Be prepared when you read this book to ride that emotional roller coaster that Esther seems to take us on with each book. For me, this book hit every loop, curve, and dip possible on that coaster. There were a few times where I thought I might just fall off it from exhaustion and shock alone! Yes, I may be dramatic, but it's the truth.
Pokey is the guy everyone looks at differently. Everyone sees him as a goof, a slacker in emotions in some ways, and awkward. What they don’t see though is the man beneath the facade. The one who loves fiercely, is strong to his core, not to mention has hidden talents in that beautiful mind of his! The day he met Orianna, she changed him forever. There one time meeting and subsequent attraction to a solution for her, left them both with more than they bargained for. For Pokey, it was the memories that would grip him. With the help of friends, he figures out a way to prove himself truly worth of her. Only, he doesn’t get the whole truth.
Orianna made a decision that changed her life forever. A chance meeting saved her life and created a mass of memories and then some. She comes from a family that viewed her as an object rather than a person. She wouldn’t settle for being a token pawn in a business strategy set up for her to accept, even if not willingly. That day she met Pokey, changed her forever. Only, it changed even more when she left him behind. A choice she regretted but one that in the end was necessary. She is a fighter who know that she will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves. Even if that means causing even more pain. She’s not who anyone really thinks she is. Like Pokey, she has a deep rooted strength that pulls her through everything.
Once again a chance meeting brings them back together. Pokey finds part of the truth behind her absence and vows to never let her slip by him again. He has to work through a lot of anger, hurt and fury if he wants to do his best by Orianna. She wants to share it all with him, the reason why she left, the hidden pain and the frightening future that grabs them both leaving them breathless.
But within those layers of truths and complexity, brings not only Pokey and Orianna new battles but also for Sico and Everleigh. I can’t even….the feels….I would need another hour of writing to truly explain in depth how I feel about these four characters! But I can’t do that. Instead I will say this, never judge a book by its cover (literally and figuratively) and take the time to open yourself up to the possibilities of learning, healing and every other emotion you can find.
For me, this book was EVERYTHING I had anticipated and more! Lots more! It’s hands down the best book Esther has written to date. A book I’ll cherish forever because of what she shared in those pages. It takes a strong author to write a characters story that brings such intense emotions from a reader. Especially when you feel like they are real and someone you know. Thank you Esther, for EVERYTHING. The conversations, putting up with my crazy bum and just helping us to connect and bring hope through your work. You truly inspired me with this one. I’ll forever be Team Pokey! :)
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