Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale ~ Audio book Review & Quote-tastic (@kerrylonsdale)

Everything We Left Behind was the perfect sequel to the first book, Everything We Keep. I loved getting to know James, as well as experiencing his time as Carlos. His life was thrown upside down, but he was strong enough to walk through it again.
Title: Everything We Left Behind
Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Series: Everything We Keep #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 4th 2017

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From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behind effortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

(This book is the sequel to Everything We Keep)

After I read Everything We Keep, I knew I needed to read the next book because the Epilogue hooked me and I had to know what happened next. Everything We Left Behind was just as heartbreaking as I thought it would be, as I watched James regain his early memories, but he had no recollection of the past five years. He had lost so much, but had gained two sons that he didn't remember. It was a fantastic journey of a guy who lost his love, but was able to find new love, and became the best father he could be.

This book was told in two perspectives: James and Carlos. James was the dominant personality and Carlos was the personality that surfaced after an intense incident that blocked James out. The book alternated between the past (Carlos) and present (James) so we could fully understand what happened after I last saw Carlos. I saw how he moved on, how he was coping now and becoming an instant father.

Timothy Andrés Pabon narrated this story perfectly and game both Carlos and James their own distinctive voices, despite being the same person. Carlos had only spent his time in Mexico, so had a hint of an accent.

I am continuing to love Kerry Lonsdale's writing and the way she pulls me into her complex world. I loved both James and Carlos, and enjoyed seeing each journey to where James was now. There were a number of twists thrown in that had my jaw dropping, but I also loved seeing the new love in both Carlos and James's life. The situation with the bad brother threw me, and with what I already knew, I didn't quite buy it, but it was the way the story went. Still, it was an amazing read and I know Kerry Lonsdale is a must read author for me now!

I loved this moment, it stretched out I little, so I grabbed the important parts. It was such a heartbreaking moment, but I was so proud of her for putting herself out there.

“The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life was shake your hand at the airport and act as if we just met when all I wanted to do was run into your arms. “I haven’t seen you since November and it’s killing me.” She thumps her chest. “Killing me that you haven’t kissed or hugged me. You used to hug me as though you were afraid to let me go. God . . .” She sucks in a ragged breath. “I want you to touch me. I just want you to hold me.” Her voice breaks on the last word.

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“I love you, James,” she says when he grips the doorknob. “I loved you as Carlos and I love the man you are now.”

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Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Kerry Lonsdale believes life is more exciting with twists and turns, which may be why she enjoys dropping her characters into unexpected scenarios and foreign settings. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She resides in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an aging golden retriever who’s convinced she’s still a puppy.

Other reviews featuring Kerry Lonsdale
Everything We Keep
Everything We Keep #1

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