Review: Favourite Hello. Hardest Goodbye. by E.S. Carter

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

“My body knows yours, Macs.” I rub a hand over my abdomen. “It knows you in here.” I tap my temple with my finger. “It know you in here.” And finally, I place a palm on my chest over my heart. “And in her, in here it's hollow, empty, waiting, always waiting.” 
“For what?” His words are a mere whisper of air. 
“For you.”

Oh, my heart. My poor, bruised heart. E.S. Carter has taken a huge chunk of it, splitting it equally between the main characters of her newest novel. While this may have been my first ever read from this author, I already had a few of Carter's books waiting for me on my tablet, which clues you in on how much of a book hoarder I am. But maybe it was meant to be that Favourite Hello. Hardest Goodbye. would be my introduction to Carter's storytelling, given that it was a standalone that had no ties to the author's previous books. It also called to the M/M romance fangirl in me, since it happens to be my favorite romance sub-genre among the numerous ones out there today. And this book? This love story? Goodness, but how it took my breath away, snagging my heart along with it. If those books by E.S. Carter waiting for me on my tablet are as amazing is this one, well, consider me a confirmed fangirl of this author because I need more thoughtful and heartfelt stories like that of Macsen and Ellis.

Favourite Hello. Hardest Goodbye. is the sort of love story that I think is best gone into blind. Yes, I read the blurb for it when I first encountered the title months ago; however, I'd completely blanked out and forgotten what the book was about when I decided to begin reading it. And once I started, there was simply no putting my tablet down. I sat in bed with the air conditioner on full blast, what with it being summer here and all, and happily wrapped up in my favorite comforter. Anything and everything fell to the wayside because Macsen Evans and Ellis Probert had my complete attention, and by the end, they had my absolute affection as well, which was inevitable.

But hey, I can't resist giving SOME details, and no, nothing spoilery, so chill. Macsen Evans is a thirty-six-year-old self-made millionaire who leaves his life in London behind after impulsively buying a dilapidated manor house in the small Welsh village of Lily Bay. There he sees twenty-six-year-old Ellis Probert, chef and owner of Safe Harbour, a bar and restaurant, and years of waiting and searching have finally come to this. There's a reason why he was drawn to this place, why he feels tethered to this person, but while Macs has the answers, he hesitates to reveal them to Ell, even as the wary younger man asks all the right questions. After all, how do you explain that you aren't strangers, and how someone you have seemingly just met is both your favourite hello and your hardest goodbye?

As I read this beautifully penned novel, there were clues as to what was going on, and those were like puzzle pieces that fell into place as Macs and Ell spent more time together in Lily Bay. Even as I had rightly guessed at the onset how this would ultimately end, I didn't care one bit because I still wanted--no, needed--how Macs and Ell's story would play out. Only it doesn't really "play out" if your definition of that term is how it ultimately ends. Yeah, I know that sounds confusing, and maybe you'll get what I mean when you read the book--I'm imploring you to pick this book up as soon as humanly possibly and get to reading it already!--but maybe you won't. Either way, suffice it to say that Favourite Hello. Hardest Goodbye. was, hands down, one of the most heartrending and inspiring books I've had the privilege of reading in a good, long while. You made me cry, E.S. Carter. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 15 April 2020

Learn more about E.S. Carter.

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