Tuesday, January 5, 2016

An Ounce of Hope by Sophie Jackson

From the fanfic phenom whose debut A Pound of Flesh had over 4.5 million reads, this sequel, An Ounce of Hope, tells the passionate love story of Carter’s best friend, Max.

Max O’Hare can’t seem to let go of his past: his drug habit, the end of his relationship with Lizzie Jordan, the woman he knows he’ll never get over, and the loss of their unborn son.

After successfully completing rehab and learning to explore his deepest fears and dreams through painting, Max meets Grace Brooks. With her innate optimism, and her love of art and photography, Grace appears to be the perfect girl. Yet no one knows where she came from, or why she keeps her past so closely guarded. Over time, Max and Grace gradually allow each other in—but will he ever be able to fully let go of his past? Or will his heart remain closed forever?


I wasn't sure what to think about Max from the glimpses that I got of him in A Pound of Flesh. From the little I saw, I thought he was a selfish prick.  And that is putting it mildly. I can't go into too much details as to why I came to that conclusion because those that did not read A Pound of Flesh, I don't want to ruin it. For those of you that read A Pound of Flesh, I think you may agree with me.

BUT...... After reading An Ounce of Hope, my heart bled for him. My heart shattered into a million pieces. For one person to endure so much lose, I was able to understand why he was the way he was.  Max suffered loss at a very young age when he lost his mother. He also lost his father a few years later, not to mention the loss of his unborn son. Tragedy seem to plague Max.  It was as if life was against him. When he was down, life continued to kick him in the side, until he was unable to breathe. While trying to deal with the heartache of losing his unborn child, the love of his life, his fiance, Lizzie pushed him away. She wasn't able to cope with the loss herself, therefore they both were dealt to deal with it alone. 

When Max's fiance left him, that was the straw that broke the camel's back, per se. Max went into a downward spiral. He masked his pain with any liquor he could get his hands on and his drug of choice, cocaine. He needed to be numb. He couldn't handle the pain of all the loss he endured. He needed an outlet, so drugs became that.

As we all know, Carter is an amazing friend to Max. They have been through hell together. Carter refuses to sit back and watch his friend kill himself and checks him into an inpatient drug rehabilitation center.  While in rehab, Max needs to learn how to cope. He needs to learn how to express himself.  
"Thank you, but happily-ever-afters don't exist for me, Doc. he said quietly, lifting his head to meet Elliott's stare. 
 "With all the people I've list in my life, I know what's the real fuckin' truth."
When Max's time expires at the facility, he needs to learn how to fit back into society. While he was away, things have changed. Carter is getting married. Will Max be happy for his best friend? Carter has everything that Max once had. 

When the struggle to fit in takes it toll on Max, he goes to stay with his Uncle in West Virginia. Maybe the change in scenery is the best thing for Max.

Grace Brooks moves back to West Virginia to start over. She needs a new beginning. While things may seem perfect on the outside, they are anything but. Grace is dealing with a few demons of her past. Grace keeps to herself. She is very quiet, very reserved. She hasn't been with a man in a few years. So what is it about Max that draws her to him. Max is the first man she finds attractive, that makes her belly flutter. 

Max and Grace form a beautiful friendship. A friendship that they both are in need of. But what happens when both of them begin to develop feelings for each other? What will happen when the two of them come up with an arrangement to help each other? Will this ruin their friendship? 

After losing so much, will Max open his heart to love again? Will Grace be able to trust Max? Both, Max and Grace have been hurt, both are dealing with demons from their past, but will their feelings for each other be enough to move forward with a future together? We can only hope that the two of them are able to pick of their shattered hearts and piece them back together again, in order to love each other.  
"You told me that all you wanted to do was love me. Am I too late?" ~ Max
Sometimes love can smack us on the head, and we still don't notice it. Sometimes we have to lose it all, to realize what we have. What will happen if someone from their pasts pays them a visit? Will they want to hold onto the past, or will they want to move forward with the new relationship that they forged and look toward a happy future. We an only hope that they follow their hearts.

This was a FIVE star read for me. This review was prepared by Heather. An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.

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