Title: Most of All You
Author: Mia Sheridan
Synopsis: Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.
Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.
Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts. (Goodreads)
Wow. That’s the word I have for this book. WOW. Mia Sheridan is one of my favorite authors ever, and probably my favorite romance author. Most of All You is only my fourth book that I’ve read by Mia, but she’s solidified herself as my new favorite! This story is what I’ve been craving for a while-angsty and deeply emotional, but still heartwarming in ways and healing to read.
What I Liked
These characters will stick with me for a long, long time. I won’t go into their pasts too much, because learning about their pasts is part of the emotional pull of this book. Gabriel, our hero, had a very traumatizing childhood, but is still optimistic, kind, and so loving. He is not your typical, jerky hero. Gabriel is the sweetest little cinnamon roll and I just wanted to protect him. Crystal, our heroine, also had a rough childhood, and a rough adulthood, as well. She is far more pessimistic and really does not have a lot of self-esteem, but she has a huge heart and Gabriel really brings that out of her. I adored both of them so much, as well as the side characters.
The Commentary on Human Dignity
Mia Sheridan absolutely excels in creating stories about people that society tends to forget about. Unlike a lot of popular romance novels, she is not telling the stories of cocky billionaires, actresses, etc. She tells the stories of the forgotten, and that is possibly the biggest reason I love her books. Crystal is a stripper, and in the book, strippers are never portrayed as less-than. They are treated like human beings should be treated by the author. Of course, there are people in the book that harm them, that stereotype them, but those actions and stereotypes are ALWAYS challenged throughout the narrative, which I really appreciated.
The Emotional Pull
As previously mentioned, this is an emotional book, and I cried a LOT. It is incredibly sad at parts, and there is a trigger warning for sexual assault in this book. It is stopped, but it is still attempted. And watching the way that person is cared for and regains her strength was very healing and wonderful to read. All of the characters, especially our two main characters, struggle with the aftereffects of trauma, through anxiety and self-doubt, and those are never suddenly cured, but they do heal a lot. However, it’s not all sad! There were so many quotes in this book that just made me feel alive, that made me feel like everything was going to be okay.
Overall, I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, and if you’re not an avid romance reader, I still think this book might make you happy!
Before we go, I’d like to announce that I will be posting excerpts from my own writing on patreon, and would love if you joined my patreon page! It’s free to join and see my writing tips, writing updates, etc, and if you want excerpts of my book or just to support me, it’s only one dollar! patreon.com/karliwrites
Thank you for reading!
(all gifs from weheartit.com)