To Samantha Christensen, Lucas Hunter was always the guy—the sexy, smart and unattainable man she pined for throughout college. To Lucas, she was a treasured friend, a younger sister he felt the need to protect. She had a choice—to wait and hope, or to settle. When they meet again years later, Lucas looks at Samantha and sees a woman he wants—even though she’s not free to take. As they renew their friendship he finds he’s falling hard, and can’t accept any less than all of her. Samantha realizes there’s hope with Lucas. Will she finally have a chance to be happy with the man she’s always loved, or will obligations and insecurities stand in their way? Can Samantha and Lucas convince each other that they belong together? That it was Always You?
Wow! What a great debut; I would never have known this was the first book written by Stephanie Rose. The cover was the first thing that caught my attention, and of course, the book kept my attention from the first page to the very end. It opens with a farewell party for Lucas, the sexy older cousin of Samantha’s best friend. Samantha has always had a crush on Lucas but was too afraid to tell him, but she’s determined to make her feelings known tonight…really what does she have to lose? However, it wasn’t meant to be. They were constantly interrupted, and she had to leave before telling him. But, she did leave with a future date with another guy, Marc. Fast forward years later, and Samantha is a mother and unhappily married to Marc from the bar. She is in a sad place in her life. Her daughter is the only thing that makes her happy. One day she gets a friend request from her long lost crush, Lucas, on social media. She accepts and agrees to meet him to catch up. This first meeting leads to more meetings, and she finds that her time with Lucas makes her happy, and she’s treading close to crossing a dangerous line in her marriage, especially when she realizes Lucas has feelings for her. Will these two ever find happiness together?
WARNING: If cheating bothers you, you should know that his book does involve cheating. I am not a big fan of cheating either, but it is dealt with very sensitively in this book. And, if anyone deserves to be cheated on, it’s douchebag, Marc. He is the sorriest excuse for a husband and father EVER!!! The romance between Lucas and Samantha is sexy yet sweet. It’s not only about Lucas’s love for Samantha, but his love for her daughter, Bella. God knows Bella needs a father’s love! I enjoyed the flashbacks that showed the depth of friendship they shared in the past. It was great seeing Samantha mature and move past her insecurities to become a confident and secure woman. Lucas….he’s perfect!!! Sexy as he**yet with a heart of gold. There’s nothing sexier than a man who loves children!
Great second chance and friends to lover’s story! And, a phenomenal debut! Rose knows how to pull you into her story and care about her characters. I can’t wait to read her future books!