Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ARC Review: Keeping Claudia (Claudia & Toby #2)

Keeping Claudia (Toby & Claudia Book 2)About the Book:
Title: Keeping Claudia (Claudia & Toby #2)
Author: Suzanne McKenna Link
Pub. Date: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC

Pages: 402
Rating: 4/5 stars


How do you love someone whose past goes against everything you’ve ever known or trust in a future you’ve yet to believe in?

Back home in a town she once fled, headstrong Claudia Chiametti returns to the arms of the only guy ever to awaken her heart. Everything about Toby contradicts her family’s traditions and values, but she’s ready to take a chance on love.

Toby Faye is a new man, and the girl he’s long dreamed of is finally within his reach. With Claudia’s help, he’s put the past behind him. But one last secret hides in the dark corner of his past. The one that could undermine it all. 

Can Claudia love him unconditionally … or will the truth cost Toby what he wants most?

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard.

Keeping Claudia is the emotional finale to the love story that began in Saving Toby, an unforgettable journey of a couple who discover the only way to love someone is with an open heart. 

Full length, Contemporary Love Story. 
Recommended Reading Age 18+
Though part of a series, may be read as standalone.


I have waited so so long for this follow up to Saving Toby, and it was well worth the wait!! I loved every single second of this book, and it was absolutely wonderful to read about Claudia and Toby once again. I greatly enjoyed the first book in this series and was a little worried that the sequel wouldn't live up to its predecessor. However, I had nothing to worry about because Suzanne McKenna Link takes us on a wonderful journey of heartbreak, love, and growth that few authors could pull off with such finesse. 

The book picks up quite awhile after the first book ended, and it was interesting to see how drastically things had changed for the characters. Obviously, Toby and Claudia still care and love each other, but they also needed to find themselves first. I will always love these two together because when they are around each other you can feel the sparks flying off the page. However, there was a lot of back and forth between them (which is something that I didn't enjoy as much while reading). I wanted them to be together so badly because it is clear how good they are for each other. The one thing that I did like though was that each character realized when they needed to take a step back from their relationship. Both Toby and Claudia realized that in order to grow and become the type of couple they wanted to be, they needed to grow themselves. And that meant that they might have to do it alone, and not with each other. 

There is a HUGE thing that happens in this book that drastically changes Toby and Claudia's relationship. This is where I disliked Toby a bit, purely because he didn't do what I expected him to do. However, his reaction and attitude is sort of what I saw his character (as he is throughout the first book and the majority of the second book) doing. So even though I didn't like his behavior, it did fit with how Ms. Link wrote his character. Doesn't mean I didn't want to knock some sense into him though!! I wanted him to be there more for Claudia. My heart broke for her in this entire section of the book because she struggled so much on her own with very little support. I just wanted the best for her. How Claudia deals with the thing that happened I felt was very realistic, and I think Ms. Link did a great job at portraying Claudia's emotional state and the impact the event had on her life and outlook. Both Toby and Claudia do a great deal of growing in this novel, and I think their characterization was excellently done.

My one complaint about this book was that the story seemed a little long. Don't get me wrong, I love me a long book, and it's hard for me to say what exactly could have been cut out of the story to shorten it. But I did feel like the story went on for a bit longer than it needed to be. Maybe it would be as simple as cutting out a small scene here and there, and it would help the pacing of the story move a bit quicker. However, I love Ms. Link's gorgeous prose, so because of this, the length wasn't that big of a deal for me. 

If you were a fan of the first book in this series, I highly recommend this novel to you!! Keeping Claudia was well worth the wait! Suzanne McKenna Link did an excellent job at bringing Toby and Claudia's story to a close, and the ending was perfection. If you are just discovering Ms. Link for the first time, please read this series because you will not be disappointed!!

Happy reading :)


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