Title: The Man I Thought I Loved
Author: E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year: Independent 9/24/20
Length: 186 Pages
Series: Two-Faced #2
That’s exactly what he is.
I’ve already been ripped into a million pieces before, and I don’t have the strength to do it again. Thankfully, he didn’t have much of me to begin with. I was smart about it, not giving my heart away as easily as my body.
But he’s still there…everywhere.
My friends tell me to forgive and forget, to give him another chance.
Sure, I can forgive.
But never forget.
We had an introduction to this series that was fairly surface level and in this second installment, it’s great to see that the bar is just a bit low, that way we can excel. We know that there was something great developing between Dax and Carson, but we also saw that trust was paramount to everything and there was a significant loss in that when Carson learned Dax’s true identity.
The chance for them to be happy is almost non-existent even though it’s clear that there’s still intense chemistry. She walks away and wants nothing to do with him and he has no choice but to fight. He realizes quickly though that it’s a losing battle and that there’s no convincing Carson to think about his lie as being something that wasn’t consequential.
Dax slips back into his playboy ways, even though Carson is the only girl that he wants. Carson surprisingly doesn’t go back to her Boy Toy ways but we don’t really know if it’s because she’s in denial about how she feels about Dax or if she’s just put off men entirely.
Knowing that their friendship groups are now intermingled, these two call a truce of sorts. They agree to be friends, and what we see from here takes this book to a deeper level. We watch a true friendship develop – we see Dax and Carson open up to each other in a more fulfilling way and grow to be true friends. It gives Dax hope, and when he makes his move again, he is shot down. Carson is firm in her answer of ‘NO’.
Enter Evan, Carson’s ex-husband, and his reappearance changes everything. Her heart is broken all over again once she realizes that he’s remarried so quickly, and when he tries to approach her, she tries to act brave and powerful, but is scared beyond means, because she doesn’t want to have all those emotions brought up again on how she failed in her marriage. Luckily for her, Dax is there and takes matters into his own hands, and from there we see the trajectory of the story change. The future is still unknown, but there’s a new path to go down.
There are a few side stories here as well. We watch Charlie navigate his feelings for Denise (Carson’s sister) while trying to be caring about Kat (his ex)’s feelings. It’s a mess and while everyone’s trying to be sensitive, there’s really only so much a person can take. We also watch the evolution of Dax’s sister Renee’s relationship with her boyfriend William, and see how he’s welcomed into the family (or not) and what that means for the future. It’s a sweet next piece to the story and i’m intrigued to see where book three takes us since the title is a bit daunting. On that note, Enjoy!