Nothing To Lose, An Out to Sea novel by E.M. Lindsey

'They never had to face themselves in the mirror and say aloud, "This is never going to change. This is your reality now," just to let those words sink in.' Nothing To Lose.

From the blurb:

Once upon a time, in a small seaside town, a happy man living a happy life brings other people joy with his delicious bakes.

And then a storm cloud moves in next door, and suddenly things are...different.

A war between them is brewing, like a hurricane offshore, and if Peyton isn't careful, Hudson is going to sweep him into the raging waters like a tsunami.

Nothing To Lose is a previously released serial novel set in a small-town featuring a grumpy neighbor with a secret profession, a sunshine baker who thinks a few well baked, browned butter cookies can solve a lot of problems, a stray cat, a noisy bird, and the sweetest happily ever after.

Angel's Review:

Nothing To Lose was originally released as a newsletter serial. People who were subscribers to E.M.'s newsletter were able to read a chapter every week or so. 

Now it's been officially released so everyone has access to it! Which I think is terrific. 

"More than that, I miss what baking was to me. But I'm working on loving it again, and the fact that you're all still looking at this account means something. I don't know what my future will look like, but I feel like this might be the start to getting back one of the things I loved most and thought I had lost." 

I edited that paragraph a bit, but the words I have above are ones I relate to the most. Before my own health went downhill, baking was my happy place. I'm trying to enjoy it again, but it won't ever be in the same way. 

When I first read this in the newsletter I teared up reading it, just like I did while reading it this time.

'The earliest symptoms had started out in his late teens as chronic stomach aches which his parents said was just anxiety. That morphed into bloating and pain after his twentieth birthday, then weird outbreaks of cold sores first in his mouth - then moving his eyes, of all places.'

 I can relate a lot to Peyton. I've had abdominal pain and food sensitivities for years now and it just gets worse and worse. So I can relate to Peyton feeling grief over the fact that his body isn't what it once was, and that is out of his control. To mourn the life you had at one point. I've been there, I'm still there, actually. 

 Hudson was also dealing with his own struggles as well, not just with his body but also with the emotional warfare his mom put him through and she continues to try to put him through. Then! His ex Austin left him because he didn't like that Hudson couldn't do the same things he used to. That's seriously messed up! I don't know if I've ever disliked a character more. 

I'm so glad these two eventually got together. They are great for each other and complement one another excellently. I thought it was frankly adorable that Peyton adopted Ginger; (the stray cat) she was an adorable feature. I also loved the side characters! Eli, Rain and Linden, I really hope they get their own stories at some point. I would love that! I've said this before and I'll say it again: E.M. knows how to write characters that you can connect with. It's extraordinary! 

I don't have Crohn's, but I think this was such a wonderful representation of what it's like to not only grieve your body from before, but also trying to accept how your body is after. Even if you don't have Crohn's, but have had severe stomach pain, or have had a mass in your spine or anything that has changed the way you live, this is a wonderful book to read! 

The next paragraph I'm going to have here is one I, and others I'm sure, can relate to. 

'It was never, ever feeling like he had control and knowing there was no cure- there was only management.' 

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Nothing To Lose was a love story with a lot of growth for the main characters - both who had life altering body issues that affected the way they viewed themselves and potential relationships.  EM Lindsey sympathetically navigated these health issues to balance them with the characters other traits and strengths and it was a lovely read.

I have to say that I really didn't like Hudson at the beginning and struggled to see why Peyton was pursuing him, but I eventually came around.

This book was different in many ways from a typical EM Lindsey book, but the undercurrents were the same and I enjoyed it.  You could see in some places that it had been a serial, but overall it was a really nice read

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Nothing To Lose is available to buy as an ebook