Reviewed by Helyce
Favorite quote: “You’ve just gotten your wings. Now you’ll learn how to fly.”
Garrett Jakes is the frontman for the group Rhapsody. He is gorgeous, with a sexy, gritty voice that is perfect for the band’s style of music. He is also a recovering sex addict, 1 year post rehab. He’s been staying in Portland, far away from the temptation of the LA music scene, while he recovers, goes to meetings, does his steps and tries with all his might not to fall even more in love with Savvy O’Roark.
Savvy O’Roark lost her husband in a violent and horrific way when some bikers got out of hand in her husband’s bar, attempted to rape her, and then killed her husband. She has held it together as best she can, keeping the bar afloat and taking care of her 4 year old son. Garrett has been a godsend; his help at the bar means so much to her, but she’s having trouble separating her feelings of gratitude with feelings of a different kind.
One night Savvy and Garrett had … a moment. There was a whisper of a thought of something else, something more…but both stopped it before any lines could be crossed. Then tragedy struck, and Savvy’s life was forever changed.
Savvy has been to hell and back. Her husband died in her arms nearly a year prior to when this story begins. She’s hanging on, but she’s kind of stepped outside of her life. She’s there physically, but not in the ways that are important. She’s still grieving, but mixed in with all that is guilt. She’s doing the best she can–keeping her husband’s bar afloat, taking care of her 4 year old son, being the perfect daughter. But Savvy is lost.
Garrett has it bad for Savvy. It felt like he’d always been aware of her, but from a distance. He was respectful of the fact she was married, but he still felt drawn to her. So he satisfied himself with helping at the bar, trying to lighten her load and just make her laugh or smile. It is inferred throughout the beginning of this story that something had happened between them prior to Savvy’s husband’s murder–something Savvy felt really guilty about. Since Garrett is a recovering sex addict, I concluded that they must have had an affair. Savvy’s guilt is huge-she bleeds guilt. It affects everything about her, so much so that she seems to be just the shell of her former self.
I wanted to include this here under a spoiler tag because what happened between Savvy and Garrett was a kiss. Five minutes in time when they gave in to their attraction. Is this cheating? I leave that to each individual to determine for themselves.
It is unclear how long Garrett has been in Portland and how long the band has been on a break.
This is where having read the former books would have been beneficial. We know that Garrett was in rehab and is now out and doing his steps and I concluded that fellow bandmate, Blaze, may have also been in rehab or had some personal issues which caused the band to take a break. Blaze seems fine now and is in a relationship with Savvy’s younger sister, Tully. While I think having some background details would have enhanced my reading experience, the story still flowed well.
I found Savvy to be a very relatable character. She grew up in a very tight knit Catholic family. As the eldest daughter, she fell into a routine of being the good girl, the daughter her parents counted on, the girl who always did the right thing. She met Kevin in high school and he would become her husband and her everything. His life plan became her life plan, though she really didn’t have a say in it and could not have known that after a time, that life would not fulfill her as it would Kevin. But, being the good girl, she just went along with it. Even after Kevin’s death, she was keeping his dream alive.
I liked Garrett as well, though I think having read the previous books may have given me a better/different perspective on him. I loved watching his character evolve in this book and come to the realization of why he’d been trying to fill that unnamed void in his soul with sex. Watching him make the connection and realize what he wanted and, more importantly, what he didn’t want was really well done.
Savvy and Garrett are both really strong characters that experience significant growth and positive changes on their path to falling in love. Savvy’s path is especially difficult because she has to really fight for herself. She gets no support from her own mother when she tried to explain her feelings and what she wants for herself and her son. Garrett too makes a huge life decision, but it’s the right one for him and for him and Savvy together.
I broke my rule of reading books in order where a series is concerned with this book. The whole, “can be read as a stand alone” may be true in most cases, but for me, coming into a series at book 4 usually means you’ve missed a hell of a lot. I believe, in this case, I would have benefited greatly by having read the previous books to have a better understanding of the characters, their relationships, how they got there, and maybe had a bit of a clue as to what was going on in Savvy’s head. Even so, I did enjoy this story.
I do plan on going back and reading the previous books in this series when time permits. I like this author’s voice and am curious now on the details behind the characters I met in this story.