Everything I’ve Never Had, by Lynetta Halat ✰✰✰✰✰

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Celeste Hebert appears to have it all, but there are many things she’s never had, been forbidden from having.

One night. One song. One kiss. The perfect trifecta to unleash the floodgates of a forbidden attraction between the widow and her husband’s bad boy cousin, Adrian.

Celeste endeavors to rebury the feelings that surface after this one night since her powerful family despises him. Kindred spirits, best of friends they attempt to douse their attraction; however, Adrian always seems to know exactly how to push her buttons and may prove too much to resist.

Having defied his family by making his way on his own terms, Adrian struggles to regain their acceptance. When he meets his cousin’s wife and wants her for his own, he feels he’s finally lived down to the title—black sheep. But, when his cousin dies unexpectedly, Adrian fights his attraction and swears to honor them both by helping her raise her boys. 

Finding himself enveloped in a cocoon of love and acceptance, Adrian knows it’s more than just physical attraction. However, unforeseen events threaten to destroy those he now holds dear and his newfound peace.

Will the ties that bind them be their undoing?

My Casting

Perfect!

I absolutely adored this book! It was so moving. I went into it quite blind, as I just skimmed over the blurb and I’d agreed to review it for the author, as I already knew I enjoyed her writing style. So I wasn’t too fussed about finding out what I was getting myself into. I kind of like it that way sometimes.

And boy, was Everything I’ve Never Had a nice surprise!

5 stars for Celeste & Adrian!

 

“You and this family are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Every day when I wake up and when I lie down to go to sleep at night and about a billion times in between, I thank God for giving me y’all. Mostly, I thank God for your stubborn nature and for the fact that you didn’t give up on me.”
“You’ll never be rid of me. You give me everything, Adrian, everything I’ve never had.”

Everything I’ve Never Had is a beautiful stand-alone about Celeste and Adrian.
Thirty seven year old widow, Celeste, is getting by, after the death of her husband and lifelong friend, Tripp. She’s doing a fantastic job raising her three adorable boys and giving them the secure, loving, stable life she had always craved as a child. However, growing up in her Mafia family, things weren’t easy. Expectations were thrust upon her, she was never allowed to make her own decisions and growing up was difficult.
Adrian Hebert, Tripp’s cousin and black sheep of the family. However, when Celeste loses Tripp, twenty nine year old Adrian is the one to step up to the plate. He is a God-send to Celeste and her boys, helping out with day to day things, providing a role-model and father figure for the boys and a friend and confidant for Celeste.
But neither Celeste nor Adrian can deny their physical attraction to one another and as time goes on, their resolve to remain friends crumbles and sparks begin to fly. But is there any way they can persuade their domineering families to allow them to be together.
And if they do manage to make a relationship work, can they overcome the most difficult of circumstances?

I know I’m not supposed to want him. He’s my own slice of forbidden fruit – my deceased husband’s outcast cousin.

There is so much to this book. It’s definitely a book of two halves, and I enjoyed both equally. Lynetta Halat is an extremely talented lady and she will draw you into this book until you feel like you know these characters inside and out.

I love Celeste. She is an amazing mother, she is strong and admirable. The relationship she has with her three boys is just to die for. Celeste’s children play a huge part in this book and they go a long way to making the story what it is. There is a wonderful family feel throughout. I loved the banter, the family dynamics, the love that rolls off of the pages. It’s also incredibly sad in places, as obviously these are three young boys who have lost their father. It had me in tears on various occasion.

“Strength isn’t the ability to feel strong, Celeste. It’s the ability to overcome weakness.”

Adrian is perfect! He’s gorgeous, dependable, loyal, protective and he loves Celeste and her boys more than life itself. There is nothing hotter than a man who loves his children. So, how about a man who would die for someone else’s children? Uber cute! He is a young man who has thrown himself into caring for this family that isn’t biologically his and it’s just heart-melting. He’s also super sexy, plays guitar, is ripped and, oh yeh, he’s a Marine! I know, right?! Yum!

 

“It’s a little soon to talk forever, don’t you think?”
“If it scares you, I won’t talk like that; but, no, I don’t think it’s too soon. Our past might have been rocky, but I think our future is inevitable.”

Celeste and Adrian’s budding relationship is delicious. It’s sensual, filled with sexual tension and forbidden fruit. They care about one another from the get-go, due to their past and they way they have come into one another’s lives. Add the intense physical attraction to that and you’ve got emotions running riot, morals and intentions being questioned and two people who just can not keep their hands off one another.

Oh my…this is…everything. Everything I’ve never felt, everything I’ve never tasted, everything I’ve never had.

Whilst Celeste loved her late husband, Tripp, she grew up with him as her friend and their love was more of platonic. Due to the controlling nature of their families, Celeste and Tripp were married and accepted that that was their lot in life. He was a good man and Celeste knew she was lucky in that way.

“You had a lovely respect, which was respectfully lovely; however, you didn’t have a love like married couples are supposed to have, Celeste.”

But when Adrian comes along, she suddenly finds herself feeling things that she didn’t even know she was capable of feeling. Feelings she didn’t know existed outside of romance novels. She aches for him, she wants to breathe him in, she can’t get enough of him… even if she knows she can never really have him for herself. And little does she know, he feels exactly the same.

“They’re not going to come between us, though, because I’m crazy about you and have been for a long time.”
“That’s not good enough for me. Although, being crazy for me is a good start. It’s just not enough for me since I happen to love you.”

I always enjoy reading about a forbidden love. There is something so intense and emotive about two people who aren’t supposed to be together but can’t help falling in love, against all odds. And the passion and emotion between these two is palpable. I know a lot of people get frustrated by the back and forth of two characters fighting their feelings for one another, but if it’s done well, it can create sexual tension that is off the charts, and that, for me, makes a book a huge winner. And in my opinion, that is what Lynetta Halat achieved with Everything I’ve Never Had.

“Are you freaking kidding me? You kissed Adrian “freakishly amazingly beautiful, broody, black sheep, I could take your clothes off without ever moving a muscle” Hebert, and he kissed you back?”

The second half of this book is heart breaking. Just when you think things are starting to straighten out… wham! I can’t go into detail without including spoilers and I wouldn’t want to lessen the impact of this beautiful story, so I’ll let you discover what I’m talking about for yourselves. Just be warned, there will be tears.

“He hurts. I hurt.”

There is a chapter in this book where Celeste, the three boys and Adrian all write one another letters and it is absolutely brilliantly done. I commend Lynetta for such well executed creativity. The letters are funny, emotional, sexy, sweet and heart-breaking. Again, it leads back to that fantastic family dynamic that the author really draws you into.

Fans of contemporary romance have to read this. It needs much more recognition. It’s just brilliant. A whole host of characters which you just can’t not fall in love with, a complex plot line that will keep you on your toes and a lot of juicy sexual chemistry for you get your teeth stuck into.

 

Everything I’ve Never Had Statistics
Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥
Ending: Happy Ending
Series: ✗
Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
Themes:
Grief
Forbidden love
Family
War
PTSD
Warning. This book includes…
Sexual content. PTSD sufferer. Attempted rape.
Writing: Fantastic

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This entry was posted in Alpha Males, Angst Overload, Delicious Sexual Tension, Emotional Reads, Everything I've Never Had, Five Stars, Forbidden Love, Friends to Lovers, Lynetta Halat, Mental Health, Stand Alones, Steamy Reads, War. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Everything I’ve Never Had, by Lynetta Halat ✰✰✰✰✰

  1. Nice review, thanks for recommending this awesome book. I have read it and absolutely loved it…wonderful story!

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