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Strip Search
Shayla Black, Aletha George
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Everything I've Never Had - Lynetta Halat I had the distinct honor of receiving an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Not only was I honored to receive this ARC, it is my first ever! So to say I was excited is an understatement. I fell in love with Lynetta’s writings a few months ago when I randomly came upon a little book called Every Rose. I hadn’t heard much about it, but after reading the synopsis, knew it would be something special. I was NOT disappointed, and it was a story that stuck with me for MANY months. So much so that I recommended it to everyone I could think of. After reading this, I quickly went to her Goodreads page, to see if she had any other books I could read. Upon learning of Everything I’ve Never Had, I anxiously awaited its release.

Within the first few pages, you are drawn into the devastatingly angsty world of Celeste and Adrian. Right out of the gate, we get a little taste of things to come with these two. Or rather, I should say, things we hope are to come.

That kiss…that kiss was exceptional, and I’ll never forget it. As I stand here and as long as I love, it was the best I’ve ever had, the best I could ever have.

Adrian is the cousin of Celeste’s deceased husband. Celeste and Adrian both come from a very “complicated” family. That is the nicest term I can think of to describe the Heberts. And that is being generous. Celeste is in a place in her life where she thinks she is finally ready to move on, but not sure what to do. Adrian has been a constant in the lives of her and her three boys for the past few years. Never taking it further than friendship, the lines are quickly becoming gray. Adrian’s devotion to her and the boys never falters though. He is her rock, her light, her ………future?

Sometimes we forget to appreciate the things that truly matter because our vision is so clouded by all of the mundane.

There are many obstacles standing in the way of this could be power couple, though none can compete with the obstacles they set up for themselves. Celeste wants to know what passion feels like. What it would be like to be truly devoured by another. Too frightened to defy her family and to break down her own boundaries, she hides behind her insecurities.

“Our past might have been rocky, but I think our future’s inevitable.”

Just when you think the story is going to go one direction, Lynetta throws you a curve-ball and you are playing a completely different ball game. I found this book so refreshing in that Celeste fights for what she wants. With everything life has thrown at her, she doesn't give up. She isn't broken, she isn’t helpless, and she can save herself. She fights for what she wants, and she fights for her man! The love between her and her sons will warm your heart. The love between her sons and Adrian; your heart will simply combust.

“I might shatter into a million pieces,” he grinds out but drops my hands. “I’ll put you back together again,“ I promise.

Oh, the feels I was surrounded with in this story! Every little thing I learned about Adrian just made me love him that much more. Here was a man who has always felt on the outside of a very large family. Whether warranted or not, he has never felt wanted. He has only ever been honorable, and stayed on the right side of the law, but even that isn’t good enough. Enter a woman who feels bound by family obligations, just wanting someone to truly love her for her. Their hearts are continuously at war with themselves and each other.

“Strength isn’t the ability to feel strong, Celeste. It’s the ability to overcome weakness.”

Celeste is the perfectly written heroine; strong, independent, and self sufficient. She has a close knit group of girlfriends, and they are all in different places in their lives. Their friendship for each other shines through and through in this book. I love a strong friendship “almost” as much as I love a good love story. The bond between these women is very apparent, and they continually push each other.

Always at the forefront is the budding suspense of Celeste and Adrian. Will they? Won’t they? Well, you will just have to read to find out. One thing is certain for the both of them, and clearly rings true. They may not know they have been searching for everything they’ve never had, but when you stop looking, life has a way of delivering exactly what you need. Sometimes that is the love of a lifetime, sometimes it is the strength that you never knew you had, and sometimes, if you are lucky, it is both.

“He said he didn’t even exist without you. That he was an empty vessel and that you filled him and owned him until he didn’t know where he ended and you began.”

In my mind, one song personifies how I feel about this book, and the love shown between these two characters. Safetysuit’s Never Stop (Wedding version). Everything I’ve Never Had is a definite MUST read, and one that I will certainly read again. Highly recommend!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGdDC8y6Q4k