I don’t read a lot of romance. I’m a picky romance reader. But I’m a sucker for second chance at love stories, so I decided to try this book about a formerly married couple who are still kind of in love (and lust) with each other. Check out my review of Before I Let Go.
Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan
Published on November 15, 2022 by Forever.
Synopsis: Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life dealt them some truly devastating blows, Yasmen and Josiah found that love couldn’t solve their problems or save their marriage.
Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she is starting to find joy again. She and Josiah are successfully co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they walked away from.
Soon, a stolen kiss leads to another. It’s hot. Secretive. And good until old wounds reopen. Is it too late for them to find forever? Or could they even be better, the second time around?
What Else has Kennedy Ryan Written?
You can check out her website!
I don’t read a lot of romance, so I haven’t read anything by Kennedy Ryan, but she’s written a lot of books. The the Grip series (2017), the Hoops series (2018-2019), The Kingmaker in 2019, Queen Move (2020) , and Reel (2021). Do you have a favorite? Tell me in comments!
Before I Let Go is also part of a planned series.
Review of Before I Let Go
First off, if you’ve never read my romance reviews, here’s where I come out on the genre.
I appreciate the recent shift in romance away from perfect characters (thin, young, rich, successful, beautiful/handsome) with perfect lives.
I’m fine with characters with baggage, “flaws” (a.k.a. normal people who aren’t perfect), messy backstories, and issues.
If issues overtake the romance plot and the pain in the story story outweighs the joy, the book isn’t a romance.
When the romance isn’t the main plot line, the book isn’t a romance.
No definite happily ever after? The book isn’t a romance.
I am happy to say that Before I Let Go, IS a funny, moving, romantic second chance at love romance.
The book, which is told in dual POV from a divorced couple, Yasmen and Josiah, incorporates mental health issues in a way that I could get behind. I think it’s sort of conventional wisdom that a couple facing grief and loss can either be driven together by their sorrow or driven apart.
In the case of this couple, it was the latter. Now they are managing to find their footing again, running a successful restaurant, co-parenting their sensitive, intellectually gifted son Kassim and their ambitious, confident daughter, Deja.
Josiah has just started dating again, something that has shaken Yasmen up a little. Is she willing to watch the former love of her life marry someone else? Can these two give love another try? (Uh… YES!)
I loved that Before I Let Go was filled with the three F’s that give meaning to life. Food, in the form of Grits, the couple’s restaurant, plus the bonus recipes at the end. Friendship, as both Yasmen and Josiah have a great support network. And family, which includes a Great Dane named Otis.
The characters were relatable and real, and their love story was so sweet (and a bit spicy too…)
I definitely recommend Before I Let Go to romance readers who enjoy a book with characters who aren’t twenty-somethings with stars in their eyes, but a little older and been through some things. It leaned a bit toward women’s fiction while still being a true romance read.
I look forward to the next book in the series!