Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.
Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.
With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.
But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?
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Review : 5 ++++Stars
J&G: This will be a long review so be prepared – we wanted to review this jointly and both have so much to say about this book, so it was hard for us to condense this review.
Jenny: There are those rare times as a reader when you pick up a book and get the feeling you are about to embark on something special, something profound happens to you the minute you close that book. It’s a unique feeling and there is nothing quite like it for a reader is there Gitte?
Gitte: There really isn’t and yeah it really was a very unique and emotional experience which will stay with me for a long time to come, if not forever. We had no idea what to expect and I have to say it was both scary but very exhilarating too!
Jenny: Gitte and I both went in completely blind on this – no synopsis, we read no reviews, we knew nothing, and what an experience it was for both of us. This book was all about living in the moment, living every day to the fullest and following your heart. Great messages and it really drove them home.
Jenny: Where to start? Firstly, I have to admit I’m almost hesitant to attempt a review of this book because I don’t know if what I say will do this book justice – I’m hoping my words are adequate because this book touched my heart and reached deep into my soul and it will own a place there forever.
Gitte: For sure, this story is definitely in my top 20 this year and considering I just rounded 255 books so far this year, this in it-self speaks volumes! That is how much this book and its characters touched my heart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this story took a piece of my heart, no doubt!
Such an unexpected journey which elicited every emotion possible in me. It reminded me of what is important in life, it made me “open drawers and embark on a proper clear out”. I stayed up most of the night to finish it, not because I wanted it to end, because I could happily have stayed with these characters, rather because I simply could not put it down.
That night I cried myself to sleep.
“the HEART always wins out over the mind. The heart, although reckless and suicidal and a masochist all on its own, always gets its way.”
Jenny: I have to be honest and say for about the first 20% I thought – hmmm I have no idea where this is going, what it’s about and I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually connect to Camryn.
This book was a slow build, but it was needed to have the reader understand and feel what Camryn is feeling – to know how she started and to see her journey and self- realisation at the end all started from the very beginning of this story.
At around 30% I was pulled right in. I was at the point of no return. Camryn was working her way into my heart and I was absolutely connected to her, understood her and felt for her. It was here that I became a part of the story. I stopped becoming a reader and started a journey with two characters Andrew Parrish and Camryn Bennett, that was to become one of the most heartbreaking, emotional, funny, joyous, passionate and beautiful journey I taken in quite a while.
Gitte: Yes, I absolutely have to agree with Jenny here. It was a very slow build and I didn’t have an instant connection with Camryn either but I agree with Jenny, in order to fully understand her journey we needed a piece of her history in order to fully understand her. Understand where she was coming from. Camryn, for me, came across brave yet broken, determined yet unsure as to how to free herself from her allocated slot in the world. As she began to shed the burdens of life, the restraints set by society, the weight of her past I felt part of her deliverance.
Jenny: Cam (Camryn) was looking at life from a distance. Cam wasn’t “living” life, she felt like an outsider, like something was missing – life for Cam is monotonous.
She needs to break free from life and do something spontaneous and that’s just what she does. She embarks on a road trip that was to turn her world upside down and open her up to experiences she never thought she would.
As a reader to find a book that allows you to share a story with the characters is something rare. I was on this adventure with Cam, I visited every place she went to and I could almost touch and smell the things around her…..every moment became something I shared with the characters.
Gitte Camryn Bennet feels her life is becoming a bit like a broken record. Nothing changes, she can walk blindfolded through the days, the weeks and still carry out daily tasks, her feelings on hold…living in numbness almost, from much repeated routines. And yeah spontaneity is a foreign word which one day enters Camryn’s vocabulary when she buys a random bus ticket and takes off from her life in quest to not only to find herself but also escape from herself at the same time. On this journey at no point did I feel like an outsider, rather I was there, on the bus sat on the opposite side of the aisle watching events unfold. I was right there every step of the way breathing and feeling their journey with them.
For me, my heart was gripped the minute Camryn met Andrew. Their story being a beautiful journey of friendship and love. About listening to your heart, being true to yourself in every way that matters and living life to its fullest potential. Live in the moment and make that moment count! Make it a memory.
“I think I’ve been afraid most of my life to be myself.”
Jenny: Cam really came into her own and the story really did taken on a whole new life when Andrew Parrish came onto the story.
Andrew Parrish….what a guy I have to say, Andrew is my number one book boyfriend at the moment. Andrew is perfection and this man, without exception, completely and utterly stole my heart. What a fascinating, funny, alpha, beautiful man he was. Yep, gorgeous smile, tattoos and not afraid to stand up for his woman, speaks his mind, has passion (oh boy is he passionate!) lives and loves life and let’s not forget his music tastes…how can you not love a man who is into Bad Co, Kansas, The Stones and Led Zepplin….yes, Andrew ticked ALL the boxes for me.
The dual POV was effortless and both voices were so important and HAD to be heard.
Andrew: “I don’t know how I got myself into this, but I do know that as much as my conscience is ripping into my fucking ears, telling me to leave her alone, I can’t. I don’t want to.
We’ve already gone too far”
Gitte: The minute Camryn gets on that spontaneous bus ride, her life is altered forever. A random act, changing the course of her life, when she meets Andrew Parish on her journey, making it their journey.
I am in complete agreement with Jenny here on two things. Andrew is indeed the most amazing man, completely eligible for that coveted number one spot of book boyfriends we love (note the absence of fictitious here!!) I absolutely LOVED his POV in their story. I actually preferred it to Camryn’s because I found it to have a slightly more emotional pull on me. Both were necessary, absolutely, how else would we have so utterly connected to these two characters.
Andrew the gorgeous man with the green eyes who is strong and beautiful (yes he really was in its purest of forms and it took absolutely NOTHING away from his manliness, as wow he was ALL MAN!!). Andrew was fun, he was honest to a fault and he inspired and believed in the basic human need for fulfilment, he was passionate and yeah…inspiring. He had a sarcastic dirty mouth yet the biggest and most amazing souls. I fell in love immediately the minute I heard his voice. *sigh* the things he says…how he says them…his mouth…*sigh*
He was flawless in my eyes despite the emotional baggage he carried it did not make him unreachable nor did it make him an arse. At no point in their journey did Andrew falter in my regard of him. He carried his burdens and his emotions with class.
“For the first time in my life, I’ve felt whole, alive, free. You were the missing piece of my soul, the breath in my lungs, the blood in my veins. I think that if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I’ve known you for a short time, but I feel like I’ve known you forever.” ~Andrew
Jenny: As they spend time on the road together Andrew becomes her teacher – showing her how to speak her mind, live in the moment, reach for your dreams and open your heart. Cam is a willing student to Andrew and he is her missing piece. Cam in turn shows Andrew what love is and the two of them learn to break down barriers and drop their guards and the result is something so beautiful and passionate that I can’t think about these two without welling up and smiling all at the same time. They experience so much together and Andrew helps her face her past and move forward. He understands her and draws her out of herself and she starts to confide and share her feeling with him.
Andrew: “Pain is pain, babe”
“Just because one persons’ problem is less traumatic than another’s doesn’t mean they’re required to hurt less”. (How very true!)
Gitte: Yeah ditto to that Jenny and that quote could not be any more true if it tried!
Whatever you want to call it; fate, destiny or kismet Andrew and Camryn were meant to find each other, and this they did at a crucial point in their lives. At a time where each needed the other for different reasons. Each drew out the best in the other; unravelling the layers exposing the truth, the real wants and desires in each other, the hope and also the kick up the arse they both need. A deep friendship from an instant connection from which their journey begins…
“You dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backwards, or you say stagnant in the same place all your life.”….“Live in the moment.”
Jenny: Everything in this story just felt so real to me. Even the sex scenes, though very steamy, felt real…..they were handled beautifully and at times erotically, but always with reality. This was real, the story was mesmerizing captivating, raw and gut wrenching, passionate and so very beautiful.
The journey these two take both on the road, emotionally and spiritually is like nothing I have ever read before and I warn you to have tissues on hand, you WILL need them. Be prepared to take this book into your heart, it will be one you will never forget.
Gitte: Again, completely agree with you here Jenny. This story actually felt real. Like “the memoirs of….”
How often do we describe a story as taking us on an emotional roller-coaster ride?! I often use this comparison because reading and joining two people on their journey of self-discovery you inevitably, if well written like this one, feel the bumps, take the sharp turns, anticipate the drops after an immense build up, feel the butterflies, feel your tummy drop on that step decline…It’s all there… it really is. It’s emotionally draining, extremely passionate, thrilling, inspirational and oh so exciting!
Jenny: A memoirs. Gitte, that is such a good way of describing this. It really was just like that.
I have to say I highlighted so many beautiful quotes throughout this book but to post them would give too much away, so I’ll leave with this one.
“I wanted to say thank you.”
” for making me feel alive.”…
“Well, everybody needs help feeling alive again every once in a while.”
“No,” she says seriously… “I didn’t say again , Andrew; for making me feel alive for the first time.”
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