Published by Independently Published on April 9, 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Amazon ♥ Goodreads
A second chance romance
What happens when you fall for the boy next door?
Bea Norwood had the market on normal.
Drama free life? Check.
A single-mother who doubled as her confidant and partner in crime? Check.
A neighbor and best friend she trusted more than anyone? Check.
But that was until the day her mother remarried. The day that changed everything.
When her best friend's cousin, Liam Falcon, is sent to live with his aunt and uncle to clean up his act, Bea finds herself falling for the boy next door. With their hearts so infinitely entwined, Bea turns to Liam as her only escape from her new step-brother's daily torment at home. Bea thought their love could conquer anything. But she was wrong. Love was for fools, and she was the biggest fool of them all. When Liam left Lakeport, he took her heart with him, shattering the organ to pieces.
Six years later, Liam takes a trip back to Lakeport to visit his family, and to see HER.
His first love.
The girl who holds his heart.
The same girl who shattered it six years ago without looking back.
Liam is hell-bent on seeing Bea again after six years, but what he finds tears his heart in half. Bea Norwood is a shell of the girl he fell in love with. Underneath the baggy clothes, and pale skin, he knows she's still in there somewhere, he just needs to find her.
Liam will stop at nothing to win his girl back, but sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and Liam isn't prepared for Bea's truth.
Trigger Warning: Rape, Abuse – both mentally and physically
I consider myself a pretty well read reader, but nothing prepared me for Ache by S.M. Soto. I have read some truly dark and disturbing books, but Soto really poured her heart out in this story with an honesty and realness that I have not found in any other novel quite like this one. Soto does not hold back and hits you hard with some truly disturbing subject matter. Even though the story is dark, there are these little sparks of hope and love dispersed within and also some of the most heartwarming and tender prose I have ever read and it will just make your heart melt.
Bea Norwood is an extraordinary character and the things she endures is so heartbreaking it will make you cry. Everything she has gone through and is still going through will make you angry. Why doesn’t anyone see through her pain and suffering? How much does Bea need to go through for someone to take notice of the horrors her life has become. Bea thinks she is broken, damaged goods, and trash that can be discarded at any time. She does not feel worthy of love or happiness and she feels empty inside. On the other hand, I can see the strength deep inside of herself and the way she tries to protect her loved ones even though it means she needs to suffer through the pain.
Liam Falcon, the boy next door, falls in love with Bea from the moment they meet. He is so sweet and tender and so compassionate with Bea and it’s so easy to see how their love blossomed when they were teenagers. Liam is such an all around perfect hero in every way. Although at times you may want to smack him you know his heart is in the right place. Six years later and Liam, now a man, would do anything for his Sweet Bea if she would only let him in.
S.M Soto interweaves the past and the present in such a way that is never confusing and also in a way that mixes both the tender moments along with the painful ones so much so that your emotions will be all over the place. Soto has ripped out my heart, stomped on it, broke it into a million pieces, and then when I least expected it, she puts the pieces of your heart back together again. You will ugly cry like you have never ugly cried before.
I especially love how at the end of the story Soto takes the time to talk to her readers on how this was such a raw and emotional story she had written and how unsure she was on publishing it. I am so happy she published because Ache really hits you hard in all of the feels and it is a story that needed to be told with all of its brutal honesty. Ache is a definite five star read for me and while I normally do not read books for a second or third time, Ache is definitely going to be reread over and over again. One of the best books of the year and if you do not pick this one up you will really be missing out.