Review: Pining by Stephanie Rose (Never Too Late #3)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Panda & Boodle.

Maybe I'd never be the man she deserved, but I'd be the only one who loved her the way she deserved, with my heart and soul and every cell in my body. All of me belonged to her. 
But I'd lost her. Panic filtered through me as I realized what I'd done. I threw her and us away and had no idea how to fix it.

Confession time: When I started reading this book, I had NO idea that it was connected to two of my favorite Stephanie Rose novels, Rewrite and Simmer. I also had no clue that the aforementioned books had been grouped together under one series. Another sad admission? It may have slipped my mind that the story was originally a short that was the author's contribution to the multi-authored Mistletoe Over Manhattan anthology from last year. I'm going to go ahead and blame all three on this being a busy time because we're just a little over a month away from Christmas, and we're prepping for the holidays. And lack of sleep. Definitely that because my poor brain's been muddled lately.

Pining is the third book in the Never Too Late series, and if you've read the first two books, then you'll remember Victoria, daughter of Josh Falco (Rewrite) and Sara Kostas (Simmer) and stepdaughter of Brianna Falco (Rewrite) and Drew Kostas (Simmer). Well, she's done some growing up, and now at nineteen, she gets her own journey to a happily-ever-after, one she shares with twenty-one-year-old Anthony Diaz. They meet when Anthony becomes the newest employee at Falco Custom Bikes, a family-owned business where Victoria works part-time while going to college. Their mutual love of comics and graphic novels bonds them, but their connection deepens the more time they spend together. Would she still want to be with him if she knew he was in jail for three years?

Stephanie Rose knows how to write a slow burn romance, and boy, does she do it well. Victoria and Anthony forge a real friendship, and I loved seeing this aspiring writer and gifted artist share moments where they geek out over superheroes and villains while also getting to know each other beyond that. These two may have been young compared to Josh and Brianna and Sara and Drew in their respective books, but they've had life experiences that had them maturing quickly. Aside from the romance aspect, this book also highlighted family, and how family isn't always the typical setup consisting of two parents and a child or two. With storytelling as good as the one you find here, Pining easily becomes one of my favorite reads for 2020, and I highly recommend that you read the Never Too Late novels in order. I promise, you won't regret the time you'll put into it.

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Read my reviews for the Never Too Late series:


Rewrite (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review

Simmer (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review

Pining (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 20 November 2020

Date Read: 18 November 2020

Learn more about Stephanie Rose.

Purchase Pining on Amazon.

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