Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: Stubborn Love by Natalie Ward

Five years ago, tragedy brought Jared and Mia together. A tragedy that was the start of an unlikely source of support, a true friendship and eventually, deep, heart-stopping love. Until the day something pushed them apart, forcing one of them to let the other one go. Now, over the course of a day and a night, Jared and Mia will finally talk about how it all went wrong. How something which seemed so perfect and true, was so easily broken. And just when they think they’ve found their way back to each other, their love, will once more be put to the ultimate test. Sometimes, you never realise how much you can hurt the one you love. Sometimes, you never realise the lengths you’ll go to, to help someone you love. And sometimes, you never realise just how stubborn love can be. Because it’s impossible to let somebody go, when you never stopped loving them in the first place.

4 Star Review by Lisa Kane

Mia is Luke’s sister from I love You to Death. Jared is Luke’s roommate and fellow band member. The story is told in a series of flashbacks going back 4 years and is in alternating POV’s between Mia and Jared. In the present Mia and Jared have broken up and Mia is heartbroken and trying to make amends. Jared is trying his best to ignore her and to just keep going. That’s where the flashbacks begin.

“I want her arms to wrap themselves around my shoulders as I pick her up and take her down to the beach, to a hidden spot where I can kiss her all over. Where no one will find us, where we can pretend, for just a minute, that nothing else, including all of our problems, even exists. But I don’t. I do nothing but stand here, watching our reflections in the glass door.
Unable to move at all.”

Four years ago Jared called Mia to tell her Luke had been beaten up by their father. Mia flew to Boston to be with Luke and she and Jared formed a bond, this connection was something that pulled them towards each other despite their long distance lives. One drunken night, Mia attempts to seduce Jared and as much as he wants her, he wants her sober. They never talk about it, but their feelings for each other are there. As Luke healed and Mia left to go back home they stayed in touch and formed more of a romantic relationship.

Back and forth Mia travels and with each visit she and Jared fall for each other a little more. When they finally give in and become intimate, let’s just say they make up for lost time! But Mia is determined that Luke not find out about them. She doesn’t want to strain the friendship that Jared and Luke share. Luke has worked hard at getting away from their father’s control and she doesn’t want to ruin the life he has built. In the meantime, Luke has met Ash and more of his time is taken up with his relationship with her.

“I wonder if this time, our kiss isn’t going to go a whole lot further. I trace her cheekbone with the same thumb. “I want to as well, Mia,” I tell her. “I’ve always wanted to.” “So kiss me Jared,” she whispers. “Kiss me like you want it.”

The flashbacks shift to the present and we see the progression of Mia and Jared’s relationship. As close as they became, there are forces determined to keep them apart. Mia’s art career is taking her to Chicago and Jared and Luke’s band is starting to make a name for itself. There are secrets Mia is keeping from Jared and they are creating cracks in their foundation.
As the reasons for their break up become more apparent from the flashbacks, Mia is making some headway into getting Jared to listen to her and understand how sorry she is and how she wants their relationship back. The last year has taken its toll on both of them. It seems that things may finally fall into place. Mia’s revelations are heartbreaking and once again her father is at the root of their problems. Even if they can overcome their pasts, is there some other evil waiting to end things for all of them?

“I never lost him, but can I have him back. Can I really have him back after everything I did to him? Can he ever really forgive me?”

I enjoyed this book. I was a big fan of Ward’s ILYTD and loved that she paralleled this story with the events of the first book. The ending drama of ILYTD is also a game changer for this one. I can’t wait to read Luke’s POV.

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