Brace yourselves because Abbi Glines is armed and dangerous in this second instalment of the Perfection series and she is taking no prisoners. I was on pins and needles throughout most of this book, absorbing all the emotional curveballs being thrown at me and just when I thought it was safe to relax and breathe easy again, she did the unthinkable and dismantled my heart into a million little pieces. Have some tissues ready, maybe a bottle of wine nearby, and get ready for another rollercoaster ride that is guaranteed to leave you wobbly at the knees.
“Hold her for me. Hold her tight. Don’t let her be lonely. Don’t let her hurt. Please.”
In Twisted Perfection, Della and Woods have finally realised that they are stronger together than they are apart and have emotionally committed to one another and to a future together. But one tragic event in Woods’ life shakes the foundations of their young relationship and forces them to confront a reality that neither of them wished to face so soon. Having to deal with the aftermath of his father’s sudden death and a mother who refuses to acknowledge the woman he loves, Woods is torn between his love and devotion for Della and his need to protect her from her past, and his new responsibilities as head of the Kerrington Country Club. He has not grieved the loss of his father, his grief too intermingled with anger for the suffering his father had caused Della, and has chosen to bottle his emotions in favour of taking care of Della and her fragile emotional state. Woods has put Della first in his life, over anything and anyone, that resolve putting only further strain on his already problematic relationship with his only remaining parent.
“I won’t let you near Della nor will I put you before her. Understand that if you make me choose, I will choose her without a second thought.”
Della feels safe and loved for the first time in her life. Woods’ demonstrative and overly protective personality is equally comforting as it is overwhelming, at times making her feel smothered by him and convincing her more and more each day that she is an unfathomable burden to him, only holding him back from living his life.
“What was I good for? He had to worry about me. I was weak and needy. I was one more thing for him to stress over. I wasn’t any help at all.”
In an ultimate act of selflessness and love for the man she thinks she would end up destroying, Della walks away. From Woods. From Rosemary. From the only security she has known in her life. And so she begins her transformation from broken and frightened little girl always depending on others to hold her hand and try to fix her, to a woman standing on her own two feet, drawing strength from within rather than from others, and unafraid to fight for what she wants the most in life. With further insight into Della’s horrific childhood, we get a complete picture of the battle she has had to fight daily in her mind, her journey of healing being full of unexpected surprises, but the more she has to overcome, the more she grows stronger and more confident in herself.
“He wants you, Della.”
“Sometimes what we want isn’t what is best for us.”
Woods and Della’s story has not been smooth sailing right from the beginning and it is laced with drama and heartbreak all the way to the end. The chemistry between them is so deliciously multilayered, one minute they are tenderly romantic and genuinely vulnerable towards one another, and the next an almost frantic passion overtakes them and they use that intense connection to communicate their fears, to comfort each other, and to heal one another.
“… I can’t live without Della. I can’t breathe. I can’t f*cking concentrate. I need her. Just her. I can do anything if I have her with me.”
Ms Glines’ writing style remains unique and unquestionably effective. Short sentences, complex emotions under the guise of simplicity, and a method of story-telling that keeps aiming at the reader’s heart with what I’d like to call “peanut butter sandwich” moments (hint: Rush and Blaire in Fallen Too Far) – simple scenes that are deceivingly ordinary but capable of stinging like an electric bolt. This is the conclusion to Woods and Della’s passionate story and it is everything I hoped it would be.
“Love should be simple. I wasn’t simple.”