Conviction (The Consolation Duet #2) by Corinne MichaelsConviction by Corinne Michaels
Published May 2015
Series: The Consolation Duet #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
four-stars
Format: eBook
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I fell in love with Liam only to be left shattered into a million pieces. Again. The idea of being without him cripples me but the reality is, he’s gone.

He doesn’t understand and I can’t make him.

If only he’d see the conviction behind my words—then Liam would still be here.

Please note that Conviction is not a standalone, but a sequel to Consolation Part 1 – if you haven’t read the previous title, please note that the below review contains spoilers related to the content of Part 1.

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. Soon, the two of them become much closer, and as several secrets are revealed, Natalie realizes that Liam might be what she needs to get over the heartbreak and betrayal her cheating husband left her behind with.

But then, there’s another significant moment happening at the exact same doorstep she stood when they told Natalie that her husband was dead: the moment her husband Aaron Gilcher returns home, throwing everyone in for a loop.

What I loved about this book:

  • The main characters
  • The steamy scenes

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The plot twists were just a tad predictable…

So… Conviction literally picks up the huge cliffhanger that Consolation ended with. Out of nowhere, Natalie’s “husband” Aaron shows up at her doorstep, and obviously everyone is shocked by the situation since he was believed to be dead. And while Natalie had a really hard time working through his “death” – especially when she to give birth and care for their daughter Aarabelle alone – she was hit on the head with a girl’s confession that she was Aaron’s long-term mistress and that he was going to leave her.

“We have a lot to work through, Lee. I know I fucked up. I know I made mistakes and I wish you’d never found out about them.”

Yeah, that quote below almost killed me. I absolutely hated Aaron and how he thought he as entitled to have a future with Natalie once he came back – as if she would just forget the awful things he did to her. Thankfully, Natalie became stronger at every pageturn and although I expected her to be fooled by Aaron’s act, she kept fighting for Liam.

“He knows that was the end of any chance he had. He just lost me. Completely.”

So Aaron quickly becomes a non-issue in Conviction. And actually, at this point of the story, the tables are turned: while Natalie was broken and vulnerable in Consolation, and relied on Liam to bring her back, it’s now her turn to restore Liam’s faith. And even though Liam is a well-trained S.E.A.L., he still shows his vulnerability and his fears that Lee might run back into Aaron’s arms. So Lee – even though she’s made up her mind about who she wants – has a lot of convincing to do. Especially since Liam will have to leave on deployment for 9 long months, and can’t help but wonder whether she will change her mind.

“I’ll always wonder if you really loved me or if I was just the consolation prize.”

I like how the story unfolded after that. Of course it was a tad predictable, but it added just a tiny bit of angst to the a storyline that might have been flat otherwise. That last twist in the plot rounded the story-up quite nicely and made up for a heartwarming read. And what could have been labeled as cheesy lost all its cheese-factor, coupled to the more than abundant steamy scenes in the book. Some funny banter also made up for a less angsty read.

“This isn’t my fight. It’s hers.
I’ll never be able to push her away. I’ll wait forever if I have to, but I can’t fight this battle.
She has to be the one to choose me.”

View Spoiler »

All in all it was a really nice read, with a good writing (1st person with alternating POVs, with a focus on Lee’s POV), and I’m looking forward to picking up the Belonging series, who are linked to the Consolation series but focus on Jackson.

Detailed Rating
Storyline
4 Stars
Characters
5 Stars
Writing
4.5 Stars
All the feels
4 Stars
Overall: four-stars