Title: “Wherever You Will Go” (Try Again #1)
Author: Stephanie Smith
Publication Date: August 7, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Brooke Willis had everything she ever wanted: a happy marriage, volunteer placement at the art gallery, and the promise of starting a family with the man of her dreams.
Saxon Reed had everything he ever thought he needed: a successful career, nice cars, expensive apartment, and more money than he knew what to do with.
After losing her husband Brooke insists on taking over his company to keep his dreams alive. Struggling in an industry she knows nothing about, Brooke turns to Saxon, her husband’s best friend and business partner, for guidance and support. Their mutual grief, and Saxon’s need to look after his best friend’s wife, creates a connection beyond just business.
Can Brooke take over the company and find a new life without saying goodbye to the past? Can Saxon protect and care for Brooke without scaring her away?
What happens when your heart doesn’t listen to your head? When lines are crossed and boundaries are pushed?
“Life goes on, whether you choose to move forward and take a chance in the unknown or stay behind, locked in the past, thinking of what could’ve been. I don’t want to live in the past anymore. I’m so lonely; there’s nothing for me here.”
Complimentrary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
I want to start this review by saying that I really believe this to be a very well written, heartwarming, and beautiful second-chance love story. Even though I did not really have the time to read it straight through in one sitting, I found myself thinking about it when I was busy with my everyday life, and that is definitely one of the reasons I give it such a high rating: when you cannot fully let go of a story, when you are impatient to get back to it, and when you simply want to forget the real world and read instead, are all major factors as to why I end up loving a book.
However…I believe this is the first time in my “career” as a book blogger when I find myself rather unsure about how many stars to give a book, and it is also the first time I choose to stay a bit undecided, thus providing half a star to my overall rating. Meaning, I have ended up giving it 4.5 stars in total. I promise that I will get back to it later, but let me begin with my review first.
Brooke is a very sweet, down-to-earth woman who suffers the kind of loss that we all hope to never experience in our lives, and the way that she struggles with the sudden death of her husband, Nate, felt very real and honest to me. How do you get yourself back after losing your soul mate? How do you even learn to want to look forward? How are you supposed to react when you actually do start finding a purpose in life again? Are you allowed to laugh and enjoy yourself? Should you continue to feel guilty because you are alive? And so on and so forth. We all react differently after losing a loved one, but I could really connect with Brooke and the way she handles everything.
The range of emotions Brooke goes through is vast, and I could truly feel her grief, her sadness, and her guilt…To be perfectly honest, I was crying once or twice! Yes, this is a very emotional book, and I love it! But I also love how she eventually allows herself to laugh again – even though she is still burying her head in the sand and stubbornly refuses to confront her issues. Oh, and by the way: this did not bother me in the least. Brooke needs to get herself back together on her own terms.
“As humans we can control our actions, even control how we think about things, but we have no control over our Hearts: how we feel, what we really want, what we cherish, and who we love.”
As for Saxon, the closest friend to Nate: well, I am really glad that the author chose to give us his point of view as the story progressed, because it provides the readers a chance to fully connect with him. Saxon is a bit of a man-whore, to tell the truth (and we do like our “bad boys”, do we not?), but looks can be deceiving, and there is definitely more to him than what meets the eye. His strong need to protect Brooke is primarily born out of his loyalty to Nate, but as these two end up spending so much time together, his feelings change…And then what is he to do?
I like seeing the true extent of Saxon’s feelings towards Brooke. I like knowing that he is actually like most real men: a bit insecure and a lot vulnerable when it comes to the woman he loves. Because real men feel just as much as women do – they just tend to show it in a somewhat weird manner sometimes – and that is why I also fell in love with Saxon. I just want to hug him! Yes, I do love alpha males, and Saxon can definitely be one on occasion, but I just feel that he is perfect for Brooke because he has this sensitive soul. His frustration and hurt whenever Brooke chooses to regard their relationship as less than it is feel, again, very genuine to me…
“I just can’t get it right when it comes to this woman. She deserves better than to have me as her protector. I could never do the job that Nate did. Am I trying to do Nate’s job? The lines have blurred, and I’m not sure if I’ve crossed them yet or not.”
Now, the reason I am a bit unsure about my rating is because of a few minor – maybe even miniscule –details I keep thinking about. As usual, this is my opinion alone, and other readers/reviewers may not be bothered by them. I am really worried about giving any spoilers– because it really is a wonderful book – so I will just hint at them instead:
I sometimes felt as if certain scenes between Brooke and Saxon were a bit rushed or repetitive – trust me, these did not occur often – or that Saxon’s past and upbringing were glossed over, not explained fully. And.that.is.it! Those are my reasons. They are, perhaps, a bit vague, but I loathe spoilers and refuse to simply hand everything over on a plate! This is still one of my favorite books this year, and Miss Smith has definitely made me a fan of her work already.
To sum up: if you love a second-chance love story, filled to the brim with many conflicting emotions, with a bit of angst and main characters that you find believable and real, I would definitely recommend this book to you. Like I stated in the beginning of my review, the writing is beautiful, the pace flows well, and there is also a lot of quirky, adorable scenes that will make you laugh and sigh happily. Pure book heaven! ❤
I cannot wait for more from Miss Smith!
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Enjoy the excerpt!
I head to the door, still clutching at a piece of peppermint chocolate and trying to dissolve the large piece in my mouth. Swinging open the door I yell, “What the hell, bitch?”
Saxon’s eyes are wide and he has an amused grin on his face. “Well, good morning to you too.”
My mouth is hanging open, and I know all the blood has rushed from my face. I’m shocked and not only because Saxon is here, but because he stands before me in dark wash jeans with a tight black t-shirt. It has been years since I’ve seen him in anything but a suit or tuxedo. He looks so much younger dressed casually. Less stressed and almost more… carefree.
Shaking those thoughts, I meet his eyes. “I thought you were Rach. What do you want?” My words come out more harshly than I intended, and Saxon’s smile turns to a frown, his eyes losing their sparkle.
My stomach twists and there’s something about him frowning which turns my gut. I don’t like it. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just surprised to see you. What’s up?” I ask in a much more friendly tone.
He looks up at me, nervousness shining in those bright green eyes. “I wanted to see if I could take you out today?” The confident, cocky Saxon is gone, and I would’ve never believed this insecure one existed underneath.
He wants to take me on a date? Hell no.
“Bugger, I’m actually just on my way out,” I say with fake disappointment.
Saxon raises his eyebrows at me, and the cocky bastard is back. “Really?” he says as he looks me up and down. I follow his eyes down to my outfit.
Sometimes even I can’t believe how stupid I am. I roll my eyes and cross my arms over my chest in defiance, as I also remember not only am I in my flannel pyjamas but I don’t have a bra on. He smiles a cocky smile while looking at my chest, clearly letting me know he caught that also.
Listen to the music that inspired the book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m first & foremost a reader & fangirl, I will always be first & foremost a reader & fangirl. I am on street teams, I pimp and I brag. I LOVE my Authors!!
I have recently started writing as a way to relax and spend some time for me. My first novel Wherever You Will Go is due to release later this year. I’m having so much fun writing my first story and I’m looking forward to the journey it is taking me on.