Consolation by Corinne Michaels
on March 18, 2015
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Romance
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Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.
But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.
One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.
Consolation by Corinne Michaels is a story about a woman who loses her husband and falls for his best friend. Natalie is a widow with a baby. Something she never thought would happen. Her husband killed overseas. His best friend, Liam, swoops in to help Natalie pick up the pieces. It’s the perfect set up for a friends to lovers romance.
I thought that Ms. Michaels handled their relationship well. It’s definitely not a relationship that was expected by either of them. They really were just friends. It wasn’t until they spent time together that things started to change. And it confused them both. At first I wasn’t sure that I liked it. I didn’t think that two people could be in each others lives and never notice they had feelings for each other. But the more I thought about it and as the story progressed I started to believe what Ms. Michaels was selling. Natalie and Liam really hadn’t looked at each other in that way before. There was no need to. It would have gone against what and who they were to each other and to Natalie’s husband, Aaron.
Although I felt the emotional connection lacking, I did understand why Natalie struggled with her back and forth emotions. How long is long enough to grieve? Can you just decide when and where you fall in love again? I appreciated that author didn’t exploit the boundaries by throwing them right in bed together. What I needed though was more gripping emotions. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry big fat ugly tears. I wanted to grieve with Natalie. I saw a picture recently of a teenager boy, who had pulled his baby sister from a crumbled building. All you could see was destruction and the two of them. The way he held her in his arms cradling her head up against his chest spoke volumes. His face though, the out right fear, relief, pain that showed in just one picture, it was heartbreaking. I was overcome with emotion. That’s what I wanted here. No I needed it for this particular story to work completely for me. Don’t tell me Natalie’s in pain and devastated by her loss. Make me FEEL her pain and devastation. I wanted her pain to encompass me and make me feel compassion for her. Instead I just felt like “meh” and I was disappointed.
I adored Liam’s character. He was careful, considerate, respectful, he was everything I would have hoped for. His wit kept me smiling and I absolutely adored his interactions with Arabelle. Probably my favorite parts of the book were with him and the baby. He was so sweet and funny. Perfect for the story. I think I could have done without his pov chapters. I didn’t really feel like the story warranted his voice. Even in regards to the plot twist. Things would have fallen in place on their own. I liked that Liam was totally honest every step of the way. He didn’t hide anything from Natalie which made him that much more endearing as her love interest.
Ahhh the plot twist. I wasn’t too happy when I got there. In fact I almost thought this review wouldn’t happen. Luckily it sorts itself out and I do see why the author chose to go that route. However, using it as a catalyst for Natalie and Liam to move forward was unnecessary for me. I think they would have gotten there on their own. I initially thought it was going to be used as an excuse. Now I’m leaning towards maybe character development. I’m not entirely sure. Hope this makes sense. Trying to spoil anything.
As for the humongous cliffhanger. Well…..that was a shocker. I’m so glad I don’t have to wait long to see what’s going to happen. It’s a doozy and man…I don’t even have any words.
This was my first Corinne Michaels book and I’ll definitely read more from her. I look forward to this stories conclusion in Conviction. I read the synopsis and I’m already worried.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Copyright © 2015 Corinne Michaels
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or publisher.
“Oh, Chloe, if you’d like to come out, please wait until your Daddy gets back,” I insist, holding my belly as another Braxton Hicks contraction hits. I grip the dresser and try to breathe through it. It seems like they’re coming more frequently.
Once it passes, I try to finish what I came in here for. Aaron is away, but I want the nursery done so we can enjoy the next few weeks once he returns. I walk around what will be her room, putting a few more of the pretty pink dresses in the drawers. Aaron and I have fought about the vast array of pink things that are now strewn around the house—he hates it, I love it.
He insisted we paint her room in camouflage. Brown, green, and black camouflage for a girl? No. I almost sent myself into labor with that argument. I got home and he and Mark were drawing it out on the walls. I launched various household items at Mark while throwing him out of the house. My husband found out shortly after how much he could suffer by my hands. I may not be a SEAL, but you don’t mess with me either. In the end, I won with purple walls and the sheer netting around her white crib.
“Daddy’s going to love this room, Chloe. I can’t wait to see his face when he sees the pretty butterflies.” Needing to take another break, I sit in the rocking chair and rub my stomach. It soothes me knowing she’s in there. I can protect her—it’s my job. I love being pregnant and it’s a miracle we were able to conceive her. I’ve already told Aaron I want to try for another one as soon as she’s born. I close my eyes and sink, allowing the world to fade away.
I imagine holding her in my arms, sitting here in this chair, soothing and kissing her. I picture Aaron with her asleep on his chest as she gets to hear his heartbeat. She’ll own his world and have him wrapped around her finger.
Knock, knock, knock.
I hear the door, but it takes me a few seconds to get out of the chair.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.
They bang louder this time.
“Coming!” I yell at the door. Jeez, give me a second.
Waddling to the door takes me a minute since I’m the size of a whale.
I open the door and see Mark Dixon, Aaron’s boss and close friend. He works at Cole Security Forces with Aaron and served with him for years. His head is hanging low and when he looks up, his eyes are full of sorrow.
“Lee,” he chokes on the one syllable of my name. The one Aaron uses. Something is definitely not right.
“What happened?” I ask again as I begin to shake.
Tears fill his eyes and I know. I know my life is never going to be the same. I know everything I’ve ever feared is about to come true because Mark doesn’t cry. Mark wouldn’t be at my door if something weren’t really, really wrong. “It’s Aaron.”
My heart stops beating and the world I live in ceases to exist. “Don’t,” I beg with tears blurring my vision and my breath accelerating.
This can’t be happening.
“Please, don’t, Mark. Please,” I beg him again, because once he says it…but I know it’s futile. It doesn’t matter because he can’t stop it. It’s already happened.
“Natalie, I’m so sorry.”
The dreaded words that every military wife fears. Only I wasn’t supposed to have to worry about this anymore. We were done. We got out. I wasn’t supposed to ever fear this again.
Please, God, don’t take him from me. Please!
“But, I’m p-pregnant. I’m having a baby,” I stammer as if that will somehow make none of this real. “He said he’d be back. He said he…” I trail off as it becomes difficult to breathe. My hand flies to my mouth to stifle the scream about to escape. Everything goes colorless.
“It was an IED. I’m sorry,” Mark says as his eyes glimmer with unshed tears.
But he’s there, cradling me in his arms. “I’m so fucking sorry.”
“No. No. No.” Mark holds me as I sob clutching my stomach. “You’re lying,” I hiss, tearing myself out of his embrace.
“I wish I were,” he says as I struggle to get up.
“It was a mistake. He’s having a baby. He said it was a simple in and out!” I scream and throw my hands against his chest. “You’re lying!” I scream, even knowing it’s not a lie.
“Stop saying you’re sorry!” My sorrow turns to hatred. I hate him. I hate everyone in this moment. I hate Aaron and everyone who was there. I hate this house and everything in it. I hate the air that he no longer breathes. Hate consumes me. Hate smothers me. “Get out!” I yell and push against his chest. “Get the fuck out of my house! Aaron will be back in a few days and then we’re going to get ready for our daughter to be born.”
“Please,” Mark beseeches and I refuse to look at him.
This isn’t happening because Aaron’s alive.
He’s not dead. How dare Mark lie to me.
“He’ll be back. He wouldn’t leave me. He promised.” Aaron wouldn’t lie to me. He never does. When he left for missions, he would always say goodbye like it could be our last. But this time he kissed the tip of my nose and said, “Now don’t have that baby until I get back.”
“Can I call someone? Your mom?”
“No, you can’t call anyone because he’s not dead! Go get him, Mark! Go get my husband and bring him home.” I step back pointing my finger at him. “You all promised. He promised.” I clutch my stomach as a sharp pain radiates, but it’s nothing compared to the agony sitting on my chest. Tears flow relentlessly as I struggle against his hold. “He promised.”
“I know he did,” Mark says as he holds my head against his chest.
My life is gone.
My heart is dead.
I’m a widow at twenty-seven.