“UNTIL NOW” UNTIL SERIES BOOK 1,
BY CRISTIN COOPER
PUBLICATION DATE: FEBRUARY 18, 2015
Then: Sixteen-year-old Bridget Larson was no stranger to heartbreak. When she found herself pregnant and alone with barely enough money for a hotel room for one night, the flashing neon sign of a neighborhood diner changed her fate. Hungry and cold, with just enough money for a cup of soup, Bridget discovered the love and belonging she craved in a family strangers at the fifties style cafe.
Twenty-four-year-old Billy Hall struggled with his own grief. Months ago, he was wandering Europe, in search of his purpose in life, when he received a call that would leave him saddled with his family’s diner. It was a noose around his neck until a pregnant teenager stumbled in hungry and alone. Inexplicably drawn to the girl, he had no idea the purpose he travelled the world to find was simply waiting for him to come home.
Now: After hiding their feelings for each other over the past eighteen years, Bridget and Billy’s life is about to change again. The baby who brought them together is leaving for college today. They both wonder if Katie leaving will take away their last reason to stay in each others lives, or is she giving them a reason to stay together?
Review: Wow this was such an amazing, feel-good novel! I sat down to read “Until Now” earlier today, unsure what I would think of it, but now I want everyone to read it! The story begins with Bridget, a teenager in love with a college guy (who thinks she is older), she gets pregnant, and he, along with everyone else turns his back on her. After her father kicks her out she stumbles across a diner where she meets Billy. Billy has been wandering around Europe for the past few years but returned home to run his parents’ diner after they died in an accident. Their lives instantly changed when Bridget walked in. He gave her a job, the studio apartment above the diner, and everyone basically became her surrogate family helping her and her daughter Katie however they could. The book starts, however, with the day Katie is flying thousands of miles away to attend college. Through a series of flashbacks, the reader learns about Billy, Bridget, and Katie over the past 18 years, and you learn that Bridget and Billy have had much deeper feelings for each other for a long time.
First of all – I absolutely love Billy. He’s handsome, kind, loving, and devoted his life to taking care of “his girls.” This was not a guy out for sex or just wanting Bridget, he loved them both and spent 18 years making sure they were happy, healthy, and taken care of, even though Katie was not his child. For any woman who has ever raised a child on their own, you know what I’m talking about. His jealousy over Bridget’s boyfriends, his rage towards Katie’s boyfriends, and his nervousness about telling Bridget how he felt just made him that much more adorable. I loved Bridget also, but honestly, she took a back seat to Billy in my opinion. Yes, she was thrown out at 16, pregnant, boyfriend and friends dumped her yet she still survived. But, would her life have turned out so well without Billy? She never asked him for a thing, but he was always there anticipating any needs that she or Katie had. I liked her, don’t get me wrong, but I got more attached to Billy.
What I really loved about this book is how it demonstrates that everyone’s family is different. Family doesn’t have to mean that you are blood-related, married, siblings, etc. Some of us are close and warm and fuzzy with our family, while some of us choose our own family of people who we care about and trust. Billy, Bridget, and Katie didn’t have the “typical” family in the novel, yet Katie grew up happy and healthy and loved them both. Sometimes a family just falls into place whether because of bad circumstances like Bridget’s, or just people that are alone and looking for others to connect with in a way that they couldn’t connect with their natural family.
Let me say that there are some aggravating moments in this novel. Not because of the writing, but because I would get frustrated with either Billy or Bridget for not just speaking up and saying how they feel! Honestly, I adored this story and cannot wait to read more of Cristin Cooper’s novels in the future. This novel was romantic but realistic, dreamy but mixed with real-life. This isn’t some billionaire novel where he comes in and sweeps the girl off of her feet, this is two people who just happened to come together and try to make the best life possible for a little girl.
Learn more about Cristin Cooper and her other novels by visiting her web page.
Wanna know the best part? “Until Now” is free on Amazon right now! Get it and read it, you won’t be disappointed!