Title: If We Could Go Back
Author: Cara Dee
Release Date: April 29, 2019
Page Count: 351
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
My sister asked me if I could stand the sight my own reflection, if I’d caused enough damage yet, but I didn’t see myself when I looked into the mirror. I saw Kieran standing behind me, pressing a kiss to my shoulder while he undid my belt. I saw everything I wanted that I couldn’t have. Not unless I was prepared to hurt everyone around me.
Kieran was in a similar situation.
Were we monsters or men? Were they one and the same? Did we give a flying f—hell. We did care. Just not enough to stop, not enough to walk away, and I knew we constantly asked ourselves the same question because of it. If we could go back to when we met on the train…if we could erase the deceit, erase our first hello…would we?
I believe I’ve said this before, but I honestly think that Cara Dee thinks of different taboo scenarios for couples to start under, and then builds her story lines around them. And while meeting when both MCs are married isn’t exactly original, I still couldn’t put this book down.
So let’s address the elephant in the room. I don’t condone cheating. My husband and I both know that it would be a deal breaker for us. But that’s real life. For me, as a romance reader, I can stomach it a bit more in my books, if there is a really good reason for it and it’s told well within the story. Additionally, I can stomach it a LOT more when the MCs aren’t cheating on each other, but on partners they are with, and cheating with each other. To each their own for their own reading preferences, and all that……
Bennett and Kieran are both married, with children. Cringe. I know. And that was difficult to stomach, I’ll admit. Some readers won’t be able to get past that, and I understand.
What the author was trying to accomplish here, I believe, is that there are always nuances to these situations. It’s not always black and white. And that’s true. I don’t think it made it ok, and neither did the MCs.
They meet and begin as friends. There is no immediate desire or lust to jump into anything. There is just that “bro” relationship going on. A buddy to escape with, away from the kids and the wife and everyday life.
This book spans several years, and the MCs grow and learn. What I appreciated most was their willingness to put their children first (aside from the initial cheating, of course – I did mention they grew and learned).
They knew that they would have to hurt others, whether they were together or not. They knew they would have to make their own sacrifices. But eventually, through the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears, they each made the right decisions.
I teared up, not gonna lie.
What I liked most about this story was that, even though these men made a bad decision by cheating on their families in the first place, I got to see them make the right decisions in the end. I got to see them be the best fathers. I got to see them become the best partners to each other. I got to see them be the best siblings to their sisters and brothers, and son to a father.