Leo by Mia Sheridan
Elizabeth - 4 crowns
“there are a lot of paths in life. Some we choose and some are chosen for us. I was dealt some, just like a lot of us are, and I made a lot of poor choices too. I have to take responsibility for those. But the only thing we'll get from trying to figure out where another path would have taken us are questions there are no answers to and heartbreak that can't be healed. Regardless of how we got there, all any of us can do is move forward from where we are.”
This book takes you through a lifelong journey of two foster children who beat the odds and fell in love....
Kelly - 5 crowns
Mia Sheridan has just gained a new fan…. Me!
Leo is a captivating, emotionally charged, stunning debut. The two separate timeframes gave this book real depth even though the length is modest. It’s a clever story with an interesting twist that is beautifully written, even though it covers some distressing subject matters.
I kind of just fell into this book. As my to-read shelf continues to grow at an astronomical rate, I promised myself I would start hitting up some of my backlog. Yeah… right! Leo kept popping up on my recommendation list, coupled with some amazing reviews on the Goodreads forums and Amazon so I knew I had to down tools and jump on this one instead.
I just had one problem
… the cover!
I didn’t like it. I know I know… never judge a book by the naked chick whose breasts are covered by masculine hands, right? But it just wasn’t screaming out to me. Even in it’s black and white format it lacked any visual originality. I just expected it to be another erotica novel with some successful rich guy in a BMW swooning an innocent virgin. HA! Well sure, there is that aspect to it I guess, but believe me when I say, WOW! This book is SO MUCH MORE!
Thankfully, the new redesigned cover captures the true beauty of this story.
Chapter one rendered me speechless, I can honestly say, hand on heart that Leo and Evie’s first kiss on that rooftop under a starlit sky blew me away! I’m a sucker for first love romances, but as far as first kisses go they don’t get much better than this.
”I’m going to kiss you now, Evie, and when I do, it’s going to mean that you’re mine. I don’t care how far away we are from each other. You. Are. Mine. I’ll wait for you. And I want you to wait for me. Promise me…”
At only 14 and 15, Evie and Leo knew what it felt like to fall in love, to finally have the confidence to say, ‘I belong to someone, and they love me.’ After both having endured an abusive childhood, they met at the tender age of 10 and 11 as they entered the Foster Care system. Residing under the same roof with other neglected kids, Leo and Evie shared a bond that would stand the test of time. Or so they thought…
When Leo is adopted, and relocated to the other side of the country with his new parents, he promises to write regularly and return for her in 4 years time, when she celebrates her 18th Birthday. Evie waited for that letter, for that call, it never came…
We jump 8 years into the future and Evie is working two jobs, has her own apartment and a handful of close acquaintances. Attending the funeral of her friend, Willow, whom she also met in Foster care is a bittersweet revelation as she realises just how far she has come as she settles into a life of normality.
Feeling the eyes of a male stalker follow her every move should have scared Evie and yet she was intrigued by the mystery guy in an expensive suit, with the nice car. It’s not until she spots him again in the street, she makes a quick diversion and manages to sneak up on Mr. Mystery Guy wanting answers.
Jake Madsen has been watching Evie for a couple of weeks. When she sneaks up on him, he knows that the time has come to deliver his news. You see… Jake is a friend of Leo’s, and has been asked to check up on her.
With this new revelation, Evie goes into meltdown mode, as the story then takes us on a trip down memory lane, as it flashes from past to present tense.
As Jake and Evie spend more and more time together, she realises that the time has come to finally move on, but in order to, she must say goodbye to the boy who once captured her heart so completely, as she opens her heart to accommodate another.
Jake is everything she could ever want in a boyfriend. He’s kind, successful and beautiful, there is just one problem – he’s holding back. Hiding beneath a world of torment. Stripping those layers becomes crucial if she is to believe they are to have a future together, the question is, is Jake willing to let it all go?
Leo is a double whammy, it’s like a buy one get one free. Two beautiful love stories, running consecutively side-by-side as it paints Evie’s life in full 3D. As you follow young Evie and Leo you get washed head to toe with their endearing innocence, for it then to lead you back into the present, as Evie and Jake’s connection hits dizzying heights, leaving you breathless, yet wanting more. Leo significantly left his mark on her past, that in order to move on in her future, she has to let go of him but letting go was never going to be easy.
Jake Madsen is a literary walking wet dream. He’s the all-consuming mysterious alpha male that had me falling fast and yet questioning his integrity on a few occasions. I felt like I was getting to know him, then something would happen and I felt that jolt. That inexplicable feeling of betrayal, only then for him to magically soothe me back to my happy place that’s all sunshine and rainbows.
The twist is magic, and yeah… I saw it coming; I’m not going to lie. I did. But even so, it was still a euphoric moment that had me squeeing and hugging my kindle. I’m a nerd, what can I say?!
This book starts on a high note and ends with a colossal bang. The epilogue gives closure and had my heart melting all the way down into my shoes.
A great standalone read that is truly worthy of a place on the best bookseller list of 2013.