Review: Virtually Impossible by Lauren Stewart (Once and Forever #2)
Note: This ARC was provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
What was happening to me? I’d met a woman for the first time and was already falling for her. Granted, we’d known each other for a while, but things like this didn’t happen. Not to me, or anyone else. The love-at-first-sight phenomenon could be easily explained away by hormones and other chemical reactions. But this was the reverse. Maybe the fact that I liked her so much was actually making her more attractive. Love before first sight.
Okay, reading two Lauren Stewart novels back to back cannot be good for my heart. It gets all excited and then there are all these gleeful moments that I’m either sighing in satisfaction or grinning like a complete girl. Darker Water set the bar astronomically high, but Virtually Impossible met the challenge quite nicely, with a story that set a tone of its own and had its two main characters give voice to it in a way that set this apart from the previous novel while still basking in all that book goodness that amazingly written books have as you’re reading and in the aftermath after you’ve gotten to “The End”. The story here is different, but what it does share with its predecessor is its being such a squee-worthy read while still doing a beautiful job tugging at a reader’s heartstrings, all while being a unique standout.
Andi Clark knows all too well what it’s like to trust someone and to end up dealing with consequences when the trust you give is used and abused by that someone you believed loved you. Four years later, she’s older at twenty-three and she’s been forced to be wiser. She hides behind her computer, forced to use one of her best friend’s name in order to earn a living as a virtual assistant. This is the way it has to be, especially if she intends to keep her actual name and identity clear. She does what she’s contracted to do by her client, all in the comforts of her own home, and spends time with her two closest friends, who have both gone above and beyond to support her. But her newest client may prove to be a game changer, someone who will have her wanting more than she’s dreamed possible for herself in four years.
Hayden Bennett has spent his twenty-nine years trying to be the good son and brother and the past two years being the good husband. He also happens to be rather good at his job in the company started by his late father and his wife’s father. Everything is fine in Hayden’s world. But there’s something about the word “fine” that makes you think that maybe, possibly, things aren’t as “fine” as they seem to be. Hayden believes he didn’t rescue his mother and brother soon enough from his abusive father, his wife is in love with someone else, and someone is itching to trip him up and watch him fail at work. But still, Hayden’s fine…until he employs a virtual assistant and Sara Antonopoulos proves to be far more indispensible than he expected. The virtual presence of his Sira wakes up a long slumbering side of him.
It was clear from the moment Hayden was introduced in the first novel that he was different from his younger brother Carson, but not in a bad way. They were two men who dealt with the ramifications of their father’s abuse differently, but would do anything for each other. Hayden’s story had my heart squeezing tightly in my chest in empathy. He had a stoic and steady nature about him that belied what he had to go through as a child and teenager while his father was alive and it was easy to see that Hayden was a man who had no qualms to do what he had to for someone he loved and cared about. His life was close to flatlining, with him not really living it to the fullest, making do with what was given to him, never complaining or rocking the boat. Andi was the kickstart he so needed but never knew he did.
Let me say that Hayden’s marriage is a very complicated one and before there are pre-judgments made about cheating, I’m going to very highly suggest that you read the story in full first. I’m not someone who bemoans cheating in a book for as long as it isn’t included in a book just to create some sort of taboo sexual scenario. I’m after the story and what context cheating plays in it, and yes, cheating isn’t limited to just sexual intercourse. Hayden and Andi’s love story is complex and they have situations going on outside of the relationship they’ve formed together. Everything was resolved in what I’m now beginning to think of as the patented Lauren Stewart way. Two books in and I’ve already become a fangirl and can’t wait to see who’s up next in the series. Virtually Impossible is a five-plus-star top read. ♥
Date Read: 06 July 2016
Learn more about Lauren Stewart.