Review: SWEET FORTY-TWO by Andrea Randall

Regan Kane arrived in San Diego with nothing but a violin, his car and what feels like a lifetime of grief. Although he’s surrounded by friends and music, one delivery from the post office reminds him that the past is always just around the corner. When he befriends a local bartender, Regan wonders if letting go is what he wants to do at all.

Georgia Hall has spent most of her life in the shadows of her mother's mental illness. Pushing away those around her ensures they won't get hurt when she succumbs to the same fate.

All of that unravels when she meets Regan. As her life spins out of control and the line between reality and fairytale blurs, she has to make a choice to trust or fall.

Regan and Georgia are searching for healing among the wreckage. Will doing so together make moving on all the more sweet?

Or will the secrets and darkness of the past drive them apart?

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Review:

If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, please do not continue with this review, there are major spoilers! 

I was so excited when I found out that Regan was getting his own book. I loved his character when reading Reckless Abandon, and of course, my heart shattered for him, Bo and November with the events that took place. 

At the start of this book, six months have passed since the incident that sent Regan to hide out in Ireland. He has now moved to San Diego to record with Bo, Ember, and the Six. He is in desperate need of finding a place to live, and a way to let go of Rae. 

“Rae died, then I did, and I was wandering the earth as an emotional zombie amongst the living.”
—Regan

CJ comes to visit, and immediately takes Regan to a bar to meet a friend of his from back home, Georgia. Regan’s first impression of her isn’t necessarily a good one, though he can’t help but be attracted to her. 

“I reminded myself that girls like Georgia were good at making guys want them. Crave them. With skin-baring clothing, wicked eyes, and a bottom lip pinched between their teeth, they owned us. All of us.”
—Regan

But Georgia’s behaviors are a front, she has more going on than anyone knows. She weaves a web of lies and riddles to keep it that way.

“Some secrets were so deep I could hardly feel their roots in my veins when I was in mixed company.” 
—Georgia

She rents him the apartment across from hers, and a friendship slowly builds. They help each other in little ways, and Regan begins to trust her, though she does her best to remain a mystery to him. 

“She was like this Rubik’s Cube that changed patterns around each turn. Impossible. I wanted to try to solve her, though. I hadn’t sorted out if that was a good or bad thing….”
—Regan

Eventually, partly due to Regan and somewhat due to her own self-growth, Georgia starts to shed some of her cover, and maybe even show signs of hope. 

“Falling up is a much grander experience when one can find the let-go-ness to do so. I’d feared I’d misplaced my let-go, but there I was, sweat splashed across my chest and dancing.”
—Georgia

Regan and Georgia both had so much sorrow to crawl out from under, but I was rooting for them the whole time. Given the circumstances that left Regan single, I was nervous I would not want to see him moving on. Georgia changed that, almost immediately, and the whole time I was reading I hoped that he would find a way to let go of Rae, and that Georgia would believe she could trust in a prince. That she would let him in and realize she didn’t have to be alone forever. 

“Georgia was afraid to love. I was afraid that I’d never love again.”
—Regan 

I swear I highlighted half of this book. There were so many poignant or inspirational sentences, paragraphs, pages even. Really, the whole story in itself was so beautifully written, from the Alice In Wonderland tie-ins, to the emotional descriptions of the music Regan made with his violin. 

Sweet Forty-Two is my favorite in the November Blue series, so far. With the way this book played out, I am sure there is more to come, and I cannot wait. 


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