Him & I
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/2022)
“Him & I” begins when Lyla is in high school. Her childhood best friend, Kyle, has already stolen her heart. She still has crushes on others, including Kyle’s friend Declan, but she will always be in love with Kyle. He is sweet and innocent, whereas Declan is more worldly and seems to have some dark secrets. Declan, however, is determined to win Lyla.
Consequences of sharing more than a first kiss with Kyle immediately put their lives on the fast track. Then a tragedy strikes and Lyla is suddenly overwhelmed, and Declan takes this moment in time to step up and help her through the pain. As the situation resolves itself, Lyla has to decide what to do regarding her feelings for both men. The decision is a complicated, yet creative one.
In the second section, the trio are now adults and still heavily immersed in each other’s lives. The men have become professional football players. While Kyle has maintained both his naiveté and loyalty to Lyla, Declan seems to be battling demons. Things come to a head when they enter into the third portion of the story. It is here that the triangle of characters finally gain a full understanding of Declan’s demons. There are no simple solutions, and all three try their best to work together in order to make it through the roughest spots.
I really enjoyed losing myself in “Him & I.” Told in three parts, this huge book (well over eight hundred pages) could actually be made into a trilogy. I am happy it wasn’t, though, because it enabled me to read all three sections at once. Author Alyssa Milani created a very realistic story that captures the essence of who we are as we go through our various stages of life. When the protagonists were teens, I could feel their angst and clearly remember my own. As they moved on into adulthood, they matured, but childhood issues still haunted them and continued to affect their lives. I found this part relatable as well. Moving into the third section, the protagonists had to start making decisions based upon what was best for the family, and they couldn’t just follow their hearts as they used to. I enjoyed being able to watch them all evolve. The drama that enters in was also very creative, interesting, and inspiring throughout.
Although this novel is quite lengthy, I found it to move quickly because the story is fast paced. I really enjoyed this novel that sounds like a coming-of-age story, however, there are extremely erotic scenes which I think make this too mature for young readers. Older readers, like myself, will love these intense scenes! This is my first novel by Alyssa Milani, but I don’t plan on it being my last. Adult readers who enjoy romance, drama, and erotica will love this!