Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry
Publisher: Harlequin, Harlequin SuperRomance
Publication Date: August 7th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Being a single dad was never on Michael Young's agenda. Yet with the sudden loss of his wife, that's exactly the role he has. On his best days, he thinks he can handle it. On his worst... Luckily, family friend Angie Bartlett has his back, easily stepping in to help out.
Lately, though, something has changed.
Michael is noticing exactly how gorgeous Angie is, and how single she is. She's constantly in his thoughts and he feels an attraction he never expected. Does he dare disrupt the very good thing they have going? If they have a fling that goes nowhere, he stands to lose everything - including her. But if they make it work, he stands to gain everything!
This is the first book by Sarah Mayberry that I’ve ever read and I picked it up because Ames said that it was a good book and because I work with a guy that shares the same name with the hero. Ames said that she stayed up until 3am to read this book and so I just knew that I was going to love this book…and I did.
This book had me weeping like a school girl with a broken heart. When the book starts off, Michael is married to Billie and they’re celebrating her birthday. Her best friend, Angie comes by for the party and you can feel how close she is with this family. Her friendship with Billie is more like sisters than best friends and she loves Billie’s kids like they were her own. When the unthinkable happens, your heart is torn apart and you’re almost afraid to keep reading because you just know that there’s going to be a whole lot of angst thrown in.
And there is.
For such a short story, this book packed a punch. From Michael trying to get by after losing his wife and wanting to be there for his kids to dealing with his grief and then there’s Angie and her grief and her need to help Michael with the kids to keep Billie close to her. You can’t help but wish for the two of them to fall in love with each other, even though you know that there’s a lot of things that they both need to work through before they can be together. Because, it wasn’t like Billie was this evil person that you wanted Michael to break up with. She was a good person with a great personality and in the brief part of the story that she’s in, you liked her. She was a likeable person and when she’s gone, you feel it.
I really enjoyed getting to know Michael. I really enjoyed seeing him try to move on from his life with Billie for the sake of his kids and then later on, for the sake of his sanity. He came a long way from the beginning of this book to the end of this book and I enjoyed seeing him come into his own. I really enjoyed seeing him forge a friendship with Angie and then to see him struggle with his grief, his love for his wife and his feelings for Angie…it was an emotional roller coaster that I would have kept paying to stay on. I loved that his relationship with Angie wasn’t something that they both jumped into, I loved that it grew over time and that they struggled with what they thought was the right way to handle it.
This was a sweet romance that pulled at my heart strings and squeezed them tight until I was all choked up. I really enjoyed it and I definitely recommend this to everyone!
Grade: 4.5 out of 5