Luke Evans is a heartbreaker.
I didn’t want to give mine to him. Not when he kept me out.
He gave me enough, just enough to make me fall in love with him. I say this to convince myself. But I know the truth.
I would’ve fallen in love with him at a distance.
Handing my heart over to Luke was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I was naive when I wished for more, when I hoped he wanted the same things I did.
I try to hate him. I try to forget him.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is a ruthless bitch, and I’m her latest victim.
Tessa Kelly is a man-eater.
When she sets her sights on you, she doesn’t just consume your heart, she goes for your soul.
What we had was perfect, real, and all I would ever want.
But she destroyed it.
She destroyed us.
I try to hate her. I try to forget her.
But it’s not that easy.
Love is for people who have hope, and I have none.
Warning: this book contains adult themes. 18+. All I Want is a standalone novel, but to fully appreciate the f****ed-up mess that is Luke & Tessa, pick up Where I Belong first
If you’ve read my review for Where I Belong, then you already know how much I loved the first book in theAlabama Summer series. If you haven’t, you can read my review HERE. Well, I couldn’t help myself, and I jumped right into All I Want as soon as I could. Now, I’ll be completely honest here and say that I’m trying to get this review written out so that I can hurry up and get back to this series and REED! I have been dying to read his story since he was introduced in book one, and I cannot wait any longer. So here are my thoughts on Tessa and Luke’s story…
First things first, J. Daniels warned my co-bloggers and I that this book was a lot different than book one in this series. And boy, was she right about that. While Mia and Ben’s story was romantic and fun, heartwarming and fairly light, Tessa and Luke’s story could be described as just about the opposite. While the big declarations of love and heartfelt confessions where still there, their journey to each other was filled with angst, drama, and so many frustrating moments that made me want to slap them both and throw my kindle at the nearest wall. There was a lot of back and forth in this story, which I’m not always a fan of– especially when it could easily be avoided with a simple explanation or two from a stubborn character. This author really put my heart through the ringer this time around, and I was exhausted, to say the least, by the end of this book. But it remained a beautiful story, fast paced, and impossible to put down once I started.
We first meet Tessa and Luke in book one of this series. Tessa is Ben’s sister and Mia’s best friend. Luke is Ben’s partner and best friend. After a two month fling and a pregnancy scare, Tessa was forced to reevaluate their relationship and realized that she wanted much more from Ben than he was willing to offer her. Leaving Ben completely blindsided, she dumped him and thus began their downward spiral. The beginning of book two gives us a great glimpse into what’s been going on in Ben and Mia’s life, as well as where Luke and Tessa find themselves now. Once the story really gets going, it’s about a year later, and they’re both pretty much miserable. Luke tries to distract himself with meaningless sex and random women, and Tessa is basking unhappily in the fact that she hasn’t seen any “action” in twelve months. Luke has a lot of family drama in his life, which the author delves into in this story, and it was nice to finally get to know him a little better. However, he’s still determined to keep Tessa as far away from his “dirty” past as he can. She puts forth her best effort to convince him to let her in, but he refuses.
Rinse and repeat.
Bring on the back and forth.
And then some more.
Despite how frustrating this was for me, as a reader, especially when this stuff drives me crazy, I still couldn’t help but adore these characters. This author managed to make me love them despite all their ridiculous decisions. And, trust me, there were some doozies. My heart still went out for these two at every turn and I wanted so badly for them to find their happily ever after that they very much deserved. Especially Luke. He had been through so much in his life and he really needed what he tried so desperately to push away. The struggle within himself to try to do what he thought was best for Tessa was painful, and my heart broke for him. But not quite as much as it broke for Tessa every time she got her hopes up that things were changing with Luke, only to be completely crushed when things stayed the same. But she fought for him, and it was admirable. She would not give up on them no matter what, and I loved her even more for it. The strong, feisty woman we met in book one was alive and well, and she knew what she wanted.
There were several issues addressed in this novel that were much darker than those explored in the previous book. The whole book had a heavier feel, which made the ending that much sweeter. Be ready with lots of tissues when you read this one, you’re going to need them. As usual, the supporting characters nearly stole the show, and we get tons of everyone in this book, which I loved. We even get to meet some new characters– hello, Mason! If you loved book one as much as I did, then you have to pick up this next installment. Be prepared for a more emotional read, but one that is still as enjoyable as the last. As for me, I’m on to book three!
J. Daniels is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series and the Alabama Summer series. She loves curling up with a good book, drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, and writing stories her children will never read. J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.