by Nicole French (Goodreads Author)
When I finished the first book, beside panting for more, I was sure no sequel could measure up. And yet not only Legally Mine lived up to my sky high expectations, it surpassed them!
This is also linked to another thing I love about this author. She surprises you even when you think the path is already set. At the end of Legally Yours, I had the sequel almost already sketched out in my head. And instead, the story took a completely different bend, shocking me, but the journey she took me on was even better than what I had expected!
In this instalment, we see Brandon and Skylar rebuild their relationship after what happened at the end of book one and I appreciated how they didn’t just dive back in and bam! a couple again in five seconds flat.
They tried to get re-accustomed to each other, making mistakes, stumbling at times, just like in real life. They’d hurt each other and just having them go back together without a second thought would had not been realistic.
Still, it’s clear from the very beginning that they’re destined to be together. No one else compares to what they are to the other. And it’s a beautiful thing to watch, the adoration and devotion Brandon has for Skylar and how she can’t resist to him, how her thoughts always circle back to him. Not Brandon the billionaire, the CEO, but Brandon the Red Sox-hat-wearing guy, the Springsteen fan, with blue jeans and a thousand watt smile.
So I’ll wait, forever if I have to. Because that’s what you do when you belong to someone, body and soul.
And I do, Red. I do.
After a rocky start made of residual anger, regrets and painful love, seeing them come together, stronger than ever, filled my heart with undiluted fangirl joy. Every page in which they weren’t together physically hurt, because I could feel their pain at not being together, the loss of the other.
“I hoped,” he said finally with a concessive shrug. “A man can hope, Red.”
That was Brandon in a nutshell. A man who dreamed. He’d dreamed his whole life, of a family, of a better life, of a job, of money, of his firm, even of a family at one point… and of me.
Skylar is called to a make a very tough decision and even though I know many readers will scrunch their noses at it, I completely understood her reasons for it and respected her for the strength it took her. She revealed, once again, how tridimensional of a character she is. Usually, no female character ever takes that road. Not one I’ve read, at least.
Now, re-reading my review up to here, this book sounds like a sob-fest. But I can assure you there are plenty of happy-happy moment, my favorite being their trip to France. Seeing them as a couple, out in the open, not worried about who might be watching was liberating and it made me happy for them.
Unlike the days when we used to spend weekends together, our conversation was stunted. Brandon was guarded, and I was too. The fact was, we had hurt each other badly, and there was going to be a certain amount of time needed to heal those wounds, which seemed a lot fresher at the moment.
Also, I’m not gonna spoiler because I really want you all to be surprised by them, but there were lots of plot twists in this instalment, of very different kinds. Family-wise, with people reappearing from the past, romantic wise, but also dangerous ones.
Personally, I liked the whole situation with Brandon’s ex, how it added a forbidden quality to Brandon and Skylar love. Of course, what I wasn’t a fan of was how she was almost his dirty little secret. But before you raise the pitchfork, let me tell you that my absolute favorite moment was when he understood how much all of this was hurting her and literally said:
“Fuck this,” he pronounced as he pulled me up, his accent large and pronounced. “I can do better. And you’re not some dirty little secret, you’re the love of my fuckin’ life.”
There’s a desperateness about them, about two people who can’t stay away from each other, but who entered the other’s life in the worst possible moment.
Also, if I still haven’t convinced you to read this book, here’s a little thing you should know: It’s. Hot. As. Hell. Every sexy scene is different from the other ones, in a different setting, with a different meaning. Now, before I self-combust, I’ll switch to the secondary characters.
More precisely: Jane and Eric. Squeeee!!! Besides the utter hilariousness these two are, both taken singularly and together, I really want their story, too! I feel like they’re one of those unlikely pairings that can reserve amazing surprises.
Jane shrugged. “Everyone needs to let off steam. You swim. I Tinder…”
Another aspect I loved about this book is that it moved past the issues in the first. In book one, one of the main struggles for Skylar was coming to terms with Brandon showering her with gifts and for him… well, wooing her without acting like a jerk (I’m still grinning at his failed attempts). Here, they know each other well enough to know that she’s not going to accept extravagant gifts and doesn’t need them to love him, and that he’s not trying to buy her love, but genuinely likes to spoil his girl. This allowed them to grow as a couple and to face different issues, which helped keeping me hooked throughout the book. Also, they had so many simple, yet wonderfully happy moments together, like swaying at a Springsteen song in her kitchen, or eating breakfast in bed.
My skirt swished gently about my knees, and Brandon’s hand tightened at my waist, while the other dropped my hand and clasped behind my neck, cradling me close. I buried my face into his shirt, slipped my arm around his waist and hummed, as content as I’d ever been in my life.
This is the thing about this series: there’s always something going on, always someone against them, or threatening their relationship, or one of their life choices getting in the way. It’s never smooth sailing, and yet their love shines so bright between the pages, that you know it will prevail in the end.
So, in conclusion, this book was G-R-E-A-T.
Romantic? Hell yes!
Surprising? Plot twists, baby.
Hot? Like a habanero shoved down your eye socket.
Realistic? Yes, it was. Great characterization sure helps with this.
Amazing side characters? Check, check, check.
Suspense-filled? Hello, side stories involving the mob, fishy business, and backstabbing friends.
Emotional? I dare you not to shed a tear come a certain part (which I won’t spoil).
Now, I kind of need book three. And with “kind” I mean right now. I can already feel withdrawals symptoms showing and a book hungover taking over.
I’ll leave you with a funny quote which sums out Brandon’s feelings from Skylar perfectly.
“You could be a secret government assassin. You could develop sudden alopecia and become completely bald. Hell, you could love your memory tomorrow and that dude would go full-on Notebook. Brandon would probably buy an entire center just so he read you stories while he kept up his eight-pack for the days you actually knew who he was.”