Down to You, By Addison Kline

Holly Edgemont used to love celebrating Christmas, that is, until her whole world was turned upside down by an unexpected divorce from her college sweetheart Brant. This year, not only is she divorced, but the kids are going out of state with her ex Brant, leaving her utterly alone. Holly’s party-girl friend Sloane tries to break her out of her frump by dragging her along to holiday parties where Holly meets cute and available Chris. But when Holly realizes that she still has feelings for Brant, she has a decision to make: Learn to trust her long time love who broke her heart, or move on for good.Brant Edgemont is a divorced father of three, and hopelessly in love with his ex-wife, Holly. He made the biggest mistake of his life walking out two years ago. Despite his pleas to reconnect, Holly still resists him. Is it too late to rekindle their love? Or will Holly move on for good, leaving Brant himself heartbroken and alone?

Down To You is not just a romantic love story. It is a story of familial love, friendship, betrayal, redemption, and the magic that can happen at Christmas time when friends and family join together.
I like reading stories about people with history.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for first-time, come of age love, but once in a while you get to read a story about two people who have a past with each other, and I feel that  adds a whole other layer to stories.
Holly is still reeling emotionally from a sudden divorce from her college sweetheart, Brant.  She goes out with her friend and meets Chris.  Attractive, available and engaging, she wonders if she is truly ready to move on from the ruins of her marriage or if she needs time to work through the feelings she still has for her ex-husband.  Brant has also realized that walking away from Holly was the biggest mistake he ever made, but Holly seems unwilling to try and work things out with him.  So what will happen?  Will Brant and Holly give it another go or will they both move on?
Your partner is someone who knows you better than anyone, your best friend, confidante, lover, co-parent, and anchor.  There’s a lot that goes into a relationship with someone that spans years, because the things you’ve made it through tend to make it stronger, or rip you completely apart.  I really felt for Holly in this story.  It’s so hard to move on from someone with whom you have a rich history and be rejected by that person.  How do you learn to trust again?  The themes in this book seem very universal for women in my age group.  It’s not all about just romantic love or tingles, but what you can forgive a person for and what you can’t, and the ways in which love change over the years.  The strength of this book lies in making you feel for the characters.
My complaint about this story was that the actions taken by some of the characters seemed unrealistic and a bit strange.  I don’t want to ruin any of the plot, but I really didn’t understand the motivation behind the divorce in the first place.  Brant was going through some crazy stuff, but the whole situation just seemed strange to me.  It felt a bit like Holly was trying to relive her college days, and I’m not sure that was an intentional tool in the plot.
Overall, I thought this was a heartwarming story and as I said, I liked the characters even if I didn’t fully understand the motivations.  It’s not an angsty story, and I think just like everything else, once in a while it’s nice to read something lacking in the emotional roller-coaster that so many books seem to take you through these days.  It’s a
straight-forward story about two people who have lost their way along with each other, and where they end up.  3.5 stars.