This is a classic second chance love story. Laney and Kyle were college sweethearts who’ve known each other their whole lives having grown up in Wardham together. Laney leaves town to attend graduate school and Kyle doesn’t want to do long distance or leave their hometown. Fast forward twelve years and Laney is home for the holidays and Kyle lives a stones throw away from her family’s farm. Both Laney and Kyle are still carrying around the open festering wounds of their failed relationship. They decide on a purely sexual relationship — to finally get each other out of their systems — while Laney is in town. Neither plans for it to turn into more.
I’m torn on this one honestly. I liked the story’s premise and I enjoy this author’s voice, but I was honestly quite bored while reading What Once Was Perfect. There were a lot of inner musings from both characters and less action than I usually prefer.
The story is overwrought with tension, particularly from Laney’s standpoint. Laney never moved on from Kyle; even though she pays a lot of lip service that she has indeed moved on and just doesn’t believe in love. She refuses to pursue anything more than casual relationships with other men since Kyle. Admittedly, I found Laney to be annoying at times with her, ‘woe is me’ mentality.
One thing that I did like here was that Laney didn’t have to sacrifice her career as a reconstructive surgeon to be with Kyle in the end.
Overall, my biggest trouble with WOWP was that I couldn’t fully buy that in twelve long years two people wouldn’t have resolved the issues from their college love. Also, when they finally do, all the blame and aftermath for what happened previously was heaped on Kyle while Laney is completely absolved for her part.