Thirty-Eight Days is the first book in the Thirty-Eight series by Len Webster. It is a well written, realistic romance novel with a little bit of a cliffhanger at the end. Clara Lawrence and Nolan (Noel) Parker were only ever connected because of Clara’s brother, Alex, being Noel’s best friend. Alex has always taken care of his little sister and had his friends do the same. They haven’t seen each other in five years, since Noel left for America along with Alex for college. Now, Noel is an accountant at a huge company in Boston, Alex works for the same company in their New York branch, and Clara has just finished her first year at college back home in Melbourne, Australia When Noel comes back home to Melbourne to watch over Clara for Alex while he’s stuck with work, everything changes.
Clara is a bubbly 19 year old working at a bakery making masterpieces for cupcakes. Her brother has been the only family there for her in a long time; he’s her pillar. She is a bit of a loner, aside from a couple friends who are always there for her. She has a ton of walls up since a failed relationship. The last thing she’s expecting is for Noel to show up at her door to stay with her; and she definitely didn’t expect for him to turn her world upside down. Alex was supposed to be coming for her birthday, but he’s stuck in New York. Once Noel is there, Clara begins to realize how easily she can be hurt by him. Between the emotional rollercoaster he puts her on and the hot guy from a floor up, she has no idea what to do.
Noel never thought much about Clara. She was just his best friend’s sister, and now he was going to stay with her to watch out for her and make sure she didn’t make any stupid decisions after a bad breakup; just another request from Alex to help watch out for his little sister. When he shows up at her door, however, his whole idea of her starts to change. He begins to see her as more than his best friend’s little sister; much more. Sworn to keep his distance by his best friend, he tries to push her away by being the jerk she thinks he’s always been. His plans continue to backfire, making a mess between him and Clara, and he falls in love with her. Through all his mistakes he tries to make it up to her and give a relationship between them a chance.
With so many obstacles, only one of which being a romance between the two of them banned by Clara’s brother, their relationship has many ups and downs. Can their love survive so many blows, or will they turn away from each other and give up? When Alex finally gets home, how will they stay together without losing him? Love gets truly tested by outside forces; exes, old ways, fear, and distance all try to take their toll on the relationship just forming. Noel and Clara must decide if their love is truly strong enough to survive it all.
This book punched my emotions in the stomach repeatedly. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved it and will be reading the second one shortly. Len Webster’s realistic writing took my emotions on a rollercoaster I wasn’t expecting. I saw my own situation in parts of the story and it actually opened my eyes to new perspectives of it. But enough about me, this book was really great. I loved the way it was written, giving both Clara’s and Noel’s point of view throughout. She pulls you in with all the possibilities and makes you want to pull for them to work. The end seems like it really could be, but there’s so much more to know. I would definitely recommend this book, just be sure you have some tissues and chocolate close by.
There are a couple of mild sexual situations in the book, and one tiny violent moment. There is some profanity in the book as well. Overall, Thirty-Eight Days was not at all what I was expecting, but it was definitely a treat. I loved the way it captured my emotions and made me feel as if I was the one going through everything. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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