Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Abigail Bronsen doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday. Feeling unsuccessful professionally and unlucky in love, she wishes everyone would simply forget that she is turning twenty-five. More importantly, she wishes she could forget the list of things to accomplish by age twenty-five that she wrote ten years ago. A list that she cast aside, too afraid to step outside of her comfort zone.
But a car accident on her birthday sends her colliding – literally – into Ben Harris. A man whose piercing blue eyes mesmerize her and fill her with an undeniable calm. Despite their obvious instant connection, the two part ways, letting fate decide whether they would meet again.
A month later, their worlds collide once again – at a coffee shop across from the sport complex Ben owns. Unable to deny the innate bond they share, Abigail and Ben begin to date, their love story unfolding as perfectly as those in the books Abigail is obsessed with.
The relationship, Abigail’s first, proves to be a challenge for her, as she is racked with insecurities, and her need for Ben’s encouragement abounds. Ben, seeing past Abigail’s fears, offers his unconditional support and affection, proving to her time and time again that he will never leave her – even after she reveals that she is a virgin and wants to wait until her wedding night for her first time.
Emboldened by Ben’s love, Abigail strives for professional success, writing an article straight from her heart, which she submits to her boss, an editor of an international magazine. But when an opportunity lands in Abigail’s lap that is too great to pass up, she has an unthinkable decision to make: stay with the love of her life, the man whom she wants to marry, or follow her dream, the very dream that Ben encouraged her to chase from the start.
Twenty-Five is a charming romance underscored by relatable themes. Chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid. Live your life without regret. Abigail is like many girls who don’t see themselves as they really are. They underestimate their abilities and downplay their physical beauty; they unfairly judge themselves to their own detriment. While reading this story, I was reminded of the Dove social experiment, in which each woman was instructed to describe herself to a sketch artist who drew a picture of the woman based on that description. The ensuing result was that the women appeared significantly less attractive in the sketches than in real life. This experiment demonstrated that women often see themselves in less favorable, unrealistic lights. Couched in a sweet, fairy tale love story, Twenty-five urges women to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be. This book is for every woman who has ever doubted her faith in herself and wants to be reminded that we are all capable of achieving greatness, if only we try and refuse to allow the fear of failure to get in our way.
Rachel Hamm is the author or Twenty-Five, a contemporary romance novel. She was born in Buffalo, NY but grew up in Burlington, NC. Raised by northern parents in the south, she likes to say she got the best of both worlds. Her writing is inspired by classic authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, as well as contemporary ones like JK Rowling and Claire LaZebnik. She loves to read and has been known to spend an entire weekend engrossed in the adventures of her favorite characters.
Rachel now lives in Raleigh, NC, but someday hopes to make it to London. She's pretty sure (if reincarnation exists) she was British in another life.
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