Category Archives: Natalie Ward

I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS (I Love You #3) by NATALIE WARD

i love you always

SYNOPSIS

For years, Luke searched for the life that he always wanted to live, running from a past he desperately wanted to forget. He thought he’d found it, that he’d finally escaped everything that was suffocating him, and could breathe for the first time.

And then he met Ash.

Ash showed him that not only was there more to life than he ever imagined, but that love, true love, was the one thing he was still missing. And even in the face of unimaginable tragedy, their love could survive anything.

As dreams of a recording deal suddenly become a reality, the shadows of Luke’s past finally start to catch up with him, and the one person he’s been trying to escape will threaten not only his happiness, but everything he’s worked so hard to achieve. Luke will be forced to face the life he left behind and everything he’s been trying to forget.

♫´♥ ´♥ ´♥ ♫

nat

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G: 4 Stars

Jenny:  The I Love You series has been such a unique experience in that we didn’t really have any secondary characters as such because we were afforded the opportunity to hear each character live their own story through present/past narration in each book.  The past and present switches are once again delivered flawlessly and effortlessly as we experience the moving and emotional events that shaped this beautiful, loyal, sensitive and loving man as he sheds the hurt, pain and guilt from his life. It’s been a wonderful journey taken with four people whose lives have been so intricately woven into one another and whose bonds are unbreakable.

“You asked me to fight once, for me, for you, for us.” “Well, now I’m asking you to fight too.”

We’ve followed these characters via the exquisite words of this author, from their heartbreaking beginning to their moving end, it’s hard to say goodbye but after hearing Luke’s story I now feel a sense of contentment about letting them be. Luke’s story really touched your heart didn’t it G?

Gitte: Did it ever, Jenny. In book one, my little grim reaper, Asha broke my heart and made me sob for hours with her tragic story. Now, it was Luke’s time, and wow, did I truly feel his pain.

‘That I want her. That I need her. That I love her.’

Natalie Ward has such a way with words and they touch my heart every time; her characters so real and written with such an emotional connection you know she writes from her heart. You can’t help but connect and feel every word.

“You are my forever.”

 I completely agree that the past present changes were effortless and brilliantly unique too. It just flows and to hear Luke’s story, his own, as well as his thoughts and feelings in regards to Asha, well, I fell even more in love with this amazing man.

Jenny: This instalment was always going to be a difficult read and I have be honest and say I went into Luke’s story with trepidation. Sure I was looking forward to it, but we had heard mention of Luke’s Dad and the cruelty he dished out to Luke previously and I wasn’t sure if I was up to Luke’s firsthand account of what he had suffered. Luke’s story saddened me greatly.

“I know exactly the kind of person you are. You are a man who loves deeply, who protects and cares about the people in his life, so much.”

I knew his account of ‘that’ incident was also going to be tough, after all, he was in the front line so to speak and it certainly was that. It was emotional and gut wrenching.

‘I need to change my life. I need to do what I want. I need to live.’

One of my favourite parts of Luke’s story, apart from his intense love of Asha, was experiencing the friendship and how it developed between himself and Jared. This was really special and in Jared, Luke would always have someone who has his back. It was comforting and the banter they shared really did balance out the heavy moments wonderfully. Fate was definitely on hand bringing these four together and I’m so happy I was afforded the opportunity to meet and spend time with them all as they chase their dreams and fulfill their lives. With this being the third book and covering previous events I think it’s best to not talk about the story too much, don’t you agree, G?

Gitte: Absolutely, Jenny it’d be such a shame as this series should be read with no spoilers. We sure have come full circle and I have to say that my heart feels full of love for Luke & Asha as well as Jared and Mia. I feel as if we’ve experienced an epic journey with them. We’ve cried, laughed and swooned, as we’ve heard firsthand, each character recount their emotional and painful story.

“But doesn’t it hurt?”

“More than you can imagine.”

Luke’s story was really hard for me to read, it was so bloody sad and upsetting and yes, to hear his voice during ‘that moment’ from book one was heart-breaking.

‘..I want to look after this girl…I want her to know she’s not alone in this world; that I feel her pain, that I have felt her pain, and that I want to make it go away. I will take it away for her.’

I loved the friendships, the devotion and the support. I loved how strong the characters were, their protectiveness of each other. All of them. I actually want to give them each a hug now that the journey’s over!!

I LOVE YOU SERIES can be purchased below


I LOVE YOU TO DEATH BOOK ONE : amazon us || amazon uk
STUBBORN LOVE BOOK TWO :  amazon us | amazon uk
I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS BOOK THREE : amazon us | amazon uk

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Filed under 4 Stars, Natalie Ward, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

STUBBORN LOVE (I Love You #2) by NATALIE WARD

stubborn

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Five years ago, tragedy brought Jared and Mia together. A tragedy that was the start of an unlikely source of support, a true friendship and eventually, deep, heart-stopping love. Until the day something pushed them apart, forcing one of them to let the other one go.
Now, over the course of a day and a night, Jared and Mia will finally talk about how it all went wrong. How something which seemed so perfect and true, was so easily broken. And just when they think they’ve found their way back to each other, their love, will once more be put to the ultimate test.

Sometimes, you never realise how much you can hurt the one you love.
Sometimes, you never realise the lengths you’ll go to, to help someone you love.
And sometimes, you never realise just how stubborn love can be.
Because it’s impossible to let somebody go, when you never stopped loving them in the first place.

stubborn love collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Gitte: What brilliant and clever writing by Natalie Ward. I absolutely loved ‘Stubborn Love’ – loved Mia and Jared’s story. Loved the fact that I spent one of the most intense days listening to them as if I was in the same room, sat on tenterhooks wanting them to be okay. Because they’re not okay, they have a lot to sort out and work through.

“I want him, I need him. I want what was between us….I want that back.” – Mia

“…I’m beginning to realise this girl is just as fucking stubborn as her brother.

Mia is Luke’s sister and Jared is his best mate; we met them both in book #1 and their story is given to us through both pov’s and past/present jumps. Some pov’s overlap which I thought was so well thought out, as we got both reactions to the same scene. As I said; brilliant.  It was flawless and so very unique I was glued to my kindle.

So, ‘Stubborn Love’ runs alongside ‘I Love You to Death’ (I Love You #1) timeframe wise, which at first confused me slightly, however, I was soon up to speed with where and ‘when’ everything was story-wise. However, I would recommend either reading book #1 again or refreshing your memory somehow. Though, perhaps that was just me, as it’s been a long while since I read book #1. What do you think Jenny?

JennyI agree Gitte.  For those of you who read I Love you To Death a year ago like us, maybe a skim through is in order before heading into this one. But as you said, once you realise the gist of what is going in regards to the parallel story and timelines with ILYTD you are in awe of how Natalie Ward did this. My head was spinning at how she tied everything into that timeframe.

“He told me that life is too short to live without the things you want, to not fight for the things you love…”

Gitte I love it when a book makes you think. When it tests you and isn’t handed to you on a platter and that is exactly what Natalie Ward gave us with Stubborn Love.  I love the fluidity of her prose and this book was so beautifully written and so cleverly executed that you are not only gifted a new story and a new understanding, a new awareness of the characters involved, but you’re also afforded a new perspective on some of the events which unfolded in I Love You To Death and I was hooked!

I was so excited when I heard we were getting Jared and Mia’s story.  They intrigued me in ILYTD. I wanted to know what caused the animosity and coolness between these two. Just what had transpired between them that brought them to that point.

“I want whatever is there, waiting to happen between us, to be real. Because at this moment, the feelings I have for her are the most real thing I have ever felt.”

By allowing us to be with them in “real” time as they shared their pain and stories to the flashbacks where we witness their relationship develop, well, I have to say I fell in love with these two and their story really did captivate me.

Gitte: So, Mia and Jared shared a beautiful love a love that grew throughout our peeks at their past history. A love that started out as a secret in fear of hurting and upsetting Luke, a fear that turned out to be avoidable and unnecessary.

“I turned her down at a time when she needed someone, something to make her feel good, feel wanted…”

Their love never faded or died, but their relationship did when Mia put a stop to it for reasons only known to her.

“He’s fighting for me, fighting to keep me, but I can’t let him.” – Mia

So we join them in the present when an intensely fateful day/night takes place. Mia opens up to Jared and we hear just why. She didn’t let him or us in easily though, the emotion was palpable and so intense I think I needed a drink or two to carry on. The flashbacks were beautiful and so very passionate that the balance was just perfect.

“I know I’ve messed things up and I know I have a lot to be sorry for, but I want him to know that I am sorry. I want to ask for his forgiveness. I want to try and fix things, no matter how hard it’s going to be.” – Mia

“….all I feel is regret…” – Jared

Her pain and anguish really did get to me Jenny. I hate when love gets interrupted, but I love second chance love too, so phew…..My heart ultimately broke for Jared though, because he had no clue as to why or anything, did he Jenny?

“…it’s his eyes and what I see in them that really kills me. They are filled with hurt. Hurt and regret and misery and it hits me, like a hard punch in the gut, all the things I’ve done to this man, to this amazing, beautiful man who I love, so much.”

Jenny:  Oh Gitte I felt so sorry for Jared. I adored this man. He was open, honest and really did wear his heart on his sleeve so you were in no doubt whatsoever about the love he felt for Mia.

“Don’t ever think that I don’t want you Mia.”
“Because I do, more than you’ll ever know.”

The fact that she ostracised him the way she did, the confusion he felt over her coldness towards him really did throw him for a loop. He honestly had no idea why she acted the way she did.

Listening to them both pour their hearts our via alternating POV’s of the same situations really did make you feel every bit of anguish, sorrow and complete despair at the miscommunication, the misunderstanding and the sheer waste of time they spent apart feeling resentment and hurt towards one another.

“God, I miss him. I miss him so badly that it physically hurts. A deep ache, which permanently lives inside my chest…..”

In saying that I did finally understand Mia’s reasoning. She thought she was being selfless but had misconstrued the situation. Seeing their feelings laid bare to one another, sharing their pain, their hurt, their love and their anger felt real and it felt raw and I was completely riveted to every minute of it.

“What about me? What about making me fucking happy?”

I cried a few times through this book at the realness of the emotions I felt through the pages.

Gitte: So overall, despite my initial confusion, I absolutely loved this story and all the characters. It was beautiful and so emotionally intense. Oh and ummm Jared…you naughty naughty man!! That….is…..all…..

 “All of the wasted time apart, the misunderstandings and my own stupidity and cowardice, drive us together, drive us into each other….” – Mia

Jenny:   Following this story as it culminated into the tragic events of ILYTD ruined me. I can tell you now….Luke’s book will KILL me. My heart broke for this beautiful man and the life he had lead. How he turned out so kind and so loving is beyond me. A true testament to the man himself.

The underlying relationships explored through Stubborn Love were so engaging and beautiful. To witness the depth of the bond between Mia & Luke was just wonderful.   Mia carries so much guilt over Luke’s childhood and these two have a really special relationship that I loved exploring further in this book.

But this was Mia and Jared’s story and what a story it was. It was heart-breaking. It was frustrating. It was painful and it was sad.

“For the first time, I can see that both of us have been hurting because of this.”

But it was also beautiful, passionate, intense and extremely moving. I was completely in love with this story.

“It was like I meant nothing to you, as though we and everything we had together , meant nothing to you.”

You know you’ve loved a book when you finish it with a smile on your face and you need to take that moment to absorb, to reminisce and you never want to let go of the characters. Yep!  That was me with Stubborn Love.

Oh and yes and I agree G.  Jared, you naughty, sexy man!

 Gitte: 4.5 Stars
Jenny: 4.5 Stars

ARC Supplied by author in exchange for an honest review

I LOVE YOU SERIES can be purchased below


I LOVE YOU TO DEATH BOOK ONE : amazon us || amazon uk
STUBBORN LOVE BOOK TWO :  amazon us | amazon uk
I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS BOOK THREE : amazon us | amazon uk

 

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Natalie Ward, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

I LOVE YOU TO DEATH by NATALIE WARD

I Love You To Death

SYNOPSIS

When Ash loses her boyfriend, she is consumed by grief, loneliness and an overwhelming sense of guilt for her role in not only his death, but the deaths of everyone she has ever loved. Refusing to let anyone in for fear of losing them too, she becomes withdrawn, spending her days reliving the nightmares from her past.

Until she meets Luke.

Initially scared by his intensity and interest in her, Ash tries to push him away. But as Luke slowly starts to chip away at the walls she’s built, Ash finds herself doing the one thing she swore she’d never do again — falling in love.

When the familiar feelings Ash had hoped were long buried with her past begin to resurface, she is forced to ask herself if falling in love again is really worth the risk. 

*************

Gitte 4.5 Stars.
Jenny 4.5 Stars

Gitte:     I thought this was an extremely emotional and beautiful story. So different to anything I have read lately.  I felt very melancholy throughout pretty much the whole book.  I LOVED the music references, the play list was so important to this story. And because I pretty much have the majority of those songs on my iPod I felt ever written word in my heart.  As I listened to them whilst reading I got chills, tears and at times my heart was in a puddle on the floor!

Jenny:   I got excited for this book on the first few pages when I saw the first playlist.  Like you GG, it was like the author had stolen my Ipod and put all my favourite bands and music in this book and every song was so important to the story.  I did the same…listened to the songs while reading.
This was certainly a beautiful and emotional book and so well written.  I just loved the author’ style of writing  – everything felt so real and being that it is written in the first person you really feel the impact of the story especially when Ash allows herself to feel.  This is a story I truly felt.

Gitte:  It was beautifully written and I have to say the build-up had me desperate to get to the end because I literally had no idea where this story was going to end up. And the ending…WOW…PERFECTION! I did not see that coming and it made the story of Ash and Luke so poignant and emotionally heart wrenching and moving.

Jenny:  I was the same – I was so anxious while reading it just wondering what was coming next and felt the story was well executed and switching from past to present prevented the story from getting bogged down and really kept up the pace l – I was dying to know how this book was going to end up.

Gitte: My heart ached for Ash, I wanted to pick her up , cuddle her and keep her out of harm’s way…in my head I called her my little Grim Reaper. But affectionally; because this girl; what she had to go through, wow I cried…A LOT!!!

“The anger at being the way I am, the anger at having caused all this and more than anything, the anger at being unable to do a f*****g thing about it all.”

Jenny:  I loved Ash (Asha) too.  Wow, what that girl had dealt with.  No wonder she was so closed off emotionally.  She was so full of self-doubt and so afraid to care or love another person and understandably so.  I cried a few times as well.  How much could one person endure and come out unscathed.

Gitte    I LOVED the past/present style of writing.  It gave us the background and explained the perception and conclusions drawn by Ash. This girl has rationalised everything back to herself and lives with this dark and distorted view of herself.

Jenny:  I really enjoyed the past/present switch too and found myself itching for it to go back and forth because I really wanted to know how Ash got to the place she was at now, but at the same time I wanted to switch to the present to watch this beautiful relationship between her and Luke evolve, watching how Luke draws Ash out of herself.
The switching was flawless and handled so well.  In particular the story of Sam had me in tears.

Gitte:  Luke was amazing. He was a hero; a saviour and I loved him immediately!

Jenny Luke….where do I start with him.  I just loved him. And not because he was gorgeous, sensitive, caring, patient, tattooed lead singer in a band….okay, that helped, but Luke is so much more.  What a great hero he was.  I have to say, the sexual chemistry between these two was sizzling. Watching their relationship develop just touched my heart.  Luke really sees Ash.  He sees her pain.
He’s unearthed it and yet he stays”
I love how Luke saw through her.  How he took the time and saw the girl who was underneath.

Gitte:  Two scenes in particular completely did me in….I had to stop reading I was crying that hard….but I won’t spoil this amazing book and say any more than that! Just know that if you are a crier like me you will need a full box of tissues!!

“…these things do happen and it’s just a part of life….”

Jenny:   This book is a sad book, I certainly shed a few tears, but it’s also a book about hope and moving forward and dealing with your past.  Luke and Ash dealt together and they will both steal your heart.   I love these lines from Ash about Luke:

Ash on Luke
“I watch his eyes as they find me in the crowd.  I watch his lips as they sing into the microphone.  I watch his fingers as they play his guitar.  I watch his body as it moves around the stage and I imagine his eyes, his body…all over me.  I want him”

Well, have I tempted you to read this book yet?  I hope so because I’m sure you will love it as much as we did.

 I LOVE YOU TO DEATH by NATALIE WARD
amazon us || amazon uk

I Love You To Death

 

I LOVE YOU SERIES can be purchased below


I LOVE YOU TO DEATH BOOK ONE : amazon us || amazon uk
STUBBORN LOVE BOOK TWO :  amazon us | amazon uk
I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS BOOK THREE : amazon us | amazon uk

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Natalie Ward, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny