Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 3rd 2013
Series: Stand Alone
Source: provided by author for review
When Cass Howard was young, she never dreamed she would have the perfect job, living in New York, with an amazing man by her side. That’s a good thing…because none of that ever happened. Drew Alexander was the one person who knew Cass better than almost anyone, and the friendship that developed in high school carried them to college. Despite the distance, their bond grew stronger, revealing to each of them what they meant to each other. A series of fleeting moments and a string of failed relationships helped them realize that what they really wanted, what they needed, was each other. But that was five years ago, and sometimes things just don’t work out. Now twenty-five, Cass finds herself living in Houston, working at a small publishing house as an editor. By most accounts, she appears happy, however she has managed to avoid a true relationship, opting to channel all of her energy on work, despite protests from her best friend. The only thing that can drag her away is the annual girls’ weekend, which comes at the best possible time, because Cass has just learned life-altering news. With the most recent blow to her life looming overhead, will the getaway with her closest friends change her outlook on life? Or will her inability to put the past behind her stifle any chance she has of moving on? Will she ever be able to open up and let those who love her be there for her?
This was such a beautiful story about two high school sweethearts finding each other again only to have to deal with something life changing. I can't say it enough, I love, Love, LOVE sweetheart stories. So much so that I will pass up a steamy erotica to read a story about a couple who belong together and fight to find their destiny. Being There was an emotional and romantic read that will make you fall in love and fall apart all at once.
Drew and Cass meet in high school, become friends and naturally develop feelings for each other. But the kicker is that Cass is so afraid to ruin their relationship that she avoids her feelings, even after Drew pours his heart out. Over the years they have several hit and misses and almost get together a few times but the timing was never right. When they finally get their shit together it does exactly what Cass always feared and ruins their friendship when Drew is dishonest with Cass about dating someone else. The wedge between them keeps them apart for five years and the two lead separate lives but always miss being with each other. When a breast cancer diagnosis and a weekend getaway arranged by their friends brings them back together they have to face down their past mistakes and decide where to go from there.
Cancer. The dreaded word that nobody ever wants to hear. When Cass finds out that the lump she found in her breast is more than benign I knew this book would get intense. The way she handled the information was very brave and showed the strength of her character. She didn't want anyone to worry about her so she kept everything to herself so her friends could enjoy their trip together before she burdened them. I understood her reasoning for keeping things to herself but I also felt like she should have been honest to begin with because it causes a lot of hurt feelings between her and her best friend Nevaeh. Cass' character begins as sort of a push over, especially at work never being able to say no, but by the end she grew into a more assertive person. She never had a problem telling Drew exactly what she thought or felt though and I loved how she kept him in his place. I also loved how the story went from present day to the past and explained everything between Drew and Cass gradually as the present story unfolded. I felt by doing that the author made their love story believable because you get to see little bits of how they met, became friends and fell in love.
Drew's character was another amazing leading man. He was cocky yet charming. Funny yet serious. He was exactly what Cass needed in a friend and a lover. Granted they didn't get together for a while, just watching how their love unfolded over time was what I love about these tropes. In high school Drew was a little bit of a ladies man (with good reason too, the boy was fine!) and because of that reputation Cass was reluctant to jump in head first. When he finds out Cass has cancer he really impressed me by stepping up to the plate and taking care of her even putting everything else in his life on hold. He has been in love with her since they were younger and shows her every single day that he isn't going anywhere and does special little things for her that made me a little misty eyed from time to time. He knew exactly how to handle her stubborn behavior and met her head on with his own bull headed attitude. I love guys like Drew and even though he's fictional, it still gives me hope to imagine there are still guys like this out there.
Being There turned out to be an amazing story of survival and how love can overcome anything if the people fight hard enough. Cass and Drew became a strong unit and by the end there was no doubt they would come out on top. I loved seeing how everyone Cass loved, Drew included, wouldn't let her push them away and stood by her side as she fought this tough battle. I always say I hate human interest stories but deep down they touch a part of my soul I try to keep forced down with bitterness. The author of this book just wouldn't let me stay that way though because I found myself deeply involved in the story from start to finish. About the only thing I hated was how stubborn Cass was and let five years slip by over misplaced anger. I felt like her reasoning was childish but I could also see her side of things. I just hated that they lost so much time together. It wasn't a deal breaker by any means it just hurt a little because I loved this couple so much. All in all this was a beautiful love story full of ups and downs, heartache and healing that gave way to a beautiful epilogue. I think anyone who enjoys a good tear jerker with a sweet ending will really like this book.
All of a sudden the room feels like it’s spinning and the tears that I was fighting have escaped. Nothing he’s saying to me makes sense. Sure, I felt something last month, and yes, I figured that him calling me in today was going to confirm my worst fears, but hearing him saying it is something altogether different. Mobi/Kindle 3%
“I love you Cass. I have for years. I’m here with you now because I want to be. I know you’re scared about this shit you’re going through, I’m scared too. But I don’t want to waste whatever time it is we have apart. You are the love of my life. I need you to know that.” Mobi/Kindle 84%
About The Author:
I was born and raised in the Houston area. (I love Texas!) I never planned on leaving, but my husband had other plans...since he was in the military at the time. I have had the opportunity to live in California, South Carolina and Virginia...and as much as I loved those places and the people along the way, I missed Texas! So we finally planted some roots and it's here I will grow old and die. (I'm not morbid). I've had a lifelong love of journaling and writing, but never did anything with it...as far as sharing it. Until now. This year, I finally scratched a line off my bucket list (still not morbid), by writing my first book. I'm not sure if I can call it a novel or not, so I'll go with book. There may be more to come...