6 HUGE STARS!!! (spoiler-free review)
WOW!!! I can’t breathe. Can’t think. Reckless just blew me away!
It was BRILLIANT!!! An utterly delicious, addictive, angst-filled, heart-felt EPIC rockstar romance!
I swooned, I laughed, cried tears of happiness and tears of angst, my heart raced, was tied up in knots and, at times, just stopped entirely. I truly can’t say enough good about it.
I could NOT put this book down. I read it in one sitting staying up through the night until I finished around 7AM. I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. It was completely engaging. I felt like I didn’t even want to blink. Literally my world ceased to exist for the duration of the read.
Just as with the first two books, SC Stephens’ smooth flowing, addictive writing style reaches right into your heart and wraps you up in the story. I was 150% invested in EVERYTHING that happened. Every single part of my heart was completely involved in the story. I was there. Right THERE. From the first page till the last. (and even now… I can’t let go yet. I’m still “there”)
Given the happy ending of Effortless, this book starts off with a blissfully peaceful, almost dreamy feel to it. After all the roller coaster they’d been through, it was so wonderful to see Kellan and Kiera have a moment to enjoy the happiness they so well deserved.
But the life of a Rockstar is neither smooth nor private and the road ahead of them was rocky and bumpy as the band skyrocketed to fame and got sucked into the scrutiny of the spotlight and the uglier side of the industry.
“Making an album, going on tour… am I making a mistake? … All I want is a quiet life with you,” he continued. “What I just signed up for… isn’t exactly a quiet life.”
Wondering how to comfort him – when I often thought the same thing – I reached up… “Kellan, your life will never be quiet, no matter what you do.” … I placed a hand on his chest and looked him square in the eye. “You belong on a stage. Its what you were born to do.”
I have to say that I’ve always understood where Kiera was coming from in book #1 even though I found it frustrating. I felt that she grew as a person in book #2, but it was in this book where I really felt her maturity hit home. Some of her decisions and actions were just SO self-less that I honestly found myself even thinking at time that, if I was in her shoes, I probably wouldn’t have been able to be as self-less and understanding as she was.
Kellan… well, Kellan Kyle was just perfect. Sex on a Stick, God’s Gift to Women… and also just one of those most lovable and swooniest guys you’ll ever read about whose back story and desire to be loved just made my heart ache for him. He is easily one of the best book heroes EVERwritten.
As a couple, they still had their issues but they had gotten SO much stronger. They had been tested, they had made their mistakes, and they had learned their lessons. But now their new-found strength was put to the very ultimate test as the pressures of fame and stardom came at them from every side. They had a lot working against them but… love conquers all, right?
I have to say though that, for me, the ANGST in this book topped both Thoughtless & Effortless. No. Freaking. Joke. There was this one particular issue that spanned from about 29-37% that just made my heart sink, drop, stop.. seriously, I could BARELY handle it. Holy freaking fuck. It made me cry tears of angst. No book has EVER made me cry tears of angst before. I’ve cried tears of sadness, heartbreak, betrayal and more but crying just ‘cuz the angst was so strong that I could barely handle it was definitely a first!
But, to offset the heart-wrenching angst, the romance was also back in full swoony force. On more than one occasion, Kellan’s words and actions made my heart clench and just brought tears to my eyes. The depth of his love for Kiera just rolls right off the page. You feel it so strongly. And you know Kiera felt the same way.
Never once did I doubt their commitment to each other – no matter what they were put through.
“I love you too, Kiera. Just you. You’re my always.”
This book really makes you consider the price of fame. At what point do you say no? Where does the line get drawn? There were so many time where truly I was just ready to say fuck fame – it just wasn’t worth this heart ache. The plot honestly pushed me to the very edge of my comfort limits and even a bit beyond. But I loved that they didn’t make the same mistakes twice. Lessons were learned. And that’s life, right?
I really have to commend Kiera on her whole attitude towards Kellan’s fame though. Seriously, she couldn’t possibly have been more supportive, more understanding. And my heart went right out to Kellan for trying with all of his heart to keep his girl’s heart safe while still following his dreams.
“I will always love you, Kellan. Your heart is safe with me.”
Kellan pulled me into a hug and let out a long, shaky breath as he held me. “Promise?” he whispered.
I squeezed him just a little bit tighter. “I promise.”
To soothe your worried hearts, I’ll say that I honestly never once actually worried for their relationship. It was what they had to go through that gutted me. This book is not about cheating or separation. Keira and Kellan spend the majority of it physically together in fact. What this book is about is testing the strength of their bond and the struggles of maintaining a relationship while under the spotlight.
“Never again. I don’t care what’s at stake. I don’t care who I have to let down. I won’t ever do that to you again. You… or me. I’m done playing their game.”
I loved that this book took the time to also focus on the other relationships. Anna and Griffin get their fair share of page time as do the other band mates, but my favorite side story line was the one between Kellan and Denny. I don’t want to say anything specific about it ‘cuz those interactions are ones you should experience for yourself but twice they brought me to tears. I was SO impressed and happy with where SC Stephens took their story. Seriously, touched my heart right to the very core.
She also took the story to places I never thought she would.. I mean she took Kellan Kyle and she….. gah! ok – lips are sealed. But seriously, around 80% I just had this huge “Holy shit. That did NOT just happen!!” moment! Still – like I said, I loved every minute of it… even the moments that made my heart stop.
But I did read the final 15% with my heart just filled to bursting with happiness, and I this huge smile on my face with happy tears in my eyes.
“I love you. I would do it all over again if I needed to. I’d go back to the beginning for you.”
By the end, I felt elated. I was emotional but my heart was completely satisfied and I can assure you that the ending is just PERFECT!
And I officially have the world’s biggest book hang over. EVER.
There are so many INCREDIBLE moment, lines, and scenes from this book that will be forever imprinted on my mind. I was thinking about mentioning some here but instead I’m going to just encourage you all to go read this amazing story and discover them for yourself. I’ve been re-reading a few of them while putting this review together and now have tears in my eyes. Seriously – LOVE LOVE LOVE this book, this journey, these characters… this story raises the bar and is one that will stay in my heart forever.
I don’t pull out the 6 star rating very often but this whole series truly deserves it. Any story that can take over my life so completely and make me fall in love with the characters so strongly needs that extra star. Above and beyond. That’s where this book went.