A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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The Blooms That Broke Us by Ashley Dill: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Seven Blooms. Three hearts. A second chance.

Jack Barkley has never been jealous of Jules, his twin sister, until she has something he doesn’t—a family. After his failed marriage and a trail of dead-end relationships, he’s given up hope that there could be anyone else for him.

Miranda Howard has spent the last four years with Chris, an abusive and narcissistic boyfriend. Taking care of her son Kacey has been her only priority, and Chris’ home was supposed to be a temporary landing spot in a time of crisis. But finally escaping his clutches leaves her penniless, stranded, and fresh out of options.

When Jack’s father dies, Jack and Miranda find themselves face to face in an attorney’s office, banking on an inheritance that’s locked down until they meet stipulations. Despite their sour history, they strike a deal to help each other. Miranda doesn’t like the proposed arrangement, but it sure beats the homeless shelter she was counting on to keep her and Kacey off the streets.

Can they piece together the past? Or are they still as broken as the shattered vase that ended their marriage years ago?

Ashley Dill is a contemporary romance author who lives with her four children and husband in the Upstate of South Carolina. As a busy homeschooling mom she wakes before the sun to write her stories! Her debut novel, HOLD BACK THE RIVER, is set where she grew up in Middle Tennessee.

Connect with Ashley on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashleydillauthor

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ashleydill_author?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA==

The Blooms That Broke Us follows Hold Back the River featuring characters that we met in that previous book. While I absolutely recommend reading the previous book as well, this can definitely be enjoyed with no confusion if you haven't read it. 

While I usually prefer much lighter reads, I absolutely fell in love with Ashley Dill's debut last year. It was emotional and heartbreaking, but absolutely beautiful. As such, I was looking forward to reading the next one.  And oh my goodness... what a story this was! While I felt in many ways Hold Back the River was more intense, this one hit much closer to home for me. In fact, when I read the dedication and the trigger warnings at the start, I went back and forth on whether to go ahead and read this one. I truly cannot say this enough, DO NOT SKIP THE AUTHOR'S NOTE. Ultimately, having read her previous book and knowing how she beautifully wrote about the tough stuff with sensitivity and grace, I opted to read on... with the intention to stop if it became too much. 

(While I will try to keep this vague so as to avoid any spoilers, feel free to skip this next paragraph if you'd like to avoid even a hint of them.)

Yes, this one absolutely had me in tears... but I also think in some ways I needed Miranda's story. This story deals with invisible grief of motherhood that can be hard to understand, isolating, and yes, even downright traumatic... and a grief that I am unfortunately all too familiar with myself. But as I had expected, it was handled so beautifully. I definitely found myself feeling seen in my experiences... and there's something really powerful in that! To quote the book itself, that acknowledgment "felt-- good. A hard type of good." As such, I was so appreciative of this story in ways that I cannot begin to explain. 

Beyond the tough stuff, this was such a beautiful second chance romance with absolutely amazing chemistry. While I know that not everyone is a fan of second chance, I personally love it and this story is such a beautiful example as to why. Jack and Miranda's story was messy and complicated and imperfect... but it was still beautiful. And worth the fight. I loved this quote from their neighbor, Richard-- so full of marital wisdom throughout the story, "Love ain't romance. It's grit." Isn't that the truth? Yes, this book will definitely have you reaching for the tissues, but it'll have you crying the happy tears right along with the sad... and I absolutely loved everything about it. It's certainly one that will stick with me for a very long time.

The Blooms that Broke Us is a closed-door romance, though it did have some fairly descriptive kisses, some innuendo and fade to black. There was also a fair amount of mild language throughout. As such, it might not be for everyone. In addition to the content discussed above, there is some mention of abuse as well. 

Get your copy: https://amzn.to/3TYFa6M


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