“Come back to me. Promise you’ll come back to me.” She whispers…
******** Note: This book was originally self-published in the summer of 2014 (with a different cover). That was when I first posted about and reviewed it (my original review date was July 9, 2014). However, shortly after it was picked up by a major publisher and they set a date to rerelease it on December 8, 2015. That is the reason some of you either already have copies of it, or think it sounds familiar etc, and that is also why it now has a different cover. But fundamentally, it is the same book.
I absolutely LOVED this book!!!
It was so much more than I ever expected. Deeply emotional, sexy, funny, romantic… and it had that special heart-pounding intensity to it that only my favorite books give me. I highly recommend it!!
The story was a forbidden romance about a Marine, Kit Ryan, who was home on leave and drawn to the one girl he couldn’t have, Jessa Kingsley… his best friend’s little sister. But even though he was only home for four weeks before he was going to be sent out again for another nine month deployment, they couldn’t deny their feelings for each other so every second they had together was stolen and precious.
“I just had to see you again,” he murmurs.
The emotional impact hit right from the start. The prologue actually made cry. The reason I find that so impressive is that it means that even without any prior connection to these characters, without knowing their histories or relationships or anything personal about them, the author was able to have me so feeling so strongly for them in a matter of only a few pages that it brought tears to my eyes. To me, that’s a sign of really good writing.
I loved the way the story’s timeline was built. The prologue introduced the reader to the story at a crucial, heart-stopping cross-road with a life-altering question hanging in the balance. Then the first chapter went back three months to the start of Kit and Jessa’s summer, where their relationship began, and took us through their gorgeous forbidden romance… then it caught us up to the prologue and went beyond into the future and wrapped up with a beautiful epilogue.
Right from the first chapter, this book made my heart race. I just felt that kind of breathless intensity and connection to the story that I’m constantly searching for in books. I had a huge smile on my face and my review notes are pretty much filled with “OMG LOVE”, “SO MUCH AWESOME”, “I LOVE THIS”, over and over again.
I also really loved this author’s writing style. It was the kind of writing that just allowed me to get lost in the story as opposed to having the story told to me, y’know? I felt like I was experiencing the story along with the characters.
The forbidden aspect of their relationship was so thrilling!! The reason it was forbidden was two-fold. First, Jessa’s father (also in the military) ruled the house. His word was law. He unfortunately was also suffering from PTSD (which he refused to see anyone for) and while he was never physically abusive, it was definitely an unpleasant environment to live in. And for a reason (that was later revealed), her father strongly disliked Kit in particular. Also, there was the whole thing about him dating his best friend’s little sister — Riley was a very protective brother and Kit had a bit of a colorful past so there was that aspect too.
I won’t give spoilers but there was a backstory which was revealed and incorporated into the story later on that really rounded everything out in a way that gave it a lot of added depth and I was really impressed with the way every piece of the story was dealt with.
Kit made me SWOOOOOON!!!! He was a hot, protective, kind, loving, young Marine who was totally falling for a girl completely off limits to him in about every way you could think of but who loved her enough not to care. She was worth it to him and he was going to do whatever it took to be with her.
“If you ask me do I want you to be waiting for me the day I get off the plane? Yes. Do I want to talk to you every night on the phone and know you’re my girl and that I’m coming home to you? Yes. Am I going to be thinking of you every single moment while I’m gone? Yes.”
Jessa was a really sweet heroine. She was quite sheltered in many ways and had grown up in constant fear of the consequences of her actions so she was a total ‘good girl’ but I loved the way Kit challenged her to go after the things she wanted and dreamed about. There was so much she hid from the world and Kit made it his mission to bring the real her out.
Throughout the whole first half of the book, during their summer together, there was that constant feeling of time slipping away. Every single second was precious and every happy memory they made took them one step closer to him leaving…
“I want to take a piece of her with me and leave a piece of me with her. How do I get enough of her to last me a year?”
Oh gosh… this book really just had gorgeous emotions!!! I didn’t expect the story to be so deep but it really just reached right into my heart. I love a wide range of books but the ones the are my most favorite are the ones that make me FEEL with all my heart and that was what this book did.
The last quarter of the book had a different vibe to it (understandably, given the turn of events) but I loved it just as much. Things got a lot more serious and my eyes were rarely dry in the last few chapters. I was constantly choked up and on the verge of tears — just feeling so much. I really, truly loved it!!
Now, just to be completely honest here… there are things I could nit pick about in the book if I wanted to but the reason I’m not is that overall, none of them matter to me. The thing that is most important to me is that I genuinely “bought” this whole story, if that makes sense? I believed it. I felt it. I loved it. And that’s all that matters to me. It was a gorgeous romantic escape and it’s absolutely a new favorite of mine.
This was exactly the kind of book I was searching for!! It was romantic, sexy, emotionally intense, and it swept me away in the story. I highly recommend it!
Rating: 4.5 — 5 stars!! Standalone New Adult romance. HEA.
PS: graphic below is based on the original cover