I watch his
grave lower into the ground and think I gladly would have given my life for
him. But even in my grief, I can’t stop thinking about the woman he called his
request? Dad, please take care of Holland. You’re the only one I trust. But the
thoughts swirling through my mind are certainly not what my late son had in
mind. How do I resist this woman in front of me?
I stop to let this sink in. I’m a father without a son? Is
this possible? My lips tremble at the thought of the last time I’d seen him
only a month ago. He never brought Holland, wanting to spend as much time
together, just him and me. If I’d known it was all the time I’d had with him,
would I have held him longer? Done anything different? It doesn’t matter, not
now that I essentially have my father status stripped from me.
As if staring at Dear Dad isn’t enough to
rip my heart out, I begin to devour the letter and his last words.
Fuck, If you’re reading this, it means I’m gone. I
had one dream, growing old with Holland. Death won’t stop me from providing for
my wife. And because you’re the best man I know, what I’m about to ask—my
last request—I know you’ll do. Please take care of Holland. Take her back to
California with you. It’s a lot—I know. But, I’m placing my most precious
possession in your hands.
See, we don’t have much saved and the military won’t let
Holland stay in government quarters after my death. I have very little to provide
for her if I die. I have my SGLI (life insurance), but it’s not enough after
she pays for school. But she’s talented in design. Please help her get on her
feet. Love her like you love me. She has nothing to go back to in Virginia. Her
family will suck the little life insurance she has of mine dry.
Mom would have felt so abandoned if I went straight to
you from high school. But if I trust anyone with Holland, it’s you.
One of my regrets in life is not fighting Mom to come
live with you. By the time I knew I could stand up to her, I had met Holland.
Please don’t tell Mom this. She tried, I know she did. She loves me, this I
never doubted. But I wish I knew you better, Dad.
Please know that every moment we had together, I
treasured. I know that’s not a real dude-like thing to say, but I did. You made
me the man who Holland fell in love with. Let her know when she falls in love
again, it’s okay! I want everything for her that we couldn’t have together.
And, Dad, I know Mom did you wrong. You never made me
choose, but it made you cynical. That’s why you’ve never committed to anyone
else. Please, find a woman you love and live the life I couldn’t.
You will always be a dad—my dad.
He has given me closure and purpose. In his honor, I’ll make
sure Holland is taken care of.
Leigh Lennon is
mother, veteran and a wife of a cancer survivor. Originally with a degree in
education, she started writing as an outlet that has led to a deep passion. She
lugs her computer with her as she crafts her next story. Her imaginary
friends become real on her pages as she creates a world for them. She loves
pretty nails, spikey hair and large earrings. Leigh can be found drinking
coffee or wine, depending on the time of the day.
I loved everything about this book from start to cliffhanger. I love Holland. I love her vulnerability. I love her strength. I love her need to fill a void that may never be filled. I love that when she allows herself to open her heart it’s more than she can understand. There were some parts of her that bugged me, but then I had to remember she’s young and hasn’t really lived. She’s faced with situations that no person should ever have to deal with, so for her to handle herself as well as she does is amazing and great writing and character development.
I love Maguire. I love the man he is. I love that he tried to fight his feelings. I loved that he tried to be the bigger person and allow Holland to live, but there is no denying the chemistry between these two. I love how much he loved his son. How he wanted to be respectful. But the heart wants what it wants and for Holland and Maguire sometimes moving forward is for the best.
I’m new to Leigh Lennon, but I must say, I loved everything about this story. I loved falling for Maguire and Holland. I loved falling for Scott as well. This book leaves you with one heck of a cliffhanger. I honestly can’t get the next book soon enough!