Note: This ARC was provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review.
“And you, most of all you. I want to look at you and say, one evil man did not stop me from presenting my heart to the girl who claimed it. You get my heart, Eloise. You. And, God, I hope you want it. But if you don't, I still won't regret giving it to you. Even then, I won't regret loving you because it mean I win.”
This book. Gah! Where do I even begin with Mia Sheridan's latest standalone? Calling it one of the most meaningful reads I've come across this year doesn't feel enough. Same with labeling it one of the best books for 2017. Will saying Most of All You is quintessential Sheridan yet her writing appears to be on a whole new plane, one that makes me excited for what that means for both author and reader with regards to her next projects, suffice? Maybe. Or I could simply tell you that this novel had every single requirement that I demand in the romances I read: impeccable writing, undeniable chemistry between the main characters, a modern-day tale that has the potential of becoming timeless, and high entertainment value. Add in all the other bits and bobs--angst, drama, wit, lighthearted moments--and I'm a picture of a perfectly sated bookaholic with a major book hangover.
Most of All You is the story of two twenty-somethings whose lives, on paper, would never have intersected. Eloise Cates has not had an easy life, and working at a strip club is nothing more than a means to an end. When Gabriel Dalton comes looking for Crystal and reaching out to her at the club, it also becomes a means to an end. He knows what it's like to live in darkness, but while Ellie's past seems to have irreparably broken her, Gabriel has emerged from the shadows and embraces the light. He does, however need Crystal's help in his continuing quest to move forward and live his life to the fullest. Crystal needs money, which is what forces her to agree to help Gabriel. One needs the other and vice-versa. But while Gabriel may have needed Crystal, it's Ellie that he wants; only, Ellie can't allow herself to either need or want Gabriel. What will it take for both of them to let go and let love lead the way?
I've purposely left out the pertinent information with regards to Ellie's and Gabriel's pasts. Discovering those darker parts of their respective histories was a study in contrasts because they've emerged from those years of theirs differently. While Gabriel was the one who believed Crystal could teach him something necessary to his adult life, it was Ellie who had a thing or two to learn from him--things she didn't realize were vital to not just her daily survival but to her truly thriving in her everyday life and learning to live AND feel again. Do I still sound vague and cryptic? Well, I am rather well versed at both, but it is a necessary evil with books like this one. Seriously, I'm encouraging you to pick the title up on your own and truly immersing yourself in the story that this cast of characters has to tell. I think that's the best favor I can do for you rather than me detailing stuff from start to finish.
I'm fully disclosing that I've been a longtime fan of the author's, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I've rated every single one of her releases five-plus stars. Some of her books have spoken to me more than the others. This latest one from her belongs with the former. It is a truly an extraordinary read, and I'm sure that many will agree with me, and there will be those who don't. After all, reading is a personal experience, and what registers as a positive to me may not with someone else. What I'm hoping is that this book stirs your emotions and allows you to ponder a few things. At the very least, I hope you'll consider the x number of hours it takes you to read the book worthwhile and come away from the book having enjoyed it to some degree. If Mia Sheridan is a new-to-you author, I'm highly recommending you give Most of All You a whirl. You won't regret it. Five-plus stars times twenty. ♥
Release Date: 17 October 2017