5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: The Image of You by Melanie Moreland

I realized in that one moment something was terribly wrong.

“I apologize,” she spoke, sounding formal.
“You have me at a disadvantage.”
Her hand rose in greeting. “I’m Alexandra Robbins…and you are?”

I stared at her hand and then her beautiful face.

The woman I had loved passionately—desperately—and still loved to this day.

My former fiancée…who was looking at me with no recognition.

As if I were a stranger to her.

And then it hit me as I took in the emptiness in her eyes.

I was.

I’d spent so much time trying to find my way back to her, only to have her not remember me.

One thing was for sure—I would spend my last breath trying to remind her who I was, who we were, and who we would eventually be again.

All I needed was the chance to show her.

Title:The Image of You
Author:Melanie Moreland
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Second Chance Romance
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoints (but mostly H)
Location:Toronto, Canada
Release Date:1st December, 2020
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Deliciously emotive second-chance romance

I’m a bonafide Melanie Moreland fangirl, so of course I’m going to be excited for a new book by her – even if it is a refresh of one she first released in 2017. I hadn’t read the first iteration so it was a brand new book to me. This book also stands completely alone and isn’t part of any series.

We start off our story in the present day and Adam and Ally are meeting for the first time – again. And then we’re back in time to read about how our couple originally met and ultimately fell in love. It’s a super cute and sweet love story and I adore how, because we know that something is going to happen to break our couple apart, we can spend time with a pair that are happy in coupledom. It’s sort of like an epilogue where I get to wallow in the love of a couple.

Ally is a sweet and kind girl but she does have a bit of sass and backbone in her. She stands up to Adam immediately but can’t resist the pull from him. She’s got a lot on her plate and has familial issues that have definitely affected her self-worth. I couldn’t help but admire her and really wanted her to get her happily ever after. Until nearer the end, the book is written exclusively from Adam’s POV so we don’t get to hear about her inner thoughts, but I still felt that I knew her so I never felt I was missing out.

“I love it when a hero is broken down into tiny little pieces of despair by love.”

Adam is grumpy, somewhat stern and a little, I’ll say in-charge. Ms Moreland writes some delicious heroes that are on the edge of controlling and demanding. I feel it maybe worked a little better with some other heroes – those that worked in shadowy, pseudo law enforcement agencies. It’s not that I didn’t like Adam – I really did. But I was sometimes distracted while reading as I pondered whether everyone would love him and whether Ally was strong enough to go from controlling relationships with her family to a man who was a bit more dominant. The age gap was only mentioned a couple of times – and it was only 8 years – but it did add to my thoughts. That aside, Adam is still a likeable hero, especially when he is deliciously bereft over the loss of Ally. I love it when a hero is broken down into tiny little pieces of despair by love.

And if Adam is supposed to look like the man on the cover then I am all in. Swoon

Speaking of swooning – the chemistry between Ally and Adam is exemplary and that translates into a whole heap of sexy times. Once the couple fall in love – and even before if I’m honest – there’s an emotional element to them that made me giddy. The emotions also made me cry on occasion – but that’s par for the course when you’re a watering pot like me.

I loved the happy happy times between Ally and Adam when they’re in love – but knowing that something terrible was about to happen, I was determined to get read quickly to get back to the present time. As always with Ms Moreland, the writing is such that you both want to greedily read as fast as you can – while also wanting to savour each and every word.

The pace of the book slows as we reach the second time around for Ally and Adam – but I felt it was sweet and filled with the yearning and longing that is just a delight to read. In the end, everything worked out as perfectly as can be and I closed the book at the end with a smile on my face and a deep sense of satisfaction. I can see why it might not be everyone’s favourite but I adored the book and it’s another heartfelt winner from Melanie Moreland. 5 stars.

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

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