by Jay McLean
Publication: November 1, 2016
Series: Preston Brothers #1
You know how there are books you read and then there are those you read that also compel you to write a review? Lucas was unexpected. I want to call this a friends-to-lovers second chance romance, but is it a second chance when it was over before it began? Lucas and Lanie’s love story shattered me from the beginning, and for the rest of the book, I read it with a cautious heart.
With a beginning that hints at a devastating incident, the book goes back in time to alternate between events leading up to that opening scene and the past when Lucas and Lanie first meet as kids. I was nervous, and anxiety-ridden throughout the entire book. My heart was fully prepared to support Lucas and Lanie, but it was also splintering into pieces as their friendship became shaken by mistakes that could never be taken back.
I connected easily with Laney because she was the quiet girl who felt like a secret her best friend refused to share with anyone, hidden away rather than proudly displayed. I’ve walked in similar shoes, and sometimes the pain can be unbearable, but you do it anyway. Because I connected with Lanie, I couldn’t help but enjoy Lucas’s suffering just a bit (okay, a lot). He finally understood what it meant to watch on the sidelines as his best friend moved forward. It was painful to watch their lives diverge in the present while becoming best friends and facing life together in the past.
McLean delivers a heart-crushing new adult novel about unrequited love and the detours that can happen along the way to finding love. It also tackles tough topics, like grief and abuse. Despite trying to stay clear of these heart-wrenching topics as much as possible, Lucas easily won me over. It reminded me why friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes, and that when it’s paired with found family, it’s even better.