Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wicked Reunion by Michelle A. Valentine

Title: Wicked Reunion
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Wicked White #2
Main Characters: London and Jared
Release Date: December 2015
Publisher: Montlake Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
College sweethearts London Uphill and Jared Kraft were inseparable. He was a rising baseball star with a promising future, and she seemed destined to become “Mrs. Kraft.” Then a tragic night and a series of devastating mistakes caused Jared to walk away from his life, leaving London without any explanation and tearing the couple apart.

Five years later, Jared has reinvented himself by putting down the bat and picking up a guitar to play for the red-hot band Wicked White. In all that time, London hasn’t gotten over her forever love—or the pain—despite seeking solace in the arms of the one man no one dreamed she’d run to.

When Wicked White’s lead singer goes MIA, Jared finds the time—and courage—to return to his hometown and face the mess he made. He’s shocked at how London’s life has changed, yet he’s determined to prove their love is worth fighting for. Is this breakup too big for any hope of a reunion tour? Or can London open her heart to Jared once again?

My Review:
This book was so much more than I even expected. I haven't read book #1, but from what I can tell, it happens at the same time as this book. BUT there's no reason that you have to read #1 first (although I'll admit, that I'm dying of curiosity about what was going on with Ace and need to grab the first one now.)

This book is about London and Jared. They've been together almost their whole lives. The book is told in segments of Then and Now told from both their points of view and it takes almost the entire book before the entire story comes out as to what exactly happened in their past to get them to where they are now...i.e. it's not where you'd expect them to be when reading the Then sections about how in love and committed they were. That creates a fantastic suspense to the story that made it so that I didn't want to set the book down. 

I just kept asking myself...how the hell did they get here? Because they were so in love...until Jared screwed it all up. And I'll admit there are a lot of parts in this book when I wanted to smack Jared upside his head. He definitely has a huge character growth arc. He's also the thing that kept this book from being an absolute 5-star read for me...although it was darn close. He just was too self-oriented for too long. But I will admit the ending made up for a lot of that. Without posting spoilers...I loved seeing him become a true man willing to put London's happiness first...both him and Wes. 

The book has some incredible highs and lows...lots of tear-jerking lows...so be ready with those tissues. It's an emotionally fraught book, but I did love every single moment of reading it. If I could change one thing...it's probably an odd one...but I wish I could have had some more of the Then scenes between Wes and London to see how they got to the place they did, too. I understood how it happened on paper, but I still couldn't visualize them truly getting to that point. A few more tender moments between them would have upped my emotional attachment to what they went through, too, and made the story just that much more emotional. BUT...overall, that's a really minor niggle and I readily admit that it wouldn't have been easy for the author to weave into the emotions of the book without possibly compromising some things. 

But I loved the story so, so much. I love second chance stories and this is a great one...about so much more than just a lost love...it's about a lost family and the loss of dreams and hope. And how things can seem so bad, but they can be so much worse...you just don't even know. I liked it a lot. Now I need to read book #1, because although Jared and Ace are at complete odds in this book (i.e. they were BOTH jerks), I have a feeling that Ace's growth is very similar to Jared's and I'd like to see what he went through. Off to go one-click.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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