Ashley Herring Blake is an auto-buy author for me. Having really enjoyed her YA novel, Girl Made of Stars and middle grade The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James, I knew I had to read her romance debut. And this book utterly charmed me and made me so emotional! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
In signature Ashley Herring Blake style, the characters in Delilah Green Doesn’t Care twist your heart in the best of ways. From Delilah to Claire to Astrid, all of them have these hidden nooks and crannies. These secret gestures and ghostly memories. The characters are complex, flawed, and nuanced. They make you laugh with banter and sarcasm that had me giggling, while also delving into issues of abandonment and family. The emotional highs and lows in Delilah Green Doesn’t Care are superb.
Because on one level, you find yourself falling in love with Delilah and Claire. With Delilah’s coping mechanisms and fear in returning back home, as well as Claire’s denial of her feelings because she knows it can’t last. Talk about characters who pulled at every heart string you have. I cannot stress how much I loved EVERY (okay except like two – IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW) characters. And then Ashley Herring Blake just goes one step further by discussing family.
How there are these situations we think we know. The times we lash out and don’t’ ask what’s wrong because we’re scared of rejection and being hurt. Old family wounds that never quite heal and always come back. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is full of fragments of good memories and those who still sting. The sister relationship between Delilah and Astrid is heart wrenching in how relatable and how emotional it is. The spaces of anger and love, but also fear and guilt.
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So you know I loved Delilah’s character. She struggles with her family and her fears coming back to her, how alone she felt. But I also immensely loved Claire. How she is afraid of being left, of losing control, of having her heart broken. Ah, both of these heroines were fantastic and this has quickly sky rocketed to a place among my favorite romances! If you love character rich romances about family and love, this is for you! Find Delilah Green Doesn’t Care on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.