Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Waiting for Wyatt: A Red Dirt Novel by S D Henrickson

"The dogs that deserved a chance, the guy who needed a second, and the girl determined to save him." 

My name is Emma Sawyer.

I met Charlie and Wyatt on the same sultry, summer day. It was unexpected, leaving a feeling in the pit of my stomach like the time I drove too fast over Beckett Hill. The moment happened out of nowhere, all fast and quick and a little strange. Or maybe that was just Wyatt’s personality.

It was Charlie that brought us together. Little Charlie with those ridiculous ears. I found the dog, waiting in a pool of his own blood. Waiting for someone. Waiting for me.

Now Wyatt, he wasn’t waiting for anyone. At least that’s what he said, except I saw something different in the broken guy all alone out in the woods. I knew he needed me before he knew it himself.

Wyatt with his hidden dimples. Wyatt with his warnings to stay away. He was a hard lump of coal, ready to burn everything around him. The more he burned, the more it pulled me into the pain I saw etched on his troubled face.

I wanted to help Wyatt. I wanted to save him like he had saved all the Charlies in the world. He told me not to fall for him, but I did anyway. I fell hard and fast and deeply in love with Wyatt Caulfield.

But that was before I knew his secret. 

Author Note: Waiting for Wyatt is the love story of Wyatt Caulfield and Emma Sawyer, which also features rescue animals. It's a 112,000 word standalone, Contemporary Romance / New Adult Novel.

4.5 Fantastic Stars!

Review by Jen Hagen 

Wow…what a beautiful story this was.  This is the author’s second published work.  Her first, The Mason List, was a solid read for me but this book went to a higher level.   I immediately was drawn into the story because of dogs being introduced from the get go.  Who knew rescuing a dog could lead you to finding a lonely and broken man that eventually will give you his love?

Wyatt lives in seclusion.  He has no interaction with anybody other than a lady who drops off supplies for the dog kennel.  His conversations are one sided with him talking to the dogs.  Life becomes so mundane that at night he reads to the dogs.  Sigh…he reads to the dogs… Not only to hear a noise come from outside his head but to give the dogs a content voice they have been missing from their lives.  Sigh…he reads to dogs…

Wyatt’s quiet life is about to be disrupted the minute 21-year-old Emma comes barreling down his country lane.  Emma is a genuine person who cares deeply for everyone around her.  She works in a nursing home and stays late just to visit with the residents; she buys groceries for her elderly neighbor and cooks him dinner; and she is an animal lover slash rescuer.  Her sly, not well-planned rescue places her (and the dog) at the mercy of Wyatt.  Immediately Emma can sense that Wyatt doesn’t promote social interaction.  It’s not only the unease that Wyatt portrays, but also his pain.

Pain.  The raw, knock-you-down-in-the-mud, rip-out-your-heart-and-beat-it-with-a-stick kind of pain.  It flowed out around him in a wild, savage agony, consuming every cell in his body.  As our eyes stayed in a locked stare with his misery pulling me closer even though my feet never left the ground.

That sentence above is just a sample of the beautifully written story.  The words continue flowing and fill you up until you don’t know how to contain it.  I found my eyes watering over on several occasions.  I just couldn’t NOT cry.  With all that build up of emotions, it had to come out somehow, and I guess through my eyes was the easiest way.

Emma’s personality is so bubbly and consuming that Wyatt never stood a chance not being to interact with her.  She doesn’t take “no” for an answer and she uses visiting her rescued dog as a way to continue their interaction.  Little by little, Emma is weaseling her way into Wyatt’s heavily guarded and private life.

He had let me see something today.  He had let me see inside his tormented soul, and it had broken every piece of my heart.   

What could possibly turn this ruggedly handsome 22-year-old man into making seclusion his way of life?  What happened to him in the past that would turn him against society, or better yet why society would turn against him and let him live out in a sparsely-furnished trailer?

There are things you don’t know about me.  And I don’t want you to know them.  I am not some do-gooder here who takes care of a bunch of mutts.  I’m the bad guy.

It seems unfathomable that this guy who goes to great lengths to make certain a dog can live out his last days in a tranquil place could be the bad guy.  Emma refuses to believe it, and I’m with her.  There is no way that Wyatt is a bad guy.  Sure, he lived the typical guy style growing up  -- partying and girls – but there has to be more that is holding him back.  When the truth is revealed, you will want to reach your arms into the book and give Wyatt the biggest hug you have ever given.  Wyatt is broken, shattered, and stuck in his past.  How can he atone for his wrongs?   Amongst the pain, there is goodness…

“Don’t cry, “ I whispered. 
 “Happy tears.”   

Don’t even try to keep those tears from falling…it’s all good.  If the author can step up her level of writing after just one book, I can’t imagine how far she will take us in her continued journey.  I wish her the best of luck with her future writing endeavors.

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