4.5 “Never let go.” Stars!
“Love can be many things, but most importantly, it’s about sacrifice, surrendering your faith to the other person, praying they love you enough so that in the end, you both get your happily ever after.”
You Loved Me At My Ugliest is the third and final book in Evie Harper’s You Loved Me series. I am a huge fan of this series. First off, I highly recommend reading this series in sequential order. Each book may be about a different couple but the overall story arc for the series flows from one book to the other. All the books have packed an emotional punch and once again Ms. Harper has delivered a poignant and touching tale about how love can be tested at our weakest and ugliest moments. It then remains up to you whether you want to continue moving forward from a place of abysmal darkness to one of beauty and light.
Alexa Kinglsey and Joseph O’Connor have known each other for what seems a life time. When Alexa loses her mother, father and brother to a drunk driver, this lost and lonely girl has no choice but to move in with her aunt. Alexa has been surrounded by love her whole life so when she meets the lonely, abused boy who lives next door, she can’t help but want to save him. It all starts when she reaches through the fence to hold his hand.
From a very young age Joseph’s life has been filled with violence and with unspeakable ugliness. His tyrant of a father wanted nothing more than to raise a son who followed in his own cold-hearted footsteps and he started paving the way for Joseph with hardness, cruelty and viciousness. Breathing in darkness on a daily basis does change Joseph and molds him in to the villain his father has always wanted. However, his beautiful Lexi, the girl next door, becomes Joseph’s anchor and shining light. She has been the one constant in Joseph’s life that has loved him unconditionally forever intertwining their hearts and lives.
The tangible bond that Alexa and Joseph share is a powerful one – a forever type of connection and love that is not easily broken. Alexa vows to always be there for Joseph, to follow him to the ends of the earth if she has to. As Joseph’s life takes him deeper into the dark and murky world that is ruled by his father, the love of his life is also dragged into the violent underworld just to be by his side. What happens when enough is enough? Can Joseph make the ultimate sacrifice and walk away in order to protect the only woman he will ever love? Will Alexa be able to move forward without her Joey?
This book was very much a telling of Alexa and Joseph’s journey. The beginning is very much a quick snapshot of how they first meet and how their lives have turned out. We do know some of their story from the two previous books; however, we get a more detailed account of what has exactly happened to leave Alexa and Joseph where they are. There is so much that this pair has endured and continues to endure. So much loss, hurt, anger, resentment, and, of course, love between them as they share such a long and passionate history with each other.
“I don’t deserve her, but I need her.”
“He is home to me.”
Alexa and Joseph’s journey was beyond beautiful. Emily broke my heart and this author does an amazing job drawing the reader into their struggles and pain. Alexa tries to move on with her life without Joseph by her side. This turns out to be an impossible feat. Joseph is trying to do everything in his power to eradicate all the danger so that he and Alexa can finally lead a normal life. He’s trying to become a man that his Lexi can be proud of. What Joseph fails to realize is that all Alexa wants is to be by his side, for him to put her first. Joseph was certainly a force to be reckoned with. There are no words to explain his utter devotion when it came to Alexa. He may not have always made the right decisions when it came to her; but, there was no denying just how essential she was to him. He literally needed Lexi in his life. She was the light at the end of the murky tunnel Joseph feels he must navigate. She was the hope he needed to cling to. I loved how strong the bond was between Alexa and Joseph, no distance or time apart could extinguish what they felt for one another. Watching the two of them find their way back to each other and finally being at peace with their lives was a heart-wrenching and emotional roller-coaster. It was pure, raw, unadulterated love at work.
All in all, You Loved Me At My Ugliest was a tragically beautiful story about love and acceptance. Sometimes love is enough and it can be the exact thing that can heal your soul and allow you to step forward and embrace a future full of wonder and light. We are introduced to more O’Connor men in this book and I can’t wait to see them get their own stories. I am also excited about Dom and Della’s story. So much to look forward to!
“You were my first and by God, I pray you’ll be my last. I love you Alexa Kinglsey, time and distance will not change that fact, physically or emotionally for me.”
“Lexi, I not only want you, crave you, desire you, but I fucking need you. You’re essential to my soul, my fucking life force. My heart doesn’t beat without you in my life.”