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First off, this is a slow-paced, melancholy romance. The emphasis is on character and coping with family tragedy rather than on the romantic potential of the (2) main characters, Tess and Gus, making a connection. I actually enjoyed the slow build, and the way the author developed these two people. But there was SO much tragedy and sorrow, some of it because Tess and Gus were always putting others needs before their own, and, frankly, it got to be a bit too heavy-handed. The ending is also bittersweet, so this is not a feel-good romance. If it had been just a bit less downbeat, and if Tess ad Gus's had been less self-sacrificing, I would have given it a (5) star rating.
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