I LOVED THIS BOOK. I loved it so hard. It's the sweetest, most heartwarming story! Below you will find an excerpt and my review, but I just wanted to say it's a MUST READ, guys!
Series: Standalone Novel
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 20, 2017
SYNOPSIS:Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it's official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren't.Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.He doesn't care about the town's new resident -- he's too busy fighting his own demons. But when he's brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn't see coming is his need to know who put them there -- or his desperation to mend them.Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.PURCHASE HERE:
"For the first time in my life, I was owed nothing, and I owed nothing. Lonely or not, I was free."
Kandi Steiner has fast become one of my favorite authors. I fell in love with her when I read Weightless and continued that love affair when I picked up A Love Letter to Whiskey. And now she's done it once again with Revelry. Kandi has such a distinct way of telling a story. It sinks its claws inside you and pulls you in completely. I felt like Wren and Anderson's story was intoxicating and I loved the feels in Revelry. Where Weightless and Whiskey were utter angst-fests, Revelry set itself apart with a bittersweet kind of angst. The kind that doesn't necessarily kill you, but makes you ache and yearn and burn for the characters in the best way. This novel shows you that life doesn't always go as planned, and that's OK. It's part of the journey. Life's messy and a messy life is a good life! This truly is a story of self discovery, of forgiveness, and second chances. And I just loved it.
"A part of me knew I was playing with fire, but I told myself I could handle the burn."
Revelry is a story I think a lot of people will relate to on some level. Wren is fresh off of a divorce. She's in a rough place. Life looks different than she thought it would. She's dealing with guilt, with a heavy dose of despair and loneliness that comes from a failed marriage and crushed dreams of what could have been. She's grieving, lost, floundering, and she hopes the summer in a cabin in Seattle is where she'll find some peace. Some healing. And maybe even some inspiration. Wren's a fashion designer who owns a popular boutique and she needs inspiration for her next line of clothing. She also desperately needs to lose herself in her sketches. Her art is her life line.
Anderson Black isn't living, in fact he's carrying around so much pain from his past he's decided he doesn't deserve to really live, he just needs to get by. Anderson is cold and angry, broody and unwelcoming when we first meet him. I wasn't sure how to take his character at the start but once he spotted Wren... boy, oh boy, I felt it!!!! :: shivers ::
"One moment, one look, and the haze I'd walked in for years blew out in a breath.
Because every day was the same.
And then I saw her."
Both of these characters are wounded. Their baggage is significant. They're in no place emotionally for any kind of a relationship. But there's a draw that they can't fight and it's delicious! I literally couldn't put this book down. Each page had me hooked. I loved the sweetness of the banter, but also the heaviness that accompanied the storyline at times. This book is ALL heart. All soul. And I saw that in this pages, in the chemistry that Anderson and Wren had. It sizzled. The need they had to lose themselves in each other was addicting and heart pounding!
"Touching Wren was like taking ecstasy, every sense enhanced. My skin was almost too sensitive to her touch, my ears too aware of her breaths, my tongue too tender for the taste of her. If she really was a drug, addiction wasn't just a possibility —it was a certainty."
"I've got you," he said, voice low, arms tight around me. And he did. He had me. In more ways than he knew.
I know I said this before, but I feel the need to say it again. This story is brimming with pure heart. It's so well written. Kandi's an eloquent, beautiful writer who's words always make me think and feel. I love reading her stories because they're honest. They're real. There's something magical about them that sets them apart from the rest. I find her writing breathtaking and with each book she puts out, it gets better and better and better.
Revelry was heartbreaking, but more so sweet and inspiring! Anderson and Wren spend the summer finding themselves and the journey is beautiful. I truly love second chance romances and I think this portrayed life after heartbreak perfectly! I LOVED IT. I really did. I, 5 fantastic stars, LOVED IT!
The day had been long.
I was surprisingly sore from an activity that sounded so relaxing. It turned out "floating down the river" involved a lot of exertion, and my limbs were heavy as I climbed the stairs with an oversized yawn. It wasn't until I was halfway up that the motion-censored light flicked on and I saw him.
My heart thumped once in my chest at the sight of Anderson's shadowed frame sitting there, his back propped up against my front door. I slowed, noting the hard edges of his jaw, the line of his nose pointed down at his boots. His knees were pulled up, elbows resting over top of them, hands locked tight and knuckles white as he bounced one leg softly.
He glanced up at me with red, swollen eyes, half of his face still hidden by the night. My throat closed in on itself as I looked down on him.
I'd never seen anyone so small.
He watched me for a moment, asking me for something—permission, maybe? Then he stood, slowly, moving away from the door without a word.
My hands shook as I unlocked it and stepped inside, dropping my towel near a few pairs of my shoes. I tossed my hat on top and turned just as Anderson closed the door behind us. His shoulders sagged with what seemed like the weight of the entire world, and he looked as if he'd aged ten years in the eight hours since I'd seen him last.
But through his anguish, there glimmered a hunger in his eyes, and it nailed me to the spot where I stood.
There was something familiar about Anderson in that moment, as if a part of me recognized him. If the eyes really were windows to our souls, then our souls had climbed through those windows and stood face to face in my kitchen, seeing each other for the first time without cloudy glass between them to skew the truth.
I cleared my throat, ripping my gaze from his to run a hand through my tangled hair.
"Do you want something to drink?" I asked as I moved to the fridge, reaching in for a bottle of water. I didn't even wait for his answer before closing it again because I already knew.
That pull I'd felt between us in my bathroom last night and on the porch this morning had exploded, hot particles sparked with energy buzzing all around us. I couldn't face him again—I could barely breathe—so I gripped the edge of the sink and lifted the bottle to my lips, drinking half of it in one desperate pull.
I'd just set it down, lips still wet and the cap not even in place, when I felt him behind me.
Heat radiated off him, warming my skin and setting off a parade of goosebumps all at once. Fingertips lightly brushed my hip just above the hem of my shorts, and I stilled, frozen in place as his other hand swept the hair from one side of my neck. Where my breaths were stunted, his came steady and sure as his fingers tightened, and his lips pressed against the skin just below my ear.
I closed my eyes, my body so tense that it hurt as he kissed his way down slowly. When his teeth nipped at my shoulder, I hummed, my breath rushing out as the tension between us snapped like a strained electric wire.
The whole world came back in a rush, all of my senses invaded at once.
Anderson's hands gripped me hard, twisting me until I faced him. He crushed his mouth to mine with a need so urgent, so wild. He was cinnamon and pine, warm and earthy, his expert tongue running the length of my bottom lip before he pulled it between his teeth. My eyes flew open just in time to see him close his again and he groaned, pulling me closer, arms wrapping around me completely as he slid his hands down to cup my ass. They tightened, and my breath caught as he lifted me, propping me on the counter to settle between my thighs, the heat of us connecting.
Every part of him consumed me, his mouth on mine, arms wrapped tight, one hand splayed on the small of my back while the other cradled my neck, holding me to him. I wondered what he was thinking, but it was hard to really think at all. The feel of him overwhelmed me after so long without a man's touch.
I'd forgotten the intensity of a first kiss—the buzz of it low in my stomach, the shock of it stealing my breath.
He trailed his tongue down the apex of my neck, sucking the skin at my collar bone as he rocked his hips against me. I gasped at the feel of him pressed against the seam of my shorts, rubbing the ache I felt until I winced against the need for relief.
"Anderson," I whispered and he groaned as if my voice had pulled him back to reality.
He slowed, hands still hanging on to me as he rested his forehead against my own, our breaths colliding in the space between us. My hands tangled in his hair, tugging, gripping, unsure if they wanted him closer or to push him to the other side of the room.
This was dangerous—we both knew it.
I wanted to shut my brain up, be like my friends who didn't think about how they'd feel about having sex until after it was already done, but Anderson wasn't just a hook up, and I knew that before he even took me to bed. I felt him in every part of me, and I knew we were about to cross a line we could never come back from.
Anderson's mouth parted, eyes closed tight like he was experiencing the same struggle, but it was in that moment that I felt the raw demand. I'd had a glimpse of it that morning when he'd been on my porch. I'd seen him hurting, and now he stood in my kitchen with his hands holding on tight, that pain exponentially more present.
"I need you."
His voice was low, the bass of it connected to the blood pulsing through my veins. Those three words unraveled any uncertainty I had.
I couldn't be certain that I wasn't setting myself up for heartache, or that I wasn't doing the same to him, but in that moment, it didn't matter.
He needed me.
I didn't know why—didn't need to know why—because the truth was I needed him, too.
Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.
Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.