Let Me Love You Again by Anna DeStefano

 
  

Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Selena Rosenthal left behind her high school sweetheart, who was the love of her life, seven years ago.
Now, she and the once-rebellious Oliver Bowman are back in Chandlerville—after his foster father’s heart attack and Selena’s contentious divorce—to deal with her secrets, the recklessness that caused their breakup, and the almost-strangers they’ve become to each other and their families.
As soon as his father is stronger, Oliver must return to the successful career that helps support a new generation of foster kids. But he’s falling for Selena again, her daughter has a hold on his heart, and he can’t imagine leaving behind his brothers and sisters once again.
More attached by the day to their charming hometown and families, Selena and Oliver fall in love for the second time.
Has fate brought Chandlerville’s prodigal children together again…this time forever?
5 stars*****

Such a great story... gave me warm fuzzies... I love it when that happens... :)
This book really took me by surprise because I wasn't expecting it to stir up my emotions as much as it did. The story revolves mostly around Selena and Oliver crossing paths again after years of hiding away from the mistakes of their youth. But it also revolves around Joe and Marsha Dixon, the foster parents of Oliver, and it was his parents that had me hooked mostly into the story. I loved their marriage and how they devoted their entire lives to helping children in need. They couldn't have children themselves, but they turned it into something wonderful instead of letting it bring them down. Very inspirational characters that I grew to love.
Selena and Oliver made huge mistakes in their teen years... it's a story we've heard before right?? Their Wreck-less behaviors eventually pulled these two apart even though they loved each other. Sometimes you hurt someone so much they have no choice but to run away. And, that's what both of them did.
Tragedy strikes the Dixon family however, and Oliver found himself back in this small town facing the woman he loved in his youth with a new set of eyes. It's funny how time and a few years to grow can help heal the hurts of the past and find a way to give someone a second chance. It also doesn't hurt to have a huge family of foster brothers and sisters to set you straight!
The other thing that I LOVED about this book is the way the author included the occasional POV of Selena's little girl... I thought this was really powerful. Looking at a situation from the eyes of children is always a rude awakening. They see things simply and even though you try to hide the truth they can also be very, very perceptive! I fell in love with little Camille.
Joe and Marsha Dixon perfected what it means to be a real family. Sometimes a little love and patience is all the medicine we need to carry on. I loved the way they loved all of these children and gave them a sense of belonging and home.
I hope there are more installments to this series. I would love to get to know some of the other characters a little better!
A wonderful story that I would highly recommend to small town romance fans and those who just love a story that leaves you feeling good at the end.

ARC was provided by Montlake Romance

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Anna DeStefano is the award-winning, nationally bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Mimosa Lane novels and the Atlanta Heroes series. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, she’s lived in the South her entire life. Her background as a care provider and adult educator in the world of crisis and grief recovery lends itself to the deeper psychological themes of every story she writes. A wife and mother, she currently writes in a charming northeast suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, not all that different from her characters’ beloved Chandlerville. She is also a workshop and keynote speaker, a writing coach, and a freelance editor.

Q&A with Anna DeStefano

Thanks for having me over to talk about my new Echoes of the Heart Novel, Let Me Love You Again ;o)
Scanning your questions, I see TONS of great chance to share excerpts directly from LMLYA’s pages. I’m dying for your readers to fall in love with Selena and Oliver as much as I have!
How would your hero Oliver describe your heroine Selena?
Here we go—your sneak peek directly into the heart of Let Me Love You Again…
He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Dark hair cascaded halfway to the waist of her gauzy dress. Tall, willowy, fragile, Selena still exuded the vulnerability that had devastated him when they’d first met, first kissed, and eventually became each other’s first lover. As if the forever place they thought they’d made in each other’s hearts was there for him to claim…
How would Selena describe Oliver?
Through Tuesday morning shadows, Selena Rosenthal locked gazes with the one who’d gotten away. Next door, a ruggedly handsome man stared at her from the front steps of Joe and Marsha Dixon’s sprawling house—a yard, a hedge, and another yard away. Dark hair. Dramatic green eyes. Oliver had the face of an angel and a mouth that could tempt a woman into just about any sin on the books. She’d have known him anywhere...
What was the first thing that drew this couple together?
When Oliver was placed with Marsha and Joe at thirteen—after his single mother had been robbed and killed at her night job as a convenience store clerk—he’d discovered Selena living next door. She’d seemed as lost as he’d felt, still dealing with her dad walking out on her and Belinda. One look into her impossibly brown eyes and Oliver had begun to believe that someone else could understand the loneliness sucking him under. She hadn’t seemed to belong on quaint, picturesque Bellevue Lane either. Together, they’d learned how to love and dream and believe again—at least in each other…
The hero and heroine have been apart for seven years. How have they changed during this separation?
Selena realizes that Oliver’s no longer the self-destructive rebel of his youth. He’s now a powerful, successful business man who’s even more dangerous to her than ever.
Oliver had changed into different jeans and a plain black T-shirt. There were dark circles under his eyes. His face was shadowed with beard stubble that gave his cheekbones an even sharper edge. From the looks of him he’d been up all night. But there was something coolly sophisticated about him, too:
The rough-and-tumble rebel who’d once mesmerized Selena was long gone. And yet, he was exactly what she’d somehow known he’d become. Successful. Independent. Making his own way in a competitive business where few entrepreneurs thrived…
Oliver admires Selena’s new strength and emotional grit, though it means he has to work even harder to convince her to give them a second chance:
This Selena was stronger, he realized, than the girl who’d been so terrified of losing him. Stronger and potentially even more self-destructive than she’d been as a teenager, when she’d been trying to protect only herself from him.
“What’s happened to you?” he let slip out.
Selena shrugged, when she should be telling him to go to hell for judging her. “I’ve grown up, the hard way.”
What has stayed the same?
One of my favorite places in this story is when Oliver and Selena first give into their instinctive attraction to each other that’s only grown stronger over the years. At a pivotal place in Let Me Love You Again, Oliver simply can’t keep his hands off Selena any longer. And even though Selena at first resists, passion and desperation ignites and they’re both lost.
Here’s a glimpse of the resulting inferno, from Oliver’s point of view:
How could anyone get enough of something that felt as good as holding Selena?
Her lips trembled beneath his for a second, as if she were afraid. Then she was kissing him back, ripping free of his hold. But only so she could throw her arms around his neck as if she’d been dying to from the start.
God, Selena.
No other woman had ever felt like her, tasted like her, tempted him to crawl inside her and never find his way out. Since yesterday, he’d been dreaming of having her body plastered against his again. And she’d clearly been wanting him with the same desperation, while he’d agonized all this time over not letting his need for her show.
The last time they were together, Selena and Oliver weren’t ready for ‘happy ever after’ what has changed to make them consider a long term commitment now?
Over the last seven years, Selena and Oliver have lived, made mistakes, thought they were on their way the lives they wanted, and realized just wrong they were. Now’s their chance as adults, knowing all the things they didn’t as teenagers, to go back and re-think (and re-love) their way to the happy they’d thought they’d lost forever.
They talk about their journey late in the novel, when Oliver’s asking Selena to trust him one last time to be the man he’s always wanted to be for her:
Oliver’s finger tipped her chin up. “The past is just one part of our story, Selena. There’s so much more we can be, if we’re ready to figure the rest out.”
She nodded. “Everyone’s lives could have been so much easier if I’d trusted you years ago.”
“Maybe.” He leaned against the side of his truck—a city man with carefully-combed hair for once, wearing jeans and a T-shirt and looking as if he could command any boardroom, anywhere, just the way he was. “Or maybe this is exactly how it was supposed to happen. We’ve both come home from where we thought our lives were going to be. We’ve learned a lot about what we don’t want. Now we’re ready to make the choices we didn’t know how to handle when we were kids.
What’s up next in the Echoes of the Heart series?
Fans are begging for novels from two different secondary characters—two of Oliver’s foster siblings: Travis Bryant and Bethany Darling. I love both so much, too. But Bethany won the lottery for my next novel set in Chandlerville, Georgia.
I’m LOVING the work I’m doing on His Darling Bride, which will be out in early 2016. You’re going to HEART Bethany’s love story with her cowboy hero, Mike Taylor!
These two are absolutely amazing characters. And of course the entire Dixon family and the heart-warming if nosey town of Chandlerville returns to help these two find their way. It’s everything readers have come to love about the Echoes of the Heart books and more ;o)
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