Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review: Near & Far

There’s optimistic. And there’s Jesse Walker.

If he wasn’t so charming, his sunny disposition and incessant grin would get old. Fast.

Falling in love with the broken girl who had at first seemed immune to anything resembling love was the best thing to happen to Jesse since the Walkers adopted him when he was five.

As Jesse’s life continues at the ranch and Rowen begins making her mark in the Seattle art community, they wonder where the middle ground is. Or if there even is one.

As push comes to shove, they’re forced to make choices neither are eager to make, and Jesse and Rowen have to face what their lives might look like without the other.

Can two people with such tragic pasts and different presents expect a promising future together? Whatever the answer, they’ll need a lot more than love to make it.

Title: Near & Far (Lost & Found ~ Book 1)
Author: Nicole Williams| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: July 29 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 350 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US | Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Fits with the series, and I like that Rowen's hair is down this time.
Point of View: Alternating 1st person between both Jesse and Rowen

My Rating: 5 Stars

Let the flood of emotions begin.  When I read Lost & Found earlier this year, I immediately fell in love with Jesse and Rowen.  In fact, I ended my review with the hope that there would be a sequel.  Then, only a few days later I found out that Nicole Williams had in fact announced she would carry on their story.  I was overjoyed.

However, I knew what this meant.  It meant that Jesse and Rowen were going to have to face some tough times.  I tried to mentally prepare myself for these challenges.  I even gave myself a five minute pep talk before I started Near & Far.  Having faith they would get their happily ever after, I just knew there would be some heartbreak and tears to work through first.  Little did I know that all of my preparation would not even come close to getting me ready for the emotions I experienced while reading this.  How I survived I will never know.  But one thing is for sure, the heartache and pain was so worth it.

“Loving someone as much as I did Jesse meant the darkness of the world seemed so black I never wanted to walk out the front door.  Around every corner was some terror threatening to take away what I held most dear.”

Rowen.  She continued to grow into the type of woman that is worthy of Jesse.  I never had doubts about this, but I knew at the end of Lost & Found that there was more growing up to do, and a lot that they both still needed to face.  I am happy that I never felt like she wavered with her love, as I was scared that this was what was going to happen in the sequel.  With Rowen away at college, I was nervous her head would be turned by another art student.  But, she stayed true.

“For you, I’m a weak, weak man.  I’m so weak for you that you could break me with one word.  You could end me with one look. You could ruin me with one touch.”

Jesse.  Ride 'em cowboy.  I have and always will love Jesse Walker.  The man is quite simply one of the most down to earth, romantic, sweet and caring characters I have ever had the pleasure to read.  I honestly believe that my Kindle copy is more highlighted than not.  He has some of the very best lines, and there is never a doubt of his feelings for Rowen.  Opposites may very well attract, but it has always been something more to their bond.  Jesse's love for Rowen is almost too much.  It completely blinds him from what is going on around him.  He doesn't see anybody other than her, even if that means he is completely oblivious to quite obvious flirting by others.  However, once he realizes what is going on... he is right there to put a stop to it.  Ever the gentlemen.

I would say we learn the most about Jesse in this story.  In fact we learn way more about his childhood growing up than we probably wanted to know.  It is dark, disturbing, and quite honestly broke my heart.  If you didn't have love in your heart for this man before (even though I can't see how you couldn't already), then you will do after reading about his past.  It broke me, and made it easy for me to understand the darkness that Jesse is continuing to fight.

“She’s managed to bust free from the weight of her past to get on with her life.  She’d grown, evolved, and was setting the world on fire.  I, on the other hand, was digressing, shrinking, and setting myself on fire.”

The ending was beautiful.  The only thing that got me through their problems was knowing that there was no way that Jesse and Rowen could not end up together.  Their love was something that was never in doubt.  It was just them trying to work through all of the external issues that were being thrown at them, and their own issues from the time before they had each other to lean on.

And now, we have Finders Keepers to look forward to.  Yes, that's right.. Garth Black is getting his own book.  I am so excited about this.  Getting into Garth's head is going to be an enlightening, yet probably pretty frightening experience.  I am hoping that we get to see a little more of Jesse and Rowen.  I know this is probably greedy of me, but I would like to see what they are up to, so even a little peek would be great.  Garth is one of those characters that you start out disliking, and grow to love.  That is very much the case, as by the end of Near & Far, I was loving him so much.  He really stepped up to the plate when it came to being a friend to both Jesse and Rowen, and now it's his time to find his own happily every after.

“It’s time you start thinking about what you think you can’t live without and what you actually can’t live without.”


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