I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wow. That was some ride. We meet Luke Evans and Tessa Kelly in the first book in this series. We get some of their relationship in the first book, but I was so excited to hear that they actually get their own story. The connection between these two is so much deeper than I could have ever thought. Their story was much more emotional, darker than the first book, but still very much enjoyable.
“I love you today. I wish you were here to ask me.”
Luke and Tessa’s story is not an easy one. They battle a lot of inner demons. Luke doesn’t do feelings. Or love. He doesn’t want to miss or yearn for someone. And Tessa? She eats men for breakfast. She is very vocal about sex, men, and what she wants. But with Luke, things changed. She just might want more with heartbreaker Luke Evans. But he may not. So when she breaks their arrangement off, Luke is left hurt. And this bothers him. He didn’t realize how deep he was in with Tessa. But he’s stubborn. His dark past is a burden for him and his heart and he will not share it with anyone, not even Tessa. Soon Luke learns that the heart doesn’t listen to the mind, for it does what it wants. The heart goes where it belongs. Where it is wanted.
“This is what it feels like to have your heart beating the way it’s supposed to.”
My heart ached for Luke and Tessa. Their back and forth was emotionally draining. The author truly masters the deep emotion and inner conflict that these two face. You feel their want to love, but understand their reluctance to give in and let go. Luke’s past is heartbreaking. And as Tessa digs deeper, Luke pushes her away. They eventually learn that to truly love, you must love without fear. Without caution. And these two love so deeply, slowly, and with conviction. They understand that love is about taking risks and that in love you are never alone.
“In any universe, any version of you I could get, I would find you, and I would love you.”
All I Want was a great continuation of this series. It was heart wrenching, yet I fully understood that their journey was necessary. I think for Luke and Tessa to trust what they had was more than sex, they had to fall apart to remember that they are not complete without the other. This made their story real. You are reminded that love is never easy, but it’s worth it. That love overcomes, even the deepest and darkest places. The author truly demonstrated the power in love and how love saves. Always. I am so excited to continue on with the rest of this series.
If you've read my review for Where I Belong, then you already know how much I loved the first book in theAlabama Summer series. If you haven't, you can read my review HERE. Well, I couldn't help myself, and I jumped right into All I Want as soon as I could. Now, I'll be completely honest here and say that I'm trying to get this review written out so that I can hurry up and get back to this series and REED! I have been dying to read his story since he was introduced in book one, and I cannot wait any longer. So here are my thoughts on Tessa and Luke's story...
First things first, J. Daniels warned my co-bloggers and I that this book was a lot different than book one in this series. And boy, was she right about that. While Mia and Ben's story was romantic and fun, heartwarming and fairly light, Tessa and Luke's story could be described as just about the opposite. While the big declarations of love and heartfelt confessions where still there, their journey to each other was filled with angst, drama, and so many frustrating moments that made me want to slap them both and throw my kindle at the nearest wall. There was a lot of back and forth in this story, which I'm not always a fan of-- especially when it could easily be avoided with a simple explanation or two from a stubborn character. This author really put my heart through the ringer this time around, and I was exhausted, to say the least, by the end of this book. But it remained a beautiful story, fast paced, and impossible to put down once I started.
We first meet Tessa and Luke in book one of this series. Tessa is Ben's sister and Mia's best friend. Luke is Ben's partner and best friend. After a two month fling and a pregnancy scare, Tessa was forced to reevaluate their relationship and realized that she wanted much more from Ben than he was willing to offer her. Leaving Ben completely blindsided, she dumped him and thus began their downward spiral. The beginning of book two gives us a great glimpse into what's been going on in Ben and Mia's life, as well as where Luke and Tessa find themselves now. Once the story really gets going, it's about a year later, and they're both pretty much miserable. Luke tries to distract himself with meaningless sex and random women, and Tessa is basking unhappily in the fact that she hasn't seen any "action" in twelve months. Luke has a lot of family drama in his life, which the author delves into in this story, and it was nice to finally get to know him a little better. However, he's still determined to keep Tessa as far away from his "dirty" past as he can. She puts forth her best effort to convince him to let her in, but he refuses.
Rinse and repeat.
Bring on the back and forth.
And then some more.
Despite how frustrating this was for me, as a reader, especially when this stuff drives me crazy, I still couldn't help but adore these characters. This author managed to make me love them despite all their ridiculous decisions. And, trust me, there were some doozies. My heart still went out for these two at every turn and I wanted so badly for them to find their happily ever after that they very much deserved. Especially Luke. He had been through so much in his life and he really needed what he tried so desperately to push away. The struggle within himself to try to do what he thought was best for Tessa was painful, and my heart broke for him. But not quite as much as it broke for Tessa every time she got her hopes up that things were changing with Luke, only to be completely crushed when things stayed the same. But she fought for him, and it was admirable. She would not give up on them no matter what, and I loved her even more for it. The strong, feisty woman we met in book one was alive and well, and she knew what she wanted.
There were several issues addressed in this novel that were much darker than those explored in the previous book. The whole book had a heavier feel, which made the ending that much sweeter. Be ready with lots of tissues when you read this one, you're going to need them. As usual, the supporting characters nearly stole the show, and we get tons of everyone in this book, which I loved. We even get to meet some new characters-- hello, Mason! If you loved book one as much as I did, then you have to pick up this next installment. Be prepared for a more emotional read, but one that is still as enjoyable as the last. As for me, I'm on to book three!
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
After reading Where I Belong I was a big fan of Tessa Kelly, Mia’s best friend and Ben’s sister, she was a riot and sassy character, whose mouth seems to have no filter. I liked Luke Ben’s best friend; he had come across as laid-back, and carefree. We got a little insight into their relationship they seemed to have a good thing going until it all ended.
All I Want picks up a year later where we find Tessa and Luke brokenhearted and hostile to each other, but what the heart wants the heart wants. It’s clear that Tessa and Luke’s attraction and connection to each other is undeniable. You can just feel the sexual tension and the intense passion between them every time they were together.
“You can hate someone until you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t take away the desire that brews in your gut at the mere sight of him or her”
“My hate for her consumes me, ripping me apart like everything else I’ve ever felt for her”
They were their own worst enemies at times. They just loved to wind each other up when what they clearly needed to communicate more. As much as I loved them, but they did frustrate at times, especially Luke he was so stubborn. He has a painful past that made him keeps him from opening up to Tessa. It torments him every day that he can't truly let her in, but he can't let her go.
‘I let her in as much as I can, and it has to be enough because that’s all I can give her.’
And while I understood his fears, I wanted to shout at him so many times and tell him to stop being an idiot and just open up to the woman who owns his heart. It was heartbreaking to watch at times and I felt for Tessa as she tried to get him to open up to her.
“I know I love him. I feel it every day, even when I don't want to. Even when he keeps me out. Even when he breaks my heart, it's there, and it scares me”
Tessa and Luke, Wow! What a pair. They say that there is a fine line between love and hate, and J Daniels has created two characters whose relationship is a great example of that. When Tessa and Luke are together or even apart these two strong emotions ignite their hearts and souls. They were two people who without a doubt wanted and needed each other.
“The hate I have for him doesn’t touch the part of me that loved him”
“It’s possible to hate someone, to look at them and wish you weren’t of their every move, and to want them more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life”
Although this one was more angst-filled and at times serious than the first, it was still hot, steamy, romantic, cute and humor I adored the ending just left me grinning.
“Do you love me today?”
I do love J Daniels effortless writing style, the dual point of view, the back and forth banter between the characters. It was lovely catching up Mia, Ben, and Nolan that boy is just too cute!! All I can say is I love this series, If you loved the first book you will love this one. I’m looking forward to reading Reed’s book "When I Fall" next.
J. Daniels is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series and the Alabama Summer series. She loves curling up with a good book, drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, and writing stories her children will never read. J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.
Web - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon