Tessa Ever After by Brighton Walsh
Series: Reluctant Hearts #2
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Format: ARC, 304 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
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Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Jason’s been living (and loving) the rich playboy lifestyle for five years, but now his parents are pressuring him to get involved in the family business. The last thing he wants is another obligation, but when his best friend moves out of state and asks Jason to look after his sister, he can’t just say no.
Tessa had to grow up way too soon. After dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ deaths, then becoming a teenage mom, she knows the meaning of responsibility. Which is why, at twenty-two, she’s looking for so much more than a party boy. She’s looking for someone who can stand by her and her daughter…forever.
A relationship between them is doomed from the start, but who says they can’t have a little fun? But as Jason gets closer to Tessa—and her daughter—fun starts to turn into something else… Something Jason’s not sure he’s ready for.
As the ending approached, I wanted to find a way to stop time and keep living inside this book. Everything from the characters and their stories to the writing left me hopelessly addicted and unable to think about anything else once I started. (And long after I finished, too.) This book was chock full o’ feels and I’m not sure I can adequately express how much I loved it.
Tessa Ever After truly is the best of new adult. This is one of my top five reads of the year so far, and I’m pretty sure it’ll end the year high on that list. I didn’t think I could love anyone more than Cade and Winter. I couldn’t have been more wrong. In reality, I actually loved Tessa and Jason even more. (Shhh… don’t tell… I don’t like to play favorites.) I don’t know what the plan is for this series, but I hope there’s more. Like, maybe a book about Paige and Adam? (hint hint) I think they could be incredible together.
In this book, single mom Tessa is feeling overwhelmed by life. Her brother Cade has left to chase his dreams – and she’s happy for him – but she’s struggling to raise her daughter Haley without his help. He’s always been there for them and she’s having a difficult time balancing everything without his help. Tessa’s a great mom, but she’s feeling the pressure of doing it all on her own. Cade’s best friend, Jason, keeps popping in when she needed him most – even if she didn’t actually ask for the help.
Jason promised Cade he wouldn’t ever pursue his sister, but that’s a promise he’s finding more and more difficult to keep as he spends time with her and her daughter, Haley. He definitely feels a connection to both of them and it comes through in all his actions. I loved watching things develop between him and Tessa because it felt so real and right. But even more than that, I loved the scenes in which he spent time with Haley. You want to talk about things that will make you melt? OMG. My heart melted and I swooned big time. I swear, I’ll never be the same.
I probably don’t need to tell you I loved Tessa and Jason together, but I’m going to anyhow. As much as I adored these characters on their own, something special happened when they were together. They had tons of chemistry and a long history of friendship and supporting the other. It was natural that feelings would start to shift into something more than friendship once Cade was no longer there to police them. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Cade, but I think he was wrong in this situation… though I can’t entirely fault him for wanting to save his sister from becoming simply a notch on Jason’s bedpost. Which is exactly what I think probably would’ve happened had they tried anything before now. Jason wasn’t ready for more before.) I loved watching Tessa, Jason and Haley become a sort of family on their own. I get all smiley just even thinking about it now.
There’s not an abundance of angsty drama in this book – something I’m grateful for – but there is a little bit. Jason’s family pissed me off from the start, but it only got worse. His mother. Ugh. Without getting spoilery, the biggest situation happens late in the book and it broke my heart (more than) just a little. I knew Jason’s motivations were honorable, but Tessa didn’t and I hated seeing her hurt. But holy grand gesture. I melt into a puddle just thinking about it… and, of course, I was in tears while reading it. *squees*
Even if you’re not a huge new adult fan, you should take a chance on
this book this series. You won’t be disappointed. If anything, you’ll fall in love and be anxiously awaiting the next book as much as I am. I wish I could give it more than five stars.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via one awesome friend, in exchange for an honest review.