Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: "Without You Here" by Carter Ashby

After fighting with her boyfriend, Ettie’s only goal is to drown her sorrows in some Jack Daniels. But when she walks into a country tavern, her attention is immediately redirected to the sexy, older man at the bar. He looks lonely, and sad, and absolutely mouth-watering. Ettie can’t wait to put a smile on his face. For the first time in two years, Wyatt finds himself jolted out of his grief—and by a spunky, vivacious young woman who somehow sees right into his soul. What follows is a passionate weekend full of more life, laughter, and pure joy than he experienced in twenty years of marriage. Wyatt thought one weekend was all he had to give, yet in the days that follow, he can’t help dreaming up a future with Ettie. And then a chance meeting shatters his hopes, leaving him more lost than ever. Now Ettie must decide whether to walk away, or to fight for the love she knows they both deserve. Without You Here is the sexy, heartwarming story of overcoming grief, embracing love, and learning to live in the moment.

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Did I like this book?

Yes, I truly did, and I'm still surprised by exactly how much!  I was expecting a light romantic read here, but what I got was so much more than that. At the risk of sounding like a big fromage head, this novel touched me deeply at times, pulling me right into the lives of Ettie and Wyatt and rooting for them from the first page.

At first, I was a little annoyed with Wyatt because of how intensely he was hanging onto his wife's memory.  Then I was annoyed with Amberlee, Wyatt's dead wife!  She knew she was dying, and still she left him a list of things to keep up with after her death!  And not important things like, "Make sure our son eats all his veggies and gets into a good college" but dumb stuff like, "Water my violets".  Wyatt is so busy trying to keep up with Amberlee's list of demands that he can't move on with his life, and isn't that what you would want for your spouse?  For them to find happiness in whatever form it takes?  I know that's what I would want.

Anyway, as the book progressed, I really came to adore Wyatt!  I loved how he could just let loose and have fun with Ettie, and I loved how he treated her, especially in comparison with her ex.  Wyatt turned out to be a pretty fantastic guy, despite all the initial drama.  

Ettie, on the other hand, could have been more fully developed.  She is socially awkward and somewhat naive, and while we are given a brief explanation into why she is the way she is, it didn't seem like enough.  I did enjoy her character, though.  She has a hilarious case of foot-in-mouth disease, and she's certainly no pushover!

Will you like this book?

I think if you're looking for something a little bit different in the romance department, you will probably enjoy "Without You Here".  With Wyatt being a full twenty years older than Ettie, there is a unique dynamic that I haven't read before.  I should warn you, there is an element of insta-lust, so if that type of thing bothers you, you might want to steer clear.  I will say that in this case, at least for me, the initial attraction between Ettie and Wyatt seemed to work.

Will I read more by this author?

Absolutely!  I think Carter Ashby has an interesting style, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her!

My rating:  3.5 stars!

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