Angst filled, Longtime crush starts out with a soul crushing situation. Sebastian showed up as a secondary character in the previous books in the Montgomery Ink series. He was the "young kid" who was mature beyond his age and knew what he wanted in life. At 19 he had his life well planned out with the love of his life. Losing his best friend who was the love of his life nearly ended him. My heart hurt for him.
How does one move one when their entire life plans are shattered? And to top it off, Sebastian expected Marley to be by his side as they make memories together with their child - only to end up as a single dad with less than 2 decades of living. I cannot imagine the amount of stress and growing up Sebastian needed to do. When the 3rd member of their little trio of best friends returns, Sebastian's life is upturned once again.
I liked Raven. She took time to find herself and had the luxury of not needing to be a single parent. Her unrequited love for Sebastian is given a second chance now that Marley is gone. This is a complicated situation and Ms. Ryan explores it from several different angles. I liked it and I liked how the characters interacted with each other. Whilst many hated Marley's parents, I understand the heartbreak Marley's mother suffers. They say the worst experience for a parent is to survive their child. When their child passes at a young age, many parents break and never recover. This is Marley's mother. What she did is not right nor do I condone it. However, I get her pain and I am glad that there is a possible happy ending for her.
The interactions between Sebastian and Raven are awkward and stilted due to their lack of open communication. This was a bit difficult to read at times. As they finally work through their issues, before they can have their happily ever after, a totally bizarre event happens from left field. Wow. Talk about blindsiding a reader. The subplot with Raven being harmed worked for me, but it was so odd. It does drive the closure we needed for this two former best friends. This contemporary romance is recommended to angsty loving readers who want their second chance romance.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.