*I received a free copy of Until You Loved Me from Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak
Series: Silver Springs #3
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 29 August 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2017 New Release Challenge
Sometimes starting over means finding everything you've been missing…
After catching her fiancé cheating—with another man—usually straitlaced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy's full name, something that shouldn't have been a problem…until a pregnancy test turns positive.
Being a professional football player, Hudson King has always been cautious around women. But this one had been different—so disinterested in his celebrity, so convincingly into him. When Ellie tracks him down, claiming she's carrying his baby, he's stunned. And more than a little betrayed.
But after growing up as an orphan, he'll do anything to stay involved in his child's life, so he urges Ellie to move to Silver Springs, where they can co-parent. Hudson has a lot of love to give, certainly enough for his child, and when their initial spark reignites, perhaps for Ellie, too…
Until You Loved Me was a beautiful story, this series just keeps getting better and better! Novak has created two very different characters who had a lot of confidence when it came to their professional lives, and even more insecurities when it came to their personal lives.
I kind of fell in love with Ellie when I first met her in Until You Loved Me, because while her professional life was extremely successful, her personal life was kind of in shambles. Thanks to he best friend, though, she wasn’t allowed to stay home to wallow in her misery. Out and about in a new club, she met a very hot stranger, one who was hiding from the world because ‘everybody’ knew who he was. Everybody but Ellie, that is… Their first meeting was nice at the club, and extremely hot afterwards. Ellie thought she’d never see Hudson again, she didn’t even have his last name.
After her fling with Hudson, Ellie was back to working more than anything else, even if that meant seeing her cheating fiancé and his boyfriend every day. Needless to say, Until You Loved Me is about strength. But it’s also about overcoming the past and what growing up a certain way can do to people. Because all of a sudden, Ellie realizes that her one-night-stand with Hudson left her pregnant, and she has no idea how to get in touch with him, or what she’d say to him if she does. Her scummy ex also tries his best to convince her to give up her baby for him and his boyfriend to raise – which really made me mad. Not that two men would want to raise a baby, but that he’d try to get to her when she’s in a vulnerable position and take advantage of that. He even offered her money – less than it would cost him and the boyfriend to find a surrogate.
At a work function where they entertain themselves with a football game and a barbecue, Ellie suddenly sees Hudson. On the TV. He’s the starting quarterback for the LA team, and she is completely blown away. Until You Loved me is filled with heartache, both for Ellie and for Hudson. And when Ellie finally manages to track him down, his first reaction is denial. After that, Ellie leaves to get back home and from there on, they try to figure things out about how to deal with this future that neither of them planned for.
The writing in Until You Loved Me is extremely well done, the story is tender, and deals with difficult themes like abandonment, being in the public eye, and people who just seem to strive to make things difficult for others. Written in third person past tense, the story unfolded at an even pace, and the suspense as well as the romance worked really well for me.
A tremor of excitement rolled from her head to her toes as his big hands moved up her back, pressing her against him as he parted her lips.
She was shaking as she withdrew her phone so she could access the internet. “How reliable are condoms?” she typed into Google and nibbled on her bottom lip while waiting for the links to appear.