Mia Sheridan is an auto-buy author – you know, the kind that you don’t have to read what the book is about before you buy it. She’s written some dang good emotional books and Most of All You is an addition to the list.
Crystal, our heroine, is quite easy to dislike at first. She’s a stripper, and when Gabriel Dalton, our hero, sees her and wants to hire her, not for her dancing or “other” abilities,” she is rude and even cruel to him. And right from the get-go the reader knows Gabriel is a special kind of hero. He had been kidnapped years ago, and while the book never comes out and mentions it, we get the sense that he was abused by a sexual predator during that time. He escaped, but ever since he’s been uncomfortable with touching of any kind. When he sees Crystal, he senses that she might be able to help him. She rejects his offer and is quite nasty to him when he tries again. She finally reluctantly agrees when she is strapped for money. When she is badly beaten, Gabriel takes her in while she heals.
This is just the very barest of bones of a poignant story of two broken, lost people who find, need, and love each other. Despite her coldness to him, Gabriel can see past that and into her soul and to the very damaged young woman she is. He slowly gets to know the real Crystal, or Eloise or Ellie, her real name. Crystal is a façade she hides behind. She has been hurt so very badly that she has had to erect some very strong walls to protect herself, and the more the reader sees this, the more the reader forgives her and begins caring very deeply for this wounded young woman who doesn’t believe anyone could possibly love her. That is why she is so rough on Gabriel. She can’t believe someone so truly good could care for someone as bad as her.
The story is really about Ellie, with Gabriel’s love and patience, beginning to see that maybe she is worth loving after all. It’s a tough journey for her, but Gabriel is unwavering in his devotion.
And what a patient, devoted, and caring hero Gabriel is. He comes from a very dark place in his younger, informative years, but rather than focusing on it, he sees beauty and purpose in life and is exactly the kind of man Crystal needs. Because he’s had to take a journey from the darkest of place into the light himself, he knows, more than anyone else, the kind of pain Ellie is in and not once does he waver. He’s truly her knight in shining armor and it’s so easy for us to love him too.
This is a slow-building book, and, considering the trauma of both hero and heroine, it’s a very wise decision by the author in writing it this way. If you’ve never tried a book by Mia Sheridan and you like an emotional story that will make you cry and then makes you happy, with a wonderful Beta-type hero who rescues the damsel in distress, then you simply must give this one a read.
A broken woman . . .
Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.
A man in need of help . . .
Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.
Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .
Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.
No excerpt available.