Survivor’s Guilt by Michelle Arnold is a friends to lovers, workplace romance that centers around a devastating plane crash and shows how any obstacle can be surmounted with the support of a loving partner.
Abi Okafor moves from England to New York to work as a makeup artist on a popular TV medical drama. She’s delighted and a little starstruck when series regular Greta Lang takes a seat in her chair on her first day. Abi and the introverted actress strike up a friendship that grows into a deep bond over time. Abi can’t help but develop feelings for Greta, but when Greta begins dating a guest writer, she assumes her romantic sentiments are one-sided.
Greta has never had much success with relationships. Dating a writer on her show feels comfortable. She and Jeff share many of the same friends and interests, but when he tells her that he loves her she suddenly realizes that it’s Abi who she loves. She realizes that it’s time for her to be bold. She’s flying to California for several days, but she’s decided to tell Abi how she feels before she leaves. Her declaration of love surprises Abi, and Greta has to leave on her trip before the two of them can really talk.
Tragedy strikes when Greta’s plane crashes on her return trip to New York leaving her body broken and in a coma. Abi rushes to her side determined to be there for her in any and every way she can. When Greta wakes from her coma, she and Abi are able to declare their love for each other. Abi is determined that her love for Greta will pull her through her recovery, but she’s keeping a horrible secret – Greta is the only survivor of the plane crash.
Will Greta be able to handle this news and continue on her rehabilitation or will her survivor’s guilt take away her desire to recover and jeopardize her future with Abi?
Abi and Greta felt like old friends the moment I met them. They have chemistry. It’s not that insta-love chemistry that can feel forced. They complement each other like two puzzle pieces that easily fall into place.
Abi is gregarious and confident. Greta is introverted and feels awkward at times. Something special happens when Greta takes a seat in Abi’s makeup chair for the first time. They are like soulmates who’ve been together throughout lifetimes and are ready to reconnect in this here and now. It’s Abi’s strength that helps Greta recover after the plane crash, but Greta has to summon her own strength to begin the emotional recovery from the trauma.
The Writing Style
The story is told in third person from both Abi and Greta’s point of view, but because Greta spends a good portion of the story recuperating from the accident the reader spends more time in Abi’s point of view. The reader gets to watch Greta and Abi over the course of a year as they become fast friends. I appreciated this time with them because I got to see why they were so perfect for each other. Arnold does a nice job building tension throughout the book so when the story’s dramatic plot points strike, they pack quite a punch. I had the distinct feeling that Arnold had control of my emotional reactions as she guided me through Abi and Greta’s poignant journey.
I’m a big fan of celebrity romances, and I like a good thriller. Survivor’s Guilt gave me both, and I think that’s why I read this from beginning to end in one sitting.
At times I felt like the dialogue was a little redundant but that very well could have been because I was so wrapped up in the plot that I just wanted to get from one dramatic moment to another.
Survivor’s Guilt filled my need for an angsty romance at the exact moment I needed it. It turned me into a weepy mess numerous times and it felt so good to be completely invested in two women’s happiness. Arnold doesn’t keep any secrets in the blurb. I knew exactly what to expect but each twist and turn caught me off guard. There’s no better feeling than reading a book that brings out an emotional and physical response in me. It was fun and exactly what I was looking for. If you’re looking for a dramatic romance that’s going to bring out all the feels, check this one out. (Make sure you have tissues nearby.)
Excerpt from Survivor’s Guilt by Michelle Arnold
The ventilator kept pumping air in and out of Greta’s lungs. Abi really wasn’t sure Greta could hear her at all, but she needed to say this.
“Well it’s over,” she said, sitting back down. “I’m done now. I don’t even care about the person I was before, because she was a coward, and I don’t want to be her anymore. I’m ready to go over that waterfall. I’m yours to do whatever you want with, for as long as you want to. I’m not fighting it anymore. I surrender.”
Abi felt a weight lifted from her as she said the words, and she almost expected Greta’s eyes to flutter open in response. But the redhead continued to lie motionless, the machine breathing for her. So telling someone you loved them didn’t make miracles happen after all.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781085824255
- Michele Arnold Online
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