“I’m going to show you why us. How us. I’m asking for a lot. Your future. Your love. Your loyalty. Your body. Your children. Your life,” he says. “But I’m offering you the same things in return.”
I fell in love with Dylan Allen after reading her book, Envy. It hurt my heart in the most delicious way. The strife between Graham and Apollo left me sick at times. I needed them to be together so much that I found myself taking breaks from it to alleviate my breaking heart. For me, that is the beauty of a well-written romance.
I just finished Dylan Allen’s newest book, The Legacy. I was worried that the main characters, Hayes and Confidence, would follow the same path as Graham and Apollo, and I waited a day or two after its release before reading it, thinking I would need to prepare my heart. Boy was I wrong.
In my foray to reading more romance, I have come to expect a certain level of strife between the main hero and heroine. There is the typical trope wherein they fight against the odds to be together, and it takes most of the book for them to finally inhabit a relationship.
This isn’t really the case with Allen’s story. Hayes and Confidence meet at the beginning of the book, struggle at first out of a misunderstanding, and recognize quickly that they are “meant to be.” There is a time when they break up, but their love is never lost, and they reconcile quickly. As far as their relationship, that is the easy part of the book, especially because these two characters are delicious. Like, I want to gobble them up.
First and foremost, Confidence is the perfect representation of strong womanhood. She is the voice of reason (for the most part) in this book, and her words, her glorious words, save Hayes. She helps transform him into a man of social integrity. He is responsible for the continuation of his legacy, one that could net more monetary worth for his family. However, she shows him that the true power behind money is social obligation, and his legacy is forever changed.
Confidence, however, is not possible without Hayes. As I’ve mentioned in a prior blog post, there is something in the authorial minds of recent romance writers, especially writers that I love. They are writing men, serious alpha males, who have compassion and loyalty to the women they love. They don’t undermine the female characters. Instead, they empower them. This is insightful in our #metoo times. We want men who know their place as providers and the strength of a partnership, but these male characters also recognize their strength comes from their relationship with the heroine. In The Legacy, Hayes is a flawed man. His wealth and past experiences have made him suspicious of people. He doesn’t trust easily, and he struggles with connecting with others. After meeting Confidence, judging her falsely, and finally saving her, he quickly recognizes her value. This is not the norm in most romances. It often takes the male hero most of the book to see this. That isn’t the case with Hayes. Once this happens, even when they break up, the reader understands these two characters will end up together, Hayes will insist upon it. We are able to watch them grow stronger as a couple, falling in love with their coupleship as they fall deeper in love with each other. Dylan Allen writes THE most beautiful relationship between Hayes and Confidence. I spent most of my time highlighting the most heartfelt dialogue between the two.
Now, for me, this book is about so much more. The real message of this book is not the message of love in the traditional romantic sense. Instead, the message of this book is social responsibility. Allen is asking the question: what is one’s duty to one’s community especially if one has money? How does one show a “love” for one’s community? This is the true love affair of this book, and it happens within the community of River’s Wilde, an enclave of Houston. We are treated to a community bent on helping its citizens. Allen spends so much time focusing on this theme, that you know this is the take away from her book. Through the character of Confidence, we see the importance of social responsibility, and Hayes’s transformation to this understanding offers the most profound moments in the book. This is the book’s true beauty.
In all, I LOVED this story. Really, really loved these characters. Like her writer-sister, Kennedy Ryan, we are treated to the way that romance genre can be something more than its characters. We are given a lesson in how to be better citizens.
“I mean that you started like that for me. A pin prick sized drop of water on the very still waters of my life. And the minute you touched me, you caused a ripple that blurred everything I thought I was certain of. The way I saw myself, my obligations, my future. And now, just like that river you love so much does, it winds its way south, you rush through me, and I’m drowning in you.”
In love and romance,
P.S. I cannot wait for the continuing saga of River’s Wilde. Remington is coming…