Series & Title: Harborside Nights, Book 2: Discovering Delilah
Author: Melissa Foster
Publisher: World Literary Press
Release Date: July 9, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, LGBTQIA, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours
Please note: This is an F/F story. Opinions, feelings, and beliefs concerning this community/lifestyle vary nationwide so I understand if you do not want to read any further than this notice. If you do choose to keep reading please be respectful of the author, her book, and my review.
In DISCOVERING DELILAH…
After the death of her parents on the day of her college graduation, Delilah Armstrong thought she could finally follow her heart and come out to her closest friends, but the guilt of going against her parents’ beliefs haunts her. The feelings she has for her best friend, Ashley, are stronger than anything she’s felt before, but Delilah has never even kissed a girl, and fear stops her at every turn.
Ashley Carver promised herself that she would never again date another girl who wasn’t out, but that was before she met intoxicatingly sweet and sexy Delilah.
When another girl offers to teach Delilah the ropes, it changes Delilah’s whole world and gives her the courage to go after the only girl she really wants. But coming out isn’t as easy as Delilah imagined, and moving past her parents’ death and the feelings of guilt she is left with is even harder. The intense passion between Ashley and Delilah is too strong to deny, but coming together means risking everything.
Discovering Delilah is an edgy, evocative, romantic story of friendship, family, and the courage to love.
This story is...emotional. That's the only way I can put it. While it is a story about self-discovery, it's also a story that deals with anxiety, grief, fear, and acceptance.
Delilah struggles with guilt over her parents' deaths, which she feels happened because she told them she was gay. The weight of that guilt plus her ever-growing feelings for her best friend Ashley keep her from accepting what she really is. Because saying and accepting are two completely different things.
Delilah's encounter with a woman from her grief counseling sessions didn't really sit well with me. While I understand her desire to know what it's like to make love to a woman, I would have preferred she did it with the woman she loved. (I totally get that this isn't the case in real life, or even in fiction, most of the time, but it would have been so beautiful if Delilah's first time had been with Ashley.) But I also understood why she didn't--she hadn't come out to her yet. So was the encounter helpful? I will honestly say yes. It gave her the boldness to explore Ashley without feeling like she was inadequate, which would have been horrible given everything she was already dealing with.
Ashley was an incredible co-lead in this story. Her past keeps her from declaring her feelings to Delilah, but it doesn't make her immune to the intense attraction that exists between them. She's fully aware of it, wants desperately to act on it, but doesn't want to go that route with someone else who hasn't come out yet. Yet, she finds herself doing just that by being what Delilah needs as she comes to terms with everything going on in her life.
While Delilah and Ashley needed love, they also needed friendship. First and foremost, that was the basis of their relationship. Ashley was there for Delilah as she grieved, as she accepted her sexuality, as she overcame the guilt she felt over her parents' deaths. For all her uncertainty about everything, Delilah knew one absolute: she trusted Ashley inexplicably. That trust coupled with Ashley's unwavering devotion only strengthened and intensified the attraction and desire already growing between them.
Ms. Foster did a wonderful job of giving Delilah the closure she needed while giving her the courage to accept what she was. I hope you give this story a chance. It won't be for everyone, I totally get that, but it's a story that beautifully depicts a young woman's rise from devastation and guilt to acceptance and love.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.