(The Beaumont Series #4)
by Heidi McLaughlin
Released: April 14, 2014
Released: April 14, 2014
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
Quarterback in the NFL, that is what everyone sees for Liam Westbury's future. Growing up in Beaumont, Liam has been primed by his father from an early age to fill that role and the whole town has eagerly stood by and waited. Final year in Beaumont High should be perfection, with the love of his life, Josie, by his side and colleges lined up for him to pick from. Except that it isn't. Everyone simply assumes this is what HE wants, but no one ever asks as if no one really cares.
Buckling under the pressure of expectations that are not his own, Liam decides to follow his heart and it leads him to places he has only dreamed about. Finally feeling he is doing what he was meant to do, he should be happy, but he isn't. Not really. Making music and performing for large crowds of cheering fans are the greatest feeling, but until that one particular person is cheering him on from the crowd, he won't be complete.
Years of working hard in the industry has put him in a place where he can be proud of what he has accomplished. Finally he feels ready to face his past, but will he be ten years too late?
Heart-breaking and uplifting at the same time!!
With this novel Heidi McLaughlin has written, she has answered the request of many, hoping to get a backstory on Liam Page, and what happened before. Well folks, here you have it. Quite the contrast from preppy jock to tattoo-toting rocker, but the transition is so logical and completely plausible as described by Heidi.
Her insight in the workings of the adolescent teenage mind are obvious, evidenced in the described struggle between the adult 'need' and the child 'want' in Liam. That boy was so conditioned to be a pleaser, always making sure everyone else was taken care of and looked good. A leader not just on the field, but one in life. Someone who was not just followed, but who felt great responsibility to his followers. So much so, that he denied himself, for fear of disappointing them. Sadly, it is difficult to find fault with anyone other than the parental units in this case.
When Liam finds his dream to pursue, his own dream, he finds himself on his own. Being young and impressionable and thrown into the deep end of the crazy world of music, he has to learn his lessons. But his own strong moral compass and good sense of self pulls him through and makes him a stronger person and better performer. One even he can be proud of. All he would want now is the pride of the girl with whom he left his heart.
Spanning about ten years, the story jumps from a long earlier segment into a few shorter, later segments leading to Liam's return to Beaumont. Although I enjoyed being able to peek in on his progress over the years, I feel I missed out on some major events along the way. On the whole the last portion of the book felt a little choppy because of the gaps in time, although I understand needing to create connective tissue to the rest of the story.
FINDING MY WAY is technically the Prequel to the first book in the series; FOREVER MY GIRL, and so I guess could probably be read as a first book if you chose to do so, but I would still suggest you read it where it is in the series. This book won't serve well as a standalone, since there is too much left open and unresolved at the end that, unless you've read the other books, will never find conclusion.