|My Everything by Heidi McLaughlin|
March 18, 2013
Mad Bear Publishing
Genre: Adult Romance
Source: Personal purchase
When Nick Ashford lost his friend, Mason, he didn’t realize he was going to lose his family as well, but that’s exactly what happened. Alone and in a foreign country, Nick is working on rebuilding his life one patient at a time, that is, until a striking volunteer makes her presence known.
Can Nick finish his year in Africa without risking his heart being broken again, or is he willing to start a new chapter in his life before his return to Beaumont?
This novella in the Beaumont series follows after Forever My Girl (find my review here), so if you haven't read it yet, then this review or novella will be spoilery for that novel. I was very glad that Heidi gave Nick his own story, even if it was just a novella. Thought I would have happily read more. I liked Nick and wanted to know more about him, and was glad Heidi didn't make him out to be a complete bad guy, but just a guy with imperfections, just like all her other characters. That is one of the strengths of this series - flawed characters who grow.
Here we get to find out what Nick did when he left Beaumont and Josie and went to Africa for a year. Not only did we get to find out what he was doing there, but also get flashbacks to his relationship with Josie and the awkward time when Liam came back. I already felt badly for Nick during Forever My Girl. I felt like he got a bum rap for something out of his control. His jealousy and frustration in that situation was completely understandable. But I knew he must have had red flags during his relationship with Josie, and here we get to find out more of what happened between them, both before and after Liam's return. I liked how Heidi integrated it all and it really helped me to appreciate Nick even more. Additionally we get to see how Nick grew from that experience on a personal level and also had to own up to his mistakes, particularly with Noah.
We also get to see Nick's blossoming romance with Aubrey. I really liked the angle of this relationship. It was sweet and honorable. I liked them as a couple. I especially liked Aubrey, her gentle nature, her perspective on life, and the integrity she maintained. Their courtship was sweet and refreshing. I only wish we could have had more of their interactions, dialogue, getting to know each other, etc. I realize this is just a novella, but as I said before, I would have loved to read more.
I mentioned Noah before, and I'll mention him again. I liked how things came full circle with him. I like that children are important in this series and not just random side characters. That's another strength of this series - children are people too, not just accessories. There is a certain beauty to the adult/child relationships involved here, and adults have to take ownership of their mistakes and faults, whether they're blood-related or not.
Bottomline: I'm very glad I read this novella between reading Forever My Girl and My Unexpected Forever. Regardless of whether, at the end of Forever My Girl, you felt like Nick got the short end of the stick or made a total jerk move, this is the novella for you to feel closure with all parties involved. It's also a nice segue between books and a quick enjoyable read.