Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: Kindle edition
Reviewed by: Judith
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Ever been face to face with a book that you’ve been waiting years for and when it finally is there, ready to confront you, you run like a chicken and hide cause OMG you want to read it but really you just don’t want it – these characters, these situations, this world – to be over? (I’m looking at you, specifically, Harry Potter) Well, I’m there yet again, folks. Two long years I’ve adored the Between the Lines series. The melo-drama of teenage celebrities, their petty jealousies, their grand loves, all of it took my breath away. It was extremely well written and thought out. A tour de force of all I love best about YA/NA. And now, when I assumed it was done, this world is back! Tammara Webber has got me where it hurts and she’s not letting go. Get ready for a wild ride.
Plot:[minor spoilers] Reid Alexander is on cloud 9. He’s no longer the wild child of Hollywood with a new non-celeb girlfriend, an amazing career that is only getting better, and a family life that is no longer eroding but growing and improving daily. Only problem is Dori, the girl of his dreams, doesn’t want to be outed to the world as his girlfriend since her parents don’t approve of Reid. While he’s dealing with the repercussions of introducing Dori to his lavish lifestyle, a whole other set of problems is brewing. Brooke, his ex of five years, has decided that she wants to track down their child, the one she gave up for adoption and regain full custody. Not wanting to jeopardize his relationship with Dori, Reid hides the truth about their child from her and when that truth finally comes to light, Reid must deal with the fallout. His relationship with Dori is strained and possibly broken; his relationship with Brooke is rekindled; and ultimately, the relationship with a child he’s never known begins. Reid must face one of the biggest obstacles of his life to keep the girl he loves while doing what is right for his son. Which one will prove the most important when the decision must be made?
Review: I’m not going to lie: I had high hopes for this book. Extremely high hopes since Reid holds a very special place in my heart. If you’ve read the first three Between the Lines books, and chances are you have since you’re reading this review, you’ll know that Reid experiences a very real and nuanced transition from self-absorbed, drug-abusing womanizer to thoughtful, loving man. It’s a transition that spans three books and it’s one that will truly wow you at the end. I love a story that shows that a character can redeem himself and do it naturally and compellingly. The first three books did this so well that I assumed that Reid’s story was done when Good for You ended.
But it wasn’t. Not by a long shot. Reid has matured a great deal and has allowed himself to become someone who can love and be worth loving. But this book blows all that he learned out of the water. Here he is faced with some very adult decisions that even later in life most adults cannot face: loving someone who can’t admit to loving him in return and being forced to confront a huge mistake from his past, a child he never wanted. While Reid matured and grew in Good for You, Here Without You shows just how deep rooted that maturity goes. While we see a great deal of Brooke and Dori in this book, this is most definitely Reid’s story. He is the constant thread throughout, from the ups and downs with his relationship with Dori to the child he’s never met who looks just
like him. Reid is the neverending constant and we are given a great deal of the story through his eyes. One pivotal moment of the story allows us to pinpoint when Reid’s adolescence ends and adulthood begins. You can tell that all of the maturity he’s gained led him to that one moment and it’s a moment both intense and heart-breaking to read.
This book is much quieter than the first three Between the Lines books. There’s no grand love, no sweeping gestures (except one), no dramatic rush to a startling conclusion. It is still very much a love story, but one focused less on romantic love than on a more basic love, that of a parent and child. If you get this book assuming you’re going to read the continuation of an adolescent love story, you won’t like this cause it’s not that book. It’s not a breathless heartbreaker and it’s not a sexy NA novel full of brash drama and innuendo. It’s a simple story of one man’s continued redemption and his transition from child to adult. Here Without You is a gorgeous book that will make you cry and smile and root for the hero. But it is not at all like the other three books in the series. We see the same characters in a new and unique way and therein lies the beauty.
Tammara Webber shines doing what she knows best: character development through nuanced prose and poignant moments between couples. I can’t praise her writing highly enough and this story proves how truly versatile she is.
In the end I’m giving this a 9/10.
Based on the following
How much did I like the heroine: 9. The undeniable heroine of this book is actually Brooke. She shows her mettle throughout and proves that she has feelings hidden behind the Hollywood veneer. At one point I could see her and Reid reigniting their great love of five years ago but she’s matured too much to go back to that time. Her character development is great and she is no longer the bitchy drama-queen of Where You Are. Instead we’re presented with a softer, more maternal Brooke and one that I’d enjoy seeing find true love.
How much did I like the hero: 10. Reid is the ultimate reformed bad boy. He’s mature and understanding and willing to make sacrifices for the people he cares about in his life. Yes, I miss the bad and broken side of Reid. I miss his rash bravado and his sarcasm. But I love how he truly cares for people and is willing to give everything to make them happy. His transformation is remarkable in that when we see him after it happens, we realize how real it is. I will always love all the sides of this sexy blond-haired, blue eyed Hollywood It Boy.
How believable is the plot: 9. Reuniting with a child given away for adoption and hoping to maintain your current relationship in spite of this is hard hitting and very believable. My only qualm was with how Reid decides to show Dori of his true intentions just because I think they’re a little young for the sort of commitment he proposes. But then, this is Reid and even though he’s changed, you can still see how he once was crazy enough to plow a car through a house.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. Tammara Webber is a born writer. Her prose is poignant and rich even when writing the most simple of sentences. The amount of emotion and nuance she can convey in just a few phrases is amazing. She’s got my literary buttons and she knows how to push them! This is yet another example of how talented she is. This story is hard hitting and gut wrenching. I only wish it never had to end.
How much did I want to keep reading: 10. When it was announced that Reid would feature in a new Between the Lines book, I was ecstatic! When that was coupled with the fact that it would be the end to the series, I was crushed. I devoured this book with half my hand in front of my eyes. I wanted to be sure that all the characters had a happy ending but I didn’t want it to be over. Now that it is, I’m happy that we see the couples get their happily ever afters (though you’ll be surprised as to who they have them with) and I can’t think of a better ending than this one for such an amazing series.
Final Score: 9/10.