★ Synopsis ★
Jessica Harper is the epitome of perfection. She’s a good daughter, makes excellent grades, and always strays on the safe side of life. The last thing she thought would ever happen was falling in love with her best friend’s brother. But sometimes fate just has a way of bringing two people together.
Wide receiver for the University of Arizona, Gabe Garcia, seems to have it all. When his feelings for Jessica come to surface, Gabe will give up everything to be with her.
But what happens when a tragedy abruptly changes the course of your life? For Jessica and Gabe, everything they thought they knew about each other will be questioned. Sometimes, there are scars in life that are cut too deep to completely heal.
Will their love prove to be unbreakable, or will it shatter and prove fate is just another lie?
*This book contains mature subject matter and is not intended for those under 17 years of age.*
★ ★ ★
★ My Review ★
Rating: 4 stars
Nothing in this book is what you expect, or at least it wasn’t what I expected. I thought I had an idea as to what this book was about but I was wrong…and I’m glad! This book had twist after twist and it surprised me. Every time I thought I knew where the author was going with this book, I was proven wrong. I really enjoyed this story and in hindsight the more time that has passed since I’ve finished it, the more I like it.
Jess’ family is the Garcia family – her best friend’s family who lives across the street from her and her father. Since her father is always working, Jess practically lives with Ava and her family. What we find out early on is that Jess has loved Gabe, Ava’s older brother for years. Gabe is a guy that probably could have any girl he wanted. He was on the college football team and made Jess’ mouth water any time she saw him. Just as we find that Jess has wanted Gabe all this time, we also learn that Gabe has those same feelings and does not want to deny them any longer.
Jess and Gabe’s relationship happens early on in the book and I loved every bit of the romance, steamy scenes, endearing words and playful banter. These two were adorable and I just loved them. But, since all this happened towards the beginning of the book, I knew there was something coming – like the calm before the storm.
“This is real. Don’t ever doubt my feelings for you. For years I’ve watched you, wanted you – waited for you.”
There were a couple of times where I thought something bad was going to happen, but it didn’t and I was left on the edge of my seat. And yes, something finally does happen. Cringe. It was heartbreaking.
What I think I enjoyed most about this book was that this author really made what Jess was going through understandable. Although I may not have agreed with her decisions, I totally understood them. I think anyone who put themselves in her shoes would have done the same or something similar. I never once got annoyed or thought that Jess was being stubborn or stupid.
“We will get through this, together. You and I. Nothing will break us, ever. Not this. Do you hear me, Jess? Nothing.”
After this “thing” happens, everything in Jess’ life kind of goes to shit and it’s entirely her fault (understandable, but true). I respected the way Gabe reacted to everything, but I think he could have tried harder and not just do what Jess told him to do. But, Jess needed to be away from Gabe and his family to really find herself and heal.
Enter Landon. Okay when he was first introduced I was not a happy camper. No no no I did not want another guy in the mix. I love Gabe and knew that Gabe and Jess belonged together. I didn’t like Landon at all. He was just all wrong for Jess especially after what she went through. But then, once again Rebecca took me by surprise with him. He was the key to Jess healing. He was very necessary. And I loved him for that. What he did for Jess made him a knight in shining armor.
“The most important lessons I took away: it’s okay to hurt and to be broken, but it’s also imperative to forgive and heal.” You have to feel to be able to love. But most importantly, every girl needs a tattooed bad boy to teach her to really live. That boy needs to kiss her like she’s never been kissed, to put her on the back of his motorcycle so she can feel the wind on her face and in her hair…”
All that being said, this book was great! Rebecca could have done a number of things with this story but I loved all the choices the characters made. I love that they didn’t do what I expected them to do. I would have like to see more of the angst between Jess and Gabe before they admitted their feelings for one another. I would also have liked to see Jess realize some of her wrongs on her own – I think it would have made her a stronger – rather than have them pointed out to her by other people.
It’s hard to surprise me since I read so many books but I was surprised and in the best possible way. This is a stand alone book, but there is a second book coming shortly – one that I cannot wait to read (you get a sneak peak of the prologue at the back of the book).
“You loved me when I didn’t even love myself. I don’t deserve your love. But there is nothing in this world that I would love more than being with you for the rest of my life.”
★ ★ ★
★ Alternate POV ★
This is the hallway scene from the beginning of the book told from Gabe’s POV
Reaching into the hanging planter on Jess’ front porch I retrieve the hidden house key. I know she’s in there, I left her about an hour ago and all the lights are on inside. I knock again, one last time before I stick the small metal key into the dead bolt lock and turn it. Pushing the door open just enough to stick my head through I call for her, “Jess?” I wait for her to respond but she doesn’t. I push the door all the way open and step inside, closing the door tightly behind me. “Jess?” I ask again, this time a little louder.
Stepping further into the living room, I glance down the hallway and see a hint of light sneaking out from underneath her bedroom door. I bet she fell asleep when we got home from our run. I tiptoe quietly down the hallway so as not to startle her. Standing at her door I struggle with whether I should knock and potentially scare her, or just open her door and peek in to see if she’s asleep. I turn to leave, but pause second-guessing myself. Just then, the bathroom door flies open and there stands Jess, naked with nothing but a towel wrapped on top of her head.
“What the hell are you doing here?” she yells at me. Well I’ll be damned. If that isn’t the sexiest body I’ve ever seen. Her olive skin glistens in the light, and I can see tiny droplets of water that have settled along the ridge of her collarbone. My eyes take in the sight of her gorgeous body and curves, and I can’t seem to get enough of her.
I try not to smile as she frantically moves her hands up and down her torso as she is unsure of what she should try to cover. Finally grabbing the towel off of her head she pulls it over her long body. The towel is short and doesn’t leave much to the imagination with her long toned legs peeking out from underneath.
“Mom sent me over to find you. I knocked on the door but you didn’t answer, so I let myself in. I was just heading to your bedroom to check on you when you opened the bathroom door and flashed me.” I actually laugh as I see how nervous she is.
“Gabriel, I did not flash you,” she scowls at me. “Can you please wait in the living room while I get dressed and grab my things for school tomorrow?” Her head drops and I know she’s embarrassed. I take a few steps toward the living room when I hear her bedroom door shut. Instead of waiting in the living room like she asked me, I stand in the hallway, leaning against the wall. After a few minutes her bedroom door opens hesitantly and she steps out. She moves quickly, her eyes fixed downward on the floor. I reach out and grab her arm gently, stopping her.
“What Gabe?” she asks quietly.
“I don’t want you to feel awkward about what happened. I didn’t know you were going to open the door and be naked.” I pause and wait for her to look at me. It takes a moment, but her beautiful green eyes finally meet mine. “You’re beautiful Jess. I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard for me to fall asleep tonight with the image of you standing in the doorway so fresh in my memory.” We stand in silence while she collects her thoughts.
“Shhh…let’s go.” I press my finger to her soft lips. I need to taste those lips again, but now is not the time.
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★ ★ ★
★ About Rebecca Shea ★
Rebecca Shea lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family and her first “kid” her beagle, Miles. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for reading and books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time in the financial industry as a marketing manager. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her boys football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margarita’s, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever after’s.
★ ★ ★
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