Review: Retrace

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Retrace by Sigal Ehrlich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautifully touching, sweet and sexy story of two people that find acceptance through their sultry friendship.

Looking to escape her family and a tragic past that haunts her, Nia Mitchell moves from Brazil to the US to be a dance teacher.

Reeves Mitchell left the FBI after he lost his partner and best friend in an undercover operation. Full of self-loathing, anger and guilt, he wants revenge but spends most of his time bartending or working as a bodyguard.

“Hey. I’m the neighbor from upstairs, can I borrow some sex?”

In a nakedly funny twist of fate Reeves and Nia meet and keep bumping into each other. Their attraction is instant, but logic and their hearts will only allow friendship. Until their similar heartbreaking past facilitates an explosively hot friends with benefits relationship. Because anything more would mean putting their hearts on the emotional line.

“Her eyes are indeed strikingly beautiful, but they seem to be in some perpetual mourning, even when she smiles. Ironically so, just like mine.”

Even though they have formed a deep connection in which they silently share their pain, and find solace and escape in each other, they still hold off very much of themselves back.

“My thoughts wander to how peaceful she makes me feel. Her company is so easy, I don’t have to fight anything away while with her.”

But from sunrise to nightfall, they can’t stop thinking about each other and being in each other’s orbits. The push and pull between them is at times frustrating by their lack of full disclosure but mostly it was full of sweet, tender friendship and scorching moments.

“I think I’ve just fallen deeper in friendship with you.”
“You’ve been in friendship with me?”

Their road towards healing and acceptance took time and had some roadblocks, mostly of their own making and some provoked by others. But the big, positive impact they had on one another was beautiful.

“Our scars and wounds are a great part of who we are. And who you are is so amazingly beautiful… Without the baggage you bring with you, you wouldn’t have been the you I’m totally crazy about.”

From the very start, the double prologues made my heart squeeze with pain for both these tortured souls. Reeves is drowning in guilt and we know Nia has lost a loved one, which pointed at a probable somber plot. But the insta-lust is almost immediately followed buy an insta-kinship which was easy and fun.

“We need a happy date. A date that won’t erase the past, but let us remember it with acceptance… A date that will make my happy beat my sad.”

From their smutty scrabble games, to the crying jags to their dazzling and swoony romance, Sigal Ehlrich gives us a very enjoyable story with a steady pace in which my feelings for this couple grew and deepened just as much as theirs.

I really liked the Layer’s series and after reading Retrace, Sigal Ehlrich will be on my reading radar from now on.

Retrace is a standalone, contemporary romance novel. Told from both points of view with a happy ending.

Amazon US ->

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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