Then There Was You by Melanie Dawn

Out of despair comes hope.Chris King never saw it coming…
In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover.  Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life.

There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope. Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I’d become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?

For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie…
No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did.

Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live.

I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor.

This is our story.
If you have been following my reviews for a while, you will remember the emotional mess I was after reading So Much It Hurts.  My heart was breaking for Chris King.  He deserved so much more than being left again by his first love and having to change his phone number to break that final tie.  Yes the idea of changing our phone service and number sent me into a sobbing mess for months after I finished that book, but I am happy to say we can now see what happened to Chris after that dark moment.
Then There Was You gives us the life of Chris.  How he was raised and what happen to him when he was sent to juvenile detention.  The woman he met in the detention center not only saved his life as a teenager, she allowed him to also save her.  Chris was an angry young man, every time he tried to save someone he loved, he always ended up being punished for it.  With a father in prison, a mother trying to raise his younger brother alone, Chris’s future didn’t look too bright.  When he found Mrs. Honeycutt as his counselor, she gave him the permission to feel again and to dream.  She believed in him, not the labels placed on Chris regarding his actions in life.  What Chris didn’t realize at the time, was Mrs. Honeycutt was trying to just survive herself.
Salem Honeycutt, was a 24 year old new mother.  Her husband wouldn’t do anything to help with the baby and after twelve weeks of no sleep, constant caring for a child and husband, Salem was ready to go back to work and counsel the boys who found themselves in detention.  Struggling with postpartum depression, exhaustion and anger that this is how her life turned out, Salem forces herself each day to do the best she can till one day her body gave out and she was rushed to the hospital.  Knowing it was time to put herself back together she seeks therapy and slowly recovers from the depression while still giving 110% to the boys in detention that she had grown to need and care about.  The dreaded day came when she had to say goodbye to her favorite client, it was time for Chris to move on with his life.
One night a concert would change the path for both Salem and Chris as she took her daughter to see the rock star Chris King.  Not knowing if he would even remember her, Salem got back stage passes for autographs and at this point, the story begins. This book not only tugged at my heart the whole time, I felt it was an honor to be able to watch Chris come full circle in life.  What was once a therapeutic relationship between troubled teenager and counselor has now become a friendship, but could there be more in the future for these two.  Both have been broken yet with the care
and love for each other 20 years ago, they find themselves now strong people who could be willing to give love a chance.  It just proves you never know when love will happen.
I want to make it clear that in this book even though we talk about Chris as a teenager, there were NO violation on the part of any adult.  Any sex that happen was consensual and age appropriate.  This is a sweet, loving story of two people who never stopped needing each other, even when they hadn’t talked in many years.  The heart knew what it wanted before the brain did.  We just have to read and see if Chris and Salem ended up following their heart.  I can’t recommend this book enough.  The author gave us yet another book that will land on your top ten list and bring a sense of peace to all of the Chris King fans who were left heartbroken after the first book.