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Back to You by Priscilla Glenn

November 14, 2012


From Goodreads:

When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her.

Or that it would end so painfully.

Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation.

As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?


My Review:

What a wonderful debut from Priscilla Glenn! To say I liked this book would be an understatement! I LOVED this book! I could not put it down. I don’t stay up until 2am reading because I like the look of luggage under my eyes!

This is a beautifully told friends to lover’s story with a twist. The story is told with dual perspectives and alternating time lines and I love the way this story was written. The writing is gorgeous; it is flawless and seamless in its transition from past to present to give you the story of this unrequited, unsung and undeniable love.

Well, sometimes if something is really important to you, it gets stuck in your body. So even if your mind thinks that it’s gone, it’s still there, kind of hiding inside of you, just waiting for you to remember. It never goes away.

Lauren Monroe is starting a new job teaching at a day care facility while goes back to school. On her first day as she is welcoming a new student she is shocked by who she sees standing with the little girl. Someone from her past she never thought she would see again.

Michael Delany is suddenly thrown into her Lauren’s life; it has been eight years without contact from him. Lauren is hurt, she is angry and she is confused. Her friend, her best friend who disappeared from her life was suddenly back. At this moment I knew this book would be different. I felt Lauren’s reaction to Michael. I wasn’t told how to feel, the words flew off the page and resonated within my emotions. I was hooked and ready to jump aboard the Michael and Lauren train. I needed to know what happened in their past, and I needed to know what would happen to them now.

Lauren met Michael in high school; these two on the surface seem so different but there is something that draws Lauren to Michael. After an outburst in class she begins to wonder who this “bad boy” is that everyone is so afraid of.  She decides to ignore the rumors and gets to see the real person behind the label.

Michael  has a past that had led him to be a boy who loses control. His reputation follows him around school but the day that Lauren takes a chance on him is the day that will change him forever.

It was about redemption. Everyone deserved a chance to be redeemed.

The complicated relationship between Lauren and Michael is beautiful. These young friends lean on each other for support, comfort and encouragement. They are there when no one else can be or wants to be. The understanding they have goes beyond the definition of friendship to what one could call a soul mate. The line of friendship begins to blur when emotions are confronted, confused and contrite.

She couldn’t help but smile at the irony that the baddest boy in school could somehow always make her feel like the world was good. And when he winked at her, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that from that moment on, she would do anything for him.

Through the telling of their story you are engrained in their lives. You are there with each and every monumental moment that will lead them to where they are now. Michael’s past is heartbreaking. I cannot believe the guilt he holds onto and has burdened himself with from such a young age. It has made Michael into the boy we first meet and ultimately the man he turns out to be.

Lauren is a strong woman who has tried to move passed the hurt. She has tried to move on without closure of what happened between her and Michael eight years ago. It isn’t the easiest thing to do when you still ask yourself why and the one who holds the answers is right in front of you daily.  I waited and held my breath to see who would make the first move.

He’d spent eight years missing her, but this time it was different. He couldn’t help but ask himself the question; if he could go back and do it all differently, would he?

Oh that first move and all that happened in between! Sigh.  I loved Jenn, she was such a good friend to Lauren from the beginning. Adam, oh sweet and handsome Adam! He was necessary to Lauren’s growth and I will never get the image of him in that apron during the cooking class out my head.

I cannot say enough how much I fell in love with this story. There is no overt sexuality beating you over the head  yet you feel the tension between Lauren and Michael. There is no filler, no fluff there is just amazing words that fit together perfectly to grip you by the heart and not let you go. I cannot stop thinking about Dirty Dancing, silver leaves, dinner plates, foam pits and what to really do when life gives you lemons!

Back to you is a wonderful story about the strength of love; strength to give your love, to hold onto love and hold out for that love.  It is a story about hope, survival, forgiveness and redemption.

That thing that made her heart come alive in her chest and her body thrum with emotion and her soul felt like it was home. Right back to him, always to him.

*Review copy provided by the author. Thank you!


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