Book Review: The Last Post by Renee Carlino
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date August 20th, 2019
See you on the other side.
Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.
Opposites attract, right?
But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.
Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.
When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.
But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.
Book Review: The Last Post by Renee Carlino
I’m going to confess right up front; Renee Carlino is one of my favorite authors. So when I received an early copy I was nothing short of delighted! I will tell you that I held onto it for a few weeks because although I was dying to drop everything and start reading it immediately. I actually didn’t want to gobble it up because then it would be over! That sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. So as I expected, I finished this beautiful love story in a 24 hour period. I loved that some parts were full of surprises, some parts were wonderfully predictable, and the whole book was amazing! The entire time I was reading The Last Post I was secretly hoping they’ll make this book into a movie! Pick up your copy August 20th so we can discuss every detail!
“Three. Two. One. See Ya”
Laya and Cameron have a picture-perfect marriage. He is a total adrenaline junky and Laya simply is not. They met when Cameron came into the ER with a broken arm and Laya helped treat him. It was love at first sight, and the two married quickly after. Cameron has an opportunity to go to France for work and begs Laya to go with him. Cameron works for Red Bull and his career is performing dangerous stunts for them. Laya is always worried about him and really wishes he did something else for work, but it’s what he loves. Laya agrees to go with him only because Cameron promises he’ll spend time with her taking her to see all the touristy spots. Cameron would be performing a wingsuit flight. He is the best at the stunt, but it is the most dangerous types of jumps. Laya is very scared but having a husband who is a “professional risk taker” was a part of the deal.
The morning of the jump Laya boards the flight with Cameron and the Red Bull team. Although Laya is concerned, Cameron is excited to perform his jump. “Just a few hours,” he tells Laya then they can go back to the hotel and spend time together. Before Cameron takes the jump he tells Laya how much he loves her and makes all the guys grossed out by watching the two make out. Cameron asks Laya to count him off, Three. Two. One. See Ya! Cameron takes the jump and all Laya hears is a loud sound then eerie silence. People start running and Cameron’s friend Jeremy grabs Layla by the arm and tells her not to look. Laya’s worst nightmare has come true.
“You come to find love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly” -Sam Keen
Laya is struggling and everyone around her is concerned. She’s moved into her father’s rental property and spends her days inside calling Cameron’s phone to listen to his voice message. She records messages for him, and goes on Facebook and leaves posts to him as though he’s still alive. Losing the love of your life is devastating, but watching it happen is beyond comprehension. How can she move forward without him? Laya turns to her father for support. Laya’s mother died when she was young and her dad was never the same after. He never once broke down in front of Laya but the pain was written all over his face. He never did remarry and Laya can understand why she’ll never love someone the way she loved Cameron.
Micah is a normal guy unless you consider he worries about everything. He has a twin sister he is close to and loving parents, nothing really to complain about. He graduated from Harvard and works at an architectural firm. Micah is bored at his job, his workmates are idiots, and he can’t shake the feeling there is something, or someone missing from his life. He respects his boss Jim but he’s close to retiring and not in often. His coworker tells him that Jim will be in that day and that his hot surgeon daughter is coming in to see him. Devin will hit on anything with two legs so Micah doesn’t make too much of the conversation until he sees Laya himself. Something about her seems so familiar like he’s met her before. But, he knows he hasn’t. She has a very sad demeanor, and almost dressed like she just rolled out of bed. Devin and Micah both notice she’s wearing a ring although Jim never mentioned his daughter was married. Months go by and Devin seeks out Micah to tell him what he’s heard, Laya was married but lost her husband in an accident. Everything comes together and Micah knows now why Laya appeared so sad and unkempt. The two go on Facebook to read the posts Laya has made to Cameron and the comments from Cameron’s sister and mother begging her to please stop.
Little by Little
Micah feels a sense of protection for Laya, and really wants to get to know her. He spends time going through her posts on Facebook to learn more about her, what she likes, and find ways to make her feel special. When he sees that she and Cameron’s favorite band is playing, he goes to her house and slips one ticket under her mat. Later, he reads that she’s going to a certain bar, so he makes sure to be there. Micah just wants to be near her, to see if he can lift her spirits. Of course, Laya wants nothing to do with him, her heart belongs to Cameron and she will never betray him by loving anyone else. Little by little Micah is able to chip away at her hard exterior and get Laya to open up about the possibility of someone else. Cameron wouldn’t want her to be alone and miserable but Laya needs him to tell her this. Her future love and career are at stake and everyone just wants to see Laya happy.
Beautifully written, Renee will have you in tears, and then fill you up with all the warm fuzzies. I love all of her books and this one will be added to my favorite list!
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I’m Renée Carlino, author of Sweet Thing, Sweet Little Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on THIS Life, Lucian Divine, Wish You Were Here, Shopping For Love, Blind Kiss and upcoming THE LAST POST (Aug. 2019). I’m a California native currently residing in a sleepy little beach town in San Diego with my husband, our two boys, and sweet dog, Johnny. Even though I’ve lived in the small towns of Southern California my whole life, I’ve had a long-standing affair with the big city. New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are some of my favorite places. I like to place my characters in different settings where I can use the unique qualities of the location to help tell the story.
I started writing creatively as a teenager, first with poetry and short stories, and then finally to the long prose as an adult. I’m obsessed with love stories and the drama and complexities that exist within our intimate relationships. In 2002’ I received a film degree and thought I would see the stories in my head play out on film but something always brought me back to the written word. My time as a seventh grade English teacher helped to reacquaint me with my love of reading and writing and soon I was devoting much of my free time to it.
Music also plays a huge role in my life as a writer. I’ve often referred to music as my lifeblood so that’s why I’ve included an ever-changing playlist on my website to share some of the songs that have inspired and evoked emotion in me, especially in my writing. Music is the best food for my creativity, so I love getting new recommendations.
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