“In a Lifetime,” by Ariadne Wayne
Publication: Wendy Smith; December 1, 2015
Synopsis: When Matt lays eyes on Ella, it’s love at first sight. At the very least, lust. But when fate steps in, Matt ends up playing Good Samaritan and losing the girl he wants to his best friend, Sam.
When Ella and Sam marry, Matt leaves the country, desperate to get over the deep feelings he has for his friend’s wife. When he returns, he finds a couple struggling with infertility; cracks appearing in their relationship. Making things worse, his feelings for Ella have intensified.
When you’re in love with your best friend’s wife, whose side do you take when everything falls apart?
Considering that I’ve been an avid reader forever and have been reading and reviewing books for my blog for over 6 months, how is that I had never heard of or read Ariadne Wayne until the past week? Thankfully I got an email last week about romances on sale at Amazon and came across “In a Lifetime,” and now I must admit – I’m addicted to this author!
Matt and Sam have been best friends since they were kids and are hosting their last big party at their place before finishing school and getting careers. Matt spots Ella and it’s all over for him, but before he gets to talk to her he has to take someone home, and when he returns, he finds her with Sam. Matt then spends the next few years suffering in silence as the girl he loves falls more in love with Sam, resulting in them moving in together and eventually getting married. Matt can no longer take seeing them together so he decides to take off to work in another country and then do some traveling – hoping to get over his feelings for Ella. When he finally returns home, he still isn’t over Ella and Ella and Sam’s marriage is suffering from trying to get pregnant and Sam’s frequent late nights out. Matt vows to be there for Ella no matter what, despite his growing love for her every day.
Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with this story and how absolutely crazy I became over Matt from the first page forward… Matt was sexy, smart, sweet, funny, and so adorably selfless and caring it was unreal! Then again, he is a character in a book and not real, unfortunately! Matt falls in love with Ella from the minute he sees her, but unfortunately, she hooks up with Sam. Matt becomes the proverbial third wheel as Ella and Sam’s relationships grows and he remains their best friend. Matt and Ella have a few “moments” here and there but it’s not until he decides to move away that he finally tells her how he feels about her. Ella seems like the ideal girl from the very beginning and is not only beautiful but a perpetual caretaker and just a big-hearted person. Moreover, she comes from a wonderful family that immediately adore Matt, but never quite “took” to Sam. I especially loved her sassy younger sister, Vanessa who flirts with Matt from day one and basically does what she can to get a rise out of people, but in a fun way! Sam seems great for the bigger part of the novel, but after Matt returns home and the “trying to get pregnant” issue has obviously taken it’s toll on Ella and Sam, it becomes clear that Sam was nothing but a complete ass. He quickly changed from good, fun-loving guy to the epitome of a selfish and immature human.
“In a Lifetime” is full of frustrations, happy moments, sad moments, and so on… Ariadne Wayne’s writing and characterization quickly reeled me in and I did not move from my seat until I was done reading this book, easily devouring it in just a few hours. These are not millionaires or perfect people – but the characters seemed very real and human, making mistakes, screwing up, and trying to make things better again. Despite all of the challenges and obstacles, Matt’s unrelenting love for Ella was truly beautiful and moving. I cheered for him throughout this entire novel, all the while hoping that Ella could resolve her feelings and find the happy young lady she was at the beginning of the novel. This unexpected gem that I stumbled upon was amazing and I’ve already gotten the next two books in this serious which I will probably finish before bed tonight! If you love contemporary romance with some conflict and issues to build suspense, this is the book for you!