Review: All That We Are by Melissa Toppen

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Enticing Journey Book Promotions.

All That We Are is the brand-new standalone from Melissa Toppen, and it's a story about the second chances life gives us and taking them and making the most out of them. Harlow Cabell returns to her hometown humbled by her time away. Life as a trophy wife wasn't all it was cracked up to be, not when her husband happened to be abusive and a cheater. Her older brother gives her a place to stay while she's trying to get her life back on track, and it's Winston's best friend who gives her a job in his tattoo studio--the same best friend she couldn't stand when they were younger. But Miles Hollins has changed a great deal over the years. His time in the military has left him with scars but it's the ones people can't see that look like they're never going to heal. In the eight years since he's been discharged, he continues to be haunted by everything his experiences. He knows there's a darkness to him that no one deserves to be exposed to, especially not the sister of his best friend--the girl he couldn't stand years ago. But they grow closer and realize that they've both grown up and they're not the same people they were. It's as if they could be exactly what the other needs...that is, until the ghosts of the past return with a vengeance.

I love reading Melissa Toppen's stories. They're like the perfect fix for an angst addict like me, and well, Harlow and Miles's story more than fit the bill today. Let me just put this out there before I get on with the rest of my review: I LOVED MILES. Okay, moving on... No, seriously, the guy wasn't perfect and never claimed to be perfect, yet it was his being this flawed human that made him even more endearing. Yes, he had issues he was dealing with, and these were issues that you couldn't solve with some magic pill or a quick heart-to-heart talk. However, he was this truly great guy who had a good heart and even though there was a lot of darkness surrounding him because of his military experience, you could tell there that there was this sliver of light just waiting to be unleashed. Then there's Harlow, and how could you fault someone who wanted to make a go of her new life? She wasn't the easiest person to like, but you want to cheer her on because she didn't pin her hopes on anyone other than herself. She wanted to be the one to solve her own problems, but she also learned to accept help when necessary. As always, Toppen did a great job coming up with a heartrending love story with a fought for happy ending. 4.5 stars for All That We Are. ♥

Date Read: 18 November 2018

Learn more about Melissa Toppen.

Purchase All That We Are on Amazon.


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