★★★ 3.5 Stars ★★★
A debut novel from author Blake Austin, which takes the reader on a journey of a man trying to overcome the grief of losing his wife of five years, Emily.
Luke Cawley is only twenty six, but has already suffered an unimaginable loss. It’s been a year since the love of his life died of cancer and he is finding life hard without her. On the anniversary of her death, Luke receives a package containing nine letters, each one to be opened after he has completed the task from the previous and each one designed to help Luke move forward and live a full life once again.
When he visits the local dog shelter he meets a woman named Rae who he is immediately drawn to, and discovers that for the first time in a long while, he has a little bit of hope back in his life.
“I’d also told myself there was only one girl in the world for me, and I was starting to wonder if that was the whole truth, or if it’d really feel that way forever.”
This story was more about Luke and Emily, I found his and Rae’s relationship to be secondary and would have loved for Nine Letters to be more about them as a couple. The love that Emily and Luke shared was beautiful and it was a young first love that was a joy to read, but I felt that it overshadowed the blossoming feelings that he had for Rae. I loved their moments together but they were too few and far between for my preference.
Also, there were quite a few Christian undertones to this book and I generally don’t like to mix religion and romance.
Overall, it was a wonderfully written and emotional story and would definitely read something from Blake Austin again.
Nine Letters is a standalone contemporary romance, told in the male POV.
ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review
Images featured in this review were created by me using stock images either purchased from deposit photo or from free stock sites.