Near & Far
(Lost & Found #2)
by Nicole Williams
Mature YA / NA Contemporary Romance
Published July 30, 2013
*ARC Ebook obtained directly from the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the tour organized by AToMR*
Synopsis via Goodreads:
There’s optimistic. And there’s Jesse Walker.
If he wasn’t so charming, his sunny disposition and incessant grin would get annoying. Fast.
Falling in love with the girl who had at first seemed immune to it, was the best thing to happen to Jesse since the Walkers adopted him into their family when he was five. But loving the girl who has her fair share of secrets is about as easy as that same girl loving the boy who seems to have none.
As Jesse’s life continues at the ranch, and Rowen begins making her mark in the Seattle art community, they begin to wonder where the middle ground is. Or if there even is one.
As push comes to shove and choices aren’t only needing to be made, but forced to be made, 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, go on to expect a promising future? Whatever the answer, they’ll need a lot more than love to make it.
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I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the LOST & FOUND series, the CRASH series, and a handful of others. Basically, I get to do what I love. Every single day. I write romance because I’m a sucker for a good love story, and I write happy endings because there are too few of them in real life.
Holy cowboy in tight jeans.... *Swoon*
Okay, so, I've been waiting on this novel for, what feels like, ages! I couldn't wait to get my hands on some more Jesse. No, "cowboy" doesn't usually fall into the list regarding "types" I swoon over... but hot damn... Jesse is a masterful male specimen. ^_^
Now, onto the novel. If you missed my review of Lost & Found (book 1), you can check it out here. I adored it!
Near & Far definitely didn't disappoint. Starting off, there's the connection between Rowen & Jesse. I love how they're complete opposites in nearly every aspect (minus their horrid pasts) but still manage to be so madly in love. Yes, okay, love at this age can be debatable to some folks. My thoughts - why not? I know several people who fell madly in love their first year of college and are still happily married today. So, with that aside, I adored their all-out-can't-keep-my-hands-off-of-you Love. It made me happy for them.
After learning about Rowen's past and taking the journey of opening up and moving on with her in Lost & Found, you can't help but love to see her happy. Near & Far brings about more of Jesse's past. You know, from book 1, that Jesse has a rough past as well. He had to be adopted when he was nearly a toddler and lived a horrible existence up until that point.
Our eyes are opened and my heart is broken in Near & Far. The things that Jesse lived through as a child brought me to tears. I couldn't understand how someone so.... optimistic and positive underwent such horrible treatment as a child. I can only imagine how Nicole felt when she was writing Jesse's explanation of what he'd gone through. I would've needed a new computer because of the tears flowing freely at that point would've fried my hard drive. :'( Ack! Just thinking about it now makes me tear up. Gaa.
O-KAY - moving on.
As every couple in the history of couples does, Jesse & Rowen's relationship is put through several tests. They know without a shadow of a doubt that they love each other like no other could, but do they trust that they're the right person for each other? Not only do they battle their own subconscious regarding "what's best" for the other person, but then you have to throw in people like Jax (who obviously wants in Rowen's pants) and Jolene (who seriously needing smacking for so blatantly hitting on Jesse).
Jolene (Yes, go ahead and sing that old country song about Jolene stealing your man - that's pretty much how Jolene wanted it to work out), is such a....uggg....grrr....girl. I'll go ahead and admit it - I'm the jealous type. No matter how much I trust my man, I'm still going to want to ensure hussies like Jolene kept their hands to themselves. There's no way in hellllll could've I have been as strong as Rowen. She puts up with an unbelievable amount of crap from Jolene who just can't seem to keep her hands, eyes, or claws away from Jesse.
Poor Jesse...he's just clueless. Enter Garth Black. I LOVE him in Near & Far. He was just an amazing character and could definitely use a novel all to himself (Hint Hint ^_^). Garth puts things into perspective like no other character can. The novels wouldn't be the same without him.
Now, the plot moves just as well as in Lost & Found. I couldn't put it down. I didn't want to put it down. That is...until the dreaded cow incident near 78% through...ACK! I cried and snotted all of the place. I had to put it down. I couldn't read any more until the next day. I won't go into detail because honestly, this bump in the plot had a deeper meaning. It was, as far as understanding and hitting the bottom go, a great plot point. I just... too much of a softy. LoL
So, the characters=amazing. The plot=smooth & emotional. The Twists (including Mar)=Jeewiz! Seriously heart-wrenching. The ending=Holy smokes. I can't say much because I can't spoil an ending like this for others. Let's just say, I would love to know how the story continues!!!! <3
Overall, Near & Far is an uphill continuation of Rowen & Jesse growing as individuals and as a couple. They are forced to overcome mountains (that include themselves) to try to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Rowen learns to prove her priorities fall in the direction she claims. Jesse has to learn to accept his own advice and move forward before his past swallows him whole.
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Cover Rating: 5 Stars <-Love it!
Characters: 5 Stars
Plot: 5 Stars
Climax: 5 Stars
Ending: 5 Stars
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