(The Aces #2)
by Nicole Jacquelyn
Published: February 21, 2014
My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️
Defying your parents is something every teenager does at some point and Callie certainly never expected going to a party with a friend from school while grounded, would end up changing not only her, but her entire family's future. She knew she was in trouble the moment she got there and when things threatened to get completely out of her control, she was rescued by the most unlikely hero ever. Someone completely out of her league...
On a run for his MC, Asa had been ready to leave the messed up situation he walked in to behind, but when the girl looked up at him with her blue pleading eyes, the shit hit the fan and all options where taken out of his hands. He would do right by her and leave town, not looking back. Except it didn't quite end up that way.....
Like the chaos theory, where one relatively minor event like the flapping of a butterfly's wings can have catastrophic consequences over distance and time, a teenager's rebellion set in motion a series of tragic events that would force Callie into Asa's path once again. Undeniably tied together by tragedy, need and an attraction that has been present from the start, the two attempt to create a life together.
But stumbling blocks continue to be thrown in their path and although Asa has found a way to keep Callie safe, the distance between them seems to grow instead of get smaller......
Oh.....WOW!! Intelligent, insightful, beautiful, heartbreaking.... and it was so worth the wait......
The characters in this book are fallible, not perfect.....thank God for that!! It makes the story all the more compelling. Despite the take charge nature of Asa's character, there are times that we are reminded of his relative immaturity when he is easily swayed by authority figures or distracted by club loyalties. By the same token, Callie faces similar challenges with her family, school and her best friend who needs her. Both of them at some point making choices that keep them apart rather than bring them closer.
In a rush to put as much distance between themselves and the negative events that brought them together, Asa and Callie completely overlook the need to grieve and process what happened, resulting in an inevitable emotional breakdown. Not to mention that aside from this emotional baggage, both are still young......Callie started out no more than a child....and both had a lot of growing up to do.
But they grow up, they grow...period. Unfortunately, they do it the hard way, experiencing way to much, seeing too much, hurting too much. But in the end they know exactly what they have in the other.
One of the most intriguing and daring things about this book to me, was the way Nicole Jacquelyn challenged, in a sense, the club loyalty....the 'brotherhood'...above all else. She does it through Callie, but it is a challenge of sorts nonetheless. It begins with the abuse of a woman by an MC member and plays in the shadows of the conscience of the book in the form of Callie, who questions Asa's loyalties out loud at some point. But only after those questions and uncertainties have wormed their way into her brain and her heart for a long time.
Very cleverly written, and although initially a little put off by the young age of the protagonists, I actually think it was the only way to make this, perhaps slightly challenging, storyline work.
Love the challenge of the book.....the push to think a little harder about cause and consequence, about things like obligation and responsibility, and above all, loyalty and love. Brilliant, Nicole!
✨A provocative, haunting, and rousing tumble down the rabbithole.....✨