers from her visible injuries, but she has lost all memory of the last four months, including the growing relationship with Jonah. Her mind is back to the early days when she and Jonah were at odds. Sadly, the day she fell was the very day Jonah planned a romantic evening where he’d present her with a beautiful diamond ring and propose marriage. That plan is certainly no longer viable so the ring is locked away in a safe for hopefully better times. Doctors predict her memory to return in a few weeks, but the hard fact is that she may never regain those missing four months. Hard working Lauren dives back into her tasks at hand ,and decides she doesn’t matter if she remembers the lost four months and now is only interested in finishing her time there and moving back to Boston, where a prestigious position as an event planner with a well established firm called Glitter awaits. 
Jonah, who of course remembers every part of their love journey, is heartbroken about the state of their relationship, which is pretty much non-existent, if not hostile. He makes every effort to rekindle the friendship and love they had before she lost her memory. Lauren is not receptive. Slowly things do improve, however, the move back to Boston gets closer every day.
.

This is a charming, engaging and a bit frustrating story. I was right there with the characters, the cabins, and rescue dog, Graham. I could almost feel, smell and hear the sounds of the forest, as the writer used words to make the story come alive in my imagination.
Your heart will hurt along with Jonah’s, but one must also have sympathy for the situation Lauren found herself in.

My only complaint is the build up to the end couldn’t happen fast enough, but it was definitely worth the wait.

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