True Abandon – Jeannine Colette

 

Triciana made a huge mistake when she was sixteen and in love: she let her boyfriend film her while they were making love. Later the video was streamed all over internet and her reputation destroyed. It was so bad that her family had to move from Virginia to Connecticut so she could start over. Nine years later, she’s living in New York with her friend Kelli, not too happy with her job and not too happy with her boyfriend. Then suddenly, in the middle of a class two hurricane, she gets a message from Ella Davis, a former best friend, asking her to look into her brother Jackson Davis, who had an accident and was in a New York hospital and could die alone. This Jackson is the boyfriend who had filmed her naked and streamed the video to internet.  However, Ella was her best friend from years ago, and the idea that a boy she used to love could die alone moved Trish to go see to him.

When she gets to the hospital, she finds he’s not dying but is seriously injured. Apparently it was a party gone wild. He’s the guitarist of a rock band that is having some success, and he’s living the rock star life. When he wakes up, they converse and he tries to explain and apologize for what happened. Trish has a moment where she gets out her anger over what happened and how he ruined her life. How she has panic attacks and is so fearful and will not take any chances. They get to a point where they carry a civil conversation, then he’s taken to the operating room and Trish leaves.

After this, Trish decides to follow her roommate to her new job location, Hawaii, and has been living there for a few months. She’s working there as a concierge and gets a surprise. Jackson arrives and stays at one of the big suites which means Trish has to take care of all his requests. He states his purpose: he wants to spend time with Trish and get them to know each other again. Trish is not happy! At first Trish tries to scare him into leaving but he conquers all her challenges, so she hunkers down and spends real-time with Jax. They start to communicate and a lot of things come out. It’s explained how the video was streamed and made public, through a friend of Jax who acted without authorization. She learns the consequences he faced with his family. Trish realizes the huge weight of guilt Jax has been carrying and how it affected his life too. In a way, it was like a clarification and a cleansing of causes, effects and guilt. Forgiveness is achieved and they feel free of the burden of their past and can move on.

Then something horrible happens and they face all the chaos again. I loved this book because of the nuances of feelings. Trish is learning the hula dance with a co-worker’s grandmother. The hula is a spiritual dance, full of stories about spirits. She is a strong influence on Trish and helps her and Jax uncover their feelings and deal with them. Trish has a group of new friends who give her support and help her deal with Jax, first in scaring him, later befriending him and helping him.

Jax has always loved Trish and when he lost her in this disastrous way, he went on a downward spiral. He then found the rock group and was writing songs and having a somewhat life, but always living a crazy life of women and booze, always missing Trish, always feeling the guilt. Trish’s visit in the hospital was the turning point in both their lives so they could make something good from the shambles of their lives. I loved that! It’s redemption at its best.

In the beginning, I didn’t love Trish but later saw that she’s a timid soul, afraid of taking chances.  I liked Jax, I could feel his deep feelings for Trish and his feelings of not being worthy due to their past.  I liked how the author made flashbacks to explain what happened in the past.  The use of italics was great to prevent confusion.  The inserts of the flashbacks were also placed in the right places, when the reader needed the explanation.  Also, the pace of the book was great, it didn’t lag and the author knew to keep it interesting with the antics of Benji.

About Luisa Rivas-Martinez

Newly retired, lover of romance novels. I've been reading since early childhood, loved those fantasy tales with Princes and Princesses. As I grew, my love for romance blossomed into romance novels, beginning with Harlequin romances. I hope that through this page, I can share my experience and joy on reading my romance novels and make friends.
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