Once again Kandi Steiner delivers a book that will take your soul and breathe life into it. She did it with A Iove letter to whiskey, and with this book I can't even tell you how full my heart is. I just read a book that is now a part of me, I will never forget this beautiful love story or how it made me feel. Full of great characters and that irresistible slow burn that we all crave, with just the right amount of angst, this is a story you need in your life asap!
Wren Ballard is a 27 year old boutique owner/clothing designer trying to get back on her feet and gain some independence after the failure of her 10 year marriage. She's trying to embrace her freedom and do a little soul searching in order to resume her regularly programmed life, and she has a major addiction with 90's music which automatically made her my literary soulmate.
Summertime is the perfect time for a fling In my opinion and set just outside of Seattle in a cozy cabin town, this book truly transports you to that fantasyland desperately needed to fully escape. And of course, per usual, Kandi's words are breathtakingly beautiful without being overly descriptive or dragging on, in fact it's just the opposite. The descriptions are so vivid and natural, I felt like I was smelling the smells in the mountain air and hearing all of the wonderful sounds of the cabin and the boots on the hiking trail, and the purrs of the vagabond cat, it was just perfect. Like movie picture, perfect. I wanted to live every moment with these characters because of the lyrical quality of the words. This story is a precious little gem that I want to wrap up and keep safe in my jewelry box of favorite books.
Anderson... Oh this man. Anderson Black is a local handyman in town and he's struggling to get by from day to day because of the weight he bears of an unreasonable guilt he carries with him. He's broody, short winded and ruggedly handsome and I loved watching his transformation from a wounded soul into a dream come true. Watching a man live with so much pain and guilt and then witnessing him come full circle at the heels of a woman who owns his heart is one of the most romantic things ever. Kandi captures this so perfectly, I can't even explain or comprehend how she does it, but it takes your breath away and makes you pause and really think about the beauty of love and what it overcomes to shine so brightly in the end. Her writing is simply, magical.
Watching these two characters rise and fall through the courtship of their relationship was everything I'd hoped it would be. All the unknowns and doubts and vulnerability peaks made this book seem so real to me, I can't gush enough about how well this was done. In the end, I went through every emotion on my book-emotions-requisite-list-- and that's saying a lot! I laughed, I cried, I oohhh'd & ahhh'd, I gasped and goosebumped. It was great, like really REALLY great. I can only hope this story moves other readers in the way it moved me because it is currently at the top of my list.
I had just grabbed my oversized hat and slipped my sunglasses on when I spotted Anderson walking up the drive with a large trash bag slung over his shoulder. He wore a simple, black V-neck and distressed jeans, an outfit way too dark and hot for the heat. A light sheen of sweat gathered on his neck as he made his way toward my cabin, his eyes hidden behind all-black sunglasses.
"Change your mind?" I asked, not even fighting the grin on my face as I walked outside and leaned against the banister.
Anderson squinted up at me, his boots heavy as they hit each stair. "About?"
"Tubing?" I asked. That was why he was here, right?
"Oh." He shook his head as he hit the top stair, shrugging the bag off his shoulders to hold it by the neck in one fist. "No, I have somewhere to be..." His voice trailed off, and even through the tinted shades of his glasses I felt his eyes on my chest. I'd strapped on my favorite boho print bathing suit and paired it with a dainty gold chain that wrapped around my neck once before dipping between my chest and crossing over my ribs.
He sniffed, holding the bag out toward me. "I just came to drop these off. My clothes. Well, the ones that could probably use a little TLC."
My eyes lit up and I reached for the bag, but Anderson snatched it back, brows shooting up into his forehead.
"No frills, Wren."
I threw my hands up in surrender. "I promise."
He smirked, just slightly, and handed the bag over, tucking his hands in his front pockets.
"Are you sure you don't want to come?" I asked, peering into the bag at my project before setting it just inside the cabin and locking the door behind me.
"I can't," he said, lips pressed together. He was tense, the muscles on his forearms tight as he glanced around at pretty much everything but me.
I opened my mouth to ask why but was cut off by the sound of a truck flying into my drive, tires sliding against the gravel.
Tucker was in the driver's seat with Davie in the passenger. Sarah and Yvette sat in the back, laughing with their hands up as the truck skidded to a stop. They were both sprawled out on a pile of tubes, wearing bathing suit tops and tiny shorts.
All of their faces froze when they saw Anderson.
"Hey, you ready, Wren?" Tucker asked warily, his eyes moving from where Anderson stood in front of me, to me, and back again.
"Yeah, one sec!" I called back.
I turned to Anderson, but his eyes were hard on Tucker, jaw ticking under his skin. When he faced me once more, an anchor fell from my throat into the pit of my stomach, immobilizing me completely. Because even though I 'd tried to convince myself I was wrong, I recognized the look in his eyes.
And when his nose flared and he took one big step toward me, our chests brushing, his hand reaching out to rest almost imperceptibly on my hip, the anchor in my stomach exploded into flames, burning a desire so fierce I inhaled a toxic breath and didn't let it go.
"Be careful, okay?" His eyes locked on mine just before he leaned in and swiftly kissed my cheek.
He turned on his heel and jogged down the stairs and past the truck. Sarah called his name, but he didn't acknowledge her, just kept his gaze forward until he'd disappeared from view.
And then everyone looked at me.
~About The Author~
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 20, 2017
From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey
Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.
She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.
Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.
Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.
He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.
Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.
I stared at the piles of bags, debating which to tackle first before slowly loading them onto each arm one by one. Once I was red-faced and struggling and decided there was, in fact, no way I’d get them all in one trip, I turned to make my way inside the cabin. But I stopped short.
There was a man at the end of my driveway.
He was just standing there, staring at me, a large, rusted toolbox in one hand and rolled up sheet of paper in the other. Everything about him was hard — the bend in his brows, the edge of his jaw, the line of scruff that framed it. And because I was me, of course I noticed what he was wearing, and it was the first time in a long time that I’d seen someone who dressed for efficiency, not for style. His jeans were worn, but not dirty, with plenty of pockets that I could tell were each used in their own way. He donned a simple, deep red thermal with sleeves pushed up to his elbows and slight stains that ran down his chest and abdomen, and a charcoal gray hat sat low over his eyes, shielding them from the sun.
He was tan, and even from the distance his eyes sparked against the warm hue of his skin. They were bright — blue, maybe? Or green? I couldn’t be sure, and I let his potent appearance mesmerize me for just a moment more before I shifted, hoisting the bags in my right hand up enough for me to attempt a half wave.
If possible, his brow lowered further, and he simply stalked off, clearing the view of my driveway in seconds.
“Well, hello to you, too.”
Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.
An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.
When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.
Three book besties who love to read and discuss books. We are addicted to all kinds of romance with Alpha Hero's, Kick-ass Heroine's and plenty of angst.
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