A Moment (Moments Series, New Adult Romance: Book 1)
Labelled new adult, and has all of the characteristics of a “new adult” read (young twenty-somethings with past struggles making their way into their adulthood). And the hero was a hardened ex-military now MMA fighter (yep, that sold me and I one-clicked it on Amazon without even downloading the sample ;)), struggling with depression due to a traumatic event from his childhood. You’ll “get” what happened, soon into the read.
So yes, it is “NA” (new adult) but it has a more mature feel. A beautiful, sorrowful, well-written piece with extremely dark moments, but with bittersweet and extremely sweet moments, too. Even occasionally lighthearted, relieving some of that extreme tension. But it’s a serious read. The angst is not so much “misunderstandings” and boyfriend/girlfriend/triangle relationship drama, but stems from believable feelings of unworthiness and absolute terror and personal destruction forced upon him at an influencable age. His trust, abused. His innocence, ravaged. Breaking him completely.
And while the most affecting part of the book’s focus is on the hero, the heroine also has had a bad break at a young age. Together, they are healing. Comforting. Finding something that neither ever expected they’d have the right to have again. A deep friendship. True happiness. Joy. Maybe even one day… unconditional love?
Ryan and I had a convergence; we met in a place and time that would forever leave an indelible mark in the road map of my life.
But nothing is truly unconditional is it? His fear (and her fear) encompasses a wide range of understandable worries, exposing scars that they are so desperate to pretend don’t exist. The drama builds, emotional pain and doubts always lurking just beneath the surface.
… she can never know who I really am. I’ll treat her so good she’ll never wonder or care. I’ll make her forget she’d ever met the darker side of me and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll forget too.
So what’s it about?
Liliana gave birth to a severely autistic child as a very young teen.
My father’s look is full of hate.
An hour later he won’t even look at me.
The test is positive.
At fourteen, my life is over.
Having been abandoned by the child’s father, and then her own father, Lili and her sick mother raise her son (Javi) together, their focus, solely on each other. And while she struggles with thinking her son may never truly love her (he can’t stand to be touched, hugged, cuddled), and he won’t ever fully look at her, she loves him completely.
Hard enough having a baby at fourteen but that hadn’t been the worst. The worse was falling so in love with him only to discover he’ll never feel the same for me in return.
One night, as she leaves Javi with her mother, and goes out with friends, she meets Ryan (her friend’s gorgeous but sulking cousin). At first, he ignores her, brooding in his obvious misery, drinking himself into a stupor…
… trying hard not to let the demons knocking on my door crash through. Not yet. Tonight I just want to forget. Sink deep into an eighty proof fog and pretend that for once I’m normal.
… but soon she finds herself worrying about him. And discovers him in a dire situation. She realizes his “jerk” attitude comes from something much deeper, and she insists on being there for him.
I need to help, to try and save. And Ryan needs saving.
And the friendship builds, but on shaky ground.
At times, it’s gorgeous. At times it’s grim. And while I was able to put it down, I was also invested in seeing them through to the end, and am glad to have read this one.
My favorite moments? Ryan and her son, “Javi’s” connection. Ryan noticing Javi’s reaction as his mom sings to him with her eyes closed. My. heart. melted.
Just as she sings that line, Javi looks at her. Dead in her face and I feel like a bastard, because I get to see what I know she hasn’t.
It’s all around him, and it’s all for her.
That part still puts a bittersweet lump in my throat. *tears*
3.5 stars overall, but with a few touching moments that were absolutely 4-star plus, for me.