Brina McConnell is attending her 10th high school reunion and can't help searching the crowd for her old friend, Thomas Mack. She and Thomas had been best friends since first grade and as they got older, had started to become more. Thomas was a brainy nerd and Brina was a plain Jane with confidence issues, so she could hardly believe it when the captain of the football team asked her out. She ended up throwing Thomas over for a chance to be with the "cool kids" only to loose him entirely, and as a result, they haven't spoken to each other since senior year.
In the last ten years, Brina has become a much more confident young woman who no longer needs validation from others. She's never quite been able to forget Thomas, and feels really badly about what happened between them. Brina is shocked to discover that Thomas has also changed - a lot. He's now a hot, sexy entrepreneur who just sold his start-up company for millions. Brina doesn't care about his money though. All she wants is a chance to rekindle her friendship with her old pal. As they begin to interact again, everything seems the same and yet somehow different. Brina finds herself falling head-over-heels for Thomas, but what does he feel for her? Perhaps a passionate New Year's Eve kiss will give her all the answers she's been looking for and more.
Now and Forever is a sweet little friends-to-lovers and reunion romance, two themes I can hardly ever resist. Thomas and Brina have a reunion in the literal sense of the word when they attend their 10th high school class reunion. I loved that they had been lifelong friends throughout childhood. It was rather disappointing that Brina had blown Thomas off for a jock at the end of senior year. It made her seem a little shallow, but given her confidence issues, I guess it made some sense. It's not like she didn't want to remain friends, but Thomas was understandably and deeply hurt. I was glad that during the time since high school, Brina had grown to be comfortable in her own skin and realized what a huge mistake she'd made. Thomas had grown and changed in more way than one too, and seemed to have developed more confidence as well. It might have been nice if he had been a little more settled in his life, but he seemed like a really nice guy.
Even though they hadn't seen or talked to each other in ten years, Thomas and Brina still hadn't stopped thinking of one another. The rekindling of their relationship progressed nicely and had some good sexual tension. I think this novella could have easily been a 5-star read for me except for two small flaws. One is that I wished that Thomas and Brina could have embraced their reunion a little more fully. As written, it felt like they were holding back the whole time, right up until the end. The other is that I felt like the author was sometimes telling a bit more than showing. I think perhaps a little more showing would have improved both the character-to-character and character-to-reader connections. Overall though, Now and Forever was a very solid 4-star story for me that I really enjoyed. It was my first read by Rachel Gibson, but it has definitely left me open to trying her other books. Now and Forever is found in the Secrets of a Perfect Night anthology.
The Hope Chest Reviews on Facebook