Back to You by Priscilla Glenn
Blurb from Goodreads:
When Lauren Monroe first laid eyes on Michael Delaney back in high school, she had every reason to stay away from him; within minutes of their first encounter, his volatile actions confirmed his notorious reputation. But Lauren saw something in him that caused her to question his bad-boy persona, and against her better judgment, she took a chance. She had no way of knowing that the unlikely friendship they formed would become so important to her. Or that it would end so painfully. Eight years later, when Lauren begins her new job at Learn and Grow Day Care, Michael is the last person she expects to see. Refusing to revisit the hurt and confusion of their past, Lauren vows to keep her distance from him. But staying away from Michael proves to be more difficult than she thought, despite her lingering grief and her instincts for self-preservation. As Lauren and Michael recall the friendship that changed them forever and the events that tore them apart, will they finally be able to heal? Or will the ghosts of Michael’s past prove to be too much to overcome?
Wow! This book was a breath of fresh air for me - maybe because the relationship between Michael and Lauren is so unique or maybe just because of the way it was written. I absolutely loved how the chapters alternated between the present and the past, such a slow build-up and anticipation in weaving such a wonderful story: the story of Michael and Lauren. Although I hate love triangles, the triangle here did not bother me at all probably because Lauren was completely honest with herself in dropping Adam when she realized her heart was not in it.
My only qualm is the ending. After such a slow and perfect build-up of the story, the ending felt rushed. Although I loved how it turned out and the epilogue melted my heart, it seemed so rushed. One moment Lauren is agonizing over Michael's betrayal and the next second she forgives him. It didn't seem plausible to me, even if she had always loved him. I just wish there were a few more chapters of explanation. Overall, however, I really loved reading this book and I love the story of Michael and Lauren.