Beautifully Awake #2
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER, #ShelfLove, #TakeControl, #TravelingtotheTerminus
Diagnosis: Borrowed time
Prognosis: Beautifully Done
Asher Craig drives fast, flies high, and screws hard. But make no mistake, he's a gentleman.
He learned way too young that we're all on borrowed time. Fair or unfair, you only get one ride. He vows to live for the moment because it's the only time he owns. The past is beyond his control and the future may not exist. With his only loyalties being his family, he thrives for that edge where plunging over is always in the realm of possibility.
When a beautiful familiar face tilts his axis, he re-examines everything and realizes that second chances are overrated and a lifetime of first are irreplaceable. In the end, it's not her medical degree but his trust that needs to prove that the ride together is worth it ... until it's Beautifully Done.
I read Beautifully Awake back in 2013 and I loved it so I don't know why I waited so long to read Beautifully Done and finish this duet. For some reason, Beautifully Done didn't resonate with me as deeply as its predecessor but I enjoyed Asher's story all the same.
Asher grew up with Chase and they're best friends so I'd met him in Beautifully Awake and was eager for his story. Asher's life has been traumatic in many ways - mostly medically - so it's no wonder he lives every day as if it could be his last. Honestly, I rather like his philosophy on life with the exception of his refraining from forming intimate relationships. Asher is a successful attorney, is close with Chase and Lily (who I delighted in getting to spend time with) as well as his family. I appreciated the close-knit relationships he has with his parents and three older sisters and their families. He's a good guy - caring, loyal...loveable.
Talia was a part of the foursome that made up TACK - the band name she, Asher, Chase, and his twin sister Kimi performed under. They were inseparable until the accident that took Kimi from them and then Talia disappeared. Now, nineteen years later, she happens to bump into Asher in a bar in Boston. Talia, now a successful doctor, has a lot to answer for. The question was whether she'd give Asher the answers he was looking for.
So these two were close and maybe wanted more before Talia's disappearance. The estrangement has hurt them both but doesn't seem to have diminished their chemistry or their feelings. But Talia's keeping something from Asher. I didn't really feel that their connection was something that could have lasted nineteen years. I did feel their connection eventually though and the authors did well in illustrating Talia's feelings over the years. I guess it was Asher's feelings that I didn't seem to have been as strong but I got there with him. I enjoyed watching them reconnect, regret all they'd missed and build something deeper and more meaningful.
The incident used to create tension and hurdles for Talia and Asher - well, the main one since there were a few - kinda came out of left field for me. It accomplished its goal - the hurdles - but the circumstances were a little contrived. In the end though, I was completely invested in these two and was bawling my eyes out at the end. I think for that reason alone - that days later I was still emotionally affected - Beautifully Done gets bumped up from 3.5 to 4 Bookworms.
This writing duo touched on tough topics such as Alzheimer's, cancer, spinal cord injuries, infertility - highlighting their background in the medical field. These elements helped give depth to the story and its characters. I'm glad I finally read this. I have no idea is Riley Mackenzie has written anything else, but I'd read this duo again.