I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Beautiful. Emotional. Powerful.
If you’ve read the first in the series, Remembering Joy, you know that Allie and Adam loved through the pain, hurt, lies and betrayal. Their all-consuming love rocked them to the core, and they survived. In Finding Joy they learn that loving each other is easy, it’s explaining their love to their family that is hard.
“His fierce love, his ability to dismiss years of well-deserved hatred, his desire to protect me from myself and anyone who might hurt me…it all left me breathless”
I took a day to collect my thoughts as I was very affected by this story. How can two people with such a hurtful past find love and solace in each other? Adam loves Allie deeply and recklessly despite her actions. Allie loves Adam despite what he did to tear her down. Two people that were never supposed to meet fell hopelessly in love. The story centers on them explaining their relationship to their families which was difficult to read. How do you explain to your mom that the person you love is the reason for her years of mourning? How do you explain to your dad that the man you love is the reason he’s kept you away from everyone? Love. With a love as fierce as what they have, it is undeniable.
“It’s not that I believed that I couldn’t live without him. I could. But I didn’t want to.”
Adam and Allie also faced challenges with in themselves as a couple. Could their love survive their past as well as their different views in their future? While Adam doesn’t want children, Allie sees children in her future. She longs to be a mother. This story broke my heart into tiny pieces and then it was put back together. They internally battled many things, but they both always came back to the truth. Living without each other is not an option.
“Living and being alive were two entirely different things. I’d only been alive before he’d come in my life. Now I was living”
Finding Joy solidified that Jenni Moen is now on my ‘buy anything she writes shelf’. For someone to write about love in such a raw and consuming way is beyond words. She took the most broken love story and made it beautiful. The writing? Flawless. The flow of the story made for a read where I felt as if I was experiencing every emotion of all the characters. I laughed, I cried. If you are looking for a romance story where love is tested and goes where no other authors goes… Read. This. Book.
Finding Joy goes beyond true love. It is deeply rooted in that love knows no boundaries. You cannot choose who you love. Love heals. Love forgives. In all things, choose love.
I felt his body give a little in my arms, and he finally put his arms around me. We stood there with our arms wrapped around each other, saying nothing. The movement of the train gently listed us back and forth, but Adam’s feet remained firmly planted, holding us steady.
“We just had our first real fight,” I whispered.
It wasn’t entirely true. We had fought once before. It had been about the accident and had ended with me running out on him with the intention of never going back. It had been a turning point in our relationship. So it was hard to think of it as nothing more than a ‘fight.’ This was our first argument that wasn’t related to our past.
I looked around to see if anyone had witnessed this monumental event, but the only other passenger was a woman with earbuds stuck in her ears at the other end of the car. She tapped her foot along to whatever she was listening to and read from a book she held in front of her face.
Adam’s hand wandered from around my waist to my backside. He squeezed it and buried his face in my hair. “You know, there’s only one thing to do after a fight,” he growled, just as we conveniently pulled into our stop.
“What’s that?” I asked coyly.
“Make-up sex. I need to get you home. Right. Fucking. Now. If you’re lucky, we’ll make it.”
“If I’m lucky, maybe we won’t,” I chided him.
“Oh, that’s it,” he said. Before I knew what was even happening, his hands were back around my waist, and he hoisted me over his shoulder. This was the second time in as many weeks that he’d thrown me over his shoulder in a public place.
“Adam,” I said, smacking him on his butt as he strode purposefully through the open train door. “You’ve got to stop carrying me around like this. It’s not dignified.”
“I don’t give a shit about dignified.” Oblivious to everyone around us, he carried me through the tunnel and up the stairs to the street. Only after we were on Broadway did he put me down.
“Now keep up,” he said, dragging me toward our building. “Or I’ll be forced to carry you the whole way.”
I had to admit that I didn’t really mind the caveman show. In fact, there wasn’t much that I didn’t like about my occasionally cocky, subtly tattooed, movie-quoting, cat-whispering, t-shirt-wearing, Eminem-singing, muscle-car-loving, sweetheart of a man.
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment.
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.
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