Jocelyn Butler is an aspiring writer whose life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly develops strong relationships with her new roommate and the roommate's handsome brother. Jocelyn's parents and little sister died in a car accident when she was 14 years old. Her best friend, Dru, also died in a tragic accident a year later. In an attempt to bury all of those painful memories, Jocelyn left Virginia and moved to Scotland to attend the University of Edinburgh when she turned 18 years old.
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She recently graduated from college and currently works part-time at a bar while she writes her first novel. Jocelyn is looking for a place to live and a new roommate after her friend, Rhian, went to London to start a Ph.D. program.
Jocelyn schedules an appointment to visit Ellie Carmichael - a graduate student who is looking for a roommate. On her way to see Ellie, Jocelyn grabs the door handle of a cab and bumps into an attractive man in a business suit. They agree to share the cab since they are going in the same direction. The gentleman in the suit tries to flirt with Jocelyn, but she is not interested.
When Jocelyn meets Ellie, they instantly hit it off and Jocelyn moves into the apartment on Dublin Street. Ellie tells Jocelyn that her older brother bought the apartment and had it completely renovated. The rent is expensive, but Jocelyn partially lives off of a substantial inheritance left by her parents.
Jocelyn meets Ellie's older brother and recognizes him as the man from the cab ride. His name is Braden Carmichael. He runs his family's real estate agency and owns several restaurants and nightclubs. He also works closely with his best friend, Adam, who is an architect.
Ellie is in love with Adam, but she is worried that her feelings are reciprocated. Adams wants a relationship with Ellie. He is afraid that if he expresses his feelings, it will jeopardize his friendship with Braden.
Braden is intrigued with Jocelyn and actively pursues her. Jocelyn tries not to form strong emotional attachments to people because she is still dealing with the trauma of losing her family. Jocelyn is uncomfortable with dating Braden, so they agree to have a casual sexual relationship.
In spite of her best efforts to remain emotionally distant, Jocelyn develops a close friendship with Ellie. As she spends more time with Ellie and Braden, it triggers memories about her family and Jocelyn starts to have panic attacks. She begins seeing a therapist named Dr. Kathryn Pritchard. Dr. Pritchard believes that Jocelyn suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and will only get better once she deals with her feelings about her family's death.
Dr. Pritchard encourages Jocelyn to share more about her family history with Braden since it's apparent that he really cares about her. As Braden gets closer to Jocelyn, he tells her about his past, He was raised by a father who was emotionally distant and a mother who paid more attention to her numerous boyfriends than her own son. He also has an ex-wife who cheated on him with one of his close friends.
When Braden confides in Jocelyn, she feels more comfortable opening up to him. She tells him about growing up with foster families after her parents and sister died. She also describes the death of her best friend and how it affected her.
While Braden, Jocelyn, and Ellie are hanging out at the Dublin Street apartment, Ellie has a seizure. A neurologist states that Ellie has a tumor in her brain. Jocelyn can't handle losing someone else she loves and tries to avoid Ellie. Jocelyn also breaks up with Braden because she is scared of getting too close to him, but he convinces her that she should at least support Ellie through the medical ordeal.
Ellie has brain surgery. The neurologist notifies Ellie's family that the tumor was completely removed and it is benign. Jocelyn visits Ellie every day in the hospital. Since Ellie's health is improving, Braden shifts his focus to Jocelyn and is determined to get her back.
Ellie's condition was the wake-up call Adam needed to openly admit that he is in love with her. Braden doesn't have a problem with Adam dating his sister and always knew they had feelings for each other.
Jocelyn and Braden realize they love each other and reunite. Braden accompanies Jocelyn on a trip to Virginia so that she can have closure about her family's death. They visit the family's gravesites and get rid of many items Jocelyn kept in a storage unit ever since the car accident.
Two years later, Jocelyn and Braden get married. Ellie moved in with Adam while Jocelyn and Braden decided to live in the apartment on Dublin Street.
Best part of story, including ending:
I heard and read so many glowing reviews about this book before I read it. Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations. The premise of the story is set up to elicit a range of emotions from the reader, but the trial and tribulations of the main characters failed to resonate with me.
Best scene in story:
When Jocelyn shared the stories about her family and best friend with Braden, it showed that she started to trust him and was open to the possibility of having a truly intimate relationship.
Opinion about the main character:
I thought Jocelyn was a bit immature at times, but then I remembered that she's still in her early 20's and doesn't have a lot of experience developing personal relationships as an adult. Jocelyn's endless attempts to keep an emotional distance from people didn't make me empathize with her. Instead, it became exhausting to read about it after a certain point and I just wanted her antics to end.