Rachel Mason oozes confidence. She’s outgoing, adventurous and would chop off her right arm before caring what other people think of her or her disability.
Jared Mattheson on the other hand, is more than a little goofy and a whole lot of carefree. He’s happy living the bachelor life on his father’s credit card, takes nothing seriously and wouldn’t know difficulty if it slapped him in the face.
With Emily and Dexter away in the States, Rachel and Jared are left behind to keep each other company. They share the same sense of fun, their personalities bounce off one another perfectly and perhaps inevitably, they become best friends. But what happens when the lines of friendship start to blur? How will they cope when the sides of themselves they’ve kept hidden from the world for so long begin to show?
Their journey together may have started with fun, games and alcohol – but it seems the future has other ideas.
Turns out, even the strongest of people need someone to lean on sometimes.
***(Not suitable for under 18’s due to adult language and sexual content)***
“I’m sorry,” she breathed on a long exhale. “I’ve never done this before. If I’m honest I never thought I would. I didn’t think anyone would… I don’t know… want to stick around with the cripple. I suppose I’m finding it difficult to accept that you just might.”
“Don’t talk about yourself like that. It hurts me when you belittle yourself in that way. You know, when I was an outsider so to speak, I never would’ve guessed you had these doubts about yourself. And it really gets to me that you do. But at the same time, I kind of like it. To everyone else you’re so sure of everything and I feel sort of honoured that I know a different side of you - that I know the real you.
“I don’t know if you’ve had some kind of bad experience, whether some guy has said something out of order or treated you differently because of your disability… but I need you to remember I’m not that guy. The fact your legs don’t work means shit to me, Rach.
“I fell in love with your personality – your confidence and your sense of humour. I love the way you would make mince out of a man’s balls with your bare hands if they dared mess with someone you care about, and for some bizarre reason I even love your gross fetish for Pot Noodles. I love you, Rachel… fucked-up spinal cord and all.” I said firmly, cupping one side of her face with my hand and stroking my thumb across her jaw.
“I. Love. You. Every little piece of you. Your mad hair, your tattoos, your rich-brown eyes, this sparkly little ring,” I traced the ring sitting flush on her lower lip with my thumb, “and I especially love that cute little freckle just below your left bum cheek.”
“Shh,” I muttered, pressing a finger over her lips. “You don’t need to say it back. Not yet. I already know you feel it… but I don’t want you to say it until you trust me. And like I said this morning, you will, Rach, because I’m going to spend every day of forever proving it to you.”
4 1/2 stars
Man, that was so unexpected, but so awesome. I'm so happy for Rachel and Jared. It's good to find love, but when you find it with someone who is already your friend, and really KNOWS who you are and what you're like. That's amazing. These two really went through some things together, but that being said - together is the operative word here. They were there when the other needed anything, and they meant it. Jared was so thoughtful with Rachel and I loved her nickname that he gave her. I loved that they still called each other names and played around. I really enjoyed the end where they were planning on getting back together with Dexter and Emily, finally. Nicola has always delivered a solid story with great characters and some emotional ups and downs. I love that she's not afraid to tackle issues like being disabled or being an addict. That takes courage, and she does a fantastic job writing about the realities of it. I know this was the third book in the series, and sometimes that means the end. I'm hoping for at least one more.
Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children and she is the author of New Adult/Contemporary romance novels Inevitable, Saving Amy and the Take My Hand series. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found studying or carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties!
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