For3ver by H.Q. Frost & M. Dauphin
This is a story that follows the lives of Ryley, Liam and Gage but the main focus is Ryley and Liam, but that is not to diminish the part the Gage plays in their lives.
Liam and Gage are brothers and Ryley there next door neighbour and from the innocence of their childhood there has been a bond that ties them together.
Liam and Ryley have a story that will break your heart, it will leave you staggered by the emotion and the depth of feeling that it draws from you. My eyes stung as the tears flowed and I have no chance to stem the flow, the book left me emotionally distraught.
Ryley knows how she feels about Liam, damn she has loved him since she was six, but while they may have grown up together and been practically joined at the hip, there are the inevitable issues as the children they were, gives way to the young people they have become and the angst and issues of approaching adulthood means that the decisions made are not always the right move.
Forced to take a breather, Liam’s belligerence and self-absorbency means that he pushes her into the arms of his brother but that creates more issues than any one of them could have possibly imagined. A relationship with Gage was never going to be her best idea but when her life falls apart it is Liam that provides her with a shoulder to cry on.
But could they find an even keel to build their friendship back up, Liam does his best, he knows that Gage was supposed to take Ryley to her prom but with him no longer in the picture, he gives his friend his arm and leads her to her prom, but they take a drunken step down a path that will be irrevocable when they foolishly hook up later that night.
I understood their emotion and attraction had taken on a drunken will of its own but I had a hankering that this was not the start of a happy ever after. I was gutted that this pair were unwittingly being so destructive.
I wanted more for Ryley and Liam than a drunken fumble but I needed them to be able to see clearly not be clouded by the fog of alcohol but that fog was quickly dissipated by the cloud of fog, pain and sorrow when it replaced what they were going through a few short weeks later.
They were left reeling from a loss that was devastating – with grief came anger and with anger came regret and drowning in emotion Liam walked away, leaving Ryley and everything that he believed he had lost, including her.
I think I was practically hyperventilating at this point, his pain was so tangible that I could barely see the words before me, I needed him to see that his pain was temporary, he had a way back and that he didn’t need to leave but completely blinded by grief and in some respects anger he convinced himself there was nothing left for him to stay. My heart was well and truly being wrung out at this point, I couldn’t bear what he was doing to Ryley and she needed him.
But eventually he had to head home and while it was under yet another sad circumstance, he had more waiting for him than he had ever considered.
Could he live with what he had missed out on, could he forgive what had been kept from him and could he see that this just might be his chance to start again, I certainly had everything crossed.
I adored this book, the characters, their story and they optimism. I love the fact that the author gave me a release valve, a justifiably beautiful story that begged for my heart to open and let the characters in and pleaded with me to allow them a place to call home. I laughed throughout the book but I have to admit that I spent so much of my time with a tissue in my hand I thought it had taken root – I was blown away by what is an emotional powerful tale of love, loss and resolution.