Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: ARC for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon
Dear Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff, Keeper of Dreams, Lover of our Fine Feathered Friends, queen of my life and light of my world, I hope this letter finds you well. If you are reading this then I am gone, and sweetheart, I am so sorry.
Chi-town professional Wren Riley is 25 and a rising star in the business world. She can eat a man alive and laugh about it to her girlfriends in seconds flat—and she does, on the regular. Behind the power suits and the flashing, flirty eyes, however, Wren has a secret, vulnerable side. Following a devastating loss and the discovery of a bird journal she and her father made together years before, Wren sets out to seek peace, closure, and something she just can't name. Is that something tied to the little paper cranes she keeps finding along the way?
Laurence Byrd grew up a lanky Hoosier kid with the good/bad fortune of having the same name as the state's perennial basketball legend. With a better affinity for dogs than sports or school, he ends up in the Army instead of the Chicago art school of his dreams. Still, his service to our country is something he can be proud of—until an argument with the girl who means the world to him results in a series of events that blows his life apart. With no one left to understand him, black sheep Laurie pours out his heart into letters and drawings he never intends to send—then he folds them into paper cranes that he leaves behind like messages in little winged bottles. He never dreams someone might be finding them.
God damn it, Sylvia, for a few moments I tricked myself into feeling really alive. I cut it off before anyone got hurt, but just for a moment or two, I really thought I might feel something again—something like trust. Something like love. Not the kind of love we had, but something new. Something like hope.
Spoiler alert: Wren and Laurie are going to meet. And when they do, their lives are never going to be the same.
Bird After Bird is a real take on romance—Wren and Laurie are recovering from tragedies in their past, when they meet and find the encouragement to move on in each other.
Wren is the kind of character we all understand at some point—she's driven to a fault and determined to move away from her start in life. But a letter from her recently-deceased father serves to change all that. Suddenly her priorities aren't so clear-cut and she finds herself reliving the past. Which is how she comes across Laurie.
Laurie is a little bit like the puppies he raises in the best way. He's so kind, honest, and loving that you can't help but swoon. Bad boys are great and all, but Laurie is really and truly the kind of guy that's going to be a rock—constant, upfront, and ever-considerate.
Really, the best word to describe the whole story is sweet. These are two characters who are good people and overall good to each other (with the exception of a period of running-scared-ness). While angst and tension are nice, there's definitely something to be said for two people who are up-front about how they feel about each other and not constantly fighting what they want. Sure, Wren was a little misguided and unwilling to compromise at times, but it was never in the context of her lack of feelings for Laurie. And I really loved that.
Wren's story also really made me want to call my dad, but I'm a sap like that. The glimpse into her relationship with her late father is so heartfelt, honest, and beautiful that it rivaled Wren and Laurie's relationship in terms of my investment in it. The passages from their "bird book" served to ground the story and give it solid continuity throughout, which really helped keep the location changes smooth. And they also seriously brought the daddy/daughter feels.
Bird After Bird is an enjoyable, sweet romance with likable characters that will keep you interested from start to finish!
About the Author
Leslea Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist, an avid bird nerd and the happily married mom of four. She has been a professional writer for many years. This is her first romance novel.