Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Lake + Manning by Jessica Hawkins

LAKE MANNINGManning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . .
A home he built us on the unshakeable foundation we fought for.
A life of laughter carved out of heartache and betrayal.
A love story to stand the test of time.

But between a trust that can’t be broken, joy that can’t be bridled, and passion that would scorch the sun, the empty spaces are becoming more and more difficult to ignore . . .
Fears that keep Manning up at night as he slips from our bed.
Our complicated relationship with a man he respects and one I don’t know how to forgive.
And a sprawling, beautiful home with one small room I’m afraid I’ll never be able to fill.

Manning and I have what happily-ever-after is made of . . . 
But I’ll beg the heavens for just one thing more.

5 stars

Romance | New Adult | Contemporary

Let me just start by saying I loved this series. If you have not read the first three books in this series by Jessica Hawkins you are truly missing out. Everything from the writing style to the premise – the characters were stunning. Each character had a certain level of depth that was believable, it is understatement of a lifetime realizing how easy it is to relate to each character at some point. And I can honestly say without a doubt that I am a diehard fan of anything that Jessica Hawkins writes at this point – she slays me. 

After Move the Stars ended, I was both saddened and satisfied with how it ended. I wanted closure yet was pleased that I didn’t have a full on fixture of how things would be with Lake and Manning now that they are officially a couple. As a reader, the epilogue you always get those unanswered answers of: what happens now? did they make it? Are they still a couple? How did the family react? Did Lake ever make up with Tiffany after basically stealing her sister’s husband? What about her father? Seriously….What the hell happened? And normally you get some tidbit of this within in a small chapter of the epilogue.

The effects of too little yet satisfying come to mind when I read epilogues…

But again, you didn’t get that, yet the ending was still satisfying to know that you probably knew what happened. This didn’t stop Hawkins from giving us readers what we wanted! It is like an entire book dedicated to the epilogue that is Lake and Manning. The best part? It doesn’t just skim to the good stuff; it had depth, drama, and more character development that left my jaw dropped and my heart aching…let me explain.

Lake and Manning have been living their life yet there is still the unanswered issues of them actually being a couple in regards to Lake’s family, one that you know she hasn’t spoken to for many years and in Lake + Manning, that did not waver. The couple is still struggling with their trust, making up for lost years and really building their future. It is three hundred pages of closure and damn it was good.

I obviously do not want to go into too much detail, I want to avoid spoilers, but honestly this book really satisfied my inner fangirl. I loved Lake and Manning from start to finish. The challenges they faces, their emotions, the drama of it all – it was absolute beautiful to watch them grow individually while finding themselves in each others arms where they belonged. And it did not just stop there, this book was a struggle to read; it was beautifully written with so many tear jerk twists, I found myself crying until I was laughing, grinning until I was frowning, swooning with a dash of weak knees – the emotional feels while reading this fourth book was catastrophic in all the right ways. 

It was honestly the perfect ending. The characters are perfectly flawed, they are real – they are above all in love, and Hawkins captivated such a believable love story that still has been swooning to the stars. I could not recommend this series enough it is the best slow building, tension filled romance series. Hell, anything by Jessica Hawkins at this point, I love her characters beyond belief. I cannot wait to see what happens in the future with more books! 

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