Book One in the Consolation Duet
Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.
But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.
One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.
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Corinne Michaels is an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. She’s happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.
Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha Navy SEALs are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.
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Review by Michelle:
I have to admit that Consolation is my first Corinne Michaels book. I had heard wonderful things about the Belonging Duet, but I honestly didn't realize before starting this story that Consolation was even connected with the first series. All I knew was that the synopsis promised emotion and intrigue, two things that hook me every time, so I was immediately on board. After reading Consolation and experiencing all the drama, the heartbreak, the struggle and the healing all I want to do now is go back and get started on the Belonging Duet in order to experience more of the first couple's story and more from this promising author.
A book about the tragic death of a husband is virtually guaranteed to be emotional in the heartbreaking, agonizing, intense grief category. What I was not prepared for was the wide range of emotions beyond sorrow and mourning that I would experience. Natalie's relationship with her daughter is beautiful and hopeful, her connection and interaction with Liam, heartening and fun, some of the surprises and bumps in the road along the way are painful in a completely different way as well as shocking and frustrating, and her friendship with Reanell is lighthearted and highly amusing making for a nicely well rounded story that keeps you coming back for more.
I sometimes find a second time around story about a character finding love after the loss of a loved one a bit rushed or forced. It's hard to imagine moving forward and moving on after losing what may have been or at least appeared to have been at one point the love of your life and when a character easily slips into another relationship or it doesn't take long for feelings of love for another to crop up, I can sometimes find it a bit hard to swallow or really believe in as it doesn't always feel like a good, solid connection between the two characters. This was not the case with Consolation. Because of the lengthy friendship between Liam and Natalie before her husband's death, as well as the kinship between the two men leading up to the tragedy, this story has a unique spin that creates an unshakeable foundation upon which to forge a new relationship. The playful banter between Natalie and Liam is also a refreshing and significant element in the story that really draws you in and reminds you of the solid basis of friendship from which their relationship is built and gives a sense of ease and comfort that makes everything developing between them seem right. It is also common for a story that occurs after the death of a significant other to compare the two men constantly as well as the feelings and intensity of the love the new couple shares to that of the first. While I feel it is an extremely realistic and human thing to do in this sort of situation and thus I expect it to a certain degree, it can also be tedious, irritating, and unfair to the new love interest. I enjoyed how Natalie consciously decides not to do this in order to give Liam a fair shot as well as to start anew. Without the previously established dynamic between Natalie and Liam I believe that these things would have been hard to accomplish making their relationship practically inevitable, powerful, convincing, and touching.
Then comes the mother of cliffhangers. I say this not to scare potential readers off, but to entice and to convince those leery of an unfinished story to give this one a try. The turn at the very end of this story and the anticipation that it builds for the next is worth every anxious, angst filled day in which we are forced to wait for the continuation. What happened? How could this happen? Why? And if and how this will change the whole direction of Natalie's life, her new relationship, and her daughter's life are just a few of the questions left bouncing around in your head, creating a complete tailspin, and utter longing and anticipation for more as soon as possible. If it's any consolation, Conviction is scheduled for release in May so the torture will not be too drawn out and really isn't breathless anticipation and excitement one of the most appealing parts of a love story?
Consolation is agonizing, heartbreaking, engaging, surprising, and even fun. I loved my first Corinne Michaels experience and will definitely be returning for more.
Rating: 4.5 Stars