Julia Abbot and Ryan Matthews had been inseparable best friends since the moment they met. Each of them fight an internal battle, unwilling to risk their incredible friendship, but unable to quell their deep longing for the other. On the verge of Ryan’s departure to Harvard Medical School and Julia’s for a new job on the opposite coast, they are forced to face the undeniable truth of their deeper feelings and find themselves enthralled in a passion like neither has ever known.
The lovers are faced with forced separation, great distances and other people who try to sabotage their relationship as both of them work to build the shared future they both dream of. When their lives begin to finally gel, Julia is offered an opportunity that will jettison her career to new heights. In light the sacrifices she has made for him, Ryan can hardly deny her, but then something happens to completely change the course of their future. Will Julia choose the chance of a lifetime or the love of her life?
This is a story filled with the powerful and passionate connection we all dream of…a love so transcending, that even if the mind can’t remember, it’s impossible for the heart to forget.
The last lines of the publisher’s blurb define this story as “a love so transcending, that even if the mind can’t remember, it’s impossible for the heart to forget” and this is exactly how I feel about this book. It’s Ah-mazing with a capital A. Kahlen Aymes wrote an unforgettable novel, that I can’t stop thinking about, truly.
This is the passionate and touching love story between Ryan and Julia, told sometimes from Ryan’s point of view and at other times from Julia’s, two best friends who unbeknownst to each other, had been nourishing strong feelings towards one another. They decide to surrender to love and start a relationship which brings them close both physically and emotionally in a way they’d never been before. I loved how they both took the leap, despite all the fears and insecurities they had of losing their special friendship. We never know if we don’t try– Ryan and Julia decided to try and it was worth it…
Ryan is…well…Dear authors, you have to stop writing such wonderful male characters, because, seriously, I can’t get them out of my mind afterwards *giggles* I’m kidding of course, don’t stop, please ; )
Ryan is that kind of character you keep thinking about way after you closed the book. He’s very handsome, the object of desire of a lot of girls, extremely intelligent and he only has eyes for Julia. He loves her in a way that melts your heart and wants to keep her close at all costs. Julia is a beautiful girl and a very kind soul who loves Ryan in return with the same passion as he does her. She’s ready to do everything that’s in her power to make their relationship work, even if that means making a few sacrifices. And isn’t that what true love means?
The chemistry between Ryan and Julia is palpable and leaps off the page to the point that you can really feel it. There are a lot of passionate and detailed sex scenes between the two, written in a way that never lapses into vulgar, and they perfectly convey the overflowing and undeniable love the characters feel for each other. They reach not only a physical but also an emotional intimacy that’s not always a given in romance novels.
Their journey isn’t without obstacles, though, and they both have to face up to the difficulties of a long distance relationship and that’s when their love is truly put to test. I loved seeing them trying their best not to lose each other and making compromises in order to keep hold of the special nature of their relationship.
The secondary characters are well crafted and I have a fondness for Aaron, Ryan’s best friend and adopted brother, and Ellie, Julia’s best friend. They add to the story plenty of light-hearted moments especially when they tease the loving couple, making those scenes really fun to read.
The story ends with a cliffhanger. I know that some don’t particularly enjoy those kinds of endings, but trust me, this one will make you want to read the sequel as soon as it’s out ( and, per Kahlen, it’s coming out VERY soon ;- ) ). At the end of the book we also get a sneak peek into Book 2, whose cover is on Kahlen Aymes’s website and I have to say it’s beautiful. I seriously can’t wait to dive again in Ryan and Julia’s story and see how it all works out. Their love story touched my heart.
I give this book 5 stars.
And now some of my favorite passages:
–“The trip had been a blast, but we couldn’t keep up the constant driving and were forced to spend one night in a hotel near Cleveland. I wanted to let my instincts take over and my instincts told me to make love to her. In fact, they were screaming in the darkness, keeping me awake into the wee hours of the morning.”
–” ‘Kissing you is every bit as incredible as I’ve imagined it would be. ‘
Her hands moved around my shoulders and into my hair as she pulled me closer. Knowing she wanted me, made me insane. I could feel the urgency in her body, as she urged against me, and I parted her legs with one of mine. This was a fantasy that I’d had a million times, and it was finally being fulfilled. “
–” ‘Just don’t forget to remember me while we’re apart. We’ll work it out, Okay?’
‘ I could never forget you, Ryan,’ she said softly as she hugged me back and turned her head to kiss me. ‘ You’re burned into me forever.’ “
–” ‘ Ryan…I want to feel you’
‘ Fucking rip it off of me if you want. I don’t care.’ I pressed into her, establishing the rhythm that we both needed as I held her against the door. She moaned into my mouth before the buttons on my white shirt went flying, the fabric giving way as she pulled the shirt open over my chest and her warm hands splayed out on my skin. I lifted her off the door and carried her toward the bedroom, one of my hands twisting in her hair and pulling her head to one side so I could bury my mouth in the curve of her neck as my tongue traced a trail up her neck to her ear. ‘How did I live without touching you like this? I must have been insane.’ “
–” ‘Are you stealing my soul like Dorian Grey?’ he asked, chuckling softly.
I laughed softly as he reminded me of the literature class we’d taken our sophomore year at Stanford. We had to do an essay on a famous author and a major piece of work, and I’d chosen Oscar Wilde and his only novel, about a man who retained his youthful beauty while his portrait aged in his place.
‘Mmm…could I?’ I leaned over and set the pencil on the table and flipped the cover on the pad closed, quirking an eyebrow in his direction.
‘ You already have, my love,” he whispered.
‘Hmmm…but, it wasn’t his soul, silly. It was his youth.’
‘ Well, it is my soul that’s been stolen…and my heart,’ Ryan said thoughtfully and mine raced. “
**An e-ARC of this book was submitted to Bookish Temptations from the author in exchange for an honest review**