Series: Left Drowning #2
on August 26th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Park comes the long-anticipated sequel to Left Drowning.
A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.
Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.
With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreakÔÇÖs ass.
With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one thatÔÇÖs becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because SabinÔÇÖs brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.
Now Sabin is the one left drowning and struggling to breathe, and his turmoil threatens to send all three into dark currents they cannot escape. Even after going through her own hell, saving Sabin will take much more than Blythe had anticipated. Their connection and their love could help, but getting him to reach for her hand could be BlytheÔÇÖs biggest challenge ever.
****** 6 STARS ******
Well, shit. I just finished Restless Waters by Jessica Park and the only thing I can do now is bow to Park in awe, respect and gratitude for sharing this beautiful(ly) heart-wrenching story with us.
A story that moved me to the core. A story full of bravery, resilience and love.
I was worried about this book, because I loved Left Drowning so ferociously hard and Sabin owned my heart. I was scared that Restless Waters wouldn’t do the characters justice. Boy, was I wrong.
As Blythe’s, Chris’ and Sabin’s story continues, it’s not all sunshine and flowers. Instead, Jessica Park does what so few authors manage to do.
She gives a brutal, unyielding glance at the destruction, the pain and the heart-break caused by abuse and the resulting trauma. She doesn’t relent, doesn’t let the reader come up for air and through that we get to experience a minuscule fraction of what it feels like to be left drowning.
She opens our eyes to the horrible realities some have to go through. She doesn’t treat it lightly, doesn’t romanticize it or us it for shock value.
Instead, she gives a voice to the ones that go unheard.
The intensity, the pain that the characters, but especially Sabin, are still suffering from isn’t easy to digest. It tore me apart, had me in a constant state of fear, pain and heart-break. But then moments of peace and serenity that Blythe, Chris and Sabin experience feel more rewarding, more meaningful.
I love how Jessica Park wasn’t afraid to delve into the darkness of the Shepherd siblings’ lives. How she had the courage to let us witness them falling apart. And how she refrained from lessening the meaning by resorting to cliches.
Love might be a factor that assists in healing. But just because Chris and Blythe fall in love, it doesn’t mean the past becomes insignificant. The love and stability between them and their respective siblings is not an automatic “you’re free of trauma” card. Sometimes, the pain is so strong that even the biggest love struggles to break through the darkness.
I’m happy she didn’t diminish the message by turning it into a gooey fairy-tale.
I also loved that the definitions of friendship, relationship and boundaries were unique, showing that what Chris and Blythe have or the friendship between Blythe and Sabin are complex. What they share can’t be labeled or fit into a mold.
It’s different, it’s intense, it’s them. It’s so freakin’ beautiful it made me weep-happy, that no matter what, they have this profound bond.
A bond that might stretch, might fray, but never tears.
I have so much love for the characters – ever single one of them.
Before Restless Waters I still had a bit of a hard time to connect with Chris, but his love, his acceptance and his selflessness made my appreciation for him soar. He’s an amazing boyfriend, brother, friend and person.
Blythe is lucky to have him. But that also same goes for the other way because she has the most beautiful soul. She’s a good person through and through, with a heart of gold, an unparalleled loyalty, strength and understandingÔÇödespite her own traumatic past.
And Sabin – my beautiful, broken Sabin. He’s struggling, consumed by guilt and pain. He’s failing at times, falling, but he has Blythe and Chris to pick him up, even if they can’t break the fall.
His struggle isn’t just internal, bus hows on the outsideÔÇöa brave and beautiful choice by Jessica Park in a ripped, muscly, alpha-male dominated book world.
I love the dynamics. I love the ups and downs. I love the story-telling and the characters. I love the twists and surprises. And I love the incredible authenticity.
In short, I love everything about this book.
Even that it made me late for work, that I looked like a sobbing, blubbering panda and that it stole a piece of my heart that it’ll hold forever. Just like Left Drowning.
6 this-rating-doesn’t-do-it-justice stars.
~Review by Paula