Unwrapping the Castelli Secret by Caitlin Crews

Unwrapping the Castelli Secret
by Caitlin Crews
Rafael has spent five long and painful years mourning the loss of Lily, the one girl he couldn't truly have but <i>did</i> have in so many ways, the one girl he treated like a bit on the side, the one girl that if he could have his time back, if he could bring her back from the dead, if he could talk to her one more time, how he would do things differently!

Five long and painful years Rafael has spent chasing ghosts.  He promises himself when he sees another Lily look alike walk past a cafe that this is the last ghost he chases.  When she turns in the street light and Rafael sees his beloved Lily, all walls come crashing down, all defenses come crashing down and what he says and does is from the heart.

Only this Lily look alike refuses his advances and tells him to leave before she calls the police.  "I am the love of your life!" he says.  This is when I was hooked, it was so heart wrenchingly beautifully raw and then the moment you figure Lily IS Lily but does everything to deny it, I was 100% invested and THEN when I learnt what Lily is hiding from Rafael I read and read and read this book till I could not keep my eyes open any more!

Unwrapping the Castelli Secret tells the story of Rafael, a man so in love, not realizing it until it's too late and given a precious second chance that we're never normally given, of a man who wants to right every wrong he has done to his loved one but how can he when he is so so furious with Lily and what she's deliberately done and hidden he can barely think straight.  Lily adamantly refuses she's the Lily he remembers and with some fantastically brilliant and exceptional writing the author pens priceless conversations between the two, was such a joy to read.

I loved this book so much, I could feel every little piece of hurt and anger and sadness and joy and heartbreak and love and laughter and every other emotion Rafael and Lily experienced while their story was told. I loved the way the flashbacks were incorporated into the story to make everything come together and I completely understand why Rafael treated Lily as he did back in the day.

If they hadn't had the relationship (as in his convenient bit on the side) they did I don't think this story would have worked in the same way because Rafael has been given a second chance that he is going to grip with every ounce of strength he possesses.  Of course, being a man, he doesn't get walking all over Lily is going to help her feel what he feels or believe what he says and part of the learning is to let go in the hope of return.

I wasn't too comfortable with the family side of things at the beginning, although i know they were removed enough to make it non ick but I still wasn't very comfortable with it.  However, the incredible writing of the author had me ok about it by the time I reached the end.

This is a story that I would want to write if I had any skill in being a writer, I was so involved in the emotion and I absolutely loved the writing, of Lily's reaction and of Rafael's efforts to convince Lily she was who she was.

Thank you Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this.

Harlequin Presents October 2015 release

Review by TashNz
6 Stars.