Author: L.H Cosway
Date Pub: Jul. 16th, 2015
Series: Hearts #3
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
POV: Single, First Person
Welcome to the City, London’s most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince.
I used to rule the world.
There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.
I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.
I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur.
You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light…
You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.
The book was divide into “before” and “after”.
Oliver King was a director of a bank manger director. Son of former known pianist. He’s great at his job. Rich, handsome and a great boss. He’s also funny and playful. Oliver took care of his mom who’s suffering from anxiety and paranoia. Yup, he’s perfect!
Alexis Clark was a former barmaid. She’s curvy, pretty, determined, and witty. She was applying as executive assistant to Oliver King, the first meet up. Her quick comeback and playful banter allowed her to get close to and became a good friend to Mr. King, as she professionally addressed him.
They stared hanging out in Oliver’s extravagant bathroom that had a couch. From then on they became more on friends rather than colleagues. They then became more since the photoshot. Ohh boy, that photoshoot was pure sexual tention. *fans self*. Back track a little, Oliver thought Alexis was gay, which she didn’t correct because she thought he was making a job. It was then when Bradley, Alexis and the photographer, asked both of them to pose. Boom! It was just wow! Oliver confirmed Alexis was as attracted to him as he to her.
“She trembled when I leaned in close enough that our lips almost brushed and whispered, “I fucking knew it.”
They’re both smart and playful which made this first part of the book light read not until the end when Oliver thought he shot and killed his evil dad, who’s been blackmailing him. after that, Oliver was gone and his life went downhill.
Six years later…
Alexis received a letter from Lille Baker about Oliver King asking her to meet him up because he’s been destructive for years. She’s been looking for the love her life and she finally found him. He’s been staying with his half-sister at a circus. They had a child named after Oliver, which he didn’t know. So she went and see him. What she saw pained her.
“Now he was reduced to a homeless drunkard, completely unrecognisable. I really didn’t understand how the world worked sometimes.
At thirty-three, he’d been at the top.
Now thirty-nine, almost forty, he was at the bottom.”
When they met the second time, it was heartbreaking. (I just had to quote the entire meeting)
“Time slowed down, the world became as small as a grain of sand, as we stared at one another. It was a moment I’d never forget. The bottle he’d been clutching like a life raft fell from his grip. The harsh sound of glass shattering shot through me, making this all so real. King didn’t even notice he’d dropped the bottle. He reached up, rubbing at his eyes to the point that it looked painful.
“Stop it, stop it, stop showing me. I don’t want to see her anymore. No more.”
He was hurting himself, and I couldn’t watch. I stepped forward, my voice lighter than air. “Oliver,” I whispered. I stood mere inches away, the smell of him hitting me. He stank of booze and dirt. My heart cracked in two. It was a physical pain to see him like this.”
The second time Alexis visited him, Oliver’s sobered but suffering from withdrawal.
It broke my heart.
“Hi,” I whispered back.”
I was hurting for Alexis but I was heartbroken for Oliver.
Alexis helped Oliver to beat his alcoholism. He’s alcoholism arose from his guild and shame because of what happened.
“The mind becomes a prison as it replays its images, and all you want to do is drown them out. Dull the repetition. Alcohol is such an easy way to do it, to quiet everything down. It becomes a basic need, like water or air. Suddenly, you can barely go an hour without having it in your system.”
She urged him to see a doctor. Alexis told him that his alcoholism was hurting both of them. When he finally knew the truth that both of his parents survived, it helped him ease his shame and guilt a little. He actually started getting better and slowly becoming the Before Oliver by visiting his old Penthouse and playing the piano.
Then he met his son, Oliver or Oliver 1 and it was perfect. Oliver 1’s reaction tugged my heart. He was angry at himself because he was hiding but Alexis was alone with his child. He felt worthless. And Alexis’ love for him was so strong and Oliver needed it.
“You are not worthless, King. You’re the strongest person I know right now. I mean, look at you, look at how far you’ve come since I found you.”
After two months, Oliver 1 was even better. They moved in together as a family. Oliver asked Alexis to marry him a couple of times and of course she eventually said yes!
Ohh thank goodness we got Oliver’s POV and it’s the epilogue. Couldn’t be more perfect.
“She saw me for all I was, and I saw her for all she was. The story in the music of all we’d been through wasn’t pretty, and yet, in that moment I wouldn’t wish to be anyone other than who I was right then.”
I adored Before Oliver but I fell head over heels in love with After Oliver.