Forever is a heartbeat away . . .
Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she's always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.
. . . but what about love?
As one of the East Coast's most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family's nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he's been distracted by the one woman he can't have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .
When I first saw the blurb for this book, I was excited to read something that looked a little different then what I had been reading lately. What I didn't expect was how angsty it was going to be. Don't get me wrong, I did like it, but to say that my emotions were all over the place is an understatement!
This is the story of really 2 people that have the cards dealt to them entirely wrong. Kerris Moreton has had to work hard for what she has in life. She was a foster child all of her life and has been in and out of homes. She has learned to survive the crap that is thrown her way and in the end is brighter and stronger because of it. She is just graduated from college and is starting her own business with her best friend. She also volunteers her time at the children's hospital which makes you love her even more.
Walsh Bennett comes from rich family and basicly has never had to need for anything his whole life. He has the love of his family and never has wanted for anything. He has a great group of friends and family that he can depend on. He is a man of many colors. Whether it is helping to run his fathers multi-million dollar company or volunteering his time with orphanages in third world countries he is definitely someone any reader could swoon for.
I get that Cam and Kerris are dating before she meets Walsh and I get that they have feeling for each other. I felt that Cam and Kerris didn't really KNOW each other when they got married, it was more that neither one of them wanted to be alone. Along the way, there are parts from Kerris's past that she is sharing with her boyfriend's best friend rather then her boyfriend. Things that she should be telling the person that she is thinking of marriage with.
Then there is Cam. I don't know what to think about him. At the beginning of the book I felt one way about him, in the middle another, and at the end I was starting to think this man has multiple personalities. For a debut book, it is really good. I can see where Kennedy Ryan may be able to redeem herself from some of the angst that I felt in the book. I just had a few personal opinion problems that made me go HMMM. Needless to say, even though I was all over the place, I am eager to see how this is going to work out. This is definitely a book that is hard to write a review for because there are so many twists and turns, I don't want to give too much away.
Walsh reached behind her ear, pulling out the orchid lodged there in her tousled knot of curls.
“You wear flowers in your hair a lot.”
She blinked and nodded, unsure what this had to do with what she had just shared.
“Which flower is your favorite?” He stroked the velvety petals of the flower he held.
“The orchid.” She didn’t even have to think about it.
“What would you say an orchid needs to grow?”
“Um, soil, water, sunlight.” She rattled off the list, trying to read the inscrutable expression on his face.
“Those are optimal conditions for growing, right?”
“I suppose so.” She frowned, unable to wrench her gaze away from the fragile flower cuddled in his strong hand.
“What would you call an orchid that sprang up out of thin air?” He leaned forward to look into her eyes, so close she could feel his breath on her own lips. “A flower that had no soil, no roots, the worst conditions to grow in, but just sprouted out of thin air, beautiful and exotic and perfect?”
She shrugged, dazed and unable to assemble words. His impassioned description and the heat of his eyes mesmerized her.
“I’d call it a miracle.” Walsh bathed the words in tenderness, sliding a finger down her neck like it was a delicate stem.
“Kerris, your childhood was a nightmare sometimes, but you managed to become this amazing woman. This smart, independent, compassionate, ambitious person who drives old ladies home and cries for little girls she barely knows. Your past haunts you, but it hasn’t twisted you, it hasn’t ruined you. If anything, it’s made you a stronger person. That’s a miracle. You’re the miracle, baby.”
She closed her eyes at his sweet endearment, feeling it wrap around her nerve endings like a blanket. And then his arms twined around her, bindings for wounds left too long unattended.
Everything Has Changed – Taylor Swift & Ed Sheerhan
The lyrics “everything has changed” remind me of the seismic shift meeting one another constitutes for Kerris & Walsh. They awaken something in one another. They are one another’s “resets”, and there is no going back for either of them.
Stubborn Love – Lumineers
It’s not the specifics of every lyric that places this on the WYAM playlist. “It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all/the opposite of love’s indifference” – Walsh at one point is torn about whether he truly wants to excise Kerris from his system because this love is more than anything he has ever felt before, and though it hurts, he isn’t sure he would choose to be without it again. He describes her love as a string tangled around his heart that he can’t loosen. Later in their story arc, she describes this love as a weed she can’t get out of the ground.
Let Me Love You – NeYo
The singer here really depicts his love interest’s past and how it has damaged her self-view. So fitting for Kerris and Walsh. It is her past; the shame and rootlessness that makes her feel unworthy of Walsh’s love and ultimately of the life he leads. The lyric pleads with the woman to let him in; “And I will love you until you love yourself/Let me love you/a heart of numbness gets brought to life”. That is exactly what Walsh does for Kerris; breathes life into places she thought long dead.
Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
There is a point in the story when Kerris seems lost to Walsh – completely. Hopelessly. And he goes through this really rough patch, trying to numb the pain with alcohol and other things; wanting to move on, but unable to relinquish her.
“It isn’t easy for me to let it go/’Cause I’ve swallowed every single word/And every whisper, every sigh eats away this heart of mine/And there is a hollow in me now”… “But I’m tired of hope with nothing to hold/I’m living on such sweet nothing.”
Afraid – Amelle Larrieux
Amelle Larrieux is one of my absolute favorite voices. The lyric focuses a lot on imagination; almost daydreaming. And Kerris often finds herself daydreaming about Walsh. Replaying their interactions. And also there is a focus on sensation. The physical chemistry between them is intense. The air at times seems to pulse between them. Also the lyric indicates how much she fears the intensity of her feelings. That is exactly how Kerris feels. She has never felt this way, and it frightens her. Even moreso because it is forbidden while she is in a relationship with Cam.
And the sensation is real/The blood rushes into each place as if you were here/Elevating me to/Closed eyed elation/Heartbeat is racing/This evocation
Got me afraid of the rapture stirring inside of me/Got me afraid of what I'm gonna do if I get you to see/Got me afraid of you/you're so fine sometimes I forget to breathe/Got me afraid that wherever you are is wherever I have to be
XO – Beyonce
I don’t want to spoil why this is so appropriate, but Walsh finds himself in a dangerous situation and isn’t sure he will make it out. Kerris, the memory of her, the thought of her, is like a guiding light in the dark. He clings to the hope of her to get him through.
In the darkest night hour/I'll search through the crowd/Your face is all that I see
I'll give you everything
Stay With Me – Sam Smith
There are parts of this song that really fit, focusing specifically on the lyricist begging his love to stay; to not leave. Walsh experiences something that devastates him and he wants Kerris as a comfort. He says he knows she could be a solace for him like no one else. He has always promised himself he will not ask that of her because of her relationship with Cam. This situation tests that resolve.
“Oh, won’t you stay with me/’Cause you’re all I need…But darling, stay with me.”
“Why am I so emotional/No, it’s not a good look, gain some self-control/And deep down I know this never works/But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt”
This Love – Julia Stone
I love the juxtaposition between Julia Stone’s light, airy voice and the weighty, evocative lyric. That first summer when they meet, Kerris struggles to keep Walsh from her thoughts, but if she lets her guard down for a moment when she is alone, he is there. And there is this recognition between them immediately. They are attracted, even though it is observing one another over the course of the summer that actually makes them fall for each other. That sense of closeness and intimacy, whether separated by months and states, or in the same room, never goes away.
“I can feel your heart beat when I’m all alone/I can feel your heart beat like it’s my own.”
“I will build you a mountain so you can see/All the way across the universe to me/I will build you a shelter for when the days are cold/I will be your shelter for when we’re old and kind”
There were several signs that Kennedy Ryan would be a writer, but making up stories with a mop as her long-haired heroine while the other kids played kick ball may have been the most telling. After graduating with her journalism degree from UNC-Chapel Hill (GO, HEELS!), she found various means of gainful employment having absolutely nothing to do with said degree, but knew she would circle back to writing, in some form or fashion. Some day. After years of working and writing for non-profit organizations, she finally returned to her first love - telling stories. Her debut novel, When You Are Mine, the first of The Bennett's trilogy, releases through Grand Central's Forever Yours imprint in June 2014.
Kennedy writes contemporary romance and women's fiction. She always gives her characters their happily ever after, but loves to make them work for it! It's a long road to love, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
In an alternative universe and under her government name Tina Dula, she is wife to the love of her life, mom to to her son, and a friend to those living with autism through her foundation Myles-A-Part.