Tal delivers a powerful story about hope and love

The Rest of the Story coverThe Rest of the Story by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, so good!

Tal Bauer owes me another four hours sleep because, as I read this relatively low angst (as in there’s not loads of whinging whining!), but still with its own heart-breaking moments romance, I just knew he was going to lay down a gut punch which would totally blindside me.

And he did, waaaaaaaaay past the usual 75% break-up/Third Act crisis point comes a crashing blow which you never see coming and I couldn’t even be mad with him, because it completely fits within the narrative.

You’ll get no spoilers here, but it’s not dramady, it’s not Tal throwing in something just to raise the tension stakes. It feels wholly believable and it’s an earned part of the plot which rocks your very core.

However, this is also Tal Bauer, so happy ending absolutely guaranteed and how he brings around that resolution is an incredible piece of writing that drags on every tender part of your soul and makes you wish with every breath of your body as he mends what was broken and turns it into something beautiful.

Rather like the Japanese art of Kintsugi.

Before that he’s given us a tale of so many emotions. Those of an ice hockey team which has not only hit rock bottom, but plummeted beyond the surface and into a cave of despair. Those of a jobbing player who’s hit his 30s and knows he’s reaching the end and those of a young gun, a 24-year-old rookie who’s holding on to every bit of hope he can.

This is a romance about hope, about opportunities which open where you’d never expect them. It’s about finding strength in the hidden places. It’s about love, oh boy is it about love.

And not just romantic love. It’s about families, both those made in blood and bones and those created in the molten fire of an ice hockey dressing room and out on the arena. It’s about making promises and then doing whatever it takes to make that future happen.

It’s a barnstormer of a book and I fell head over heels for every single person – bar one! – who appears within its pages.

And I want my four hours of sleep back please Tal Horatio Nelson Bauer!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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