Title: LOVE IS NEVER LOST
Author: FAYE MADDEN
Publication Date: JUNE 28, 2021
Ruby Ross pines for the past. After clashes over careers and direction led to a divorce, she regrets their young son has to endure their carefully crafted co-parenting. But more than anything, she yearns for the magic of their first few years…and to be back in her ex-husband’s arms.
Benjamin Ross remains bitter his job cost him his marriage. And though he still has strong feelings for the kind artist he fell for on the first day of college, he squashes them in favor of working long hours to provide for their child’s future. But when the boy arranges for them both to chaperone his camping trip, the gentle accountant fears confessing his emotions will only add up to more pain.
After a tender moment shows Ruby that her ex-husband is willing to make changes to his lifestyle, she nurses a tiny spark of hope for reconciliation. But with Benjamin suffering intense pressure from his father to be a provider, he worries he’s stuck in the same place as before: having to choose between work and love.
Can the wounded couple repair their mistakes and bring their family back under one roof?
A story about two people who were in love with each other since college, got married and then divorced but their little son tried to get them both to be together again so that they can become one family? I’m a sucker for this type of story.
Honestly, there is just something special about the second chance trope that gets to me every time. When two characters who are so very in love with one another but then they broke up or divorced but they are still in love, I so want them to get back together again especially when they still have feelings for each other. Obviously this kind of story have a lot of angst but does that bother me? Well, a little bit since I’m not good at handling stories with a lot of angst in it but I’ll be fine once the couple get back together again.
The whole time I was reading this book, I just wanted for Benjamin and Ruby to get back together again but it wasn’t easy. They needed to make sure about their feelings first—whether it was still there or not—and they definitely still had to talk about the main reason that made them signed those divorce papers in the very first place.
You know what I thought when I find out from the synopsis that Benjamin and Ruby are divorced, I thought for sure that he cheated on her but luckily that is not the reason. I was so scarred from reading too many romances in the past about the husband cheated on the wife and that’s why they are divorced. Thankfully, the author didn’t go for that direction when it comes to this story. It was so refreshing to know that cheating is not the reason but it was actually Benjamin’s job that drove him and Ruby apart.
I was also very stressed out reading this short standalone contemporary romance novel due to how Benjamin and Ruby strongly wanted to break down the walls they built around themselves to protect them but they can’t and the walls need to remain intact because they’re afraid to feel again and the end result will end up with them getting heartbroken. I was at the end of my patience because I just wanted them to get back together but none of them act on it because of what they feared.
It was understandable why both are so wary but they are still in love and their feelings for each other never gone. I’m so thankful for their sweet son, Mason. He was the mastermind. He knew what he needed to do in order for his parents to get back together. He even made a plan with his grandparents to make it work and it did. That was a clever plan actually that had me laughing so hard.
The camping trip was a start but the big one is definitely the concert and a car breakdown. Like I said, it was really clever of Mason and his grandparents for doing that.
The thing I liked about the camping trip was how Benjamin and Ruby finally get their chance to talk about what went wrong in the first place and how can they move forward from there. There was still a little bit of awkwardness and a little bit of hurt between them but it was undeniable that the feelings are still there. They just didn’t know how to solve whatever problems that still linger. As for the concert and car breakdown stuffs, that was to trick the two of them and made them come to their special place when they used to be a couple before. Surprisingly, the plan worked. I was so happy they finally get their happily-ever-after for the second time.
Now let’s talk a little bit about the characters…
Benjamin is a good husband and a great father to Mason. He would do anything to make his son happy and so far, he did pretty well with it. I feel bad for him because he felt like he was trapped in a place that he doesn’t really belong in. His boss is a very mean and uptight woman who is very demanding. I hated her for making him choose between his family and his job. He wanted to have both but his boss in her demanding way made him work like all the time and he doesn’t have much time to spend with his family. I totally understand how this is really hard for Ruby to accept and why they had to go for a divorce route.
Also, Benjamin’s dad kind of putting a lot of pressure on him and even demeaned him which made it hard for him to be confident in himself. If he couldn’t even do a single thing about his job then it automatically means he failed to his dad. There are so many pressure being put on him by both his dad and his boss which really made him feel so stressful. His situation was worser than I thought, but I’m glad he grew a backbone to fight back for his freedom so that he doesn’t have to live a stressful life again, and so that no one can control him and what he wants to do again. I’m glad he found the path he wanted to take and pursue it because if he didn’t follow the path he want to take but instead follow the path others want him to take then that means he won’t be happy and it will be difficult for him to find his happiness. I’m happy he did the right thing and it led to him and Ruby to take a chance on their relationship again.
Ruby on the other hand is a good wife and a great mom to Mason. She did all the best she can to give her son the happy life he deserved. She opens up her own art studio and is pretty successful. I liked how she never lost her passion for art. She still had it in her and I’m glad she took the path she always wanted to take. She did live a great life but was still feeling quite miserable due to how much she wanted to get back with Benjamin and yet she couldn’t because she feared of getting heartbroken again. I understand her reason, she can’t handle living a life in which her husband can’t spend time with her and their son due to how hectic his job is. And in her eyes, it was like she and their son aren’t important to her husband because he kept focusing and spending time on his job that he doesn’t have a single free time he can spend with her and their son.
She’s an understanding person but even an understanding person have their limit. It wasn’t even a surprised that Benjamin’s job affected their marriage after seeing how he works and the amount of free time he had which was little to almost none at all. I was glad that Ruby finally get to speak with him regarding his job and was the one who advised him to take the path he wanted. He took her advice to his heart and did what he’d been wanting to do for years. Thanks to her for giving the advice and showing him the way or else they won’t get to where they are by the end of the book.
Benjamin and Ruby understand each other and they are each other’s person if you know what I mean. The little flashback scenes on how they first met showed that these two are meant to be together. All couples—married or non-married—had their ups and downs in their relationship, it was up to them to fix the problems. In this one, Benjamin and Ruby are both working hard in their own way just so they can fix the unfinished problem between them. I really liked the way they handle it, they really knew how. I also liked how they are not bitter to each other like those couples who broke up and then acted bitter and petty toward their exes because of what happened. Luckily, there are no animosity between Benjamin and Ruby. They are really meant for each other. True love never dies.
Mason, this little sweet boy who wanted their parents to live together but couldn’t understand why they can’t. Bless his heart for doing what he did in the first place or else his parents won’t be able to move past their problem. He might still be little but he was smart enough to pull a move on his parents so that they are able to take him on a camping trip, and from there things are slowly going great between his parents. He’s a really smart kid who knew what he did even though it was hard for him to accept living with his mom on certain days and living with his dad on certain days. I totally get the toll it took on a small kid like him and how hard he felt living in that kind of situation but he got his wish and in the end he doesn’t need to live in two different homes anymore.
This is a really short and sweet contemporary romance story. It definitely won’t break your heart but I have no doubt that it’ll make you shed a tear or two. One lovely couple and a smart kid, what could go right? Honestly, this is such a heartwarming read and I highly recommend this to those who loves reading a feel-good second chance romance book.