For me, heaven was the octagon.
Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?
If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.
Comment: I had read the first book in this duology back in 2018 and I finished this second one thinking it's one of those cases, this would not be as easily understandable if one doesn't read book #1 first. Also, I must say I'm still debating on whether I liked or not that there was an epilogue.
In this second story, after Moses has had his HEA, we have the tale of his best friend David.
David has had some issues in his life but now he is a grown up man, he has his business, his friends and his fighting, which enables him to be great at something. He was not wishing for love until he met Millie, the new dancer in his club.
More than one person mentioned her, though, and he does feel curious but it's not until he gets to meet her and realize she is a blind woman, he understands it's suppose to be a joke.
However, he doesn't find it funny his employee at the club gave a job to someone who obviously didn't understand what was happening but the more he knows her, the more he respects her.
The problem isn't that he is falling in love with someone after so long but that he might not be someone who would be trusted. Or is he?
As I've said, it's difficult to talk about this book to someone who hasn't read the other since everything is so intrinsically connected.
It's not just the fact the two male protagonists of each book are best friends but also that their lives are closer than what one would suspect. I don't want to spoil it for someone who hasn't read the other book but let's just say what connected Moses and David was how Moses saw David's sister ghost and helped in finding her body.
Now they are both adults, Moses has a steadier life with his wife Georgia, his newborn daughter Kathleen but David is holding on to his job and his responsibilities.
I think this book didn't feel as emotional as the other book in the sense the story is set in the now but most of it is told by David, regarding things from the recent past through old tapes he recorded to share with Millie.
He and Millie are a couple but why he isn't present and why he talks through the tapes is something we only discover as the plot moves along. Most of the novel then, serves to explain how David ended up where he is at when the final tape is heard.
At this point, the reader already knows a lot about the characters but I must say I was still caught by surprise on why David is not around anymore.
He is eventually found and from that on, the story advances more quickly, as if the narrative has to develop at a quicker pace. We go from one situation to another very easily and sometimes I feel the pace was not the most suitable, as if the drama it was suggesting was more important than the characters themselves.
The tapes work as a way for us to place the vents that led until the current moment but besides that what who we have as narrator is Moses. There's a reason for this which the epilogue explains but I can't decide if I like what it implies or not.
This means we don't have much on the heroine, Millie. She is important, yes, her emotions and feelings matter but she never feels as developed or complex as David, independently of how many things they share. The same thing happened in the first book, the focus was obviously more on Moses than in the heroine Georgia.
I liked this book and much of the content but I can't say exactly why it didn't feel better. I suppose part of why is due to some things being presented after they happened, s nothing to do with it. I feel as if the actual story isn't that much but in a way this is what I always feel about stories with flashbacks or sections of the book set in different times.
All in all, this one had enough elements to have captivated me but there's a certain lack of balance and too much ambiguity at times for me to upgrade it.