“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, I hated to see it end.”
“One Last Love gives you an experience that sadly enough, not many books are able to give you..”
“A beautifully written love story with a message of tolerance.”
“..anticipated a sad story of death….but just the opposite…”
For Bonnie his life had been lived, and the bitter sweet memories of his wife, along with the never ending sorrow of losing his son so young remain with him, but they are now ebbing away slowly with the passing of the years. His days of love, warmth and tenderness well past and all that is left is his last few quiet years to grow old. Alone, yet content.
What he had done, he had done and what had happened, had. All that remained was to live out the rest of his life in a new place, far away from his checkered past. His days passing with the regularity that an old man desires and deserves. Until the dark day arrives that signals an impending end to his new found life, and with it, all sense of hope.
In facing mortality, Bonnie resorts to using his crusty exterior and bravado to hide the frailty and fear he feels within himself – until he is presented with stark realities beyond his understanding and is forced to come face to face with his own prejudices and beliefs.
In meeting Danny and Angeline, Bonnie begins to reshape his thoughts about his acceptance of those he had habitually admonished, and of the bigoted life he has lived. While Charlie and his daughter Beatrice realign his set concepts of how he had habitually rushed to judge people too quickly.
However, it is only when Bonnie meets Madeleine that the most unexpected eventuality turns his hard held beliefs, and his very set views about life, people, and love, on their head.
I won’t give away too many details, but let me suffice it to say that Derek Haines has written something unforgettable here, with ‘One Last Love.’ It’s one of those stories you feel deserves a movie version.
A deeply touching tale about finding love in the most unlikely of places—a place where death prevails more than hope—One Last Love is at once inspiring and uplifting and reassuring. Of course, throughout the story there is despair and hopelessness at every turn—you feel it each time Bonnie makes a little joke to lighten up the situation. But somehow you feel it’s plausible, that even near the end of life a new beginning could unfold. And it is this message that gives power and vitality to this book.
There’s also something poignantly courageous about how Bonnie tries to hide his suffering behind his humor: Bonnie’s bravado starkly juxtaposes the situation he’s in, which all the more increases the emotional impact of the tragedy.
Here’s a man who knows he’s dying, yet he tries so hard to protect those around him with what little humor he could scrape from the bottom of his soul.
Derek Haines writes like a surgeon with a scalpel: he knows, with uncanny precision, which parts of human nature he must touch with his blade, or pen, that is. And I’m hoping Haines writes more, and soon—One Last Love shouldn’t be his One Last Novel, but rather, just one in a string of what I believe are future bestsellers.
Derek Haines is an author of science fiction farce, historical fiction and noir thrillers, who writes from a view of what fascinates him and not from a formula based on one theme or genre. His writing is varied but always written in a style that communicates with and engages his readers.
Most of all, the stories told by Derek Haines are about people, their feelings, regrets, hopes and struggles with life. Ordinary men and women, sometimes nonconformist, but with extraordinary qualities that make their story worth telling. While some books reflect his thoughts and beliefs, others are told from the view of characters who are sometimes dark and complex, or childishly open. With splashes of allegory, black humour or satire, his stories can develop from the simplistic to the complicated and back again, leaving the reader to decide if it is time to laugh or cry. Or both.
Born in Australia, but now living in Switzerland, his stories cross a wide geographical range but often draw from elements of his life and experiences in the two countries he calls home. From the rugged, dry and hot desert country of Australia and its crowded cities, to the cafés of Europe and the peaks of the Swiss Alps. The hustle and bustle of Sydney to the quiet life of the Swiss countryside.
When not writing and blogging, he is usually doing what he equally enjoys. Teaching English.
Last love, never too late, brought beyond any previous level. It was a short book, but just right for the story. Some might say the ending was abrupt, but it was just right – enough is there to leave the reader to finish it the way you want it, knowing there won’t be a sequel and no need for a sequel.
By M. Hallett
This story was a surprise and caused much reflection on end of life thoughts. The relationships that developed in terminally ill people were genuine and heartwarming. Lots of good for thought.
I adore a good love story and One Last Love is an excellent one though so very different from the norm.
Bonnie has only days left to live and as you would expect, he is thinking back over his life and examining his conscience. The other inhabitants of the hospice also cause him to acknowledge his prejudices and faults but he realises that even now, at the 11th hour, it is not too late to change or to make amends.
The strongest thing about this story is its simplicity. When Bonny first arrives he is shocked when a man he saw at dinner is being taken away in a hearse the following morning and that no one seems too upset about the fact. This stark, honest and raw treatment of death is very effective. As is the fact that within twenty-four hours Bonnie too has come to accept that death is simply a normal part of life in the hospice. Yet, every time Bonnie said ‘see you tomorrow’ to another patient I wondered – as I’m sure the author wanted me to – would he. This alone kept me turning the pages to see who would be next.
As the title suggests, Bonnie finds love with another patient, Madeline and this is so beautifully written. Where other authors might have been tempted to over-dramatise the relationship, Haines keeps it so low-key and honest that it is much more profound and touching.
It was in my mind from the first page that this book could only end in one way but, yet again, Haines did not opt for the easy or predictable finale and I closed the book feeling satisfied and very happy that I had got to know Bonnie.
I will, without doubt, be reading more from Mr Haines!
By connie ohlin
anticipated a sad story of death….but just the opposite…all lived life to the fullest to the very last minute….so sweet and appealing….probably most seniors would like it best….
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, I hated to see it end. I would have liked for the author to carry the story a little further. Definitely, a touching love story.
One Last Love by Haines, Derek is a love story set in the most unimaginable place. I always thought it was just me who was one of the last “hopeless romantics” out there. After reading this great book, I know now that I’m not the only one. This book will definitely give you the reassurance that love and happiness can be felt no matter how bad things get.
Bonnie is a man who makes his sad reality into something much more pleasant. I do have to warn you this book is a tear jerker, but well worth the saddening tears. I couldn’t put this baby down. It wasn’t something I normally would have read (luckily I took the time to read the reviews for this book) but I’m glad that I did. The ending might be one of the most realistic happy endings that I have come across with.
I personally don’t like reviews that basically spoil the reading, so I won’t be summarizing this book or writing any spoilers. I will however say it like it is, “This book will send your emotions into a rollercoaster ride of emotions” It won’t have you barfing at the end but it will have you feeling satisfied and happy that you got to experience it.
Derek Haines made me feel as if I knew Bonnie, Danny, Madeleine and even Charles and his daughter Beatrice personally and that’s was what prompted me to write this review. I hope that whoever gets a chance to read this review can understand that One Last Love gives you an experience that sadly enough not many books are able to give you.
By Ariana R
One Last Love is at once uplifting and a tearjerker, with Bonnie’s unflappable sense of humor carrying him through a grim prognosis and the painful years that followed. The writing is lyrical, the dialogue warm and eminently readable- not one character utters an uninteresting line in the whole book. A magic chronicle of second chances and a life examined as death inches closer, this is a great story of a man who suffered affliction with true courage. Bonnie’s relationship with his wife and second chance at love resonates in the context of his illness and will be inspiring to anyone who has ever lost a loved one in death. Derek Haines is a gifted writer, with crisp, clever dialogue and powerful emotion refreshingly free of overly sentimental treatment. This examines the idiosyncrasies of love in a whole new way and will be a book you’ll read over and over.
While I knew the book couldn’t have a happily ever after in the traditional romance genre sense, I had high expectations when I started reading this. Fortunately I was well satisfied. Without giving away any spoilers, I was pleased on how engaging the hero/heroine interacted with each other and their feelings developed realistically. A level of believability stayed constant throughout the story and it never veered off into the absurd that some romance books do. A solid amount of dialogue mixed in with appropriate setting and I enjoyed it from start to finish.
Well worth reading
Notice: I was offered a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
One Last Love is a beautifully written book by Derek Haines. The main character, Bonnie, comes to terms with his life after he is diagnosed with a terminal illness. He is forced to examine how he has lived his life and come face-to-face with his checkered past.
The story is well thought out. It has depth, credibility, and insight into facing ones mortality. It really tugged on my heart strings. I won’t talk about the story line, because I don’t want to give too much away, so you will just have to read it for yourself. It is a powerful story, as it lingered in my mind even after I finished reading it. The author wrote in such a way that, for me, evoked strong, deep emotions, which triggered inner reflection, and in my case, healing a part of my past. This is a great book to include in your Kindle collection, and you can’t go wrong with the price. I highly recommend.
This book was amazing. The story was written so beautifully, but in a way that was realistic and touching rather than fluffed up and commercialized. Human emotion alone is entertaining and mystifying enough that you don’t need formulaic plots with common twists. This book avoids the trap that a lot of novels fall in to. You feel for Bonnie even as your chiding him for his stubbornness and sometimes ignorance. You root for him and all the characters in their race/ search for one last love. A simple love that isn’t just romantic, but natural and true.