Review: The Sweetest Goodbye by Christina Lee (Roadmap to Your Heart #3.5)

Billie grew up with the luxury of having a place to call home and family always surrounding him, and as I lay down in my sheets, I ached with the same loneliness I always did, wishing for something I didn’t have. I dried my damp eyes with the heel of my hand and told myself to suck it up. At least I had a little taste of heaven tonight. I got to put my hands on the same boy I’d been half in love with since high school. He trusted me because I made him feel safe. And that was everything.

I've been privileged to read all of Christina Lee's books and two of her series are among my all-time favorites--Between Breaths and the ongoing Roadmap to Your Heart, the latter's series starter a spin-off of the final novel in the former. There's always been something about this author's storytelling that's called to me and I have no qualms about proudly stating I've been a fangirl for a while now (since October 2013, people!) and that Christina Lee is one of my top go-to authors. Does that cloud my judgment? If anything, my expectations of each new release she puts out there is heightened because I know how good she is--I've seen evidence of it in her past published novels--so I kinda, sorta, possibly demand more. She has yet to disappoint me and with the release of The Sweetest Goodbye, a novella in the Roadmap to Your Heart series and originally released as part of the multi-authored It Was Always You anthology late last year, she rewards my faith in her with a story that brought tears to my eyes and a few squeezes to my heart. This gifted author doesn't need tens of thousands of words to move me.

William Montgomery has grown up. Now twenty-two, he's in charge of Montgomery's Sweets and has his best friend Dylan Bowden by his side, both at the store and when Billie needs to let loose. They know almost everything about one another...except for Dylan's unrequited feelings for Billie, no thanks to the well known fact that Billie's still waiting for his childhood best friend and first love Leo to return. But maybe Dylan's attraction isn't all that one-sided, especially after they cross the line between love and friendship. Then Leo unexpectedly arrives in their hometown of Roscoe. When an emergency concerning his service dog Bullseye has Billie frantic, does he turn to the boy he loved and who first owned his heart or the young man he may be falling for and whose heart he wants?

Billie was originally a supporting character in his older brother Callum's love story in The Deepest Blue, and while The Sweetest Goodbye is interconnected in a way with the second and third books because the main characters in all three have either familial or friendly ties among them, this novella can be read as a standalone. However, being the stickler I am for reading books in order when they're part of a series and because I've loved the books that came before this novella, I'm highly recommending you check the others--The Darkest Flame, The Deepest Blue, and The Hardest Fall--out as well, especially The Deepest Blue because you see a younger Billie and can bear witness to the close-knit relationship he has with his family, his love for his dog, and his special friendship with Leo.

It's made clear from the beginning that Dylan's feelings towards his best friend Billie are more than platonic, but isn't pursuing said feelings because of Billie's own feelings for Leo. Don't confuse this as being a love triangle and I'm glad that the author made sure to point out that Leo didn't make any promises to Billie regarding their relationship although Billie that tell him that he would wait for Leo to return to Roscoe after he graduates from veterinary school. Billie has undergone changes, going from a teenager heavily dependent on his family, his best friend, and his service dog to a young man, growing into the Will that Dylan loves. While he welcomes some change, he's resistant to others--especially when it comes to those closest to him, like Leo moving away, Bullseye growing older, and Dylan possibly being with someone else. He learns, though, that while life is filled with inevitable goodbyes, it's also full of possibilities for amazing hellos--and often, the end of one thing welcomes the beginning of something new. The Sweetest Goodbye is one beautifully bittersweet, five-plus-starred NA M/M read. ♥


Read my reviews for the Roadmap to Your Heart series:

The Darkest Flame (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review

The Deepest Blue (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review

The Hardest Fall (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review

The Sweetest Goodbye (novella) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)


Release Date: 13 January 2017

Date Read: 03 October 2016 (as part of the It Was Always You anthology)

Date Re-Read: 13 January 2017 (as an individual release)

Learn more about Christina Lee.

Purchase The Sweetest Goodbye on Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.


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