Sometimes we read a book so intensely emotional, on so many different levels, that we simply don’t have the words to do the book justice. For me, that book was So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn. While I still feel like I won’t be able to convey my thoughts coherently, I’m damn sure gonna try. First, a brief summary:
Life is full of uncertainty, so what happens when a what-if from your past collides with your present?
Kaitlyn Thomas, a weary wife and mother, is taking a much needed getaway with her friends. All she wants to do is relax and rejuvenate on her weekend escape to the beach. Having a drink at the bar with the girls sounds like the perfect way to unwind. That is, until Kaitlyn hears a familiar voice from the stage that shakes her to her core. She grapples with her memory until Chris King, the lead singer of the band, walks up to her and eliminates the questions in her mind.
Chris King…the misunderstood bad boy who once saved her in ways that no one else could.
Kaitlyn’s friends beg to know the story behind this mystery man. Forced to revisit a painful past from which she has spent years trying to heal, Kaitlyn’s recollection of Chris awakens intense feelings that she has kept buried deep inside her heart. Has time changed him, or is he still the same person Kaitlyn fell in love with so many years ago?
Marriage vows are sacred, but temptation is a powerful thing.
Seeing Chris again has caused a war between her head and her heart. In the end, which one will win the battle? Facing a difficult decision, Kaitlyn just wants to be sure of one thing when she walks away from this weekend—no regrets.
From The Mind of Mo
When we meet Kaitlyn, we meet a wife and mother whose life has stagnated. Disconnected from her husband, she’s pretty much in “mom mode” full-time. Who among us has not been there?
I felt trapped under the interminable mountain of laundry, lost amid the infinite overflow of dirty dishes, and exhausted from the incessant whine of a tired and cranky child
At this point, I double-checked the cover of my book, because I was pretty sure I was reading Dish Soap and Dryer Sheets: The Story of Mo. Being married for approximately 197 years, and having severalteen children, I could totally relate to Kaitlyn right off the bat.
Naturally, I was all, “Yeah, girl! Do you!” when Kaitlyn goes away for a weekend with her girls! Drinks, beach, and bars?!?!? Sounds good! I’m having a good time as a fly on the wall on her night out at the bar, when BOOM. She’s face to face with Chris King, the boy she fell in love with back in high school.
Ah, remember your first love? Were you in high school? College? What do you think he’s doing right this very minute? Mine is upstairs snoring right now (NO, HE DOESN’T SNORE!, he’d tell you…) But I digress…
Of course, her friends want to know exactly WHO this hunky guy FROM THE BAND is, and Kaitlyn’s past comes into play. The first half of the book is spent in the past, starting with Kaitlyn’s first boyfriend in high school, who was an ass of the highest degree, and should have had his nuts used as a speedbag. We find out how she meets Chris, the “bad seed” from the wrong side of the tracks (and I’m already in love with him). We see their friendship develop, and through some truly horrible situations, Chris is there for Kaitlyn in ways that nobody else is. We learn why they have been separated all these years, but what’s to happen now that these first loves have been reunited?
I’ve never forgotten you.
Of course, being all-knowing, I assumed I knew which way this story was going to play out. WRONG. Melanie doesn’t take us on an easy ride after Chris and Kaitlyn meet again. While I wanted them to run away and live happily ever after, of course, Kaitlyn has a family to consider. But does your first love always hold a piece of your heart in their hands? Can you walk away from that?
To me, the underlying theme of this book is choices. Why do you choose to stay with someone who hurts you? Do you choose to give into temptation, knowing the consequences could be life-altering? Can you choose to forgive? Can you choose to walk away from true love, even if it kills you to do it?
Although it broke my heart a little, I’m so happy I had the opportunity to read this book. I had to pick these characters up and carry them around in my heart for a while. 5 sniffling stars to this beautiful debut by Melanie Dawn.
At the end of this book, (after “the letter”….GAHHHHHH….the letter always guarantees my tears, and this book was no exception), I simply clutched my Kindle to my chest and wept. There was no ugly cry, only the sounds of my breath and the tears sliding down my face.
Sometimes in life, you just love someone so much it hurts.
That’s the damn truth.
Meet Melanie Dawn