“Are you saying we should start up where we left off?”
… “Did it ever end for you?”
4.5 SECOND-CHANCE, FULL. OF. FEELS STARS
OMG, this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster, and I freaking loved it! Angstier than the usual KA reads, the first half of this book had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding as I madly flipped pages. Things slowed down big time in the second half, which is why my rating isn’t as high as I’d like it to be but still, I absolutely loved High and Millie’s story (so please bear with me and my way-too-long review as I purge my feels).
Logan “High” Judd was never hugely on my radar while reading the Chaos books – I knew he was one of the longstanding members of the Chaos MC, and I knew that he was one of the ones that fought against shifting the club from their illegal activities to being clean. He’s always been a bit of a background character and when I discovered this book was about him I was a little sceptical. But I completely fell in love with him.
20 years ago, Millie and High met and fell instantly in love. For three years they lived a perfect life – happy and blissfully in love, they were each other’s everything. Until Millie unexpectedly left him, leaving them both shattered and broken hearted. High eventually moved on and married – though it wasn’t a love match – but Millie ceased living. She carried on with her life, made a success of herself and kept a close relationship with family and friends, but she closed herself completely off to love, knowing she’d never recover from High. Now, they’re about to come face to face again and it’s nothing like I expected.
“You thought I wanted your ass back in my life so you could say you were sorry for takin’ away the only thing that gave me joy?” … His eyes narrowed dangerously. “What the fuck’s the matter with you?”
“I told you I fucked up,” I reminded him carefully.
“Yeah,” he growled. “You fuckin’ did.”
Holy hell, this is one INTENSE reunion. I say reunion only in the manner that they see each other again, because it’s not all happiness and making up for lost time. High. Is. Pissed! The man is overflowing with rage towards the woman that broke him, and he doesn’t hide that fact. He is an asshole, plain and simple. And his MC brothers, taking his back as brothers do, are assholes right along with him. My heart broke for Millie. The way she is treated by High and the boys is awful! But through it all you can see that High is a man who still carries huge amounts of pain, so as awful as he is to Millie, I could understand where it was all coming from and my heart ached for him as well. Emotions are running high, and I felt EVERYTHING.
“What you did to us fuckin’ destroyed me and I never put the pieces back together.”
“Twenty years apart, haunted by you, walkin’ around with a hole in my soul.”
And through all of the animosity and heartache, it is clear that the chemistry between them is still very much alive (hot damn!), and things get incredibly angsty as they take all of their pain out on each other. I’m usually not a fan of angst or game playing in a relationship, but somehow KA makes it work, and I could not stop reading. It’s intense and emotional, and my heart was absolutely pounding. It’s devastating to read, but OMG, it’s absolutely brilliant!
“I’m done walking through fire for you, High! … I’m done not because I’m done but because there’s nothing left of me to burn. You have it all. You’ve always had it all! … Please! God! Leave me to my nothing.
When it all hits the fan, I was in floods of tears. It’s so emotional! I couldn’t believe the way I was reacting to the story. The blow up, the reveal of secrets from the past, and the aftermath was some of the most intense writing I’ve ever read. I had guessed what happened in their past but even knowing that, it didn’t lessen the impact. I was madly flipping pages, only to go back and reread sections just to soak it all in. And eventually we get that long-awaited reunion that had me in even more tears.
My fingers twisted in his shirt.
“I missed you.”
It wasn’t a whisper.
It was a breath.
Barely audible, each word weighed down by heartache and history.
But he heard it and then I heard his groan, felt it tearing through him, tearing through me.
A sound filled with pain.
A sound made releasing pain.
Then his face was in my neck, we were on our sides, and his arms were locked around me.
… “Missed you, too, beautiful.”
Watching Millie and High find their way back to each other was an absolutely incredible ride and we get to see every moment of their reconnection as they talk through their issues, learn about each other again, heal from the past and find their happiness again. It’s beautiful, sweet, funny, and incredibly passionate (*fans self*). There are still some dramas – family issues and MC troubles that threaten to darken their newly-found happiness, but once they are together, they are committed and let nothing stand in the way of the future they are determined to have together, and I loved seeing them have that after all of the heartache it took to get there.
“I love you,” he declared. “Loved you then. Love you now. Never quit lovin’ you in a way I know I never will. You were it for me, the only one, the only woman I ever loved, and you never quit bein’ it.”
I love these characters, and I love how they wear their hearts on their sleeves for each other. Their pain, anger, and absolute and utter torment is a gut-wrenching read, but it sets up an incredible reunion and again they don’t hold anything back. They freely and openly admit their love for each other, they talk about the future they want together, and they go about making it happen. Millie totally owns the mistakes that she made, and as High comes to understand all that led to their separation, he steps up as well, but their love for each other is so huge, they just let it all go so that they can work on making a future together, and that was absolutely beautiful to see.
“Never … Never, Millie, don’t you ever hide or feel ashamed of the emotion you have for me, for us, for what we lost, for all we got back. Don’t ever do that. All a’ this is gonna be pain right along with pleasure. That is, until we work through the pain and got nothin’ but the good left over. And I swear to you, fuckin’ swear, I’ll get us there.”
But unfortunately, the book lost a lot of momentum in the second half. Usually I’m a huge fan of the happy relationship stuff, and while I loved seeing Millie and High claim their HEA, it just didn’t live up to the emotional intensity of the first half of the book and it started to get a bit boring. Along with all of the relationship stuff, I was expecting more to come from the issues going on with Chaos, and while it’s definitely building, it’s mostly a non-starter.
But overall, I loved this book. Millie and High’s journey is beautifully told, and I was completely swept up in their story. The book is written in dual POV (with the occasional alternate POV thrown in) and I love that we get such a sense of how amazing they are together. Scenes from their past are woven into the story and, past and present, we are left in no doubt as to the absolute ‘rightness’ of them as a couple. It’s a hard road they’ve had, but they end up exactly where they are supposed to be.
“We didn’t walk through fire only to get to the end of that and not get our reward. If we can walk through fire, baby, we can do anything.”
I loved the chance to catch up with the rest of the Chaos family, and with cameos (however small) from Mitch, Brock and Hawk, the KA fangirl in me was squeeing with delight. And, of course, it’s full of the KA awesome that I love so much.
Logan spoke Badass.
There were only a few words in the Vocabulary of Badass but each one had a number of meanings. They included beautiful, Christ, fuck, Jesus, and shit.
But the one used most was babe.
This book took me on a full ride of emotions, and I absolutely loved it. It’s great addition to the Chaos series, and with more books to come for Snapper, Hound and Rush (squee!), I cannot wait for more.
First half of the book – 6 stars
Second half – 4 stars (just)
Overall – 4.5 stars.
An Advanced Review Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Quotes used in this review may not appear in final version of the book.
The Chaos series
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