Hi there, and good Sunday! I’ve been absent for a few weeks and I’m sorry, but I’m overflown with things to study for exams so I’m trying to review ARC books only. This book is the last of a series by author D. Kelly, “Just an Illusion”, which I previously reviewed. I was waiting for this one with anxiety, because I needed to know how this story ended and whether or not it would end like I wished it to. This review will be full of SPOILERS. You have been warned. If you want to read a spoiler-free review, here’s the link to my Goodreads.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Publication Year: 2017
Part of a series?: Yes, Book 3 of 4
You can buy it HERE from Amazon.com
Let’s start with the cover. I’ve loved the covers for Side A and Side B, which represented Noah and Sawyer respectively, but this one is amazing because it’s full of emotions. It makes me feel love, protection, kindness, and after reading this book I think it shows perfectly the bond between Amelia and her men, although in this case, with one of them especially.
The book starts right after Side B ends. The bus where Amelia, Belle and Noah are, has been in an accident. We already know from Side B that Belle didn’t make it along with Harold, the driver. The first two chapters are told from Sawyer’s perspective and show us how they found Noah and Mel and how they were rescued. Mel was also in labor, so the pain of her pregnancy was even greater. I think the author plans to release this book from Sawyer’s perspective in Autumn and will be called “Unplugged”, and I would love if it’s confirmed. Anyway, the situation is not good and things don’t turn out for the better for one of them. You can suspect who, since the book is told from the original perspective and in Side A and Side B we know that Amelia is writing her story.
Noah is gone, and he left his wife and kid alone, along with his twin brother, friends, and family. Everyone is sad, angry, and wish this didn’t happen, and throughout the book the fact that Noah believed in fate sits heavy, as if the justification for all of this would be that it was his time, and people can’t do anything about it. Mel is a wreck after the accident, of course. She survived and wish she didn’t, because part of her family is gone and she has her son Nate to take care of and she isn’t able to perform her duties as a mother because of the fear she’s tainted. In her help, family and the other BAD members come to her rescue, especially Sawyer. He also lost his twin brother so he understands Mel’s pain completely and ever since Nate sees the light, he does what his brother would have done if he were still alive. He tries to be strong for Mel and his family and honors his brother by taking care of his son and wife. As “taking care”, I’m not saying he steals Noah’s place. Not at all. Sawyer does what he thinks should be done, selflessly, as an uncle would do, and he never once forgets about Noah’s memory. And he doesn’t do this because his brother asked him to before he left this world, but because he wants to. Sawyer never does something he doesn’t want to do.
While Sawyer tries to pick up the pieces of his heart and Mel’s (let’s not forget they were living in the same house), months pass and feelings change. Sawyer and Mel have always been attracted to each other – he was the first guy of the twins she kissed – and had quite an explosive spark, but he tried to put aside his feelings for her after Noah and Mel were expecting and got married. Mel herself loved him but like a best friend would do, or that’s what she told herself. With Noah’s absence, her feelings for Sawyer evolved into something more powerful, something that maybe, when they first met, couldn’t become this feeling yet. People may have their moment or they may have not have it at all. It’s all about timing. Perhaps, in Mel’s case, she was destined to have her short-lived bliss with Noah first, and then love again with Sawyer. It doesn’t mean she loves one less than the other, but that she can love both the same way equally. Yes, naturally she won’t be able to show Noah her love anymore because he’s gone but she can still love him and technically Sawyer will get more years of time with her, but this doesn’t mean that love she had before will ever die. It’s like when a person stays with someone, they break up for fated (or not) reasons and then this person finds someone else to love. It doesn’t diminish what the previous love and lover were, it’s just that people are bound to move on in their life, or they get stuck. For Mel, it was necessary to move on because Noah didn’t decide to die on his own. If she was stuck to his memory, I’m sure she would’ve fallen into a deep depression (which she did, for very long months) and would have drown in alchol or worse, and would have left her child to be taken care of by her family and perhaps thought about suicide. We all grieve in different ways, but the way she was grieving was going to self-destruct her at some point. Here comes Sawyer’s help. He tries hard to pull Mel from the darkness and show her how to live on, if not for herself, she has to do it for her baby. He is Noah’s legacy after all. Sawyer helps Mel move on in different ways and shows her a completely different side of himself. He brings a side of her she thought she buried, and that’s why I LOVED every single bit of their growth as a couple. Compared to Noah and Mel who seemed to move on too quickly for my taste, Sawyer and Mel took each step slowly and their growth was visible and made sense.
You know, I have been a fan of Sawyer and Mel ever since Side A. I understood that her present self was talking about him, especially after the scene of their first kiss. And things with Noah happened too fast, there must have been a reason why, and here it is. Because, like Sawyer and Mel themselves say in the book, this is their story. NOT that Noah and Mel’s story is less. It is just a part of the bigger plan, that has always been Sawyer and Mel. After Side B, I realized that the author would kill Noah off so that they could be together. I thought I wasn’t too keen on this choice because then Sawyer may consider himself second choice and that he’d end up with Mel solely because his bro died. I was hoping that the author would point out these things, which she did. It is obviously sad that Noah died, but this is a story, and, if we were to think like him, it was his destiny as a fictional character. Otherwise, if Noah had survived the accident, the story would’ve been too clique and usual for me. Wouldn’t have been annoying to see Sawyer and Mel’s build up in the sidelines and then have Noah and Mel end up together at the end anyway?! Yes, it would’ve been. But this fateful accident changed things and spun the story in a whole other direction, making Sawyer and Mel as a couple with a bigger and deeper baggage than the beginning, where their bond was blooming but Mel was feeling it with Noah at the moment of their first encounter, because that was her state of mind back then. Sawyer’s mind wasn’t also in a good place in Side A. He was still a cocky manwhore, a drug addict et all, and if they had a chance while Noah was still alive, I think they might have been pretty hurt afterwards and hurt Noah’s feelings in the process, if Mel and him had already hooked up, and separate the twins. Well, they hurt Sawyer’s feelings in this case, though. And his reactions haven’t been pretty great, but he still tried his best out of his love for his brother and Mel. I think had Noah been in Sawyer’s place, he may have had different reactions, but he would have probably tried to get back with Mel if Sawyer wouldn’t show any sign of clear interest. Because unlike Noah, Sawyer is not forward with his feelings, and this is WHY Noah had the chance first. It took Sawyer months to open up, but in the end, it was worth it. This plot device helped Mel and Sawyer both grow as characters, as much as it hurt the fans of Noah and of his couple with Mel. Had they ended up together, I would’ve felt cheated because why write a trilogy if the story could be stretched into one book? This is the reason why I shipped Sawyer and Mel until the end. Because I knew that I would finally get them together at some point.
When they finally kissed, I squealed. You could tell Mel was changing after everything had happened to them, and you could tell how things were different with Sawyer. He is a man man, very sexual, doesn’t think he can be romantic, but he ended up being the most lovable friend, brother-in-law, uncle, then boyfriend to Mel, you could ever wish for. There were times I yelled in my mind because damn, I thought why he is a fictional character? He’s my favorite character and he didn’t always make the best choices or say the best things, but he always tried to make up for them and surprise you. Sawyer was the man Mel needed after the accident, because they always had this connection and he knew how she felt and he felt like that too. Mel is a new woman with Sawyer. She looks more like the Mel at the beginning of Side A, with a strong-willed personality and that takes no shite from people, things that she lost a bit when she was with Noah (and at times I wanted to punch her in the face because of how she acted). I feel like Mel can finally be happy and be herself. Sex with Sawyer is also different from the sex with Noah. Noah was a romantic lover, who loved to play dirty but he was more traditional. Sawyer seems to be the master of the love-making art, and he is the risqué type, sarcastic and more dirty but at the same time, very sweet. I believed he would say a lot of dirty things to Mel while they made love, and he did, but he also proved to have a way with words and with actions. At times he didn’t speak, he acted, or sent Mel songs to tell her something, and it was a cute way to communicate. A bit cryptic maybe, but that proved that Mel understood him where another wouldn’t.
I had great expectations with this book and they were all met. I love how this story resolved because it was clear where this triangle would end. I think the author is very good at writing these kind of stories, and I’ll surely read another romance by her with a triangle story, despite in many cases, I’ve hated triangles. lol.
RATING: 5/5 stars