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The Beginning of Always

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Florence Reynolds never thought she’d see him again. Sure, she was moving to New York City after years abroad, but Alistair Blair was in a different stratosphere now. He had conquered the city, made a name for himself. The two of them were a long way from the dirt roads of their youth. Their individual paths had led in opposite directions, which was exactly as they had bot Florence Reynolds never thought she’d see him again. Sure, she was moving to New York City after years abroad, but Alistair Blair was in a different stratosphere now. He had conquered the city, made a name for himself. The two of them were a long way from the dirt roads of their youth. Their individual paths had led in opposite directions, which was exactly as they had both intended. They had both moved on. They had both tried to forget. Florence never wanted to see him again. But when Florence’s editor gives her a high-profile article to write, an important cornerstone article interviewing Manhattan’s hottest businessman, Florence finds herself back in Alistair’s orbit, thrust suddenly into the uncomfortable present and the painful past that bind them together. Secrets shared and never forgotten threaten to collide, and to ruin.


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Florence Reynolds never thought she’d see him again. Sure, she was moving to New York City after years abroad, but Alistair Blair was in a different stratosphere now. He had conquered the city, made a name for himself. The two of them were a long way from the dirt roads of their youth. Their individual paths had led in opposite directions, which was exactly as they had bot Florence Reynolds never thought she’d see him again. Sure, she was moving to New York City after years abroad, but Alistair Blair was in a different stratosphere now. He had conquered the city, made a name for himself. The two of them were a long way from the dirt roads of their youth. Their individual paths had led in opposite directions, which was exactly as they had both intended. They had both moved on. They had both tried to forget. Florence never wanted to see him again. But when Florence’s editor gives her a high-profile article to write, an important cornerstone article interviewing Manhattan’s hottest businessman, Florence finds herself back in Alistair’s orbit, thrust suddenly into the uncomfortable present and the painful past that bind them together. Secrets shared and never forgotten threaten to collide, and to ruin.

30 review for The Beginning of Always

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dilushani Jayalath

    *Kindly received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Actual Ratings= 3.5* Hmm I'm not sure about this one. It was definitely cute. But was more meh meh for me. It had a very cute storyline. The characters were nice. But as I was saying, nothing memorable. It did leave me with fluffy feelings of satisfaction. So i guess this book's a success for me. If I had a chance to read a second book (if there is one) I would definitely give it a try. *Kindly received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Actual Ratings= 3.5* Hmm I'm not sure about this one. It was definitely cute. But was more meh meh for me. It had a very cute storyline. The characters were nice. But as I was saying, nothing memorable. It did leave me with fluffy feelings of satisfaction. So i guess this book's a success for me. If I had a chance to read a second book (if there is one) I would definitely give it a try.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 Stars I wasn't sure how many stars to award this debut novel because it did have me hooked and I read it in one sitting but more because I was intrigued about what had gone wrong in Florence and Alistair's past to split them up. The book starts in the present when Florence and Alistair have not seen each other for 10 years. It then goes back to the past where it is mostly told from Alistair's POV but I found his POV in the past sounded feminine. At first, I thought I was reading from Florence' 3.5 Stars I wasn't sure how many stars to award this debut novel because it did have me hooked and I read it in one sitting but more because I was intrigued about what had gone wrong in Florence and Alistair's past to split them up. The book starts in the present when Florence and Alistair have not seen each other for 10 years. It then goes back to the past where it is mostly told from Alistair's POV but I found his POV in the past sounded feminine. At first, I thought I was reading from Florence's POV. The Alistair in the present is quite reserved. He doesn't show many emotions. Florence is written well. She stands her ground against Alistair and doesn't give in easily nor does she forgive easily. I found the past a bit confusing and the author didn't provide as much information as I would have liked. Some aspects of the storyline were glossed over. Also in the past, Florence and Alistair say 'babe' a lot but they don't in the present. In the present, they are both reserved. At times in the present I felt like Alistair's character kept changing and he went from a reserved, intriguing hero to a bit of a sap! When it comes to light how far he has gone to get Florence back, it made him seem a bit of an obsessed stalker which put me off him a bit! It's quite a long book. I felt it could have been edited more as I began to get a bit bored towards the end reading all about Alistair's business transactions etc. When I eventually found out why they had split up in the past, I didn't really buy it. Yes Alistair realises he made a big mistake and he wants to make up for it in the future but I always have a problem with young adults pining for each other long into their adulthood and in this case 10 years later. Neither seemed to have met anyone else in that time or had another relationship and the way Alistair behaved wanting to jump right back into a serious relationship seemed a bit OTT. I liked that Florence made Alistair work for her forgiveness but then again, I found that part dragged out as well and I became a bit disinterested. Again, it's because the story is too long. I did find the writing emotional towards the end and felt sorry for Florence as to why she believed Alistair had ended their relationship in the past. The author definitely has potential and I would read more from her. ARC provided by Netgalley

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•

    3.5 stars Florence and Allister were high school sweethearts when they were young. They grew up in the same town and had high hopes of a future together until something happened that changed their lives forever. Ten years later and Allister is doing quite well for himself, he is a self made successful millionaire who pretty much has everything he ever wanted, except the one thing he misses every day – Florence. Florence has been working and travelling in her chosen career as a journalist. She has r 3.5 stars Florence and Allister were high school sweethearts when they were young. They grew up in the same town and had high hopes of a future together until something happened that changed their lives forever. Ten years later and Allister is doing quite well for himself, he is a self made successful millionaire who pretty much has everything he ever wanted, except the one thing he misses every day – Florence. Florence has been working and travelling in her chosen career as a journalist. She has recently been called back to New York to shadow an interview subject and write an article on him. Him being her ex love Allister. They may be 10 years older now but the love and pull between them has never fizzled out. Florence does her best to resist Allister but eventually her heart wins. However, if you though these two would be sailing off into the sunset then think again! There is too much water under the bridge to cross just yet. You can’t move forward until you deal with the past and it is not going to be easy but if Allister really wants to spend the rest of his life with Florence the truth needs to come out. This is quite a lengthy book and I did a wee bit of skimming when it got too descriptive in parts but I did enjoy this story. “Have faith,” she said quietly. “Have faith in an imperfect love.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Very well written and beautifully told story. I loved the complexity of the characters and the absolute pull that Allister and Florence have that it is almost impossible for them to not be together. That is, until tragedy plagues their very young adulthood and they are left heartbroken. Both Allister and Florence have difficult things in their childhood that shapes them into the adults they are today and their lack of desire to have a committed relationship as adults. Abandoned by his mother on a Very well written and beautifully told story. I loved the complexity of the characters and the absolute pull that Allister and Florence have that it is almost impossible for them to not be together. That is, until tragedy plagues their very young adulthood and they are left heartbroken. Both Allister and Florence have difficult things in their childhood that shapes them into the adults they are today and their lack of desire to have a committed relationship as adults. Abandoned by his mother on a dusty back road, Allister is forced to deal with that abandonment and then thrust into the life of a father and a stepmother he doesn't know all the while fighting the desire to go back to his mom. Florence is a child taking care of her younger brother and a mentally ill mother while her father works long hours as a doctor. She doesn't know what it feels like to be taken care of. Then Allister comes into her life and these two are just what the other needs, but emotions, hormones may be too much. 10 years later- returning from overseas assignments and settling into her job in New York, Florence gets the opportunity for a huge story. The only problem is, it's profiling Allister. This was a greatly written story as you immediately root for Allister and Florence to get together, yet don't really know or understand their past yet. It feels like fate has brought them together, but sometimes things aren't as they seem. The chemistry between the two is undeniable, but when ulterior motives come to light, fate is questioned. I highly recommend this book. Great read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book (given by Netgalley)... I have to say this book had a lot of heartbreaking drama. Alistair and Florence have an epic love; it started when they were children with just that connection and as they get older that loved turned into a soul combining passion. But with Alistair's belief that he was bad for Florence and Florence with letting her fears get in the way, they broke each other. But now that years have passed, they have come across each other again an I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book (given by Netgalley)... I have to say this book had a lot of heartbreaking drama. Alistair and Florence have an epic love; it started when they were children with just that connection and as they get older that loved turned into a soul combining passion. But with Alistair's belief that he was bad for Florence and Florence with letting her fears get in the way, they broke each other. But now that years have passed, they have come across each other again and maybe this time it will end differently. However, Alistair still has secrets and Florence still harbors guilt; will history repeat itself? Possible spoilers below: I liked the book and the plot, but there were some parts that were confusing and somewhat unbelievable. I didn't realize Bill was Alistair's biological father until about 60% of the book. And I have to say Alistair messed up very badly, not once but twice, and his mistakes always ended up destroying Florence. While their story was beautiful, I think if Alistair had a counselor to help him overcome his horrible past with his mother, I think many things could have been avoided.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alice W.

    This was NOT the usual summer romance read I was expecting-- for ALL the right reasons! Sophia Mae Todd's narrative is beautiful, wistful, and captures the complex feelings of love and longing in modern day NYC. Yes, this is a romance about two successful and presumably beautiful people-- however, this is where the story breaks formula, going above, then beyond the usual romantical trappings with some serious plot twists deftly woven throughout. The story of Florence and Alistair, though fiction This was NOT the usual summer romance read I was expecting-- for ALL the right reasons! Sophia Mae Todd's narrative is beautiful, wistful, and captures the complex feelings of love and longing in modern day NYC. Yes, this is a romance about two successful and presumably beautiful people-- however, this is where the story breaks formula, going above, then beyond the usual romantical trappings with some serious plot twists deftly woven throughout. The story of Florence and Alistair, though fictional, is believable because of Todd's delivery and willingness to explore love and loss as complimentary entities. Lastly, if you like a good sexy scene or two, you'll be pleased to know that TBOA will deliver (and then some) and leave you starved for some IRL romance. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be on Tinder until Todd's next novel. **Disclaimer: I was provided an advanced reader copy of this novel for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessa

    3.75ish, but I really liked the two leads despite the back and forth with the present and past POVS, so I rounded up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}

    ***ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review***

  9. 4 out of 5

    Loes M.

    Magical! Florence and Alistair both had rough childhoods and only had eachother to hold unto. When friendship turned to love, it was magical until something screwed it up. Luckily, they were able to resolve things later on. I loved them together! More on: www.owlishbooks.com Magical! Florence and Alistair both had rough childhoods and only had eachother to hold unto. When friendship turned to love, it was magical until something screwed it up. Luckily, they were able to resolve things later on. I loved them together! More on: www.owlishbooks.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ambrosia

    I love some angst but it was just too much, the push and pull that happened during the entire book was exhausting, too bad because it was a well written story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    After years of traveling the globe working as a journalist, Florence has decided to return to the United States, settling in New York City. She’d been running from her past and the man that broke her heart years earlier. So when she’s tasked with doing a piece on him for the magazine she works for, she has to confront the past, and work towards closing the wounds that are still so fresh. But how can she do that when it’s obvious that there is still something between them? Alastair is a self made After years of traveling the globe working as a journalist, Florence has decided to return to the United States, settling in New York City. She’d been running from her past and the man that broke her heart years earlier. So when she’s tasked with doing a piece on him for the magazine she works for, she has to confront the past, and work towards closing the wounds that are still so fresh. But how can she do that when it’s obvious that there is still something between them? Alastair is a self made man, a real estate mogul that has long moved past his beginnings as an abandoned seven year old in rural Michigan. He’s one of NYC’s more eligible bachelors but he still can’t move beyond losing the love of his life, his childhood best friend Florence. When he dumped her years ago he thought he was doing what was best for her, but now that she too has found success, can he go after what he wanted all along, her heart? What happens when she finds out his motives and what he’s willing to do to win her back? Will he lose her all over again when he unknowingly undermines all of the gains she’s made? The story is told from a dual first person POV, shifting from the present to the past throughout. For the most part this works, but a little more or clarity of the past would have helped to bolster their attraction in the future. The history between the two of them definitely pulled at the heartstrings and made you want to root for them. The chemistry between the two is palpable and the characters are well developed. For a debut effort I am impressed with what Todd has accomplished, however the story would benefit from further editing. At times the storyline can get bogged down in minutiae and some minor research needs to be done (you don’t do chest compressions on a conscious person!). There is a lot going on in the story and it would be better told if it was pared down a bit. Fans of second chance romance will love this one, so don’t hesitate to take a chance on this first time author, she’s off to a great start! Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Todd

    Sign up for the author's mailing list for updates on new releases, free bonus content, and more! SophiaMaeTodd.com Blurb “I love you, Alistair. Don’t forget me.” She exhaled the words into me from between a kiss. I dug my fingers hard against her soft flesh, needing her to believe me, needing her to feel the intent behind my heart. For her to feel her utter possession of my soul. That I was no longer myself, but a tangent to her existence. “I love you, Florence,” I whispered between her lips. Sen Sign up for the author's mailing list for updates on new releases, free bonus content, and more! SophiaMaeTodd.com Blurb “I love you, Alistair. Don’t forget me.” She exhaled the words into me from between a kiss. I dug my fingers hard against her soft flesh, needing her to believe me, needing her to feel the intent behind my heart. For her to feel her utter possession of my soul. That I was no longer myself, but a tangent to her existence. “I love you, Florence,” I whispered between her lips. Sensation, emotion, waves of intensity crashed over me so potently, all I could process was her. This moment. Everything. All senses—taste, touch, smell, sight, sound—they were all concentrated onto the single entity before me. The girl before me. The one who clenched my heart in hers. My soul in hers. “I’ll remember everything,” I breathed. I fell into the dark abyss of my love for her. There was no bottom. There was no escape from it. She had me, for always and always. “Everything.” Her nails dug deeper into my skin, underscoring my words. “I promise.” And I meant it. I would never mean anything more in my entire life.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine

    If you're looking for a quick read this isn't it, this is a long book. A lot of time was spent developing and getting to know the characters which was important for the story. I'm not normally a fan of stories that go back and forth between the past and the present but although it was in this book is wasn't overdone, it was just necessary. The main characters are gorgeous together if a little stupid and stubborn. So many years wasted being stubborn, hurt and not willing to make the first move. T If you're looking for a quick read this isn't it, this is a long book. A lot of time was spent developing and getting to know the characters which was important for the story. I'm not normally a fan of stories that go back and forth between the past and the present but although it was in this book is wasn't overdone, it was just necessary. The main characters are gorgeous together if a little stupid and stubborn. So many years wasted being stubborn, hurt and not willing to make the first move. They seemed to be more mature as teenagers than as adults! Overall a well written and enjoyable read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book is hard to review. At first, I wasn't sure what I thought of it. It chronicles Florence and Alistair as adults (now 29 and 31), and flashes back to their childhoods, primarily through Alistair's POV. It was initially hard to get into, although I can't quite explain why. But it picked up, and once it did, I was hooked! At points, it was a little wordy for me, and I had trouble connecting with the characters. But overall, this was a wonderful, emotional roller coaster that I'm glad I con This book is hard to review. At first, I wasn't sure what I thought of it. It chronicles Florence and Alistair as adults (now 29 and 31), and flashes back to their childhoods, primarily through Alistair's POV. It was initially hard to get into, although I can't quite explain why. But it picked up, and once it did, I was hooked! At points, it was a little wordy for me, and I had trouble connecting with the characters. But overall, this was a wonderful, emotional roller coaster that I'm glad I continued on! I will definitely read more from this author!

  15. 5 out of 5

    readswithsam

    I was provided an ebook of this book by Netgalley and Patchwork Press in exchange for an honest review. Second chance romances are my weakness. That being said, this book has become my weakness. I enjoyed everything about it! From the characters to the setting to the drama. If you enjoy Renee Carlino and Colleen Hoover type books you will devour this one. For more, I have a full review up on my blog. https://readingwithsam.wordpress.com/... I was provided an ebook of this book by Netgalley and Patchwork Press in exchange for an honest review. Second chance romances are my weakness. That being said, this book has become my weakness. I enjoyed everything about it! From the characters to the setting to the drama. If you enjoy Renee Carlino and Colleen Hoover type books you will devour this one. For more, I have a full review up on my blog. https://readingwithsam.wordpress.com/...

  16. 5 out of 5

    poppy

    A lovely story about second chance romance i really liked this book a lovely read

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rene

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ronna Mae

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fran Daniels-Moses

  21. 4 out of 5

    Circe Medina

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pria

  23. 5 out of 5

    Selina

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Sky

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bethann

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kith Reyes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Zelos

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sonia

  29. 4 out of 5

    May

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vera

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