He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.
Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.
When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she’s surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.-Goodreads
I LOVE this book. From the moment I started reading I had huge butterflies flapping around. Blake Hartt is one of the most beautifully broken characters I have ever read about. He radiates such innocence despite all the horror he has endured in his life.
“He kept his head down in what seemed to be a prayer. “He counts. You’ve smiled at him four hundred and forty-six times as of a few minutes ago. He announces the number every time I see him.”
Olivia is one of my favorite heroines. She doesn’t look at Blake as if he is homeless. She treats him with the same kindness as other strangers. Her willingness to be friendly strikes a cord with Blake, who is treated like less than human by everyone that comes in contact with him. What unfolds is a story of two people from different worlds coming together and attempting to rid the expectations of society.
“Blake Hartt, I choose you. I deserve you. I want you.” Livia proved it by kissing his cold lips until they were warm.”
This story evolves from girl-meeting-homeless boy into a different animal. As a reader we see a world filled with evil and crime. We also see a world filled with compassion, love and the strength of friendship and what lengths people go to in order to protect the ones they love.
This book struck a cord with me. For me I started wondering what could happen if you throw out your judgements out the window and take the time to learn who a person is behind their facade. What would you learn if you took the time to show kindness to those around you? What would you do for love?
“Livia held her spatula as Blake whispered in her ear. “I see us just like this a hundred years from now, old and deaf. I’ll be the luckiest man.”Emotion caught her—this was all she wanted. Simple, beautiful frittata moments with this man.“Someday, Livia, I’ll be man enough to buy the food,” he continued. “I’ll give you an oven. I’ll try so hard.”
This story has stayed with me from the moment I set this book down. And thankfully for us fans we are anxiously awaiting the sequel to this amazing story.