Title: All That Glitters
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 206 Pages
At a Glance: All That Glitters was my first read by Kate Sherwood, and I honestly don’t know how that’s possible. She is a very talented author, and I’ll be seeking out more of her books in the future. Highly recommended!
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?
Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.
Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not.
Review: This second chance, slow burn romance rightfully deserves 5 big, fat stars! The writing was superb, the plot well thought out, and the characters interesting and distinguishable. The pace of the story was good and realistic, and the way the characters worked their way through past hurts was expertly handled. There were inner dialogues, and we followed quite a few thought processes in order for the MCs to work through their issues, figure out their lives—what was important and what they wanted out of their future. The self-awareness and the moments of epiphany were unexpected and very believable.
Liam was somewhat arrogant when it came to his professional life, but it stopped there. In his personal life he was down to earth, self-aware and very approachable. Ben was content with his life, but I don’t think he was really happy. He was scared of putting himself out there, so he limited his experiences to easy and safe within the borders of North Falls. Liam’s return set in motion the changes that needed to happen for both of them in order to move on with their lives, either together again or apart once and for all.
The secondary characters were very interesting and unique. They were quirky but charming, and there was no evil caricature to play the bad guy in the mix which was a nice change. My only complaint is that Liam and Ben didn’t talk about the cheating that broke them up the first time around, when they were thinking about giving their relationship a second chance. It was clear that they had put everything behind them and each had worked through the hurt and guilt on his own, so I’m confident in it not happening again, but that’s only known to the reader because we get both POVs. Liam and Ben didn’t talk about it, and there were no reassurances, no talking through the issue or their concerns. Sure, they fought about it and brought it up while there was still resentment so they could put the past in the past, but the issue didn’t come up in a calm conversation while they were trying to decide if they wanted to rebuild their relationship. That was a conversation I was expecting and was disappointed not to get.
That minor niggle wasn’t enough to taint my enjoyment of this great story, though. It’s a book well cared for and carefully planned, with a plot that develops cleverly and without any frustrating, sudden side plots thrown in as an afterthought. There is very little angst, but you can feel the hurt the characters carry. There is never any question that Liam and Ben belong together, but there is uncertainty about whether they’ll be brave enough to try again.
All That Glitters was my first read by Kate Sherwood, and I honestly don’t know how that’s possible. She is a very talented author, and I’ll be seeking out more of her books in the future.
You can buy All That Glitters here:
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