Monday, 11 March 2013

Review: Effortless

After being caught in the middle of a love triangle which led to a devastating betrayal, Kiera pledged to learn from the mistakes she’d made.

She was determined to never again inflict that kind of pain on anyone, especially the soulful, talented man who held her heart.

But life offers new challenges for every relationship, and when Kiera’s love is put to the ultimate test, will it survive?

Love is easy . . . trust is hard.

Title: Effortless (Thoughtless ~ Book 2)
Author: S.C. Stephens | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: March 5 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
ISBN: 1476717486
Length: 496 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Love it, fitting with the rest of the series.
Point of View: 1st person, following Kiera

My Rating: 5 Stars

oooOOOooohhhh Holy hell...  Why did it take me SO long to start this series?  I know in the grand scheme of things my thought process was that I wanted to read them once it was closer to the release of the final book in the series but now I am just sat thinking about all of the additional time in my life that I could have had to obsess over Kellan Kyle *sigh*.  I will never forgive myself for all of that wasted time.

“And he was the reason I felt it.  His gaze, his touch, his smile, his laugh, no one had ever made me feel... worshiped... quite like he did.”

I will only give this warning once...  I do not like posting spoilers and will avoid it however I can but this is the second book in a three book series and it will be impossible for me to say anything about it without giving some of the details from book one away so please listen to this warning if you haven’t read Thoughtless and you plan to then please proceed with caution.

Effortless starts off pretty much just after Thoughtless ends.  Kellan and Kiera are finally together and everything is going along swimmingly.  Kellan’s band, The D-Bags, have always had their own fan base but after playing Bumbershoot, a local Seattle music festival, they are finally properly noticed and asked to go on a cross-country tour which will feature several different bands. Kiera has one final year left in college and can not join him on the tour.  So this is where we are...  Thoughtless was about Kellan and Kiera getting together through all of the pain and heartbreak of the love triangle and cheating.  Effortless is putting their relationship to the test as distance becomes the new point of the triangle.

“I love you more.  I love you enough to let you go and live your dream."  I tilted my head and shrugged.  "Don't you see....?  I love you more."

He smiled softly and I brushed some hair off his forehead.  Running the backs of my fingers down his cheek, I whispered, "And, yes, I will miss you, more than you could possibly imagine, but I know that you have to do this Kellan.  And you know it too."

Stubbornly he shook his head.  "No, I know that I have to be with you.  Everything else is just .... details.”

It is no secret that Kiera annoyed the crap out of me in Thoughtless.  I will admit that I warmed to her quite a bit in Effortless.   Did every one of her decisions make sense?  Hell no!  The difference between then and now is that I ‘sort of’ understood why she made some of the decisions that she did.  Of course with Kellan’s philandering past she is somewhat nervous about him being out on the road.  We all know what follows rock stars around... groupies.

“Loving you, Kellan, is so easy, it's effortless."

His smile matched mine, then I frowned and sighed "Trusting you...that's the hard part”

However, we must stop and see this from Kellan’s point of view as well.  Kellan may have been a player before he fell in love with Kiera but he has never had a relationship before.   Therefore he has never cheated on a girlfriend before.  Kiera on the other hand was of course with Denny when she met Kellan..  She made the decision to cheat before.   Kellan isn’t so sure that when he is gone, when she is lonely, that she won’t make that decision again.

They both must work through their trust issues and with the distance separating them it is harder than ever.  Two things can happen in this scenario.   The distance can make them closer than ever...  or it can tear them apart.

“But, if for some reason we're not closer, if something has gotten between us, please, I'm begging you… don't give up on me.  Stay.  Stay with me.  Work it out with me.  Just don't leave me… please.”

Kellan is one of the most romantic men I have ever read.  One of my favorite parts of this book were the notes he left for Kiera.  He knows it is going to be difficult to be apart and he tries to keep him on her mind as often as possible.  Before he left he wrote hundreds of little notes and kept them all over the place.  The above quote is from one of my favorites and thankfully it helped her through a particularly low point.

“I'll still be with you every night, Kiera.  Every night, no matter where I am, crawling into bed with you.  Our bed will be a lot bigger, miles wide, but it will just be you and me inside it.”

I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to be so far away from the love of your life for such long periods of time.  They do of course get to see each other every now and again.  But their relationship started out on fire and it was such an emotional rollercoaster, for it to be so new and now they are apart...  I was feeling every single up and down with them.  In my review for Thoughtless I had said that it was hard to explain the feelings that you experience while reading it and the same hold true for Effortless.  You are willing these two together from start to finish and with every up and down you are right there wanting to just help them through it all.

“I actually took a step back as each of their eyes met mine.  Evan's was sympathetic; that scared me.  Matt's was appraising; that concerned me.  Griffins's was irritated; that...was really nothing new.”

I feel bad about never mentioning the side characters in my review of Thoughtless.  The band, Evan, Matt and yes even Griffin are all wonderfully written.   They are one big family and are always there for each other.  Kellan had a rough childhood, honestly rough doesn’t even cover it, but he has always had these friends.  He still has a hard time coming to understand how much they actually love him and see him as family, not just another member of the band.

Kiera’s sister Anna is another great character.  I have to admit when she first entered the scene in Thoughtless I wasn’t a fan but she has grown –up a lot and I really love her now.  I am so glad she was there for Kiera while Kellan was away because there was no way that she would have survived without her.

“Kiera, I don't want to tell you how to handle your relationship with him, but... you'll never last if you start lying to him.”

Then there is of course Denny.  Yes, he is still around.  I was at first nervous when he came back into the picture.  I had trust issues with Kiera and to be honest some of the ‘innocent’ thoughts that were going on in her head frightened me.   But in the end I think he has turned into a loving friend and I am happy he has come back into their lives.   It wasn’t right what went down between the three of them but I think he understands now that there was never a way it wouldn't have happened.  Kiera and Kellan are meant to be together.

“Don't leave me," I begged, when I found air to speak. 

Kellan wrapped his arms around me just as tight.  Voice cracking he murmured, "I won't... I'm yours, Kiera, for as long as you want me."

Pulling back I cupped his face. "Forever, I want you forever.”

I am also really happy about how this book ended...  I honestly feel that both Thoughtless and now Effortless ended in a way that if that was it for the series I would have been happy.   Thankfully it isn’t the end though there is the third and final book, Reckless.  This means even more Kellan.

Even though I know it will be filled with more ups and downs and I am sure I will shed even more tears along the way, there is no way I am not immediately starting it.  Kiera and Kellan have both wrapped themselves so tightly around my heart and I am dying to know how it all ends.  Although, there is always the chance that it will not be a ‘Happily Ever After’ but I just know these two will find a way to be together forever.  Plus, if they don’t, I think there will be a lot of readers out there tracking down the author with pitchforks...  I’m sure she doesn’t want that.

“My day isn’t complete until I’m deep inside you.  Your body wrapped around mine is the only way I feel whole.  But don’t think it’s just sex and a physical response to you that I’m feeling.  It’s not… it’s so much more.  You’ve opened me in a way that leaves me bleeding, vulnerable.  Being with you, making love to you, it only solidifies what I feel for you.  I know that I’ve become one of those spouting, love-sick idiots, but what it all boils down to is three words that don’t mean nearly enough… I love you.”

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