Love Me While I'm Gone, Diana T. Scott

Love Me While I'm Gone (Half of Me Book 2) by [Scott, Diana T.]

So on par with the first book.  The first half of this book made me want to place this as #1 in the ranking of this series but when I thought back to how much I was made to feel in Our Demons, Best Friends, I couldn't do anything but rank it a very, very close 2nd.

Sometimes when you have a series you get people who are mostly individuals but, and let's be honest here, they could easily be interchanged between stories and you wouldn't think the pairing odd.  Details about background and motivations would be different for each book but you could take one dude from one story and plop him in another one from the same universe and there wouldn't be much of a difference.  This book was so very far from that kind of situation that it's almost unbelievable.  I can't really figure out a way to describe exactly what I mean here except to say that we get a sense of who these people might be in the first book and then in this one we get to see all the facets of these dynamic, interesting, wonderful individuals.  They come alive, they change, they are utterly unique.  As individual as that word can mean.

What we learn of Collin in ODBF is little, but we see hot surfer looks, a sense of humor, and a generally happy mien.  We get a sense of his loyalty, his interests, his devotion to what he knows matters.  Then there's Emily.  We get quite a bit more from her because Ava is the MC and her new bestie is Emily.  She's fun, flirty, interested in Collin, devoted to her sister and her group of friends, loyal, determined, intelligent, observant, and has a great sense of humor.  There's not much to keep us from thinking that if Collin and Emily get together they'd be a great match.

But there's so much more to them just being a great match when we get into the meat of Love Me.  The meet-cute is exactly that, a meeting so cute I couldn't help but smile in real life.  For me to react in real life and not just in my head is pretty much a huge deal.  Just so you know.  Anyway, after the meet-cute we get a fast romance, something building an awesome foundation with very little steam but a ton of attraction and genuine feelings growing steady and strong.  Until tragedy intervenes.

I cringed when I read Collin's thoughts while he was deciding what to do about the tragedy.  Just knowing he was going to do what he did wasn't enough to give him the benefit of the doubt, it was, however, something that gave me hope for his return to Emily's good graces.  I wanted to see how he made up for what he did and how he did it.  Emily was right to do what she did and how she did it.  I ached for her bewilderment and her struggle to move beyond what was developing into something stellar.

Reuniting was bittersweet.  We knew it was coming, but how it came together was something that was written really well.  It wasn't fully predictable yet was expected, if that makes sense.  Seeing them dancing around one another and making peace with the past through the careful avoidance of it all with the outer framework provided in ODBF was really great.  We knew the basics but now get to see the specifics and why all the dancing might have been necessary.  It gave depth to what was perceived as shallow flirting and intimated attraction.

The interplay between Emily and Collin was awesome.  I smiled and laughed in real life and totally fell in love with them and how well they fit one another.  Getting both perspectives was a really nice change from the first book and suited their characters.  Overall, this was a perfect continuation for the series and a great book all on its own.  I cannot wait to get my hands on Color Me Yours to read about Paige and Miles.

*Get to know Emily and Collin from Ava's perspective
Our demons, best friends (Half of me Book 1) by [Scott, Diana T.]

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