My review of Always Believe by Aimée is going to be a mixed bag. This is a well-written novel about two women who are both going through some major changes and trauma when they meet. The story takes us through their lives as they face these challenges and gradually get to know and fall in love with each other.
The story is extremely angst heavy, which I was expecting after I read the blurb. Losing a young child would be shattering to any parent, and that is what has just happened to Angela Arlingham at the beginning of the novel. Greyson Waldsen, the other main character is in the midst of major life changes which include adding the job of Vicar to her already busy life as a medical doctor, and this is on top of just ending her employment in the armed forces.
The romance between the two is very slow to happen in the story, and it seems like it will never happen for several reasons. When it finally does happen, it is a really sweet romance.
My biggest problem with the story involves Greyson. I just couldn’t understand her. I did understand her need to leave the armed forces where she served as a doctor. Being a doctor is a calling that requires a major investment of a person’s time and energy. Being a Vicar is also very time consuming. Both can be emotionally draining. Even if Greyson only works part time as a doctor, doing both would be almost overwhelming. I also had trouble understanding her desire to be a part of a religious organization that doesn’t accept her sexual orientation, and expects her to be celibate as long as she is a Vicar even though straight Vicars are allowed to marry. I realize that last problem has to do with my own personal beliefs. Others may not have the same problem.
I do need to give a few warnings for this book. The story talks about the death of Angela’s young daughter and how it affects Angela. There is also a lot of talk about organized religion which some LGBTQ+ folks may have some problems with.
I’m giving this book a 3.5 star rating. If the warnings above don’t affect you, and you like a slow, angst filled romance, this might be a good read for you.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.