What I loved about this book: The character development is absolutely amazing, and y’all know that’s my favorite part of a book to pick apart. Honestly, though, this story was a work of art and I don’t have a lot to pick apart.
Jasmine is the strong woman that embodies resilience. She’s been the ringer in life, and still managed to come out ahead (actually creating a really great life for herself). So, why is she still fighting the inner struggle that something is unfinished? Oh wait, Tyler Wagner, the guy that stole her (young) heart and left her naked (quite literally) with her feelings keeps popping up- and now she has to face him when she’s asked to be in her best friend’s, Morgan’s (Tyler’s sister) wedding.
Tyler, who truly knows how to treat his lady like a queen- is hidden in his introspective world of loyalty and respect, and just being blissfully ignorant to the effect he has on those around him (including Jasmine). He’s so worried about making sure he’s fulfilling his duties as big brother, son, and boyfriend that he is too scared to admit his feelings for Jasmine…
But, what do you expect when you basically confine two hot-for-one-another, steamy characters on a beach for an extended period of time?! I would say it’s going to involve more than just the wedding at bay, and some long-awaiting emotional discussion(s) that Jasmine and Tyler have been skirting around.
And… the supporting characters will also MAGNIFICENT! They all played important roles in the storyline and provided comedic relief, banter, and- most importantly- love that the reader could really feel.
What I wanted more of:I would have loved to have some more time with Tyler, and really get into his head about the whole relationship. Kandi did a great job of alluding to his thoughts, and used some great innuendos, one liners, and descriptions, that led us to believe we were getting into this “pretty little head of his”; but I still wanted more.
Aunt Laura needs her own book! Please and thank you, Kandi. Seriously, this lady has a story to tell and the sass to back it up. You know AL had a life that included love, heartbreak, and hopefully some steam. I can just see Kandi breathing life to the lady that worked so diligently to protect and provide for her niece. I would pick that story up in a heartbeat.
My personal take-away:As someone that experienced emotional turmoil, from a parent’s absence, this struck home for me. My bio-mom had a drug addiction and chose drugs, boyfriends, and her own happiness over my own for many years. Like Jasmine, it tooks a lot of self-reflection and personal confidence in order to move past that hurt. I found myself closed off a lot in order to shelf that grief and save face to be that strong girl. Also like her, it was the love of a man that helped guide me to being ok with vulnerability. That showing my hurt and discomfort was ok, and didn’t make me weak; but the opposite. I came to understand the motto of “vivere est militare” (to live is to fight). Fighting for confidence in myself- as a mother, that I would always choose love (and my children) over selfishness. But, most importantly, FORGIVENESS. It doesn’t mean you forget the hurt, but it’s the letting go of the hardened (or calloused) personification that I’m too strong to feel these crappy feelings. It’s the forgiveness of the person and the situation- and the well wishes that you extend to that person that hurt you.
Cheers to good books, strong cocktails, and YOU!