Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Waiting Forever by Diana Gardin 4 stars 

“Listen to me,” he said fiercely as he grabbed both sides of her face in his calloused hands. “I promise you I’ll be back for you. Don’t spend a day missing me. Don’t drop your guard. I’ll come back, and when I do, we’ll go away together and we won’t look back at this godforsaken town. You hear me?”

That was one of the last things Sam had said to Ever before leaving Duck Creek.  He didn't want to leave but after what happened, he knew he could not stay, he was on the run now.

Sam and Ever has been together since they can remember, helping each other through a bad childhood.  It's always been them and Sams brother, Hunter...them against the world.  It only seemed logically that Sam and Ever would end up together, they have always been there for each other, comforting each other, protecting each other. Which is why Sam is not on the run, he feels he is doing what he needs to do in order to protect Ever, just like he always has.

But, after being away from each other for months, can things change?  Sam has never pictured his future without Ever, but will his rash decision force them both down paths that they never expected to take?

Sam always wanted a life outside of Duck Creek and he is enjoying the new life he is preparing in Nelson Island, and as much as he loves Ever, he is trying desperately to ignore his growing attraction to his new boss' daughter, Aston.

Aston is a girl like he's never met before. She is beautiful, sexy and strong willed, she doesn't need protecting. She also has a boyfriend, and Sam was still with Ever

--Aston was a distraction. She made him forget about the fact that he was only in N.I. because he was running from the cops. How would she feel about it if she knew? How would she feel about him? She also made him forget about the ache he felt deep in his bones when he thought about Ever. Aston kept him, just for a little while, from thinking about how he was letting Ever down every time his face broke into a smile or every time he let himself think he might have a future here. It wasn’t fair. Because he knew she was miserable back in Duck Creek.

--That smile was dangerous. Infectious, boyishly rogue with one side of his mouth tilting up. Wide eyes crinkling at the corners. Aston was sure it was a smile that made all the girls back where he was from just sink into mush at his feet and drop their panties at his bedside.

--She barely knew Sam Waters. But she knew that something sizzled between them in a way she’d never felt. And it was so good, so tempting, that she almost wanted to throw everything else she knew out the window and straddle his lap.

Everything changed the night Hunter and Ever finally came to visit.  Things seemed strained with them and he didn't understand it, nor did he know why Hunter and Ever seemed to be so close. Yes, he asked him to look after Ever while he was away, but they seemed to be now sharing something that didn't involve Sam.

Sam thought that once things cooled down back home, Ever would eventually come to Nelson Island with him, with the life he was trying to build for himself..and for her. He didn't know that while he was trying to build a life in N.I., that Ever was also trying to move on and build a future in Duck Creek, its her home and she wants to stay there.

It all came crashing down one night when he walked out on the pier and saw her kissing his brother, and when he was taken out of N.I. in handcuffs and taken back to VA to face his past.  Now Sam has to decide which future he wants, which path he will take that will lead him to what will make him happy.

This was a good story of loyalty, betrayal and finally, Love.  I really loved Aston, its nice to have a story about a strong female character that knows what she wants, and she wants Sam.  She doesn't think that Ever deserves him, that she doesn't appreciate what all Sam gave up for her.  I'm happy to say, that everyone ended up with who they were meant to be with.  They might have taken the long path to get there, but they are exactly where they need to be. :) 

Reviewed for Stories and Swag by Michelle Monroe

Ever Always by Diana Gardin 4 stars

“Sam! I think he’s going to kill me this time.” She’d never been so panicked in her life. The beatings were bad, but there was a sinister new tone to her father’s voice. Instinctively, she knew that if he got to her, she was going to be permanently damaged—or, even more likely, dead.
“I’m on my way,” Sam said. “Stay with me. Are you in your room?”
Another earsplitting thump on her bedroom door, and she screamed again. “Hurry! He’s trying to break down the door.”
“I’m coming,” Sam said, out of breath from running. “But Ever…use it if you have to.”

Ever had a horrible childhood.  When her mother died, her father just lost it and took it all out on Ever.  Almost every day, Ever would have a new bruise from the hands of her father.  Sam was always there for her, trying to protect her.  As the violence got worse, Sam convinced his brother, Hunter, to get a gun for her...just in case. He had hoped that she would never need it, but Ever knew this night, it was the only way to stop him. It was her or him. And she choose him.

In a panic, Sam made the decision to take the blame.  He knew that Ever had suffered for years at his hand and he didn't want her to suffer with the conseqences of his death. So, he told her to tell the cops it was him, and he ran. 

Hunter was upset with Sam for leaving, knowing that this was the time that Ever had needed him the most, and he just left. Even though Hunter had been there for Ever just as much as Sam has, he knew that it was Sam that she wanted to comfort her, not him.  But since he was the one there with her, he was going to make sure he did what ever he could for her, whatever it took to help her be ok.

--He crossed the tiny room and cupped the back of her neck with both hands. “Do you hear me? You will grieve, and then you will heal. And I’m going to be here every step of the way to help you.” She met his steady gaze head-on. It had been years since she’d stared into his eyes this way.

--Never in his life had Hunter felt like a whole person. Never in his twenty-three years had he felt like he had enough of his own heart intact to offer a piece of it to someone else. But when he looked at Ever, so broken and battered, not physically this time but emotionally, crying in the corner like a lost little girl, something deep inside him snapped into place like the last piece of a puzzle. He was across the room in one step.

Hunter has loved Ever ever since they were kids.  Sam knew it, he told him that he wanted to marry her one day. But Ever chose Sam, so Hunter backed off.  He respected her decision and he knew that Sam was finally getting the love that he deserved. Their mother never cared for Sam the way she did for him, always putting him down and making him feel that he was not worthy of love.  Ever gave that to him, made him feel worthy, so he buried all those feelings he had for Ever.

The more time that they spent together though, without Sam, was making it hard for him to keep denying the feelings he has for her.  He knows that she loves Sam and that Sam loves her, but he also knows that he knows Ever better than Sam. That she doesn't want to leave Duck Creek now that her daddy is gone and can't hurt her anymore. He also knows the pain she is feeling knowing that Sam is building a life for himself, one that he loves, down in Nelson Island.  Sam wants Ever to come and live there with him, but Hunter knows that she belongs in Duck Creek, with him.

Everything changes one night, when he confesses his feelings for Ever.  And she has to acknowledge something that she has know all along, even though she loves Sam, she hasalways been in love with Hunter.

--The way Hunter made her feel…it was so different than the way she felt with Sam. With Sam, she felt comfortable, and warm, and protected. With Hunter, she felt alive. She felt sensual. She knew she didn’t need protecting, but his strong body was there to catch her if she fell.

After being away from Sam for 3 months, Hunter and Ever finally go visit Sam.  They have to tell him what happened between the two of them.  Ever wonders what will happen when she sees Sam after being away for so many months.  She knows she loves Sam, but is her heart taking her on a path she didn't know she wanted to be on? 

--She’d hugged Sam like this so many times before; they clung to each other for hours in his bed at night, in the woods beside the creek, in the school parking lot. And in Sam’s embrace, she’d always felt just a little less desperate, just a little less scared, just a little less broken.
His embrace did none of that anymore. Because she was no longer desperate. She was no longer scared. She was no longer broken.
Okay, maybe she was still a little broken. But she was no longer certain that Sam was going to be the one to fix her. He’d been gone for three months, and she was less broken because she’d been fixing herself.

Ever knows that Sam needs to know the truth and that they all need to clear up the mess made back in Duck Creek with the death of her father.  And they all need to heal and move forward to the life that they each want and deserve.

It was great reading about Ever and Hunters side of things. In 'Waiting Forever' we got to see Sam's side, and although you don't necessarily need to read it to get the entire story, I would recommend it.  Even though it was a long road full of pain and betrayal, they all ended up exactly where they belonged, with the life that they each deserve.

Reviewed for Stories and Swag by Michelle Monroe

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