I usually hate cliffhangers. Hate. Hate. Hate. Not because they don’t make me want the next instalment in the series more than my next breath, but because I can become so obsessively invested in a storyline that having the sequel readily available becomes a question of preserving my own sanity. Having said that, there are cliffhangers and there are cliffhangers, and some stories require a little time-out to let the reader fully absorb the significance of a particular point in the plotline. The ending of Eversea was one such cliffhanger and while I did not welcome it, hated every painful moment of it, in a way I wish I had given myself more time to wallow in its aftermath and in every delicious splinter it left embedded in my poor heart. Forever, Jack was truly the perfect sequel to a perfect modern fairy tale and it was worth every second of waiting.
Five months have passed since the heart shattering moment when Jack walked out of Keri Ann’s life. For five months our heroine has tried to quieten her anger, mend her broken heart and forget the man that changed her irrevocably in every possible way, and she has done so by focussing on her future for once and on making something of herself. She had put her own dreams and ambitions aside for so long that she had forgotten who she was or what she wanted to be. Having to distract her mind from the overwhelming pain of the break-up with Jack has been the much needed trigger she needed to stop being a bystander in her own life and take action. But even a bright new outlook on tomorrow and exciting new opportunities on the horizon have not eased the ache in her heart every time she thinks of Jack.
“Jack Eversea was divinely beautiful, but Jack Eversea laughing and resting his vivid green eyes on me at the same time was a cosmic event. His smile was so sad and beautiful, it pulsed like a solar flare and shattered my crudely melded heart into a million tiny pieces.”
And then Jack suddenly comes back. His return carries so many questions and seeing those answers unveiled before our eyes is a joy you will not want to miss. But some questions are easier to answer than others and Jack and Keri Ann are faced with the biggest of them all – can something beautiful, once it’s cracked, be just as beautiful once again?
“I don’t know how to go back to where we were, to what we had… to what we were supposed to be… What we are meant to be.”
There is nothing that melts my heart and has it racing like a man fighting with all his might for the woman he loves and wants back at all costs, and Jack Eversea taking no for an answer is a sight to behold. It’s a slow, heartbreaking journey for both of them, with no instant fixes or easily bestowed forgiveness for the sake of fiction. The issues are real, their dilemmas are palpable, and by getting to hear what lays in both their hearts, we feel their pain, we feel the heaviness of the consequences of their decisions, past and present, and all we can do is hope that love prevails all in the end.
“I wanted her to see past the ridiculous coat of confidence I wear, but what if she never did? Or what if she did see me, and I wasn’t enough for her?”
The strongest part of this story, for me, was Keri Ann’s genuine struggle between her feelings for a man she loves body and soul, and her unwillingness to lose her identity by becoming part of the madness surrounding Jack and his public persona. Her fear of getting completely eclipsed and defined by the man in her life is something I loved her for even more than before. It made her a true icon of a modern woman that I hoped she would be, rather than just another star-eyed small town girl next door who gives up her entire life at the drop of a hat to be with the man of her dreams. It does not diminish her love for Jack, but it shows us the kind of integrity, honesty and long-term outlook on life that a strong relationship needs to have in order to withstand the test of times.
“I’m scared you’ll swallow me whole.”
I inhaled this book, ate up every wonderful word in it, basked in every emotion it made me feel from beginning to end, because stories like these don’t come by every day. Eversea was exhilarating, like the thrill of a first date and the mystery of what is to come, but Forever, Jack was a true marriage of emotions, every single one deep and long lasting. From the engaging writing style to the full sensory indulgence, from the flawlessly developed characters to the modern fairy tale element of the scenario, this book is better than any chocolate I have ever eaten! The story of Keri Ann and Jack is so much more than I ever expected – I went in expecting a welcome romantic cliché and I walked away with the memory of an epic love story that I will want to re-read over and over again. Just splendid.
“This is as real as it gets. Keri Ann. This is Technicolor, when everything else is black and white. This… what we have… is extra-sensory overload… where everything else is a silent f*cking movie.”