I need you, Ava.
I am desperate. For you. For a touch. For a kiss. For the scrape of your hand down my stomach. For the slide of your lips across my hipbone. The sweep of your thigh against mine in the dulcet, drowning darkness. For the warm huff of your breath on my skin and the wet suck of your mouth around me and the building pressure of need reaching release...I am mad with need.
Wild with it.
I cannot have you. I have lost you, as I have lost myself.
And so I go in search. Of myself, and thus the man who might return to you, and take you in his arms.
I loathe each of the thousands of miles between us, but I cannot wish them away, for I hope at the end of my journey I shall find you. Or rather, find myself, and thus…you. Myself, and thus us.
I am taking the long way home, Ava.
I’m losing my mind, and I don’t know how to stop it. I shouldn’t be writing to you, but I am. I’m friendless, loveless, and lifeless. You’re out there somewhere, and still you’re all I really have. I hate my reliance and dependence on you, emotionally and otherwise, and that reliance is something I’m coming to recognize. I hate that I can’t hate you as much as I want to. I hate that I still love you so much.
I hate that there’s no clear solution to our conundrum. Even if we could forgive each other, what then?
I hate you, Christian. I really do.
But most of all, I don’t.
Complicatedly (still) yours,
Oh my, there is so much bouncing around in my head right now I don’t know where to start.
The Long Way Home is a story about a couple who deal with the death of their infant son in two entirely different ways. Their decisions and defense mechanisms that the couple uses are an attempt to hide from the reality of their loss while trying to figure out how to move on and hopefully heal their relationship.
Christian and Ava St. Pierre’s story is very emotional. Jasinda Wilder does an excellent job showing how a traumatic event can change a couple individually and as a unit and she also is building anticipation for where the couple will be once they figure out if they can live with their loss. The couple’s pain jumps off the page and into my heart on many different levels. They both do things to each other that made me want to shake some sense into them while also needing to put my arms around them so they could cry on my shoulders.
Jasinda Wilder is an excellent writer. Her descriptions of Christian’s and Ava's daily struggles are perceptive and memorable. The plot is realistic, original, and fast-pasted. By the end of the story, I believe I understand Christian more than Ava probably because the story is told more from his point of view. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t agree with his choices but, since I could get in his head, I understand what is going on more. When I started reading Part II, I fully expected to hate Christian because I sensed what happens and didn’t think I would forgive him. Is that how Ava feels?
When we get Ava’s point of view, I often want to yell at her because she shut her husband out so completely. Again, I understand most of her actions, but I couldn’t justify her actions either. Honestly, I don’t think anyone can understand individual decisions unless you walk in their shoes. The author does a good job of letting us walk in Chris and Ava’s shoes. My sense is this couple, as much as they look like the perfect couple to the outside world, have problems communicating before their heartbreak which makes the tragedy that much worse for them to work through.
My only problem with The Long Way Home is that it is a cliffhanger and Mrs. Wilder isn’t giving any clues about how long the series is, or even, how many books before Ava and Christian resolve their relationship issues (for better or worse), so this is a long-term cliffhanger. That is a problem for me. I’m not anti-cliffhanger as I buy a lot of series with cliffhangers. I’m anti open-ended. I want to know if the plan is for a book to release every six months, once a year, or whatever. It is only fair to the readers. In this series, I can see where the series could put Chris and Ava on the backburner while telling the ancillary characters stories. There are some great ancillary characters.
I admit that I’m not an author. I don’t understand the business and, therefore the decisions around creating a mystery about the number of books to tell a story doesn’t make sense to me. What I do understand is that I am of an age that I want to know if I will be around long enough to get the ending, albeit as The Long Way Home clearly shows a tragedy can happen unexpectedly. I don’t care about the schedule for all the characters in this book. The support characters could take this series on a long journey. It confuses me when an author can’t give a hint as to when the chief or original characters' story will resolve even if the hint is a maybe. Like maybe in four, five, or ten books scheduled to release every X number of months. At least readers know up front how much time they must commit.
Stepping off my soapbox
Jasinda Wilder knows how to develop a compelling tale that takes her readers through the characters’ despair while retaining an air of hope. I love her style. I love that her characters are so realistic, vulnerable, damaged, and fighting to survive. If you are ready for a cliffhanger, you must read The Long Way Home. If you aren’t a patient person or a cliffhanger fan, buy the book and hold it. At a minimum, put it on your TBR list with a huge reminder star and wait for the rest of the story. You won’t be disappointed.
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New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and internationally bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. Her bestselling titles include Alpha, Stripped, Wounded, and the #1 Amazon.com and international bestseller Falling into You. You can find her on her farm in northern Michigan with her husband, author Jack Wilder, her six children, and a menagerie of animals.