Book Review: Always & Forever

Always & Forever (Always & Forever, #1) by Lauren Crossley: “No, I won’t leave. You can say whatever the hell you want to me and I still won’t go. I will never, ever leave you, Bethany. Don’t you understand that? Do you not understand the depth of my feelings for you? The truth is… I can’t let you go, even if I wanted to… I just don’t have the strength to do it. You deserve to know the truth and that’s why I don’t care how messed up this is. Bethany, you have to know that I’m unconditionally and unreservedly in love with you. Every single thought I have consists of you. I’m utterly obsessed, I’m addicted and I feel like I’m going crazy over the intensity of my feelings for you. The need I have to be with you takes precedence over everything else in my life; it can’t be rivalled by anything. Being with you isn’t a choice; we’re not an option, Bethany. Don’t you understand that? I’ve actually reached the stage where I know I wouldn’t even be able to exist without you. My need for you is like oxygen, it’s not something I can control or even try to explain. I can honestly say that I would cease to exist without you in my life; I would sooner die than be separated from you. You’ve taken over my mind, body and soul, all I think about is you. You’re the centre of my universe, you’re all I can see and you know what? That’s absolutely fine; it’s fine because you’re the only one I need. It’s you, Bethany. It will always be you.” - Jake.

"Jake’s intensity can sometimes scare me and yet it is the same unyielding intensity that draws me to him. I’ve never wanted anything or anyone as much as I want Jake. I crave him and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit that he’s now become the centre of my world. He’s completely taken over my mind, my body and my soul. The truly messed up thing is... I don’t mind." - Bethany.

Bethany is a twenty year old young woman who just wants to experience life in the same way that anyone else does. She longs for freedom and for an escape from her boring and predictable life. Her controlling father has always prevented her from experiencing the freedom she so ardently desires... Until now.

Bethany has always dreamt of escaping the never-ending dictatorship of her father but never thought her hopes for freedom would actually come true... until Jake.

Irresistibly handsome and fiercely protective over the fragile young girl he's just met, Jake is adamant that nothing will keep them apart. He soon becomes fixated on the idea of them being together and will stop at nothing to make it happen. The question is, will Jake's passionate and intense love for Bethany be enough to help her escape the clutches of her father's obsessive control? Or will their love be thwarted by something darker than either of them could ever imagine?

Bethany knows her father and the lengths that he will go to. He's a cruel and dangerous man who will share Bethany with no one. However, Jake is not to be underestimated. He hasn't always been the good man that he is today. Jake is desperate to keep Bethany in his life but he also wants to keep her safe from the darkness that surrounds him and his past, a past that continues to haunt him. The truth is, Jake has a secret. It's something dark and painful, something a girl from his past won't allow him to forget, no matter how hard he tries to make her disappear from his life.

Bethany quickly becomes the centre of his universe and Jake vehemently decides that he's not going anywhere without a fight. He needs this girl and he'll do anything and everything that he can to be with her and make her his.

It's love versus evil in this enthralling debut about first love, passion, obsession and jealousy.

Rosie's thoughts: Always & Forever is ultimately about finding love and that love having to overcome many difficult hurdles. Bethany lives at home under the very strict control of her father. She has no friends and is only allowed out to go and work in her father's second-hand book store. However one evening, when her father is out, she sneaks to the store for some milk and literally bumps into Jake. From here on they meet every Friday without her father knowing. This is the area of the story I found hard to read as each week the same thing happened and the story wasn't pacey enough for me. The story picked up again when Jake's jealous ex girlfriend became involved and when Bethany's father found out about her secret relationship. The story introduced us to other characters such as Callum an old college friend of Bethany. Again his involvement could have been quicker and made the suspense be more dramatic. I was disappointed that this book, despite its long length, did not reach a conclusion in this book and that we have to wait for the next installment. I felt that this book could easily be completed in one book.

I did enjoy the storyline and the characters but just felt the pace was a little slow.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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