“What’s the one thing you can’t go without?”
Tristan O’Donnell has money, women, and all the luxuries that cold hard cash can buy. Tristan’s been sucking sunshine right from the monogrammed silver spoon his life was served up on since the day he was born. And quite frankly, he wouldn’t want it any other way. He’s his mother’s pride and joy, his father’s right-hand-man, and the envy of every guy around. All Tristan has to do is flash his million dollar smile, give his trademark wink, and he gets what he wants, when he wants, anytime he wants.
Leah Franchetti grinds her fingers to the bone; sculpting, painting, recreating treasures from trash—the very sentiment that defines her life. Her inventive, vindictive, lucrative, and seemingly unforgivable plan allowed her to shortcut her way into the life she always imagined, owning an art gallery, surrounding herself in the comfort of her passion and dreams.
When circumstances force Leah and Tristan to come face-to-face with the past and with Leah’s devious manipulation, truths come flooding forth, destroying those in the present and possibly jeopardizing both of their highly anticipated futures.
Can Tristan overcome Leah’s slander and deception—despite how dangerously close he comes to losing the one thing he can’t go without—money? Will Leah be forced to come clean, knowing she’ll have to live her life with the one thing she can’t go without—her dignity?
Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte
J&G: 4 Stars
Jenny: I’ll hold my hand up and admit that when we became reacquainted with Tristan O’Donnell at the start of Can’t Go Without, I did wonder how on earth I was going to enjoy his story because…well…he came across as an absolute arrogant cockhead. I thought I would struggle through this story because of him but as it turned out, Tristan became the saving grace for me. Whilst he may not have endeared himself to me in the beginning, Angelisa Stone did the unthinkable (well in my book anyway) and managed to completely change my mind about a character and she did this without compromising the essence of who Tristan was! Well done! In fact, she didn’t just change my mind….she had me falling desperately in love with Tristan and feeling his pain. There were times my heart actually bled for him in parts of this story.
‘Tristan O’Donnell’s life was created, but it was not created with love and tenderness, it was created with regret and remorse.’
Angelisa Stone writes with a lot of emotion and humour in her stories. This author can have me in a flood of tears one minute and grinning through her witty one liners the next. So yeah, despite a couple of misgivings, this book turned out to be a winner! Did you wonder how we were going to get through Can’t Go Without at first Gitte?
Gitte: Tristan ‘arsehole’ O’Donnell….I was livid with him and just couldn’t see myself warming to him or even enjoying his story. Then absolutely, Angelisa weaved her magic and slowly I fell in love with this guy. From spit hopping mad to crying for him; not many Authors have created a character I disliked so intensely only to fall in complete love with. This as a consequence of complete redemption whilst still holding on to an air of arrogance. I have to applaud this Author for writing a character who’s so fucked up yet whilst we slowly learn of the whys get a glimpse of the true person and see his heart of pure gold. Tristan never lost his bad-arsedness nor did he lose any of his appealing cockiness; he just lost the shitty baggage that made him a tosser!
“Time heals all wounds.” Fuck that. That person must’ve never experienced a wound that cuts so deep, so severely that the wound will never, ever heal…”
I agree wholeheartedly Jenny, Angelisa Stone is a brilliant writer. The humour, the drama and the intensity is spot on and I felt every emotion in every word. Whilst I loved many aspects of this story and marvelled at how my emotions and feeling played out, there was a couple of scenes that absolutely broke my heart. I cried buckets! You know what I’m talking about, Jenny don’t you?!
Jenny: Oh my goodness Gitte. I know exactly the scene you’re talking about. That scene brought me to my knees. I was so overcome with emotion for Tristan – I tell you, that scene wrecked me. I cried for him and I became enraged at those responsible for the wrong doings aimed at this man. Oh sure, he was a cocky, self-assured arse who lacked any sort of filter who did need pulling down to earth, but he hid behind a heart full of pain that made him feel so unworthy and he didn’t deserve what had been dealt him. It was cruel and unforgivable in my book and my heart really did go out to him.
“You wrecked him. You wrecked us. Tristan has changed so much these past three years. I don’t even know that guy in there anymore.”
My misgivings towards the story lay with Leah. I couldn’t completely connect to her and I felt she got off waaaaaay too easy and no one, not Leah nor Tristan’s family appeared to feel any remorse for their actions towards Tristan which infuriated me to the point where I wondered if I could continue. I expected more from Adrian, and his actions really baffled and annoyed me. However, I’m glad I pushed on because Angelisa Stone gave me a character who showed us that love and belonging is possible if you open your heart. Yep, I did enjoy his story! I know you were pretty pissed at some of the actions of these characters G as we did discuss them at length!
Gitte: I disliked Leah immensely; sorry but at times in this story I had to put this book down thinking to myself…how can I continue reading this? Did she redeem herself in my eyes? No, sorry she didn’t. I had a huge problem with her action which caused the crux of this story. She got away with it way too easy in my opinion. Also, the actions of Dre and Kathryn, bloody hell, seriously? I loved Dre in book #1, now? Not so much, what a complete tool! Sorry but I just can’t explain how mad I am for how far this was. The reason for why, very incomprehensible! We’re talking siblings here and the seriousness of the claim, well, it made me feel pissed off because this sadly does happen in real life! I don’t know what to say Jenny, so I think I’ll stop here!
‘The future just grabbed on to the past, and yanked with all its might to meet right in the middle of the present.’
So, my problem was quite a biggie and you’d think I couldn’t get back from that right? Wrong, one character outshone the huge issue I had. Yep, one character’s growth and self-discovery saved this story for me, that and the fantastic writing. The journey, the heartbreak and the humour was excellent and kept me reading. The emotion was quite staggering at times and Piper played a huge part in this.
“Tristan. My big brother is what’s good in this world.”
Her and Tristan had some incredibly emotional scenes together both past and present that had me in tears. So well played Angelisa Stone; Tristan saved the day, seriously love this man!
**ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review**
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