Who We Were (Lili’s Review)

Title: Who We Were
Author: Melissa Collins
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 26th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 221 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5


Who We Were…

Two awkward teenagers – the loner and the nerd, trying to find our place in the world. Paired in wood shop, we knew nothing of each other, except that we wanted to know everything. Then one life altering moment changed it all and we were left with shattered dreams and broken hearts.

Who We Are…

Two grown men – braver and smarter than we used to be, trying to heal the damage from that irrevocable moment. Even though the past was behind us, dead and buried long ago, we found it impossible to move on without ripping open the scars of our deep wounds.

With twelve years of unanswered questions fueling our desperate need for the truth, we must figure out if who we were will destroy who we are.

I’m not going to rehash the blurb; I’ll get down to the nitty-gritty. I had some issues with Who We Were by Melissa Collins. I’ll list them.

  1. The storytelling was very soap opera-ish. It was melodramatic, and OTT is some instances. I hate to say it, but it read very M/F.
  2. Ryan’s habit of running away and Quinn’s doormat behavior. You know, the first time he ran away- I said okay, I can deal. More than once is a no. And Quinn just taking him back without a real apology and knowing it’s going to happen again was irritating.

  3. More telling than showing. I didn’t get the connection between Ryan and Quinn. Yes, they were attracted to each other, and yes, they had common interests but asides from that they never really had in-depth conversations, we were just told of their intense connection. Lord knows Quinn tried, but it was like pulling teeth. Also, Ryan said he enjoyed Quinn’s family dinners because it’s where he could be himself, but there wasn’t even a scene where we saw him interact with all of them. Again, we were just told. I needed these scenes so I could believe in Ryan’s feelings for Quinn.

  4. Now, this part is just nitpicking but- the first time that Ryan and Quinn were intimate: They were both virgins but somehow they managed to do everything just right, they knew just what to do, and experienced no pain and had this intense sexual encounter. I know it’s romance but make it at least a little believable.

  5. It was repetitive. I expected something different once they were adults, but it was the same events simply 12 years later. Literally.

  6. The “Big Secret Reveal” that was dangled like a carrot on a stick almost the whole story. All I’ll say is: really? The way his family treated him was way worse than the “big secret.” It was unnecessary.

I’m the minority so be sure to check out other reviews, but for me, it didn’t work.

2 Stars.

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Galley copy of Who We Were provided by Melissa Collins in exchange of an honest review.


I'm a romance junkie, who loves when books make her cry from heartbreak and happiness. A few of my favorite tropes: -Friends to lovers -Hurt/comfort/healing -Age gap NetGalley Member since 2015 2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant