Friends to lovers stories have always appealed to me, so as soon as I saw the blurb for Love Always, I knew I was going to want to give this one a read. Phillip, the dutiful son of a wealthy family, and Maggie, the free spirited daughter of a fisherman, meet at a resort the summer after their senior year of high school. Despite the fact that it’s frowned upon for resort employees to fraternize with the guests, they start a friendship that eventually veers toward more romantic territory. Real life obligations, along with manipulations by Phillip’s domineering mother, end up separating the two, who vow to stay in touch by writing letters. The question then remains whether their time apart will end up bringing them closer or moving them back into the friend zone.
I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie as a female lead. She was quirky, feisty and independent and it’s always refreshing to read stories where the girl isn’t afraid to venture out on her own to chase down her dreams. The supporting characters of Maggie’s dad and Phillip’s college roommate, Ed, were also strong, injecting healthy doses of wisdom and lighthearted humor in the story, respectively.
I had a hard time fully connecting with the relationship between Phillip and Maggie, though, as I felt like their views on life and love were more suited for slightly older characters. I think that if they had been aged to just graduated from college as opposed to just graduated from high school, the believability factor would have been higher for me and I would have been more invested in the storyline. Nevertheless, this was a very sweet story of self-discovery and young love that would be a great beach read or palate cleanser coming off of a darker or heavier book.
As a side note, the chapter header graphics are probably the cutest ones I have seen to date! I loved the nautical theme and the symbolism of the graphics that accompanied Phillip and Maggie’s chapters could not have been a more perfect expression of the essence of these characters.
“Every soul needs an anchor to keep them steady when the seas become too much.”
Purchase Love Always, on Amazon: Love Always, by Sonya Loveday and Candace Knoebel