by Mandi Beck


I took one look at the blurb for this and was itching to get my hands on the story. I just knew that I was going to absolutely love it and I wasn’t wrong!

This is just so real, so raw almost that it was difficult to find not only the time but the availability to take a break.

The connection between Stone and Willow was complete, they were made for each other but that didn’t entitle them to an easy ride…no they gathered what they had the hard was and I think that made the end result all the more worthwhile. I was invested in them as a couple fairly early on in the story but I had my heart in my mouth on more than one occasion as they seemed to continually press the self-destruct button.

I was left frustrated on more than one occasion with Stone, he seemed to be selling not only himself but Willow short, it was almost as if he was forcing her hand and at times I wanted her to tell him to just back off, she deserved better but I’m not sure that there was anyone out there that would have been that for her. He was her happy ever after, her everything even if they didn’t know it at the time.

I like the fact that the severity of Stone’s plight as an addict was not hidden, it was front and centre much like he was, completely exposed. As privileged as his career had made him that didn’t mean that his life was one worth having, it wasn’t pretty or glamourous, it wasn’t actually living it was existing, surrounded by a swarm of sycophantic hangers on and bathed in a cloak of drugs and destruction. His rock star life style was far from enabling him to achieve it was willing him to fail, it was killing him!

Losing Willow was the final straw, and life without her was too much for him to contemplate but he knew that his plight was on that he had brought upon himself. So with nothing but time and a heavy heart, he finally takes the action I had been hoping he would and he checked into rehab I just kept my fingers crossed that getting clean would be a step in the right direction, a step towards finding Willow and in the long run a step towards finally getting to know himself.

Willow might have walked away from Stone and everything he could offer her but she had made her way without him and his money in the past and she is doing so again. She is standing tall, living a life that she has carved out for herself, new jobs, new friends, new outlook but when she sees him again, despite all her resolve, she knows that her life is always going to be missing a huge Stone shaped piece and the question is can she live her life content in that knowledge.

The journey they undertake in their attempt to find a way back to a better them was epic, they had a journey that was going to be far from straight forward but that always means that it is going to be so emotional. They had so much pain, hurt and blame to overcome that it was difficult to see the greener grass on the other side but I knew it was there and I had my fingers crossed for them.

I suppose the fact that they were going to be together was never really in doubt, how they would get there was the rub of the story and the author dealt that hand perfectly, she swaddled them both with a cast of exceptional secondary characters and from me her story telling managed to elicited a sea of emotions that I had not anticipated.

Topic: Stoned by Mandi Beck

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