The New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author returns with a sizzling novel of love, loss, guilt, and forgiveness.
Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.
It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?
This book is about dealing with grief, letting go, and finding love again. As you can read in the prologue, Grey loses her fiancé days before they are supposed to get married. She spirals into a very dark hole and the only person who can reach her on any level is her and her former fiance’s best friend, Jagger. As Jagger slowly pulls Grey into the light, she begins to see that what she’s always needed has been standing right in front of her the whole time. The only issue is that loving Jagger means betraying Ben’s memory and the love they shared.
This was such a great, emotional read! As always, McAdams packs a lot of drama and puts her characters through the wringer dragging the reader right along with them. Despite all the pain that is scattered throughout this book, there is also an enormous amount of humor and silliness. I can’t remember the last time a book has really made me grin… it’s been a few months. This is a very hopeful book, and the friendship between Grey and Jagger is unmatched. I loved the relationship and loyalty between Jagger and Grey. They were adorable and had me giggling and grinning as they struggled through the pain that kept trying to take over.
I was easily able to connect to the characters. Grey was so fragile and I just felt for her. Occasionally, I was annoyed with how blind she had been, but I still liked her. Jagger was the perfect character (be prepared for a book boyfriend battle as he overtakes your book boyfriend’s spot in your heart.) He is going on my list of favs. I loved this guy! What an absolute loyal and selfless guy… when it comes to Grey.
As if these two didn’t have enough to deal with there are secrets, hidden betrayals, and a mysterious person lurking waiting to destroy their relationship. McAdams did a great job with the mystery. I would consider myself to be pretty flawless in guessing the entire plot or major twist early on in a story… and although I guessed the major plot twist, McAdams flipped the script enough to make me question my predictions constantly.
The only things that I didn’t really like was that the middle was a little slow at times. I seem to experience this with all of McAdam’s books. I think it’s because there is so much drama and angst constantly occurring that when it isn’t it throws the reader off a bit. I also wondered what the two went to college for. Their relationship grew during this time and it was important for them to finish college, but it was never discussed what their goals or majors were. Neither used their degree, as Jagger was an artist and Grey was a barista.
Overall, I would recommend this read. For the most part it was fast-paced and full of emotion that had me tearing up one moment and laughing the next.
** If you haven’t read Taking Chances – don’t read this paragraph. HUGE SPOILERS **
One of the things I liked about this book is that is mirrored Taking Chances in ways (“the after Chase” part of the book anyway – not the soul-crushing, torturous part). At times, I felt like, “oh, this was what it could have been like with Chase and Harper.” Grey and Jagger had their distinct personalities, but I still saw traces of Harper and Chase in this book. I didn’t like how fast Harper moved on in Taking Chances and that Chase faded out too fast, but this book shed a different light on the issue, and I found myself understanding Harper through Grey. It really makes me want to reread Taking Chances with this new mindset.
Cover: Love the colors, but the character faces look poorly photoshopped.
Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry daughter. Her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling and long walks on the beach, which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. When she’s not at work, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom surrounded by her laptop, cell, Kindle and fighting over the TV remote. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm…or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.
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