About the Book:
Four years ago, Emma Fraser’s first love took his own life. Now, twenty years old and in college, Emma and her best friend, Andy, are still mourning the loss of a friend and brother. Nothing is the same as it once was…and things are about to change even more.
Too heartbroken to even consider falling in love again, Emma stays distracted by school and work. Until she meets Landon and, for the first time ever, finds herself believing she might actually have a future with someone. But when Deegan Burke—the man responsible for all of Emma’s heartache—gets out of prison early, Emma is suddenly confronted by her worst fears. And when faced with choices she never thought she’d have to make, Emma discovers that the only person she really wants by her side is the last person she ever expected.
I am so excited to review “The Next Best Thing” and be a part of Wendi Nunnery’s Blog Tour! Let me begin by saying that I did not read the first novel, “The Best kept Secret,” however, the sweet author provided such a detailed synopsis that I had no issues following along and getting completely wrapped up in this novel. This novel picks up with Emma in college and still best friends with Andy. She is also still friends with Elsie, although the relationship quickly becomes strained after Andy ends his relationship with Elsie, yet Emma and Andy are still friends.
Emma has done well in school, made good grades, and sort of stumbled through everything – without truly getting over the loss of Jesse and the impact that his death had on her, her friends, and family. What no one knows is the secret and guilt that Emma has been carrying since Jesse’s death, as well as, her fear of no one understanding or forgiving her. Things seem to brighten up and lighten up once she meets Landon, who happens to also be Andy’s roommate, but even as she thinks she’s falling in love, she still feels as if something is holding her back. Emma struggles through the realization of her true feelings, accepting that Deegan gets out of prison and also faces the beginning and end of various relationships.
I loved the sweet romance of “The Next Best Thing” while still reminding the reader of Emma’s faith and personal beliefs. Emma’s vulnerability and curiosity about relationships and physical intimacy made her very real and I would think, very relatable to young women. I was also crazy about Andy and couldn’t help but wish they were a couple as soon as I was introduced to his character! At times I was frustrated with Emma for keeping the secret that was eating away at her and causing her so much guilt but also respected how she opened up at her own pace throughout the novel and shared her secret with various people when she was ready.
The most prominent theme of this novel was absolutely forgiveness – both wanting forgiveness for yourself, as well as, wanting or needing to forgive others. The author beautifully captured the relief and peace that comes along with forgiveness, while also touching on themes of friendship, honesty, love, and growing up. I loved most everything about this novel and am in awe of Nunnery’s writing. I so look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Enter to win a copy of “The Next Best Thing”
The Best Kept Secret, and The Next Best Thing. She is also the
founding editor of Lady Literary Magazine and her work has appeared in The
Huffington Post, The Simply Beloved, and Introvert, Dear.
Wendi is a proud Georgia Southern University alum and believes colorful
language is good for the soul. She lives, loves, and mothers in Atlanta,
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