Can be read as a standalone novel
**Contains sensitive subject matters**
Dying . . .
Dead . . .
Deceased . . .
It doesn’t matter how many times I say it or how many different names I give it, it still means the same thing. One of these days I’ll be nothing but a passing memory, a familiar face in a forgotten photo. But there are three things I need before this life of mine ends . . .
I need to tell him I love him more than life itself. I need to feel the strength of his arms wrapped around me just one more night. Most of all, I need him to forgive me.
Eight years ago I broke the heart of the only man I’ve ever loved and today I’m moving home in hopes that he’ll let me put it back together. I’m not sure how many breaths I have left, but I’ll use each and every last one fighting for what I destroyed.
My name is Laney Jacobs and this is my journey.
Pretty Pink Ribbons was an emotional read of epic proportions for me. Did I cry? Without a doubt. But there were times when the scenes were so real and so powerful that I was sobbing to the point that I was unable to continue reading because I couldn’t see through my tears. The intensity of my response to the tragic events was equaled by the absolute glee I felt when Levi let Laney back into his life and the scorching passion they shared. Pretty Pink Ribbons is a second-chance romance in the truest sense and while I may be suffering from one of the biggest emotional book hangovers I have had in a while, I loved every page of it.
The Prologue sets the stage for the entire book and Ms. Grayson manages to establish the strength of the love between Laney and Levi within the span of just a few pages. While I was able to understand why Levi issued the ultimatum he did, I hated that he did it because I already knew what her decision would be – and not because of the book’s blurb. I found myself invested in both characters so quickly that my heart broke for them both. But that was nothing compared to how much I hurt for Laney as her story unfolded. The love and support she receives from Mia, Benny and Luke is heartwarming and does so much to help strengthen her resolve to right the mistake she made eight years earlier, as well as give her the emotional strength she needs to deal with her medical condition. While Levi does not make it easy for Laney to repair the damage to their relationship, his love for her makes it impossible for him to keep her at arms’ length for too long. Because I was privy to Laney’s condition and Levi was not, I was caught between understanding his need to take things slowly while wanting to yell at him to hurry up before he ran out of time. And when he finally learned about her medical condition, I was so relieved he didn’t get mad at her and try to break things off. If anything, it served as the catalyst he needed to make things right and his unwavering support after that was beautiful. I loved how Levi set out to help Laney fulfill her bucket list and how the experience helped him fall in love with her all over again.
That there are no guarantees in life or in literature meant that I couldn’t be assured a happy ending or that the happy ending would be the one I wanted for Laney and Levi and that just added to my distress as the end of the book neared. The hospital scenes in the final chapter hit far too close to home for me – the level of realism ripped my heart out as I understood Levi’s feelings of helplessness and desperation far better than I would like. I will warn you that if you have ever had a loved one in the ICU and dealt with the uncertainty of whether or not they would make it, you need to be prepared to relive that because you will likely experience those doubts and fears again – at least I did. I read Pretty Pink Ribbons as a standalone and while I will go back to read Where We Belong, I know it will likely be awhile as I’m not sure I can risk another emotionally draining read anytime soon, no matter how much I want to know Tyson and Harley’s story. Well done Ms. Grayson.
“I wish it was someone else,” she croaks, swallowing hard. “There are thousands of bad people in the world, but it happened to you.” I watch her eyes fill with tears and then I look away. It’s pathetic of me really; that I’m unable to look my best friend in the face when it’s obvious that she is struggling with this almost as much as I am. But I’ve cried my fair share of tears and although I’m certain my tear ducts have yet to dry up, I don’t want to cry tonight. Somehow I know that if I watch Mia break, then I’ll shatter right along with her.
“I’m glad it’s me.” She gasps, startled by my words, and I rush to try and explain. “If it wasn’t me, it would be someone else, and I would never wish this upon someone else. You know that saying that God will only give you what you can handle?”
“Sometimes I tell myself that he just thinks I’m really strong and I can handle it, whereas someone else couldn’t.”
“Does that help?” she asks. “Does that make you feel better about it?”
“No, but it eases my mind. Sometimes when I’m having a good day, it brings me peace, however temporary it may be. But no, it doesn’t make me feel better.”
“Peace,” she whispers, seemingly trying the word on for size. “I want you to have peace.”
K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.