A Love to Last a Lifetime by #ClareSwatman #NetGalley #eARCReview #BookReview #BoldwoodBooks @BookandTonic #January2023Books #NewBooks

The one that she wants…
Adam Bowers; handsome, funny and with the charm of a rock star, from the moment she laid eyes on him, teenage Erin was smitten. But first loves don’t always last, and after a whirlwind romance, Erin and Adam go their separate ways. Yet, Erin never lets go of the feeling that Adam may have been her soul mate…

The one that she needs…
Greg fell in love with Erin in their first week at university. Solid, trustworthy and hopelessly devoted to Erin, he knows he’s better for her than the feckless Adam, who is forever leaving Erin broken-hearted, before winning her back with his charm. As far as Greg is concerned, it’s easy to promise the world, but it’s harder to love someone for a lifetime.

The one that got away…
Years later Greg and Erin are married, and although life hasn’t always been easy, Greg’s love for Erin has never dimmed. But when Adam comes back, in desperate need of Erin’s help, everything changes. Erin starts to wonder whether fate is trying to tell her something…

Will Erin risk it all for the man she had thought was ‘The One’?

A Love to Last a Lifetime (Amazon US $1.99) (Amazon UK) explores the territory that has crossed many people’s minds over the years: what if you ran into your first love many years later? Would there still be an attraction? Would the passion still be there? What if you’re married? What if you’re not? What would you do? It’s an interesting premise.

Erin and Greg are having problems in their 13-year marriage and 18-year relationship. He’s developed a gambling problem and put the couple in financial difficulties. Erin isn’t sure she can trust Greg anymore and is struggling. One day, she sees a man busking on the street and realizes it’s her first love, Adam, a man with whom she had a passionate affair when she was a teenager. Adam just up and left one day all those years ago after she discovered he cheated on her, leaving Erin heartbroken. But remembering the heat and passion of their relationship leads her to seek out Adam and find out what went wrong between them.

I have to say, most of the time I wanted to scream at Erin and her decision-making throughout the book. Adam had a motorcycle accident some time ago and can’t remember a thing, can’t remember Erin, his friends, his family, nothing. Erin, in her professional life, works with dementia patients like her mother, who had early onset dementia, by using music as a form of therapy. Since Adam is a musician, she thinks she might be able to bring back some of Adam’s memories with her therapy sessions. However, she does not tell Greg that Adam is back in town because they knew each other back then and Greg hates Adam. He’s spent the last 18 years always looking over his shoulder, wondering if Adam would reappear. Because he knows that if Adam comes back, Erin would most likely go back to him.

While I got frustrated sometimes with Erin’s decision-making, that usually means it’s a sign of good writing. Her friends from Uni, Sam and Rose, are her sounding board, and tell her straight up that she’s playing with fire and should stay far away from Adam if she wants any chance of saving her marriage. Does she listen? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Does Erin stay with Greg or run off with Adam? I will say that Erin’s decision at the end of the book was one I approved of wholeheartedly. It really is the way most books like this should end.

I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from NetGalley and Boldwood Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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