Author: A.E. Woodward
Release Date: February 20, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Katie’s world came crashing down in an instant.
Her husband, daughter, and unborn baby. . . all gone in a flash. The life that she’d come to know, gone before she ever really got to live it.
With a broken heart, she deals the only way she knows how, by shutting it all off. No communicating, no feelings, just pure nothingness.
Alone with nothing but her own thoughts and a well meaning family, she moves back to her childhood home, a horse farm. It’s there that she finds herself healing along with the horses her family rehabilitates. But when Parker McKenzie comes back into her life she’s reminded of all that went wrong, and all that she lost.
Will Katie ever begin to heal? Or will her secrets and loss be too much for her to overcome?
Perhaps, this is her kismet.
Hearing murmurs coming from a corner of the room, I begin to stir. My eyelids are heavy, more than likely from all the drugs. All I ever do is sleep so I couldn’t possibly be tired. In fact, I should be rested, but I’m not, for my sleep is never really restful. One horrifically painful memory, playing over and over again while I sleep, isn’t exactly my idea of a good night’s rest.
The more awake I become, the more my curiosity grows, and the faster my heart begins to beat. The anxiety is slowly creeping in again. I do my best to control it, but instead I find myself taking quick shallow breaths. The feeling is all too familiar. I know myself well enough to know that I need to calm down. I’d done it before. In fact, at one point of my life, I’d been a professional at controlling my anxiety, and I know all the strategies to get myself under control. But those strategies I learned so long ago don’t do much for me anymore. In fact, they’re useless…powerless. Just a weak David pitched against an all-too-strong Goliath. The gaping whole in my chest is just too much to overcome.
They were the only things in my life that made sense, and their love for me was the only thing that kept me going. Without it, I wouldn’t know how to go on living. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, Michael had put me back together and Zoe had made me whole again, igniting something deep within me that I thought had been lost forever. I feel a tear prick my eyes. If I had known that morning would be the last time I’d hug her, I would have never let go.
Eventually, despite the urge to know what’s going on around me, I stop trying to open my eyes. Lying awake, with my eyes still closed, will have to suffice. I’ve completely lost track of time. No one can talk to me about what happened because straight away I start losing it, and they have to drug me again. The two people who loved me unconditionally, are gone. It’s bad enough that I have to relive it every day and night in my dreams, I don’t need someone talking to me about it in my consciousness.
It’s unbearable to hear about them, and the way they were taken from me. The words cut through my heart, slicing through all my hopes and dreams, and leaving cut up pieces behind. I can’t deal. I won’t deal. So instead, I scream to get them to stop.
Truth is, I already know what happened, all too well in fact. It’s something that I will never forget, no matter how badly I want to. I just don’t want them, or anyone for that matter, talking to me. I don’t want to think about it. To know that I finally got what was coming to me was punishment enough.
I have no thoughts. I have no feelings. I am nothing but a broken person.
My love affair with this book began many months ago. A friend on Facebook beta read for it, and was talking about how phenomenally heart-wrenching (those might be my words, love her little black heart) it was. Knowing she was an angst masochist just as I was, I knew I was in for a treat! Well, let’s just say that not only was she correct in her assertions, but I have had to now wait sixteen hours to start this review as it has left me in what can be summed up perfectly in one simple word: RAW. One simple, three letter word that will pack an emotional punch to you like no other. You know how some people use different books as a scale for how hard they cried in others? Yeah… Kismet burst through the door when no one was looking and officially took its rightful place upon that scale. I am STILL reeling, the shock having not worn off yet. This book is sure to leave an imprint on your soul, as so few can.
In a heap in the hallway, I cry for him, for me, for them. Because I seem to be the only one who realizes that there is no saving any of us.
We are broken.
There is so much I want to say that I don’t even know where to begin. I have to tread lightly because there are so many twists and turns in this book, just when you think it’s over, Woodward emotionally bitch slaps you with another round. I suppose the only way to start is from the beginning.
Katie was dealt a shitty hand in life; there is no easy way around that. Anxiety has ruled her entire life, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. My heart just broke reading about her as a child but in the same breathe it soared, for I knew the support she had around her. Her brother Tommy and his best friend Parker were her lifelines, her saviors, her protectors. The love and friendship between these three was so beautiful to read and Woodward describes every scene with perfection. Years later, we begin the book with Katie in the hospital, having lost her husband, daughter, and unborn son. Pain. Pure raw emotion. If you think there is a point in this book where you will get some respite, you are sorely mistaken. Emotional fucking rollercoaster. That is the best, albeit not polite, way I can put it. I’ll admit to skimming through a bit of the beginning, because the pain was just too raw. But once the meat of the book comes into play and Parker comes back into the picture, the story really took off for me. And it was a downward spiral from there, in the best possible way.
“I MISS U”
Looking at those three little words makes my heart hurt more than I thought imaginable.
Because I miss me too.
Broken beyond belief, Katie reverts back to childhood behavior. This isn’t as juvenile as it may sound, but to understand it, you have to read it. I will never understand how you emotionally survive what she did; to lose everyone important in your life in one fell swoop? Her despair and hopelessness leapt from the pages and soared right into my lungs. From then on, my chest constricted with each page turned, for while the journey was delicious, like Katie I too was now waiting for the other shoe to drop. Whether or not that happened, well, you’ll just have to find out for yourself. Regardless of the outcome, Woodward writes with the promise and hope that dreams can come true, no matter what’s happened in your life or what led you to that point. And no matter how long you are able to enjoy it, the point is that you did. You lived. You loved. You experienced your kismet.
I loved him.
I still love him.
I hate that I still love him.
While the majority of this book was in Katie’s POV, there were a few chapters we were privy to of Parker’s. Those few chapters were necessary to see into his psyche; to see what he was really thinking, though his actions spoke volumes loud and clear. Here was a man who has always loved a girl yet never thought he was good enough for her, despite what she would tell him. Here was a couple that though time had separated them; their hearts were never truly apart for long. Because when you find that someone, your person, they engrain themselves within your soul and take up permanent residence. They may hide on the sidelines for a period of time, assumingly never to be seen again, but you can never evict them from your heart. They simply are a part of you. And that, my friends, is the true cruel kiss of kismet. I don’t know why things happen the way they do, and I would never presume to assume, but I am a firm believer that people come into our lives for a reason. This was never truer than in this book. Actions have consequences, but that doesn’t mean they are always horrible.
This isn’t the first time Parker has kissed me, but this kiss. This kiss is different. This is the kiss I have been waiting for forever.
Katie and I have always been in this weird limbo-stuck between what is right, and what we feel. Everything we’ve ever wanted is just a whisper and a touch away.
This is a story of forgiveness. Forgiving others, but most importantly, forgiving ourselves. It’s a journey of realizing that the love you never thought you would experience again was always there, waiting in the shadows. It’s a story of second chances, new beginnings, and discovering the strength you never thought you possessed was within you all along. Three little letters describe this journey, but inevitably, they say so much more; raw.
“Definitely not today, and certainly not tomorrow, but Parker Mackenzie, you can be sure that every day of the rest of my life is yours.”