NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley. Thanks!
The moment I saw this novel on Netgalley I just had to have it! I loved "Someone to Love", which was a companion novel and thought that I'd like this one too. One thing I had overlooked though is that The Next Best Thing is actually written before Someone to Love. Frankly, I had no idea they were connected until I actually sat down and came across a character called Parker. That woman is unforgettable it seems.
To tell you the truth, back in the day (last year) when I read Someone to Love and was told to check out The Next Best Thing featuring Ethan and Lucy's story, I thought "What? Why? Those two didn't really catch my attention." I seriously couldn't care less about them. But now that I've actually gotten to know them on a more personal level, along with their hardships and feelings... let's just say that they were totally worth their own novel.
The Next Best Thing is your typical romance, full of passion, secrets and lots of drama. THere's also a tragedy, which both separates and brings together Lucy and Ethan. This tragedy is the loss of Lucy's husband, Jimmy, who also happened to be Ethan's brother. This is why the barrier between those two was so enormous, so tough to shatter.
Of course, there are a bunch of other events involved adding even more drama.
So, onto the characters. They were well developed, and I mean ALL of them, not just Lucy and Ethan. The Black Widows, Lucy's sister, Ethan's parents... everyone.
I loved Lucy, even though she seemed a bit too absorbed with the past, with the perfect memory of Jimmy that she'd built up in her mind. She was sharing a bed with Ethan on a regular basis, but she was so sure he wasn't the right guy for her. Sure, what with the Black Widows' fate and so on, I understand why she wouldn't want to fall in love again, but still... running away is never the right option, is it?
And Ethan? He was so sweet all the time. Lucy continued hurting him again and again, but he kept on loving her. I was hurting for him, hurting that he had to go into self-preservation mode because he was sick of being Lucy's plaything. He was sick and tired of being the next best to Jimmy. Even his parents saw him as merely the second son. He wanted to be loved and cherished. He wanted to be appreciated. And he wanted a serious relationship with the woman he loved. Was that too much to ask?
Sweet, full of passion, pain and the aftereffects of immense tragedy, The Next Best Thing is a great light relaxing read.
My rating is 5/5 stars