January 27, 2014

Title: Forever & Always
Author: Jasinda Wilder
Series: The Ever Trilogy #1
Publisher: self-published
Published: December 16, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:
Ever,

These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.

Cade
~ ~ ~ ~

Cade,

We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love. If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter.

Your literary love,

Ever

**We received a copy of this book from the author,
but that did not influence the review**

First Thoughts:
Celeste: 4.5 stars Hold me. Just hold me. And I’m so thankful book 2 is already out because there’s no way I could wait for it. I feel like I truly know Caden and Ever so well, and I just get them. This was my first book by Ms. Wilder and absolutely won’t be my last.
Amy: 4.5 Stars! Omg. This book.. It’s truly amazing. This story is so beautifully written.. I’m still in awe of it quite honestly.

Plot, Pacing, Setting, and Style:
Amy: There were a lot of elements that I loved about this book. The characters, the realness, the brokenness.. but what really pulled me in was the letters that Caden and Ever wrote to one another. I am so impressed with the ease of transition between the actual story and the letters and by the impact that the letters had both on me as a reader and on the story. It was beautiful. These two characters endure heartache, happiness, uneasiness, and devastation in their personal lives and then share their experiences with each other and they do this all by writing letters. There’s no physical contact. No phone calls. No visits. For years, Caden and Ever build this amazing relationship through written words and I just loved it. The pace was perfectly set for this book and the alternating point of views added so much to the emotional aspect of the story..
Celeste: I love characters that are sad and broken, not because I love them to be sad and broken, but I love to see them build themselves back up, especially when they fall in love and it seems to be the piece of the puzzle to make them whole. When Ever and Caden meet at a summer camp, they have an immediate connection and decide to keep in touch, to be pen pals. It turns out their letters don’t hold back, and as the years go by the two of them become so close and keep no secrets. They have lost loved ones, so they definitely bond on that commonality. While they both keep searching for happiness, it turns out that it’s was right in front of them the whole time.

The pacing and style here were delicious. I devoured every word in the letters these two wrote, which was such a unique kind of POV perspective in addition to the dual POVs. The pacing was slow, yet covered a lot of time so it moved at *just* the right speed. Seriously perfect!!

Main Characters:
Celeste: Caden, gah, he’s like this sexy, rugged man through and through on every level. He was quietly confident, although he did have sadness and doubts inside. He was such a good person on top of being ridiculously smokin hot. Ever was beautiful, but she was so self aware and realized that wasn’t something that would make her happy or complete. She was so real, so good as well. I couldn’t help but fall in love with her too. Then put them together and it truly felt like they were soul mates.
Amy: Oh Caden. RAWR. He’s a broken guy and had so many unfortunate losses in his short life, but he never gave up. Caden was like a silent fighter that quietly fought against the pain and sadness of his reality. Yes, he’s friggin’ gorgeous and ripped, but Caden’s insane appeal, for me at least, came from his heart. And his way with words. And the raw intensity of the way he loved. Bravo Jasinda on creating this mess of perfection also known as Caden.. Bravo. And I loved Ever from the very beginning of this story. There was something so real and relateable with her character.. Nothing fake or too forward. She was just Ever. Perfection.

Romance/Chemistry:
Amy: So, this story started off so sweet and tame and innocent.. then holy sexy times Batman did it explode! And man was it HOT! Wowza. The author did a brilliant job building up the chemistry and tension between Caden and Ever. It really was off the charts explosive. What makes these sex scenes different (aka.. waaaaay hotter) from all the others out there is the captivating, intense attraction and connection between the characters. It was crazy good.
Celeste: Whoa, hello naughty. This book brought it home lol. While sometimes the wording was a little cheesy, whatever…it was FREAKING HOT. The chemistry is OUT. OF. CONTROL. I’d be pretty happy to just read a novella on the sex life of these two for the rest of my life. But beyond just the physical, Ever and Caden have a connection that is so deep, so amazing, it truly was as if their souls connected. The love they shared was written so beautifully and will make you weep.

Title/Cover:
Celeste: *sings* I love this cover so much! Seriously, I love it. It’s one of the prettiest most romantic covers…ever. And the title, even more perfect.
Amy: It’s beautifully perfect.. *le sigh*

Twists & Turns:
Amy: The ending nearly killed me. Didn’t see that coming at all. I may or may not have cry-yelled some profanities after finishing this one.. Gah.
Celeste: Yeah, how about that ending?? Holy &*#$

Ending:
Celeste: See above section. It’s a cliffy!
Amy: ^^^^^^ What she said.. Definitely a heartbreaking cliffy!

Gripes/suggestions:
Amy: My only gripe is some of the wording during the sex scenes. For me, it got a little cheesy in places. Please don’t misunderstand.. the majority of the scenes were hotter than hell.. I’m a bit finicky when it comes to the choice of descriptive words used.. it’s just a personal preference thing for me, that’s all. The book is seriously amazing though..
Celeste: Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book and it’s a total 5 star, but I kind of struggled with the fact that Caden had witnessed so many deaths. I think it would have all been more believable if Alex hadn’t actually died, maybe if he just became lost b/c of the drugs. For all we know he could die after Caden moved out, but it seemed like so many deaths in his presence weren’t realistic. Maybe if Caden had walked away from Alex when he was just a junkie then I could have swallowed that part a little better. Regardless, I loved it though.

Final Thoughts/Rec it?
Celeste: Hell yes! This book is so amazing, so raw, so emotional, and so swoony…a fantastic addition to your TBR.
Amy: YES YES YES! I couldn’t put it down.. Trust us. It’s an amazing read.

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