Title: WIDE OPEN
Author: Shelly Crane
Source: eARC from author for review
Milo is trouble.
He lives it, breathes it. He embraces anything that numbs and takes his mind somewhere else, a world where his mother is herself and not just a shell, and his brother didn't almost kill her, severing any relationship they had. But more importantly, Milo drowns out the guilt for leaving his mother and not being able to forgive his brother. He drowns his pride and moves on to another girl and another party, pretending that life isn't moving on around him and he's stuck in the same place. He's stuck in the past and doesn't know how to let go.
Maya is trouble.
She's done the party scene and has had her fair share of close calls and handcuffs. Not the kinky kind. She's so over it all and fought like hell for that life to let go so she could move on. She now works as a teen counselor. Her life is better, but her life is empty. She has no one but her brother in the whole world left and he's sick with a disease that no medicine can cure.
When they meet, a romance that scares them both emerges, but the love you fight for is the love that can mend bridges, heal scars, and open closed hearts. They'll need each other, they'll want each other, they'll have each other.
But will it all come too late?
I was constantly grabbing on to the moments that would make me feel something other than emptiness and guilt. And as soon as it left, I was back to wondering how I was going to make it through the day.
Milo has his ghosts he has to deal with daily. It is something he has dealt with the last 2 years with the help of his best friend, Joey. He goes to work, he works out, and he keeps his mind and hands busy so he doesn't fall back into his old, bad habits. Maya has her own ghosts as well. She helps out at the local community center with those who are facing their own addictions, all while taking care of her brother. Together they face an uncertain future while battling their pasts and their secrets. Their relationship may be too much for them both. Will they succeed? Will they fall apart? Will they fall in love? Only time will tell.
As much as I wanted her, as much as she set me on fire, more than anything else, I wanted her to open up her soul and let me into that part of her she didn't let anyone else see.
Crap. I don't know if I have read a story by Crane that was so deep and so emotional. This book was definitely one of those that is hard to put down due to the attachment it had on me from the start. This book will be one that so many will be able to relate to. It was one of those powerful reads that make you think about yourself...the way you are living your life. Am what I doing in this life enough? Will I look back and have regrets? Well, that is how I saw it.
He smiled, but didn't crack any jokes. He leaned in, taking me in his arms and pressing his lips to my ear. "Fall, sweetheart. I'll catch you."
I hurt so badly for Maya mostly and had a connection with her from the start. Not that I had a past even close to hers...it was just her that I connected to. She was easy to love and easy to care about. And really? How much loss can one person take? Milo also has a heart that just makes you feel for him. And boy was he swoon worthy once he got the help he needed and cleaned up. Most everything that came out of his mouth was enough to make any girl weak in the knees. But it was all real and not just to get the girl. Of course he wanted to get the girl, but he wasn't looking for something short term. He wanted Maya for always.
He leaned toward me and stopped with very little room between us. I waited. "How far do you want me to chase you, Maya?"
I breathed, "As far as it takes."
Absolutely and most definitely a must read. I think it was my favorite of Crane's ever. Even though Merrick (Collide Series) will always be my favorite Crane Guy, I just loved this story that affected me so much. It truly was a fabulous read that touched me. I recommend it to any and all out there that love an enchanting romance with characters that aren't perfect and have imperfect pasts. 5 Big Ol' Stars from me!