Book Review – Lost and Found by Lori L. Otto

Book Review – Lost and Found by Lori L. Otto
Book Review – Lost and Found by Lori L. OttoLost and Found by Lori L. Otto
Series: Emi Lost and Found #1
Published by Self-Published
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

When artist Nate Wilson falls in love, he falls hard. The problem is, he's only been in love once, and the girl of his affections is his best friend, Emi Hennigan. In high school, the two bonded over painful breakups, and swore off a relationship to save their friendship. Thirteen years later, Nate has had more than his share of emotionally-unfulfilling, sexual relationships with beautiful women to distract himself from his true romantic feelings. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes Nate away from his friend and his comfortable lifestyle, he is forced to reflect on the distinct void that Emi's absence leaves in his life. To Nate's surprise, Emi has a similar experience; but as the friends embark upon their journey toward happiness together, destiny reveals other plans for Emi. This is the first of three books in the Emi Lost & Found series. This second edition features cover artwork by Summer Ortiz.

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Book Review:

“It’s always been her. It’s not possible for it to be love for anyone else because any form of ‘love’ I’ve felt for other women has been a mere fraction of how I feel about Emi.”

I love it when a book takes me completely by surprise.  Like I have said before, I knew nothing about the Emi Lost & Found series before I took the plunge and started.  You guys, I was not prepared for this book.  Not prepared at all.  I was even told by some of my book friends that I was in for a shock.  I was thinking, “What?  I’ve read it all!”  Famous last words.

Initially, when I was describing this book to my friends, I described it as “a best friends falling in love story” but it is so much more than that.  There was true depth to the story and the characters that moved to me and emotionally gutted me.  I was so taken by Nate and Emi’s love for each other.  It’s the kind of love that few have and many desire but never get to experience.

The prequel, Not Today, But Someday, was about how Emi and Nate met each other in high school.  At the end, I was left asking, “What is book one going to be about?”  The opening lines of the book made me smile and I knew I was in for it.

“Nine years is a long time to hold on to a feeling – one that I felt for only ten seconds of my life. Logically, I know it was twenty seconds at most, but the impact if left made it seem like forever.”

Lost and Found is told in both Emi and Nate’s points-of-view, which I really loved and I think really worked well.  I loved seeing the evolution of their feelings for each other from both sides.  From the beginning of Lost and Found we are thrown into the friend-zoned-ship between Nate and Emi, the two main characters in the series.  It didn’t take long for me to figure out that these two know each other inside and out and are very comfortable with each other.

In high school Emi and Nate agreed not to date each other and to stay friends.  Nine years later, that agreement still stands much to Nate’s  – and both their families’ – chagrin.  Secretly, he’s loved her since high school but has always feared exploring what “more” would be like with her.  Instead, he’s settled with being her friend  and the constant in her life – the one person she could open up to completely aside from her brother.

So, what are Nate and Emi like as adults?  Nate is a not-so-starving artist living in a big, spacious loft in Manhattan.  He’s living the dream, right?  Nate received a rather large inheritance and basically lives off of that and the occasional sale of his art.  Nate is a serial dater.  He falls in love quickly, but no relationship seems to work out.  Eventually he realizes that the reason why all of his relationship fail is because none of those women are Emi.

Emi is on the other end of the spectrum.  Emi rarely dates anyone – whether it be because she doesn’t trust anyone or doesn’t find anyone worth her time.  One of my favorite moments in the book was when Emi takes Nate to a hockey game because she knows Nate loves hockey.  What she doesn’t tell Nate is that he’s her backup plan if the guy she likes doesn’t show up to the game.  Well, he does and Nate gets pushed aside.  Colin, the guy Emi is interested in, is a total douche and this is apparent to everyone but Emi.  This was a bit of a turning point in Nate’s psyche – maybe he and Emi should give it a shot. Maybe there is something there.

“Seems like you have some sort of double standard going on. Why do you get to fuck who you want, and not her?”
I laugh at her bluntness, but am quickly reminded of the seriousness of our conversation. “Because it’s Emi.”
“Emi is an adult, and Emi is not yours. And sorry, but yes, I think it’ll do her some good to get laid. This is what she wants right now.  And as her friend, I’m going to support her decisions.”
“They’re bad decisions,” I argue.
“They won’t hurt anyone.”
“They could hurt her.”
“She’s a big girl, Nate.  You have two choices. Go after her or let her go.”

Nate continues to try to date women and even ends up in a relationship.  As always, the relationship goes down the tubes.  Seeing Nate go from relationship to relationship begins to wear on Emi.  It’s clear that she feels something for him as well, but the way he treats love how could he ever treat her the way she deserves to be treated?

“I’m not a placeholder, Nate. I’m not a bookmark that waits for the next chapter of your life to come along. I’m a human being.”

At one point, his girlfriend even gives him an ultimatum that turns Emi and Nate’s friendship upside down.  This changes everything.  I was so frustrated with Nate’s choices – choices that were being made out of fear.  I was screaming at my Kindle, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”  I wanted so badly for Emi and Nate to be together and I just didn’t know how they ever would be.

“Break-ups are one thing. They start off painful but get easier every day. Being apart from Emi feel worse with every hour.”

Lori Otto did an amazing job with building tension between Emi and Nate.  The whole book was building to the moment when they finally got together.  The execution was perfect and flawless. I had the biggest smile on my face.  It was everything I could have asked for.

     “I don’t want to be the girl in the periphery. I want to be the one you always see.”
“You are. I’ve never lost sight of you, Emi. You’re it. You’re all I’ve ever seen. The rest were distractions, I swear. Since the day I met you.”

At the end of this book, I couldn’t wait to get to the next one.  Once you finish, you’ll understand.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Emi Lost and Found Series Reading Order

Not Today, But Someday, the prequel, can be read first or last.  I recommend reading it last.


Not Today, But Someday is FREE on AmazonSmashwords and Barnes & Noble.

Goodreads Links

Book #1 – Lost and Found
Book #2 – Time Stands Still
Book #3 – Never Look Back
Book #0.5 – Not Today But Someday (FREE)

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I participated in the Emi Lost & Found Scavenger Hunt.

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