Release Date: September 2nd, 2021
But twelve years later, she finds herself divorced, settling into a new home, in a new town, with a new job as an elementary teacher trying to pick up the pieces as she goes.
On top of struggling to cope with the future she always wanted versus the one she’s been dealt, she soon realizes that her new neighbor is a strict, stone-faced man she’s all too familiar with.
Lieutenant Colonel Fletcher Miller.
The man once in charge of her ex-husband’s unit.
And as if the reminder across the street of what she lost wasn’t painful enough, she also becomes his young son’s teacher.
A single dad. A divorcee. A second chance at love neither knew they’d get.
This is my first book by B. Celeste, but I can tell you right now that I’m itching to read more of her books right away. Make You Miss Me is a deliciously angsty slow burn age gap romance that I think everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives. Told in first person, the book follows Stevie Foster picking herself up after her divorce and accidentally falling in love with her neighbor, Fletcher Miller. They’ve got shared history, they’ve got a shared present and there’s a lot they need to weed through in order to find their happily ever after.
I loved Fletcher from the minute we meet him. He’s built like a tank, he’s got that deep, growly voice we all love and he’s the softest cinnamon roll under all of that military training and those muscles. Of course, we’re seeing Fletcher through Stevie’s eyes and we know from their first reunion, it’s going to be through rose-tinted glasses. But even then, I felt like Fletcher is the kind of hero that we all love to read about and the kind of hero that totally blows your mind every time he’s on the page. As a 42 year old single dad, co-parenting with his ex-wife, and having retired from the military, Fletcher has the attention of a lot of people around him. More than that, he’s generous, kind, patient and also helpful. I’m all about grumpy cinnamon rolls and Fletcher fits that picture perfectly. And the way he is with Stevie just cements your love for him.
“Somebody like you deserves to be told how important they are, because there aren’t many like you out there.”
Speaking of Stevie, our lead is a heroine to admire. After marrying her high school sweetheart at 19 and divorcing him at 30, Stevie’s a little wounded and a lot broken. She’s having a hard time moving on and picking herself up. But she’s doing her best. She’s bought herself a home that’s too big for her, found herself a job that she absolutely loves and she’s picking up the pieces of her broken heart. At the start of the book, Stevie doesn’t trust herself, doesn’t trust other people and she’s still struggling to make sense of her life. Midway, she’s growing confident and sure of who she is and she’s making the changes necessary to move on. And by the end of the book, she’s so strong, it makes you cry tears of joy for her. I love how clear her growth was and how the author took us on that journey seamlessly. It makes you love Stevie so much because when she’s confronted with her demons and people who question her at every turn, she fights back – which she never would have done at the start.
Fletcher and Stevie’s relationship is the slowest of slow burns, and while that did bother me a little, I was mostly pacified by the fact that Fletcher was keeping his distance because he wanted her to be sure that this is what she wants out of life. He’s sure of his feelings for her, but Fletcher knows where Stevie’s been and considering that he used to be her ex-husband’s commanding officer, he knows where she’s coming from too. Their conversations, their connection and just the bond they build together is so great. Stevie doesn’t trust easily, not after she was in a relationship where her opinions and her feelings were disregarded a lot of the time. And Fletcher takes that into consideration, letting her control their pace and their relationship instead of telling her what he wants. When they finally cross that invisible line in their relationship, it’s beautiful. All those feelings building up and emotions getting tangled really cements their physical relationship making it so much stronger and powerful than you could imagine.
“Second chances don’t always work out for some people, but when they do, it’s even better than the first chance you were given because you learned from those mistakes.”
This was an absolutely wonderful treat and I loved where I started with B. Celeste’s stories, so I’m sure I’m going to dive into the rest of her backlist and soak it all up!
Thanks to B. Celeste & Wildfire Marketing Solutions for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.