5 stars!!! (maybe even 6)
“Born to love you, baby… Die lovin’ you, my Sylvie.”
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! I loved Sylvie. I loved Creed. Their story broke my heart and despite adoring it, emotionally, it ripped my heart out. It was a heart wrenching, tragic, BEAUTIFUL love story about survival of loss…
But you know, the most tragic stories of loss make for some of the most heart warming and MEANINGFUL reunions -every moment of good becomes unimaginably precious. Full. Earned. Treasured…. that what this story is about.
“I’m not what you want, Sylvie, I get that because its the same for you as it is for me. I’m not what you want ’cause I’m what you need.”
When Sylvie was six and Creed was eleven, they met in the woods one night – both trying to get away from the misery wrapped up in their homes. Over the years, their bond is forged and cemented – they helped each other, sheltered each other, supported each other, fell in love, made plans to get away. But on the night they were supposed to leave, Creed never showed. He just disappeared….. Cut to present day, sixteen years later, Sylvie is working for Knight’s business in the security department. When there is a breach, he calls in Creed – not knowing of their connection. Suddenly faced with the man who abandoned her so many years ago and forced into a situation where they have to partner up for a job, Sylvie has no choice but to deal with the past she’s been trying to put behind her… But it all leads to one very important question: Why did he abandon her? What could have happened to make him never show up?
Let me tell you , I was feeling really betrayed and hurt by him at that point. All I could think about was how on earth could he abandon her after everything they’d been through together and promised each other, and not communicate for sixteen years… I couldn’t think of a single reason that would honestly justify that. I went through a period of extreme HURT and betrayal while I was reading. My heart ached. It was a physical pain. I felt ill. It was the strongest hurt I’ve EVER felt from any of KA’s character’s actions.
I was desperately wracking my brain to come up with ANY reason for what he did…. The closest feeling I can describe to what I felt here was how I felt while reading The Sweet Gum Tree. In a word: intense and painful.
But then the reason came out as to why he never showed and it hit me SO hard. Tears were pouring down my face. It was a tragedy of epic proportions. I didn’t think KA would go there, I honestly didn’t, but she did and my heart is still hurting when I think about what happened to him.
It took Creed and Sylvie up until about the half way mark to sort out their past, but once they did, they became functional to an extreme with an intense chemistry and H.O.T.N.E.S.S. off the freaking charts. I mean SERIOUSLY hot. Think make-up sex, but a million times hotter because its making up for sixteen years of heart ache.
I loved Sylvie!!! In a word, she was badass! As one of the protection enforcers for Knight’s business, its literally her job to kick ass. She was just totally one of the guys – an Alpha female not to be messed with . She read, acted and talked exactly like one of the KA men – except with a decidedly feminine twist. I love it!! She took care of herself, no one controlled her. In many ways, she was the female version of Creed.
I loved that they saw eye to eye, stood toe to toe – badass to badass. Sylvie is Creed. Creed is Sylvie. They were born for each other. Made for each other. I loved that even through unthinkable tragedy and years of separation, the love that they’d had since they were children never faded. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
“I loved the man under me in a way that wasn’t just mean to be. It wasn’t a way we were born to be. It was in a way that needed to be.“
Creed melted my heart. I fell really hard for him and just fell deeper and deeper in love as the story went on. He was a tortured badass whose life and heart was tied to Sylvie. When he came back into her life and found out the truth of what had happened to her, it killed me and yet melted my heart how much it hurt him and how strongly he was devoted to working towards replacing her bad memories with good ones, determined to do everything in his power to put their lives back together.
I’ll say that there was a point where I was pretty furious with him and even to this moment, I still don’t agree with a series of decisions that he made after they were ripped away from each other (you’ll know what I mean when you get to it). Its not even that I can understand what he did, cuz honestly, I can’t. But its ok. I recognize that he’s not perfect and I can accept him as such. The circumstances were horrific, tragic and I’m not going to judge how people react in those situations… it still doesn’t sit fully right with me, but that’s ok. You don’t love someone cuz they are perfect, you love them flaws and all… and I can say that I completely, 100% LOVE Tucker Creed. Flaws and all.
Their story is told in present day with flash backs to their past filling in the blanks and answering the myriad of questions that their present day story leads to. I loved how we never got the whole thing at once… we got little snippets here and there that piece together their story… it was really powerful and built up from when they were kids to that fateful day when Creed never showed.
Creed and Sylvie were just two amazingly wonderful people who life had dealt and unthinkably horrific hand of cards. But they were survivors. Reading this story just made me SICK to my stomach, thinking about the lengths that people in this world will go through to steal happiness from others…
They were strong before, but the joint trauma of having gone through what they were made to go through makes them closer than you can imagine. Its about the point of how when you meet that person that is The One, even if the world comes crashing down, there is nothing that can erase those feelings.
“For over twenty-seven years, every day, every minute, every second, I’ve loved you, Tucker Creed.”
When you have precious in your life and are willing to do anything and everything in your power to fight to keep it but have it wrenched away form you, have to live without it – with the ache of it missing from your life. That’s what makes it so that when it’s back, there is not one minute, not one second, not a breath that isn’t precious, priceless, full.
“ You need me. You won’t stay away and you won’t let me go because, baby, you can’t breathe without me.“
I cried a few times throughout this book, but by the end I was crying so hard I could barely see straight. Happy tears of course 🙂 The end killed me in a wonderful way. It was an BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, GORGEOUS, AMAZING, INCREDIBLE ending… just WOW.
I’m tempted to give this one 6 stars. It was THAT good.
“You’re my world, Sylvie. Always have been. Always will be.”
Lol, funny side note… my husband heard me crying from the other room and came in and took one look at my face and went “Jeez, baby, you do this for fun?!?” hahahaaa I sorta tried to smile and wailed out a pretty pathetic “yyeeeeeaaaaahhhh”
Let me just say that there are a lot of incredibly gifted and talented authors out there, and I mean a LOT. But NO one can write badass like KA does. She truly is the reigning queen of badass.
And speaking of badass, there were some great cameos in this book – namely from Knight and Hawk (yes, Mystery Man Hawk). I really warmed up to Knight in this book. Like REALLY. To the point where I absolutely freaking ADORED him. I loved his relationshipip with Sylvie – how deeply protective he was of her and how much she meant to him. “Bottom of my soul.” *cluthes heart* … I struggled with his book a lot but in this book, I loved seeing how much he had grown, changed, adapted. It was beautiful and heart warming…. and when Hawk (and his gorgeous dimples) make a fantastic, if brief, appearance for the final 90% craziness, I could barely contain my squees 😀
CREED was just a gorgeous, beautiful, intense read. One of KA’s best. I’m writing this a day after having finished the book and my heart is still full to the brim with my love for Sylvie and Creed. Their story was emotional exhausting and deeply satisfying.
I started my review with this line, but I want to end it with it as well. I think its one of the most beautiful lines I’ve ever read. If that doesn’t convey the depth of their love, I don’t know what can.
“Born to love you, baby… Die lovin’ you, my Sylvie.”
5 – 6 stars!!
** SERIES READING ORDER **
Note: Each book can be read as a standalone and is about a different couple