Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
He had to leave when he did. I had to stay when he left. Our paths diverged, first one, then two.
My introduction to L.H. Cosway was by way of her Hearts series, which has led me to trying to patiently await for the release of the first full-length novel in the Running on Air spin-off series. But in the midst of the waiting game I was playing with the author, lo and behold, an announcement came along that she was releasing a duology entitled Cracks! Prepare yourself for what I'm sure many will consider a corny play on that title: A Crack in Everything and How the Light Gets In were my proverbial crack, having been so totally taken by the first book that I jumped straight into the sequel without bothering to take a break in between. These two books reinforced the admiration that had formed courtesy of my Hearts reading binge last year, and while neither title was what I had been waiting for from Cosway, they were exactly what I didn't know I needed. Suffice it to say, they were superb!
“I can only see my dreams clearly when I look through you first.”
A Crack in Everything is the first novel, a young adult (YA) romance that introduces readers to seventeen-year-old Evelyn Flynn and eighteen-year-old Dylan O'Dea, both of whom live in a housing development known as the Villas. They go to the same school, and even though they're a level apart, they've known of each other even before Evelyn had moved permanently to live with Yvonne, her mother's younger yet far more responsible sister. It isn't until Dylan pushes his way into her home to hide from a gang of delinquents who want him to join an infamous gang. From there, the two form an unexpected friendship that evolves into the kind of love neither one was looking for. For a few years, her world was composed of her aunt and her best friend, Sam Kennedy, but Dylan hopes Ev'll open her world up to include him and new experiences. And she does...until tragedy forces them apart.
“It's always only been you. It only ever will be.”
Fast forward eleven years later and we find Ev and Dylan living very different lives in How the Light Gets In. He may have left Ireland to go to California, but his one wish was to have Ev by his side--a wish that Ev refused to grant. When she finally makes her way to New York to be with Yvonne once again, the last person she expects to find in their apartment is the boy who lay claim over her heart, body, and soul more than a decade ago. Only Dylan is no longer a boy and his name has become synonymous with in-demand fragrances. Dylan's the success that Ev always believed he could be, not realizing she's the inspiration behind his creations. He knows that the world is still out there for Ev to conquer, but as much as Dylan believes it, his Evelyn will have to believe that her love flowers and gardening and her love for him are things that she can not only have once again, but that they've never gone away.
Dylan O’Dea was changing me in all sorts of ways, he was showing me new ways to think, and as futile as it might be, I fought against it tooth and nail.
Sigh. I needed tissues for this duet. My heart soared then splintered and sewn back together again by the story that Ev and Dylan had to share. A Crack in Everything saw the blossoming of their relationship, but it nipped in the bud by a loss that neither one of them was able to recover from immediately. In How the Light Gets In, Ev and Dylan are eleven years older, but the cracks that formed by what happened in Ireland remained, never really filling in. Their journey may not have always had them going in the same direction, but the destination was clearly the same. Cosway made me feel as if I was experiencing everything Evelyn was going through, and she's certainly set the bar high as far as fictional male main characters are concerned with Dylan. From beginning to end (and goodness but how that ending may me tear up), Cosway's Cracks duet is a love story that lingers on. Five-plus stars. ♥
Date Read: 01 February 2018
Learn more about L.H. Cosway.