Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.
The truth was simple.
I loved them both.
My heart was forever severed, destined to exist in two equal halves — one with each man. But one half beat stronger, one half had the vein that ran deepest, and one half held my choice in silence well before I ever admitted it out loud. The other half would always be a part of me, but in a softer way — a more subdued beating, a quieter presence, a different kind of life support.
A different kind of love.
Sigh. This book just... It broke my heart, and even though by the end it had somewhat mended, I can still feel my heart twinge at everything that unfolded in this conclusion to the What He Doesn't Know duet penned by Kandi Steiner. What He Always Knew picks up immediately after the events in the first book. Charlie Pierce is still very much married to her husband, Cameron, and is still very much entangled in an affair with her first love, Reese Walker. She loved Reese first, but when he disappeared from her life, it was Cameron who came along--the one she exchanged vows with. Her husband asks for time--time to show his wife that they deserve to be together, to have the ring he slipped on to her finger years ago to remain exactly where it's always been. Her lover wants what he wanted when they were younger--to lay claim on the girl he loved that's become the woman he's still in love with. Charlie knows the time will come where she'll need to make a choice, one that could very well lead to breaking one man's heart and her own in the process. Does she choose her past or her present for her new future?
Kandi Steiner went above and beyond with this duet, which, by the way, you're going to need in order because neither one is a standalone. Writing a story that involves someone in a committed relationship having an affair with someone else cannot possibly be all that easy, especially given that there are readers who consider cheating a hard limit. But this duet isn't your typical cheating-themed story. It portrays two honest-to-goodness love stories. Yes, that's plural because Charlie didn't love just one man. She loved Reese and Cameron with care and passion on both counts. Is it wrong to cheat? Yes, it is, and I've always been and remain a true believer that there isn't a good enough excuse for the act, whether it be a one-time thing or an on-going one. However, people have their reasons for going into it, and Charlie's are as complex as they are heartbreaking. At the end of the day, decisions were going to have to be made on the parts of Reese, Cameron, and ultimately, Charlie. Who'll fight for what they want and could the past become her future and the present her past, and who is who in this complicated equation? If you've never read a Kandi Steiner romance before, start with this duet. Five-plus stars go to What He Always Knew. ♥
Read my reviews for the What He Doesn't Know series:
What He Doesn't Know (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
What He Always Knew (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 30 March 2018
Date Read: 26 March 2018
Learn more about Kandi Steiner.
Purchase What He Always Knew on Amazon.