Until Harry by L.A. Casey. Print Length, 322 pages, publication Date: July 19, 2016 by Montlake Romance, ISBN: 1503936600, ASIN: B01B6E6OHQ
Coming home is hard for Lane. Hard because Harry, her beloved uncle, has died suddenly, but also because of him. Kale. Kale Hunt has been her best friend since childhood. But it was never that simple. He was Lane’s reason for leaving home and moving to New York. Seeing him with someone else, in love with someone else, shouldn’t have hurt. But it did. It really, really did. So she upped sticks and left, started a new life and cut herself off from her past. But now she’s back, and all the feelings are right there. As if she had never left. Emotions are running high for everyone, and tragedy has a funny way of bringing people together. But is Lane reading the signs right? Are they still just friends, or is there something more?
When she was just ten years old, Lane knew with a bone deep certainty that she loved her best friend, Kale. Kale protected Lane at school when she needed it, he talked with her about everything important in life, and he chased away the monsters that liked to hide in Lane’s closet. Yes, Lane was certain she loved Kale.
Fast forward a lot of years . . . . . .
Living in New York all alone isn’t an easy road, but for her own security and sanity, Lane has spent the last handful of years doing just that. She has a quiet little apartment, a good job as an editor, and just a few close friends to keep her company when the loneliness begins to overwhelm her. Other than her beloved Uncle Harry, Lane’s family no longer speaks to her, and Kale is nothing but a very painful and often crippling memory. For a girl who was once Velcroed to her family and home, being separated is a special kind of misery that was brought on out of necessity rather than desire.
Rewind a lot of years . . . . .
At ten years old, Lane was sure her relationship with her family would never be anything other than loving and supportive. Additionally, she never saw a time when her relationship with Kale would go sideways and leave her devastated. But, at ten years old, circumstances and the world had yet to bite Lane squarely and viciously on the ass. As the years rolled by, Lane’s feelings for Kale grew stronger than ever and Kale’s feelings seemed to cool. He dated other girls, he partied with her brothers, but he never reciprocated in the feelings department. Until the night he got drunk, banged his best friend, said everything Lane had been waiting years to hear, and then dramatically and loudly regretted the whole experience the next morning. Yeah, that’s good for the ego!! As if that weren’t enough, over the course of the next few years, Kale gets in deep with one girl in particular, Lane begins to act out in response, and several terribly upsetting (and somewhat terrifying) events unfold that leave Lane feeling like an emotional wasteland. In the wake of everything and with the help and support of just her Uncle Harry, Lane packs her bags and heads to the States. Never did she imagine she would be back home but fate and the universe have a way of righting the wrongs of the past. Even if that righting is born out of even more tragedy.
The Bottom Line: Until Harry is my first L.A. Casey read and I can assure you, I’ll be coming back for more. This read has so many things that I truly love in my contemporary romance novels. There is the movement back and forth between the present and the past, there is a troubled and damn-near broken sexy man, there is a wonderfully endearing character, there is loads of drama mixed with some moments of pure joy, and most importantly, there is a character the author was absolutely able to change my stubborn mind about. Finally, there is the fact that Casey made me cry. I hate crying and I actually don’t do it all that often but at about the 75% point of this read, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. From this point right on through to the end, I cried like a b*tch and loved every single minute of it. From start to finish this is a tightly written read that has a lot of weaving going on: the past and the present, the characters, and the various plot lines that all connect and come together at some point in the read. The pace is quick so you aren’t mired down in the drama and the end is totally worth all the tears.
P.S. I absolutely refused to call the sexy, hot, damn-near broken man, Kale. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around calling someone that sexy by a name that also refers to a stinky, gross vegetable. In my head, he was Kade 🙂