Consolation (The Consolation Duet #1) by Corinne MichaelsConsolation by Corinne Michaels
Published March 2015
Series: The Consolation Duet #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
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Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.

But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.

One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.

The day they knocked on her door to tell her that has husband was killed by an IED was the day Natalie Gilcher‘s life changed forever. Pregnant with their first child, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter, but even with all the support she got from her family, husband’s best friends and army-wife friends, Natalie doesn’t laugh and doesn’t feel. She mourns quietly and alone.

Several months later, Liam Dempsey, her husband Aaron’s best friend and brother in arms shows up at her door, intent on keeping the promise he made his friend to look after his wife. However, as the two of them get to know each other better, feelings start blurring the lines, and their moral conscience kicks in. Is it right to fall in love again, and if so, is it right to even fall in love with your best friend’s wife/your husband’s best friend?

What I loved about this book:

  • The ending! It got me all excited about book two!
  • Interesting story around grief, morals and second chances
  • Liam ranks high on my Book-Boyfriend list!

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The ending! The cliffhanger was a bummer!
  • If the story could have been made less predictable towards the beginning, it would have been a plus. But the twists and turns towards the second half of the book make up for the predictable beginning

What can I say? I am a sucker for forbidden romance novels, so this book landed in my Kindle cart in a blink!

From the synopsis, it was pretty predictable that Liam and Natalie would end up together, but I loved how it happened, because while both were totally aware of the moral boundaries, the feelings just came creeping in unexpectedly – even though the two have known each other for ages and never felt “that way”. But Liam is especially torn about falling in love with Natalie, given that she is the wife of a fallen brother, and all his friends in and outside of the army follow an unwritten code that forbids them to mess with each others wives. It feels like they are fighting against some form of forbidden love, when really it’s not all that forbidden, especially if it helps Natalie get over her grief.

But Liam was absolutely wonderful. Of course he starts out as a total army man-slut, but the more time he spends with Natalie, the more he wants to become a better person for her. Natalie refuses his help at first, but Liam won’t budge. It’s absolutely sweet how she cares for her and her daughter, and how he took babysteps just to accommodate her and make her feel safe. And with that, he slowly helps her to move on. He’s the perfect combination of alpha-male and sweet caring protector. After all, she’s too young to waste away and she needs to be strong and happy to care for her daughter Aarabelle.

But still, it’s hard for Natalie not to compare Liam’s every actions with her late husband Aaron’s. She can’t switch off her feelings for him and engage into a fully committed relationship with Liam. The memories of Aaron can never be fully erased. But Natalie slowly beings to understand that it’s the same for Liam. And while he tries to take it slow, he can’t help but feel like he’s coming second.

“She aches for him but reaches for me — I refuse to be the consolation prize.”

I do however believe the storyline stalled along the middle, even though the dual POV writing helped in keeping me interested. The book would have been a bit too predictable and boring if it only revolved around Liam and Natalie’s burgeoning romance. Thank god it didn’t! A few things actually turned the plot around and made Consolation way more interesting.

This book showed an interesting and very true vision of grief. I’ve experienced second-hand that the person you grieve after is generally a flawless version of the actual person. In that same way, due to some revelations and more, Natalie is unwillingly left remembering the side of her late husband that actually made their relationship and marriage imperfect, and realizes he wasn’t exactly the person she held in her memories.

“I’ve been so blind. In my mind, I blocked out everything bad and I’ve put him on a pedestal.”

A always, Consolation is one of the books I just binge-bought on Amazon either because I had tons on updates around it on Goodreads, or because it was cheap. I never think much when I do that. So when I read this book, I was getting really impatient toward the 90% mark. I thought: what the fork could possibly happen to make this book explode and really stand out when we’re already at 95%? And as I got closer to the end (to the very last page, to be precise) I got my answer in the form of a crushing cliffhanger that did a complete 180 on me. Yep, that’s because I forgot to check whether this was a standalone or not, and it definitely isn’t. So I am more than excited to wait until Part 2 of the The Consolation Duet will be released, because I am dying to know what the author is going to spin around this massive revelation at the end!

Detailed Rating
4 Stars
4 Stars
4 Stars
All the feels
3.5 Stars
Overall: four-stars