You grow, you change, you learn from your mistakes. And Kiera had made a lot of mistakes to learn from. But she had learned, and she was determined to never cause a man pain again, especially the amazing man who currently held her heart.
But life offers new challenges for every relationship, and when Kiera’s love is put to the ultimate test, will it come out the other side unscathed?
Love is easy…
… trust is hard.
Kellankellankellankellankellankellankellankellankellankellankellan… OK, I might be able to write this review now without becoming a blubbering mess.
This book for me was everything I expected it to be after reading Thoughtless, and then so much more. Kiera and Kellan’s relationship is in full bloom in this book and they are taking it one day at a time, being able to embrace their feelings for each other and enjoying not having to hide them from anyone. The next obstacle in their life as a couple comes when the D-Bags are asked to go on a six-month tour around the country. Kiera and Kellan are not only faced with long periods of separation, but they are also forced to confront the one thing that their young relationship does not have enough of – trust. They are both equally scared of the other straying and afraid that the past will repeat itself somehow.
“We’d started out with a betrayal. We both watched each other lie to a loved one. We both watched each other sleep with other people, all the while being in love with one another. Desperately in love. Watching that sort of betrayal, being a part of it … soured you.”
They are both still carrying the burden and guilt of betraying Denny and it cannot but spill into their relationship. I felt that Kiera had the most issues to overcome in this book. We see her taking all her past mistakes on-board and truly trying to learn from them. She does not want to be that person who cheated on her boyfriend anymore, she wants to redeem herself by trusting Kellan to remain faithful to her and proving to him, as well as to herself, that she has grown as a person. Unfortunately, her self-esteem issues don’t help the equation and she struggles with the idea of trusting Kellan not to be tempted by all the women throwing themselves at him. Loving someone is easy but trusting them is the hard part, especially when the relationship is born out of unfaithfulness.
“That’s what you get when your relationship starts by betraying someone – a never-ending well of doubt. If we could do it to someone, it could be done to us.”
But Kiera is determined now to never hurt another man that way again so she pushes her doubts aside and really tries to trust the love they share. She is also determined to become more independent as a woman and not allow her happiness to revolve around and depend solely on another person. Especially on another person’s presence in her life. This willingness to fully live her life and learn from her past sins made me like Kiera this time around. While I felt like poking her eyes out in Thoughtless, I understood and sympathised with her a lot more in this book.
Kellan is fighting his insecurities as well but he is a lot more confident than Kiera that they will survive the separation unscathed. He knows how much she does not like being left alone because he witnessed her pain when Denny had left her behind to pursue a job opportunity, so he leaves her small reminders of him everywhere she goes in the form of love notes. I literally gushed at every single one of them … “Remember you’re beautiful and I’m thinking of you.” … especially his last one hidden in the couch.
Kellan’s biggest struggle in this book is accepting that Kiera really loves him as much as he loves her. “It still feels … unreal … I guess. I’m not used to being … loved by someone. I keep waiting to wake up.” He never felt that before, he is not even sure that Kiera will truly miss him while he is gone because he doesn’t feel love-worthy. What he learns is that Kiera not only loves him but she loves him the way she has never loved anyone before, not even Denny. They both have so much to prove to each other and I felt like I was on a chocolate-high from beginning to end.
Denny also comes back in this book and we get closure on his relationship with Kiera once it blossoms into a genuine friendship, something that it perhaps should have been from the beginning. We get to know Denny even more this time around. We see what an honourable, loyal and loving human being he really is and it made me giddy that he got his happy ending too.
A beautiful and well-written story about love and learning how to trust one another. It shows that less-than-happy beginnings can be overcome by being open and honest with each other, it shows that the past does not necessarily taint the future and that the most important building block in a relationship is trust. God, I am starting to sound like Dr Phil …