First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna was a delightful and emotional friends to lovers romance. In this story high school, friends reconnect after several years and discovered that love has the power to heal emotional scars.Told from dual perspectives in the third person POV, I was given a story that explored the joys, triumphs and challenges of teenage life and adulthood.
Do you remember the first time you believed you found your forever love? The feeling you got every time you were in his or her presence, but they were only interested in friendship. Jessie Baxter knows exactly how it feels, painful and heartbreaking. What she didn’t know, but will find out several years later, was Lee’s home life was not pleasant. Hence the reason he left immediately after graduation telling no one goodbye.
Years later Jessie is married to Billy, who differed greatly from what she dreamed of, but he loves her, or so she believed. Soon she discovers that her marriage wasn’t a dream come true and would go through the trauma of divorce. Then came the dreaded high school reunion where Jessie reconnects with old friends and the one person who will forever own her heart.
The story is divided in three sections. I had the chance to experience the lives of the characters in high school, after high school and at the reunion. I loved that the story was narrated in this form as it made me have a greater appreciation for the challenges faced by both Jessie and Lee.
Lee had experienced a lot of pain as a teenager and so the first chance he got he left home. He would learn though that no matter how far you run you can never escape your past. He struggled with his demons, but thanks to a good friend, he sought the help needed to overcome his pain from the past allowing him the chance to heal and to experience love.
Jesse was exasperating. Sometimes my heart bled for her, but there were moments I wanted to knock some sense into her. She suffered from low self-esteem, hence the choices she made. Eventually she came to her senses and in the process recognized she was a woman worthy to be loved.
I loved that they were able to find their way back to each other, but their journey was not without it challenges. I experienced the heartache, pain, loss and joy they endured.
The story flowed seamlessly, which made it easy to follow. I became absorbed in the story that I had a hard time putting in down. Introducing the suspense element helped to shake things up and added some intensity to the story.
First Crush, Last Love is a heartwarming tale about second chances, love, loss and heartache. It features a great cast of characters and a well-developed plot. McKenna’s brilliant writing style transported me into the world she created. This is my first time reading this author and it will not be my last.
She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website here. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.
Elizabeth, aka Maureen Lippert, lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
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