Saturday, August 27, 2016

Once and For All (American Valor #1) by Cheryl Etchison

Title: Once and For All (Avon Impulse: American Valor)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Avon Impulse: American Valor
Format: Paperback; 368 pages
Publisher: Avon Impulse (June 28, 2016)
ISBN-10: 006247104X
ISBN-13: 978-0062471048
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also an Avon Addict which means I love the books that Avon publishes enough to volunteer to read as many ARCs and books as they can send my way. So you'll be seeing a lot of books reviewed by me from this publisher. Please note, however, that if I don't like a book, it will be truthfully reflected by a low rating.

Once upon a time Bree and Daniel were high school sweethearts. Everyone thought the two would eventually marry, but their Freshman year of college he disappeared with no explanation or a heads up. She went to his apartment at the end of a seemingly normal day day to find out from his room mate he'd moved out, and she hadn't seen him since--until now.

A two time cancer survivor, Bree feels trapped and stifled by her circumstances. Living with her parents the past several years, she's run up medical bills and her employment prospects are pretty much nonexistent. Ditching her wig and venturing out with only a hat, she runs into the one person she hoped would never see her this way--her old flame who looks sexier than ever.

Instead of being appalled, though he offers her a way out. He proposes they marry...

"Just hear me out a second. (...) If we get married, your insurance will be covered by the army. (...) It gets you out of your parents' house," he said ticking off each reason on his fingertips. "You can find a new job or go back to school, whatever you want to do. (...) And when you're back on your feet and ready to move on we'll get a divorce."

Will he prove to be her knight in shining armor or her worst mistake? As old feeling start to rise, she'll soon find out Once and For All.
This was a bitter sweet romance and, surprisingly, I loved it. I was a bit apprehensive about reading this one. I usually have a big problem with books that deal with cancer. My sister died from breast cancer right around 15 years ago and I still tend to cry like a baby at such stories. It's the reason I didn't read The Fault in Ours Stars by John Green. This one, however, has a happy ending, and Bree is on the road to recovery so, thankfully, my fears were unfounded.

Bree is smart, beautiful, fun, and spoiling for something good to happen in her life. Daniel, at first glace, seems the most unlikely guy she should get together with, but he immediately starts winning d Bree and me over. What's that saying? Actions speak louder than words, and Daniel starts right off showing Bree and us how much he still cares for her. Even though the marriage is supposed to be platonic, he swears off other women because to do otherwise would be disrespectful. *sigh* Bree, of course, takes a little more convincing because she doesn't know what he's thinking or feeling. He needs to prove to her he won't break her heart for a second time.

Watching this couple rekindle their love was sweet and uplifting. I loved Daniel's brother who, at times, acted more like Bree's older brother than Daniel's. His disapproval of what Daniel was doing paired with his protective nature toward Bree makes me hope he'll be the main character of Ms. Etchison's next book. I'm crossing my fingers.

This was such a fun, sweet, and charming story I couldn't help but give it 5 out of 5 roses. I absolutely loved it. The characters were well developed, and the story well thought out. It was full of humor, steamy romance, and touching moments.  On the Lisarenee Romance Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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