Review: The Best Friend by Leanne Davis

Gretchen Hendricks spent half her life in love with a man who ended up more dedicated to his job than her. After a divorce that left her devastated she put all her energies into building up her career as a psychologist. Now, well into her thirties she has achieved professional success, and leads a model life. She has tried to let go of her girlhood dreams of a marriage and kids to complement her career. After being burned so thoroughly by the boy she’d given her young girlish heart to, she is happier alone. Until one day she runs into her adolescent friend, Tony Lindstrom and realizes the catastrophic circumstances that have ended his service in the United States Army. It has been two years since the end of Tony's professional career, and life as he knew it. But he has done nothing to accept what happened to him, or even begun to learn how to live with it. He is holed up in his parents' house, without a job or prospects of any kind, and the thing is: he's just fine with that. He figures he's paid his dues to society more than the average person; doesn't he deserve to be left alone to deal with things how he wants? But then he runs into the one woman he always loved, and could never have, because she was always his best friend’s girl. Gretchen will not accept who Tony has become, or that he has completely given up on living a worthwhile life. But Tony can’t contemplate anything with Gretchen because to him, what good is a man who is incomplete on the outside, but completely broken inside?

Gretchen Hendricks spent half her life in love with a man who ended up more dedicated to his job than her. After a divorce that left her devastated she put all her energies into building up her career as a psychologist. Now, well into her thirties she has achieved professional success, and leads a model life. She has tried to let go of her girlhood dreams of a marriage and kids to complement her career. After being burned so thoroughly by the boy she’d given her young girlish heart to, she is happier alone.
Until one day she runs into her adolescent friend, Tony Lindstrom and realizes the catastrophic circumstances that have ended his service in the United States Army. It has been two years since the end of Tony’s professional career, and life as he knew it. But he has done nothing to accept what happened to him, or even begun to learn how to live with it. He is holed up in his parents’ house, without a job or prospects of any kind, and the thing is: he’s just fine with that. He figures he’s paid his dues to society more than the average person; doesn’t he deserve to be left alone to deal with things how he wants?
But then he runs into the one woman he always loved, and could never have, because she was always his best friend’s girl. Gretchen will not accept who Tony has become, or that he has completely given up on living a worthwhile life. But Tony can’t contemplate anything with Gretchen because to him, what good is a man who is incomplete on the outside, but completely broken inside?

The Best Friend by Leanne Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again this author brings heartbreaking issues to the table and leaves you a sobbing mess getting through them. Gretchen Hendricks has been in all of the previous books and we’ve known her as a strong caring woman that has helped many people. What we never got to see was that what she presented to the world was not what was on the inside. Gretchen has the same fears and insecurities as the many women and children she has helped. But helping is also in her nature and she cant help but to get involved with a childhood friend when she sees what he has become after losing his arm in combat.

This is not a standalone book. Gretchen, her ex husband Will (from the first book) and Tony Lindstrom (hero in this book) were all friends since grade school. Gretchen only had eyes for Will and never knew that Tony had always harbored feelings for her from the beginning. Neither Will nor Gretchen knew what had happened to Tony two years ago and are both shocked at his loss and also in the mean and surly person he has become. Even though at times it kinda put Will in a bad light it was great to see that forgiveness for the past was finally brought front and center and dealt with.

There are multiple journeys taken in this book. The main is the healing and bringing back to life of Tony. The author did a great job of not only showing us all the grief and anger a war veteran goes through after losing a limb but also the effect that it has not only on him but also his family and friends. Another is a grandmother with terminal cancer we’ve met in a previous book and her granddaughter that Gretchen will get custody of when she dies. This story plot had me crying more any other. The young girl Olivia not only was instrumental in helping Tony but the issues she brought up for Gretchen were hard to deal with as they made her very venerable and we saw her strong disposition start to crack.

All the previous characters are back in this book and as Gretchen was instrumental in many of their recoveries it was great to see them be there for Gretchen when she needed help. I’ve yet to read a Leanne Davis book that hasn’t touched my heart in some way and this one was no different.

View all my reviews

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