Author: A. Wilding Wells
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
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The soul is not where it lives, but where it loves.
A countryside ranch, naughty notes and a neighbor boy. Kissing in silos and skinny dipping under a full moon. Ten years gone. An ocean, a tragedy…secrets and buried things. Letting go and hanging on. Remembering to forget.
My reality became his nightmare, but then my nightmare became reality.
Hawke Slater was not only my brothers’ best friend, he was a tender, sweet country boy. I never wanted to leave, but there was no choice for me. Two things kept my soul alive, and I’m hanging onto hope that one might be an option for my future.
I wish none of it had been my fault, but it was.
Sloan Story McQueen has returned. Why would I hold out an ounce of hope that she’d want me once she finds out what I do for a living. Some call it obscene, but I’m just chasing storms and rainbows.
She’s holding onto something big. If only it were me.
This novel contains adult content and is not intended for sensitive readers.
Childhood sweethearts Hawke Slater and Sloan McQueen both love the art of film. And they are both good at it. They have big dreams to be successful filmmakers in the future. Unfortunately, Sloan couldn’t be there for Hawke anymore when those dreams come true. Her parents needed them to move cross-country. Hawke moved on, made a new life with his talent and tried to forget Sloan but failed. Ten years later, she’s coming back and staying. But she had secrets now that could also destroy Hawke like it did on her life.
The beginning of the story had a really strong pull in me. It was emotional and I love a book that can hold my interest just from the first few pages alone.
I loved that the characters were absolutely wonderful in their own ways. However, learning about Hawke’s job threw me off. Not that I hated it, I just didn’t like it. Thankfully, the author didn’t linger much on it and focused on something more vital—Hawke’s unfailing love for Sloan. I kind of get why Hawke did what he’s doing though. I’m not so sure if I liked Sloan. Maybe Sloan pre-departure, yes. But Sloan post-departure, not so much. I knew when she came back she’s bearing a lot of skeletons from the past. What I couldn’t stomach though was how she dragged Hawke, made him wait for her even more like ten years wasn’t nearly enough just because she gave her secrets away in tiny, little pieces. I couldn’t find it in my heart to symphatize with her because of her thoughtless decisions.
There were a lot of touching moments from each and both characters which I liked. However, the pacing got really slow and dragging especially the beginning. The sex scenes, though all very hot, were a bit too much (i.e. a lot) that it seemed there was nothing much happening anymore but that. It could use a little growth and progress on the character side. I liked that the story surprised me with plot twists but I couldn’t seem to be at peace with Sloan’s life choices when she knew Hawke would be there for her no matter what. (Hawke would come to her rescue, that I’m sure of.) Neither was Hawke’s reaction to her revelation. It seemed too fast, too unreal for a heavy situation like that. That part of the story could’ve been delved deeper. I wish the author did more justice to Hawke’s feelings because it felt a little too downplayed. I was looking for a much stronger reaction because that was a huge truth bomb to take in but I only got about a quarter of what I was aiming for.
There’s also the second-chance romance theme lying that wasn’t fully explored. I wish the author focused more on healing both characters. I would have loved it if it was shorter, with less sex scenes and more character development.
All things considered, it’s still a pretty decent book and this won’t make me stop reading the next books by the author.