You might think you know Woods but you don’t know Woods. We met him in the previous two instalments of the Too Far series as Blaire’s ‘other interested party’, we loved his protective streak and his general cool and collected façade, but let me tell you, by the time you finish this book you’ll have Woods’ name tattooed somewhere on your body!
Everything about this book was unexpected for me. I never thought that the chemistry between these main characters could successfully rival the one between Rush and Blaire, but it appears Ms Glines had been holding out on us. This book hits steam levels that had me blushing and I read erotic romance for breakfast! In a much darker, sexier and overall edgier story of heart wanting what the heart yearns, and body demanding what the body craves, we finally meet the real Woods Kerrington and the only woman who ever got him so hot and bothered that he risked it all to have her.
Della Sloan is one of the most emotionally complex characters to come out of Abbi Glines’ creative woodwork. She is a young woman burdened by incomprehensible emotional trauma stemming from a childhood so harrowing that her mind constantly struggles to stay in the present and not get lost in her painful memories. Her triggers are many and all equally unpredictable, making her vulnerable and afraid of her own future. She sees herself as broken and unworthy of being loved because she believes she would one day lose herself in the abyss of madness just like her mother.
“It wasn’t my imperfections that I was worried about. It was the terror that twisted everything in my life and that kept me apart from everyone else.”
Della is a heroine that we fall in love with from the moment she enters the stage. Her innocence, her social cluelessness and her untainted honesty with her feelings make us immediately protective of her. After living an extremely sheltered life and never experiencing any of the things that most people experience by default during their childhood, once she has the freedom to make her own choices, she takes off determined to make up for all she has missed out on.
“It was my greatest fear, that I’d snap one day too. Just like she had. I wanted to live life because if that day came I wanted to have lived once.”
While driving through Rosemary, she meets Woods. Their first encounter is a one night stand, passionate and commitment-free, a purely carnal indulgence between two individuals who are unable to fight the attraction between them. Many months later, however, Della is back in Rosemary and suddenly looking for a job at Woods’ country club, unaware that her one night stand would become her new boss. When faced with having to see each other each day, Woods and Della are no longer able to pretend that their one night of passion meant nothing to them. Whenever they are alone, their chemistry sizzles and they can’t keep their hands off each other.
“It’s a real bad idea. F*cking you is all I can think about but it’s a bad idea. Push me away and leave the room. It’s the only way I can keep from touching you.”
Woods is not only drawn to Della physically, he also craves the freedom that she represents, the freedom to do whatever he wishes and not be bound to a place or a future that someone else has set out for him. She is like a drug to him – the more of her he takes, the hungrier for her he becomes. He struggles between a path that was chosen for him and the one where Della would be a vital part of his life.
“My future was about to be completely thrown off track because Della Sloane was under my skin and I had to have her.”
This story explores surprisingly intense themes of unmet emotional needs and using sexual intimacy to substitute those needs. Having lived most of her life without affection, Della now needs it like the air she breathes. It is the only thing that offers her an escape from her bad memories.
“I craved the orgasm I knew he could give me. That one moment when I couldn’t tell where I ended and he began. Bad memories weren’t there to haunt me during that nirvana. It was my one moment of relief.”
A poignant roller coaster ride from beginning to end, in true Abbi Glines fashion, this book is loaded with scenes that simply rip our hearts out because they manage to hit every emotional string there is to hit. This is a story about choosing life over merely existing, finding the courage to become masters of our own fate and pursuing what counts the most in life. A book you will truly struggle to put down.
Woods’ and Della’s story continues in Simple Perfection…
“You are mine. Do you hear me? You are mine, Della Sloane. I will take care of you. Nothing is taking you away from me. Nothing.”
“I’ve been working in Dallas as a waitress at a bar. That’s normally the kind of jobs I get. They’re easy and the tips are good so I don’t have to stay in one place too long.”
I nodded. That’s right. She was traveling the world. She wasn’t putting down roots in Rosemary. She didn’t want a relationship. She wanted an adventure.
“You want a server job here? It’s an easier crowd than a bar and I just lost a server right before you walked in.” I wasn’t putting her far away from me like a smart man would. Instead, I was putting her right here under my damn nose. I was an idiot.
“Thank you. That would be perfect. Do you need me to start right away since you just lost a server? I’m a quick learner,” she assured me.
No, I needed her to go back to Tripp’s condo and let me calm the f*ck down.
A knock on the door interrupted me before I could respond and Jimmy stuck his head in. “It’s getting out of control,” his eyes found Della and he flashed her a smile. “Well, aren’t you all kinds of sexy. Please tell me you’re here for a job.”
Della smiled at him brightly and nodded.
“Perfect. Can I have her?” Jimmy asked opening the door wider.
I wanted to tell him no, that I wasn’t done with her yet. I was still considering pulling her over my desk and pushing that skirt up to see what she had on underneath.
“Sure. Go ahead and take her. She has experience so it shouldn’t be hard to get her going.”
Della stood up and smiled back at me one more time. “Thank you for this,” then she went to Jimmy who closed the door behind them.
I laid my head back against the leather seat and let out a defeated sigh.
I needed to remember that Della would be leaving soon. She wasn’t one to stick around. I couldn’t lose everything I’d worked for because I wanted to be buried in her—