by Shey Stahl
Read below for my review & giveaway
I knew a boy once.
He was a boy that changed everything.
I didn’t know Parker O’Neil outside of the occasional smile and wink. The AMA Supercross racer came to our small town one winter, and I had no idea what he was capable of. How could I have known that he would change my life forever that summer? Eventually, the occasional smile became a smile I grew to love and longed to see. The occasional wink became a gesture that made my soul sway and my heart ache. In the canyons of the desert, he showed me his lifestyle and his love.
What I didn’t see was the control he had over me. It was a power the glitz and glamour of his professional lifestyle had and eventually what tore apart any life I thought I knew. In his world of banging bars and soaring jumps, there was no room for someone like me. But for five years, every time he called or touched me, everything changed again. It was a touch that could heal anything and a smile that could light even the darkest nights.
Rating: 4.5 stars
“You could be anywhere when your life begins but you wouldn’t know it until it changed everything you thought you knew”
Where do I start – I LOVED this book! This has easily made its way into My Favorite Books categories and Shey Stahl is definitely in My Favorite Authors category as well. This is the second book of Ms. Stahl’s that I have read and I am officially going to read everything she has ever written and anything she ever writes now.
The book starts when Parker O’Neil moves to Washington to work at Rowan’s step father’s garage when they are only 17 years old. This part of the book reminded me of young, innocent love that was filled with winks, shy smiles and very little conversation. Parker and Rowan’s relationship was very underwhelming at first – months went by without them ever speaking to one another. It isn’t until they go on a road trip that summer with Parker’s brother and Rowan’s best friend that they finally open up to one another and fall in love.
The first half of the book detailed their young love in full glory – their first kiss, first awkward time together, immaturity, inability to deal with love at such a young age and their utter lack of communication. I loved every part of this stage of their relationship. It reminds me of being young and thinking I knew everything, but really knowing nothing. Ms. Stahl did such a fantastic job illustrating the awkwardness of being a teenager and the emotions that teens, especially teen girls, go through.
But like all good things, they sometimes don’t last forever. Parker is a Supercross/Motorcross (he rides dirt bikes competitively) racer and leaves Washington to follow his dream. Their emotional immaturity seems to rule here and catapults them down a path that leads to pain, heart break, jealousy, lack of communication and avoidance. The remaining part of the book spans over 12 years where we follow Rowan and Parker as they navigate their tumultuous relationship – some good and some bad.
The book spends the majority of the time being told from Rowan’s perspective and if you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know that I despise characters that do not communicate and run away from their problems. Here’s the shocker — and I may very well be a hypocrite — but I didn’t mind Rowan. I actually liked her. Was she stupid, petty, and immature at times? YES. But, she knew it – she was just in denial for the longest time. Did I want her to wake up and stop getting in her own way? YES – but what fun would this book be if there wasn’t angst? Deep down Rowan always knew Parker was the love of her life – it just takes her a LONG time to finally admit that to herself.
“The boy broke my heart and like it or not, I was eighteen and still lacked maturity and absolutely no common sense”
“Once again, I said nothing. He confessed his love in not so many words to me, again, and I said nothing.”
And then there’s Parker. Oh Parker – he was so sweet and shy, which made him so different than any other male characters I’ve read about lately. I loved when I got to hear from his perspective – especially towards the end of the book. And did I mention he is a Supercross/Motorcross superstar? I didn’t know much about that world prior to reading this book, but Ms. Stahl has definitely opened my eyes to a fascinating world that I want to know more about. Picturing Parker on his bike and doing all his tricks – hot!
“I live for the moment I hear your voice when you answer…and everything changes for me. I live for the hello.”
The only minor thing about this book that confused me was the whole Kayla storyline. I got confused towards the end about what exactly happened between Kayla and Rowan and Kayla’s role in Parker’s life. I don’t know if it was as if something was in the story but then later cut, but I feel like I missed a piece of the puzzle that contributed to Parker and Rowan’s separation. Or maybe that part just totally went over my head. Either way it wasn’t a huge deal – I just wished I understood a little bit better.
I can’t complete this review without talking about Ms. Stahl’s writing. I LOVE her writing style. I cannot pinpoint exactly what it is about it that I love so much, but I just love the way she tells a story. Maybe its that she wrote this book as if Rowan was looking back at her life and interjected commentary about her decision-making. Maybe its that she sets her stories in worlds that are not commonly written about. Maybe its that she can really capture her characters’ emotions.
I cannot recommend and gush about this book enough. I love, love, LOVED it.
“Sometimes everything changes and you’re left wondering how it happened and where you could have down shifted. Sometimes you wonder how you missed the track changing and then before you know it…you’re pitched from the bike.”
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Shey is giving away five (5) signed paperbacks (US Residents Only) AND five (5) eBook copies of EVERYTHING CHANGES.
>>> CLICK TO ENTER <<<
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About Shey Stahl
Shey Stahl is a romance writer who enjoys writing about racing and a good love story that will sweep you off your laughing ass. Growing up she was surrounded by racing watching her dad at the local Northwest tracks.
Writing wasn’t something she thought she would ever do but when a rough pregnancy landed her on bed rest three years ago, a passion was discovered. Now, aside from chasing around her little princess with magical powers, it’s rare for her to put down the pen.
Currently Shey is finishing up her series, Racing on the Edge, that follows a dirt track racer on his rapid rise to the glitz and glamour of NASCAR and the family who supports him.