Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review: Near & Far by Nicole Williams

17937144Rating: ★★★★★ stars
Date published: July 28th, 2013
Publisher: Nicole Williams
Synopsis: **NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Series**

There’s optimistic. And there’s Jesse Walker.

If he wasn’t so charming, his sunny disposition and incessant grin would get old. Fast.

Falling in love with the broken girl who had at first seemed immune to anything resembling love was the best thing to happen to Jesse since the Walkers adopted him when he was five.

As Jesse’s life continues at the ranch and Rowen begins making her mark in the Seattle art community, they wonder where the middle ground is. Or if there even is one.

As push comes to shove, they’re forced to make choices neither are eager to make, and 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 expect a promising future together? Whatever the answer, they’ll need a lot more than love to make it.

*Recommended for mature readers due to moderate content and language.*

What I Thought:

How does Nicole Williams do it?  I didn't think Rowen and Jesse's story could get any better or any more emotional, but it did. I always love reading sequels, but I know the characters will be facing new and some times old challenges.  It makes me a little apprehensive because I know there will be some pain and suffering, but in the end it will be worth it.

The Rowen in this book is almost diametrically opposite from the one I met in Lost & Found. She's found a measure of peace and self-acceptance.  She's happy pursuing her art.  Jesse's love and his goodness also keeps her buoyed.  Jesse is happy and secure in the knowledge that even though they're apart, Rowen truly loves him.  However demons from their pasts and new influences place a strain on their secure relationship.  I loved how strong their love for one another was.  It couldn't be shaken; not by anyone trying to split them up from the outside.  The only ones who could weaken the bond between them were themselves and their fears.

I loved how this book focused equally on Jesse and Rowen.  I especially loved being in Jesse's head. I still think Jesse is the perfect guy. He faced some serious challenges in this book.  Just thinking about them now, makes my chest tight.  I really wanted to reach into the pages of my book and reassure him.  I also wanted to take away his demons.  I felt so bad that they came back to haunt him.  I understand he had to face them on his own, but I wish he'd reached out to some one for help. In the end he got help from an unlikely source.

One of the biggest surprises in this book was Garth Black.  He really surprised me.  For someone who only wanted people to see his devil-may-care-I'm-a-bad-boy-attitude, he was very perceptive and a font of advice for both Rowen and Jesse.  He may have messed up his friendship with Jesse, but he really was Jesse's friend in this book.  They made some serious inroads to repairing their friendship.  

Nicole Williams recently announced a third book featuring Jesse and  Rowen, Heart & Soul.  I can not wait to read it and see how they're doing in the future.  I'm also very eager to read the next books in this series, featuring the one and only Garth Black and Josie.  Nicole Williams's wonderful mind never fails to give readers an amazing story and wonderful characters.

Purchase Links:

About the Author 
I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground. 

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* I purchased a copy of this book.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

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