Series: Abandon #3
on May 24, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon
When you fall in-love it’s forever. But sometimes forever comes with a price.
I never meant to meet Nathaniel Teller. It was by accident, on a Tuesday, that I walked into his bar. He was solemn, intense and hiding a secret behind those stoic green eyes.
I never intended to fall in-love with him. We were supposed to be just friends. But I fell for him hard, deep. There’s no turning back.
I never thought his past would be so dark. And if I thought I had any chance of being in his future, I was wrong. Because his past is his future.
And I need to walk away.
Wild Abandon is a stand-alone novel in the Abandon Collection.
This review might not make a bunch of sense and I also want to apologize beforehand for the length. Sometimes I have a lot to say. I have a lot of thoughts that I need to get out about this story but I’m not really sure how, so here goes nothing. I’m not going to do the general thing and vaguely describe the story line and tell you about the character’s rises and falls. You need to experience that for yourself, and as for story line? If the author wanted you to have clues, she would have put them in the synopsis. Just know that you need this book in your life.
“With wild abandon, I run. Not from him. I run to him.”
Let me just start by telling you this: Jeannine’s writing is so flawless and eloquent, it’s astonishing. Every word she put on that page held a purpose. I’m actually at a loss for words as to how I can describe it any more. She seamlessly flows from scene to scene, location to location, while weaving character growth, experiences, intense imagery and perfect dialogue together. And on top of this, she makes it look easy.
How each reader perceives this book will be a very personal experience. It will be different for everyone – whether you like it, love it, dislike it, love the ending, hate it, etc. I can’t praise or fault anyone how how they take is because like I said, it’s extremely personal and will reflect on your values and experiences. I loved Wild Abandon. It was deeply emotional and moving with incredible depth that will make you question the difference between right and wrong, fate and destiny, want and commitment.
I’ve never known a love like this or the pain of someone I can’t have. I don’t know what this is like, but I am having a bit of a hard time with the conclusion. Would I have done the same thing? I’m not sure. I honestly think I may have have done the opposite or at least extended it, but could never know for sure. I think it was done in the cleanest way to tie the loose ends up yes, but with a story that holds this much heartbreak, I don’t necessarily need clean. *I finished this book and wrote this paragraph last night but after sleeping on it, I feel better about the conclusion. I still agree with the aforementioned thoughts, but it’s sitting better with me now.*
“I didn’t want to fall in love, but I couldn’t help it.”
My stomach drops. They’re the words every girl dreams of hearing. They’re so perfect yet so wrong. Even still, I can’t move. So, I don’t.
Nate lowers his mouth and places a soft kiss along my hairline. “You are funny and sexy and wild and sweet. The first time you came into the bar, I tried not to look at you because I just knew I was going to fall. I did. So hard. No one has ever made me laugh the way you do or understands me the way you do. The fact that you’re even here, tonight, is why I will never stop thinking about you for the rest of my life.”
I am a 100%, true, sappy, romantic, cheese loving woman. It’s like the air I breathe, I need it to live. So something like Wild Abandon, which tells an amazing story of a woman looking for love and a man who is trapped in his past with no escape is a story that I’m not strong enough to turn down. Even with the vagueness of the synopsis I knew I had to read this book, and it came recommended by one of my very good friends who I trust dearly. She told me I’d love it and she was right. Throw in an extremely healthy dose of angst, a touch of drama and some interconnected characters and I’m as happy as a pig in mud.
I really enjoyed Crystal’s character. She was searching for what everyone wants in this world and she wasn’t going to settle for someone who wasn’t perfect. With being married before and going on countless dead end dates since, she knew what she wanted and was chasing it with everyone she had. Only problem is that sometimes it’s those that you least expect who have the greatest impact.
“He’s so different from anything I’ve ever wanted. The opposite of what I should want. Yet I need him more than I need air to breathe.
This could all end badly, but I don’t care.
I want him.
I want him forever.”
My heart bled for Nate. It’s as simple as that. From his present situation to his past, to his little hope for a future. I hurt and I cried for him, because if there’s anyone that needed an HEA, it’s this guy. Plus the fact that he found want he wanted in Crystal, and her in him, but they couldn’t now or ever be together. Their journey is a hard one, but nothing in life worth having is ever easy.
“When I am with you, I can be me. You look at me like a man. I haven’t wanted to let anyone in. I tried to keep you away, but I can’t, Crystal. You walked into my life, and I couldn’t shut you out.”
“Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with you. And it’s not because I was lonely. You complete me in a way no one else ever has. I want to be with you, Crystal.” He bows his head and clenches his trembling jaw.
“I can’t be with someone, knowing I’m their second choice.” I pull on my lip and fight back my tears.
Nate lets his own tears fall free. “And I can’t be with you because I’m afraid you’d be my first.”
Everything about Nate I loved. His work ethic, his morals and vows, his identity, perseverance and his loyalty. He wasn’t afraid to put his heart on the line. Granted, he was never looking for the line but Crystal snuck up on him. It’s his actions and his words that make you fall in love over and over, deeper and deeper. I love this kind of hero.
The relationship between the two main characters was so easy to connect with. The reader can sense the connection almost immediately and then as the story progresses with them not being able to have each other, it tugs at your heart strings. Then with Crystal and Nate having to walk away because it’s too hard to be close but not have the person you want, it breaks your heart. Shatters it. Obliterates it. It hurts because the connection is so palpable, their need for each other is so great. I’ll be honest in saying that I cried on more than one occasion, and I NEVER cry in stories like this. In a cancer book when someone is dying? Sure, that’ll make me bawl like a baby. But here? I sat on my bed, quietly weeping as to not disrupt their moments together. Wishing I could make it better, somehow come into their lives to help everything so they could have a chance together and at happiness. This has never happened to me before. My emotions were all over the place and I felt so helpless with my hope vanishing, my heart splintering.
“Will I ever see you again?”
I close my eyes and answer honestly, “No.”
His breath hitches, and when I open my eyes, I see a tear fall down his cheek.
“Can I hold you? While you sleep? When you open your eyes, I’ll take you home, and I promise you’ll never see me again.”
It’s a bad idea. Being in his arms will absolutely ruin me.”
Not only did Wild Abandon have an intense love story but it’s also the kind of book that makes you think. To dissect your outlooks on life, your future, your goals and wants and dreams. You’re also given invaluable advice from more than one person. Some of these things can really speak to you on a personal level, or at least they have for me.
“We’re always told we should live like it’s the last day. Do today what you can’t do tomorrow. But we don’t. We all have reminders in our lives. My friend Emma lost brother who was only twenty-one. Naomi lost a forty-year-old aunt to cancer. We hear these stories. We hug our families. We make bucket lists. We vow to live life to the fullest. And we do. For a moment. And then life gets in the way.
Maybe if we stopped trying to live the perfect life, finding the end, we’d be able to enjoy the moments more.”
This story isn’t just about Crystal and Nate. Crystal starts to work at an old, run down winery and works with (or what seems like against) the owner to restore it to its former glory. Through working with Ed, Crystal gains valuable wisdom and does some serious soul searching within herself. This time transformed not only the winery, but Crystal and Ed as well.
The rose on the cover comes from Ed’s magic garden, and the symbolism is so perfect and breathtaking. It’s used several times throughout the story in different ways, so it can appeal to many. I really enjoyed the concept – how it connected each character and ultimately what it meant in regards to their past, present, and future.
“They are a delicate flower, armed with prickers. Sometimes, what we display on the outside is only to protect what we have on the inside.”
Speaking of the cover, have you seen how insanely gorgeous this is is? I’d buy the book based on the cover alone. It shows both so much of the story and not enough at the same time. It’s intriguing and beautiful and you wonder what each element could possibly mean. It’s a complete representation of the story within its covers.
So that friend that I mentioned, the one who recommended this book to me? She’s actually one of the Sisters! Wil is a fantastic lady who can read me quite well. It’s a pleasure working with her and knowing her as one of my friends. When she told me to read this, I had to. She’s also one of Jeannine’s beta readers, and I was so excited and squealed a little bit when I saw the acknowledgements at the end of the book. She’s mentioned, of course, because she’s super awesome!
At one point while reading I messaged Wil suggesting that at some point in my life, I had to visit Napa Valley. The scenes that had been set were playing out in my mind and I just have to see it with my own eyes. Then I even joked that instead of just being average and walking in the vineyards, I would take a special someone and we could be the cool kids that go in hot air balloons and take a tour that way. I said this completely joking – but remember my previous statement about my romantic heart? This may or may not have happened and I kid you not I was freaking out a little. I was so excited for these characters and can’t wait to have that experience myself one day.
“It’s four in the morning, and the world is asleep.
Except for us.
In a darkened room in an apartment in San Francisco are two people shouting in silence.”
I hate wine. Or severely dislike at least. We drank the really cheap stuff in college but I have never really gotten a taste for real wine – I’m more of a whiskey kind of girl. I’m getting better though and will have some for special occasions but would never decide to drink a glass on my own. So obviously while reading Wild Abandon, I had to try again and see what all the fuss was about. I sat there and consciously drank red wine. What?! This is so weird for me, my family asked if I was feeling okay. Lol!
I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a thing for trying to match songs to the books I read, or for certain characters. One song that kept playing in my mind over and over for Crystal was Just A Fool by Christina Aguilera. Now yes, this song is about cheating but no, that’s not what I’m trying to portray. It s a woman who is in love with a man that either can’t or won’t be with her, even when she loves him. It’s sad and it’s real.
Maybe tomorrow it won’t be this hard
Who am I kidding?
I know what I’m missing
Oh, I had my heart set on you
But nothing else hurts like you do
Who knew that love was so cruel (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And I waited and waited so long
I’m just a fool
A fool for you
I’m just a fool
Jeannine has made a fan out of me. Her writing is exquisite, her stories unique and her settings are breathtaking. I’ve got Pure Abandon and Reckless Abandon sitting in my Amazon shopping cart and once Wild Abandon releases that’ll be going in there too. I buy the books I love in paperback, and based on this one, I know I’ll love the other two as well. It boggles me that this author isn’t more well known, based on the quality of her stories. If I can suggest one author, or one series to a reader who enjoys the same things I do, it would be this right here.
“I have waited my entire life to find my soul mate. To love and to be loved so deeply that it would never be replicated. I would take one night of this intensity than a lifetime of loneliness.
So, I am going to take it. At least until the sun comes up.
His heart is still racing, and my lips are quivering, only to be stilled when I lean forward and lay them over his. His body shakes when we connect, and his hands move down to my hips, pulling me in, as if they never want to let go.
When his mouth parts, our lips intertwine.
I kiss him for the first time. I kiss him for the last time. I kiss him forever.”
Disclaimer: Some quotes have sections or lines of dialogue that have been edited to avoid spoilers.
*An ARC was received from the author and Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review.