Title: Where There’s a Will (The Lost Boys, #1)
Author: Jessie Walker
Heat: 4 Flames
Rating: 5 Hearts
Synopsis via GoodReads:He was everything I never wanted.
Impulsive. Careless. Self-Destructive.
I’m the cliché they all warn you about.
The head case with a pretty face.
If I’m not chasing the bottom of a bottle,
I’m snorting a line off a girl’s ass.
That guy you know who plays Russian Roulette at parties?
But that all changes when he comes barreling back into my life.
The boy from my childhood.
The boy I told myself was a fluke.
It’s only a matter of time before he learns the truth.
Before he sees me for who I really am under all the bullshit.
He wants to love me whole, but shouldn’t he know better than that by now?
Saving someone who doesn’t want to be saved is a recipe for disaster…
And loving someone who doesn’t want to be loved?
With Ms. Walker’s continuation of this duet due out next month, I finally read Where There’s a Will so that I did not have to wait so long between finishing it and the next release. I hate waiting. lol. I’m glad that I did. Having to wait a month is going to kill me, let alone over six when this was released last October. This book was amazing y’all.
Oh. My. God. This book. This book! This book didn’t just break me, it fucking destroyed me beyond my ability to describe with words. I can’t believe it’s a debut. Girl has a gift. This book has haunted me now for three damn days. I have the worst book hangover, and I’m going to glad put myself through it all over again in a month when the second half continues in May.
I was just talking to another reviewer on GoodReads about this one. I’ve been reviewing books for about ten years, give or take. I used to be pretty generous with my ratings. So, back then I had created a tag when I came across books that I just absolutely and utterly loved because after comparing those to my other 5 star reads, it just didn’t seem fair to put them on the same level. So I created a 6 star tag for those books and became stingier with my ratings after that. Out of the 945 books I’ve read since I started tracking them, there are only 7 books on this tag. Where There’s a Will is on that tag now. I loved this book beyond measure. It’s raw, it’s gritty… it’s perfect.
TRIGGER WARNING. This book is heavy, yet none of it felt gratuitous. So I will warn you that if you have any qualms about reading books with abuse, death, grief, substance abuse and mental illness, use your own judgement to decide if you need to check the warnings on the author’s website and consider whether or not you want to continue reading this review.
This one is heavy on the angst. The tagline for this author is, “Romance, But Make it Hurt.” And she does, without holding back. This is all of the hurt and very little comfort. However, this is only the first half of the story. The second part of the duet is due out next month on 13th. I was talking with the author on Instagram briefly, and she did say they do get their HEA after … everything.
This is a long book, (almost 500 pages) so as much as I want gush on forever about it, it won’t be possible. There’s too great a risk for spoilers, so I won’t even try. This is as much a character study as it is a love story, despite the pain it inflicts. Will & Way. These two guys just … yeah, I loved them. Way is my favorite simply because he’s the kind of character that I am always drawn to, the tortured soul.
The book opens with a prologue and a suicide. (That’s really all I’m going to say about it because anything else will be a spoiler). Then we go to one of the MCs, Will, who begins to tell his story, ironically dealing with the aftermath of a suicide. He left home for a fresh start. He impulsively stops in a town called Shiloh, Pennsylvania, because it’s the last place to stop off for a while for a while. He ends up running into an old friend and lets chance decide if he’s going to stay around for a while.
Scoping out the rack of lottery tickets on my way, I debate whether or not I should buy a few scratch-offs. I’m not usually one for gamling, but it’s become this little game I play with myself. Using them as a sort of gauge when arriving in any new town.
Simple as fucking that. Let the universe call the shots. I’m done trying.
Little did he know quite what was in store for him when he reunites with Waylon from his childhood. His ex-best friend.
My heart grinds to a stop. Lungs constricting.
Will Foster. Will fucking Foster.
What. The. Fuck.
His brow furrows, and I wonder what he’s thinking. Imagine what he sees when he looks at me. Does he remember. Do I care?
I give myself a mental shakedown and look away, lifting my beer to my mouth. Memories I’ve managed to shelve away for years suddenly try to shoot forth all at once, and it takes everything in me to smack them away and stay in the present.
To not lose my shit.
“Will, huh.” There. Much better. Cool. Calm. Collected. I mean, so what if his name alone sits on my tongue like a punch to the throat? I am a goddamn cucumber, that’s how much chill I have.
There’s something about Will Foster that makes me want to throw his head in a blender.
These two man. The chemistry they have is off the charts, but there’s some unresolved issues from the past that have caused quite the animosity on Waylon’s end. Try as they might though, there is no denying how they feel about each other, despite all attempts to prove otherwise. Will is hopelessly in love with Waylon, always has been.
This is what I came back for. Not for answers. Not for closure. I came back to remember what it was like to be happy. To be whole.
And Waylon? He is the very definition of my favorite antihero. You know this is gonna hurt.
From the messy dark hair, to the tats climbing up his arms, to the ripped jeans, and the unlit cigarette now balancing between his lips – he’s got bad boy written all over him.
And yet, there’s also a softness to him. An innocence. A beauty, even. It feels as familiar to me as it is shocking. Mesmerizing. Dangerous.
These two have more baggage than Grand Central Station has people at rush hour. The bulk of the book is spent
working through avoiding it. And watching it unfold as it consumes everyone within a ten block radius. It’s painful as hell to witness. I spent the better half of this book in tears. Not just tears, but flat out ugly crying. Not ashamed to admit that. It’s hard to fathom that this is a debut novel.
At heart though, this is a love story, albeit one wrapped in razor wire, but still, a love story. There is some sweetness. It’s just quieter, subtler. The kind that makes me melt when someone so rough around the edges gives in and just … lets go. There’s something about that display of vulnerability that just gets me every. damn. time.
“Way,” he breathes, and fuck me, if his lips don’t pucker and release like a goddamn kiss around my name. What the hell do I even do with that?
Because in this moment, all I see and feel and taste and hear is Will. And he is, and has always been, so much bigger than anything else in my life. It was never a question of whether or not he could consume me – it was always just a matter of me letting go enough to let him.
I wish that I could write something more eloquent to convey everything that it was and make everyone read it, but I can’t. This is not an easy read. It packs a punch. It will not be for everyone. However, I think Ms. Walker handled it well. It’s ugly and brutal, but that’s life sometimes. It’s honest. It’s damn near as perfect book as I’ve ever read. If you can handle the content, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely earned its spot on my all time favorites list near the top.
I am drowning. Drowning in overwhelming want for this guy. This fucking guy who just told me I was once his everything, when I was sure I was only ever his nothing.”
This one is going to live rent free in my head for a while….
Purchase Links | Amazon
Where There’s a Way is part of the Kindle Unlimited library. However, I liked it so much, I bought a physical copy before I even finished reading it.