Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
G&J: 4.5 Stars
“Leave me.”…”Let me die.”
Gitte: Wow, there’s no doubt is there Jenny, Susan Mac Nicol sure writes beautiful, flawless and emotional stories. I think I’ve cried every time I’ve read one of her books. Her characters are lovable, funny, and sexy and have a real emotional depth to them. This time we got cheekiness too and a monkey named Socks, which I loved and made me laugh! I have to say I found Worth Keeping had just about everything you’d love in a story; angst, passion, drama, suspense and humour in abundance and the fact that the insta-love didn’t bother me speaks volumes about the class of this lady’s writing!
Worth Keeping was extremely dark at times; covering rape, abuse and violence, the writing is so brilliant, I sometimes felt sick and had constant tears in my eyes. It was also full of love, hope and inspiration.
“Please fight for me..”
It’s about two guys who both have a different type of tragedy in their past and need to learn to heal and find true happiness again.
“What are you scared of?”
So why not a 5 star? Well, now that this is the third book I’ve read by this Author, the formula has gotten a tad predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I loved everything about Worth Keeping, it was just too easy to foresee what would happen next. You felt the same didn’t you Jenny?
Jenny: Absolutely Gitte! Firstly, I know when I pick up one of Susan’s that it’s going to take me on an emotional and enlightening journey that will surely touch my heart and, in between a lot of other feelings, Worth Keeping certainly did just that. It was a tragic, painful, dark and yet wonderfully triumphant story of love against the odds.
“Close your eyes and let me help you forget for a while.”
And yes, I do agree that the formula is quite predictable after a few books so I knew from the start how the story would eventuate but getting there was such a memorable journey and it really did mess with my emotions.
Nick’s story in particular broke me. What this man had experienced in life….well, you can’t comprehend.
“He’s a difficult son of a bitch but he’s one of the strongest and bravest men I think I’ve ever met.”
Yet, in amongst the heaviness of Nick’s story we had the cheeky humor of Owen, the passionate chemistry between Nick and Owen and the suspense throughout the story and YES! Let’s not forget Socks who, I might add, completely stole my heart! This little cheeky monkey was just gorgeous and had me giggling like crazy and in tears in the scenes when he became upset. This little guy was something else! The cast of characters in this story were just beautiful. Nick’s Dad in particular was such a fun and loving character. His love and devotion for Nick was as extraordinary as was the man himself. Of course, not everyone was loveable. Don’t even get me started on the horrid Brad Mayhew!!!! This author certainly does have a way of portraying these evil characters that leave me seething! What a cruel bastard he was. And Sid and Barrett…..hmmmm do I detect a fellow Floyd fan here Susan?
Gitte: So we have Owen; funny, sweet, stubborn and gorgeous Owen who lost the love of his life and is unable to see a way of living no matter how long has passed. Owen’s grief is overwhelming to the point where he washes up on Nick’s shores. Bless him, he had no idea what he’s in for with Nick and his ghosts and the path he’s now on. However, Owen has the willpower of many men, a huge heart and he doesn’t give up. His heart takes a real battering in this story and at times I wanted to shout at Nick for not realising just what he had in this beautiful man as well as the fact that Owen too has suffered.
‘Owen thought fiercely that there was no way in hell he was ever leaving this man alone with his demons. Hell would freeze over before that happened.’
Owen loves with passion and his sense of humour is infectious and so endearing. He’s perfect for Nick and has the patience of a saint as well as the staying power Nick needs. The way Owen got through to Nick and helped him on the road to recovery and realising its okay to love was beautiful and inspiring. I think Owen is one of my favourite characters by this Author as he had some cute and funny quirks, he was completely lovable and so very passionate. He had an immense understanding of Nick and an empathy that knows no bounds.
Jenny: I think Nick knew what he had in Owen but he just didn’t have the confidence and self-love in himself to believe that a man like Owen would love him and want to be with him. He constantly questioned his own validity and self-worth.
“You just can’t bear to be happy.”
He was teetering on a path of self-destruction and self-loathing and it was going to take a lot of strength and a man of Owen’s substance to bring Nick out of himself.
Nick had suffered through so much in his life. Abused and used by a mother who should have nurtured and protected him and belittled, humiliated and abused by man who he thought loved him. Nick had survived under the most horrific of circumstances. In Owen he found a man who never judged and always accepted Nick for the broken man he was.
“You don’t need fixing, Nick. You’re great just the way you are.”
To hear Nick recount his story was shocking and heart-breaking. It was difficult to read and so raw and real was the telling that I just wanted to jump in my Kindle and hug Nick to assure him everything was going to be alright. It was testament to Nick that he tried so desperately to open his heart to love and trust. Owen became the saviour Nick so desperately needed.
“Sometimes you might just have to fight me for it. Please fight for me, Owen.
Yep, this story of two very broken and beautiful souls captured me completely.
G&J: So, we have to re-iterate that this Author will always be an automatic one-click for us. Her writing is flawless and her flawed characters are completely lovable. There’s always something quirky and fun in her stories as well as drama, angst and heaps of passion! We can highly recommend!!