Oh, what kind of hell is this?
The light streaming through the windows only amplifies the pounding in my temples, and each footstep going down the stairs sounds more like a sledge hammer connecting with the wall over my head. I want to crawl under a rock somewhere and die. I knew it would be like this, but I continued to drink anyway, like a great big idiot. And then, I only made things worse by drinking whiskey with Wes.
Oh, yeah. Almost forgot about that. That’s probably why I have this funky taste in my mouth. Deciding I’ll feel better if I clean myself up a bit, I grab my bag and carefully head into the bathroom, lazily stripping out of my clothes and laughing at myself when I notice I’m still wearing my bikini.
Not caring to fight for the perfect temperature, I just aim for somewhere in the neighborhood of boiling hot and step in, squealing as it stings my skin and then groaning because it actually feels good. I lather my hair and body and rinse until I’m clear of not only soap, but tension, too. Even though my head is still pounding, I feel refreshed when I step out and pull on my clean clothes—a pair of black running shorts and my slightly wrinkled Breaking Benjamin t-shirt.
It takes a while to get my long hair free of tangles, but in the end, I opt to pile it all on top of my head in a messy bun. I don’t have the heart or motivation to deal with it today. And instead of putting my contacts back in, I slip on my glasses. The lenses are narrow rectangles, thickly framed in glossy espresso. I rarely wear them, but I always appreciate how well they match the low lights in the bottom layers of my blonde hair.
After brushing my teeth—twice—I begin shoving everything back into my bag, but I freeze when I see movement at my right. I turn toward the open door, and the realization that it’s been open the entire time I’ve been in here makes my head pound even more. Wes is in his bed. And looking right at me.
“How long have you been awake?” I ask, praying to all that is holy that it was after I got dressed.
“A while.” His sleepy voice is gravelly. Deep.
All I can do is stand here with my hands on my hips and gape at him. What do I say to that?
“You know,” he begins, seemingly unfazed by my embarrassment. “You looked nice yesterday, but I like this look better.”
“Now is not the time to joke around with me.”
He rolls his eyes. “Not joking. I’m dead serious. Your wild hair, the glasses, the band shirt, bare feet . . . it looks good on you. I’m not the type to say shit I don’t mean.”
If I didn’t know what to say before, I certainly don’t now. And this is totally not like me at all. I’m never speechless. I never blush. Why in the hell does he affect me like that?
“You’re a little testy this morning. Hangover?” He rolls onto his back and rests his hands behind his head, leaving his chest exposed and causing a little flutter in my stomach.
“Yes.” Finally, the real me decides to break out. “I have to know. Did you see the whole show or did you wake up after I was dressed?”
He huffs out a little laugh and rolls back to his side, folding the blankets back and standing. Inside my head, I’m screaming and bouncing around like a psycho cheerleader. He’s a nude sleeper apparently. Wes stands and walks into his closet, bare-assed and completely gorgeous, and he yanks some jersey knit pants from the shelf and steps into them before walking into the bathroom like it’s no big deal.
“Now we’re even, sweetheart.”
"All I’m left with is the realization of how wrong I could be about everything. I know now that I could fall for him, if only he’d let me."
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
I really enjoyed book one in this series, Every Breath and now we travelled back in time to learn the story of how Makenna's best friend Callie fell in love with the man who was now her husband Wes.
I really liked the idea of finding out Wes and Callie's journey, when we met them in Every Breath, they were a married couple, still dealing with issues from their past and I couldn't wait to find out the whole story.
Callie and Wes are introduced through Makenna and her then boyfriend Shane who is Wes' brother. However their first meeting doesn't go down well and the version of Wes Callie meets is a mean, moody douche. But Wes has deep secrets from his past that are encroaching on his present and the way in which he deals with them, or pretty much anything, is to run. But this time he has met his match in Callie and she is more than determined to catch him.
"I hope he finds true happiness, that he’ll let go of the ghosts of his past and can finally let those walls come crashing down."
It took me a while to get into the story, I don't know if that was due to having a picture of Wes and Callie in my head already as I met them in book one or perhaps I didn't like reading them at odds with each other, I'm not sure what it was but the story took a while for me to find the rhythm of it. There were a few scenes that I felt were a bit forced in the beginning, in order to get Callie and Wes together sooner after they just met. Like sleepovers and thunderstorms etc it didn't feel organic. They had quite a serious relationship from the start and perhaps I was missing the fresh, flirty feel that you quite often get in the beginning.
I really liked Callie's character, her straight shooting was prominent in this story, she didn't know how to sugar coat the truth and would tell everyone how it is if they wanted to hear it or not. Sometimes her approach paid off, but other times it did backfire and feelings were hurt.
Wes had a lot going on, I found it hard to get a handle on him, he was closed off to any kind of relationship and what happened in his past was locked away in a vault, he didn't confide in anyone. It was clear both he and Callie were interested in each other but he was upfront with Callie and stated they could never have anything more than physical. He was adamant he would never love again.
"He’s made it clear that the moment he starts to feel something, he bolts, so if he’s registering at all what I just felt, tonight is all we’ll ever have. And given the urgency behind his next kiss, I know he realizes it, too."
I loved Callie's determination, even though Wes was hurting her by shutting her out, she never gave up on him. She wanted the best for him, even though she knew the risks to her fragile heart.
"The warning bells are going off big time. This man is so going to break my heart. And I’m going to let him."
When the truth finally came out, my heart did feel for Wes, he had been through a lot and I couldn't blame his reluctance to let Callie in. There were a few points in the story I felt we would have gotten more if we had Wes' point of view. He had so much going on and even though it was obvious he had feelings for Callie and he was punishing himself by not acting on them, I thought it would be good to get into his mind just then.
It was also bitter sweet to read about Makenna and Shane, at first it was odd to read about Makenna with someone other than Sawyer but I really liked getting a glimpse into Makenna's past and to witness her relationship with Shane who meant the world to her.
Every Kiss was a sweet walk down memory lane. It was a great insight into Callie and Wes and the difficulties they had to face in order to survive and be where they are today. I perhaps didn't find the story as compelling as Every Breath but that's just my own preference. I enjoyed the author's writing and the story did flow well.
If you love drama, angst, a little bit of heart ache but a sweet, sweet ending then you need to check this one out today.
Tasha Ivey is a literature fanatic, whose love for the written word fostered her development into the writer she has become. A lover of an extremely erratic mixture of literature, she has been influenced by authors from Jane Austen and E.M. Forster to Charlaine Harris and Alyson Noel. But her biggest influence and literary hero? Nicholas Sparks. Aside from writing, since she doesn't have anything other than a shriveled up prune on the left side of her brain, she prefers to spend her time being creative in other ways like painting, cake decorating, and various types of crafts. That is, if the constant voices streaming through her head allow her to stop making up stories for a while. Lucky for her, she has a huge supportive family, including her amazing husband and two kids, who doesn't complain too much when she hangs out with her characters more than she does with them. Sophie, the dog, however . . . she does complain. A lot.
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