Sunday, October 11, 2015

5 Star Review: Vivid by Jessica Wilde

Merrick Thatcher went through a hell that no one could possibly imagine. He fought to protect his country, his family, and the men standing at his side, but it wasn't just being a soldier overseas that changed him. He watched his friends die in front of him, felt indescribable pain, and lost his sight in the very same moment.

Badly injured, blind, and angry, he's done with war, but now he’s fighting his own battle. So, he’s waiting for it to end, spending his days and nights in a thick darkness no light can penetrate. Until Grace walks into his life and his broken eyes open to a woman that changes everything for him.

A story about two flawed souls finding love amidst the grief. A love that shines vividly, even in the dark, and discovering that sometimes being broken is how the light gets in.

My Review

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Grace is hurting. After suffering through a terrible personal loss and then being dumped abrupt, she is emotionally exhausted and returns home to live with her parents. After returning home she realizes that her neighbor is none other than the one guy that never noticed her growing up, Merrick Thatcher.

Merrick has been badly injured. He's in a wheelchair. He's blind. He suffers from PTSD. Has nightmares. He's angry at the world. He's pretty much insufferable to be around and his family doesn't know what to do anymore. His mother can't seem to get through to him, but she does have one more idea on how to help him. That idea? She has hired a home healthcare nurse to help Merrick through his recovery and that nurse is Grace. He is definitely not happy that he has to have someone take care of him and makes it hard on Grace, but she doesn't give up.

I loved Grace. She had her own demons to deal with, but she was committed to helping Merrick. Yes, it was her job, but it was so much more than that. The last line of the below excerpt pretty much says it all. She never once saw Merrick as damaged. Yes he was injured, but he was not as damaged as he thought he was and Grace helped him realize that.
"Now, let's remove your shorts."
I couldn't stop the words from leaving my mouth, and no matter how childish it sounded, I needed to know. "How disgusted are you? On a scale of one to ten."
She sighed and moved my arm aside so she could reach the waist of my shorts. "That's not a very good joke, Merrick."
"I'm not joking, Grace."
She stopped moving, but stayed close to me. I could feel her quick breaths on the skin of my chest. It was doing things to me that I hadn't felt in a long time.
I must be coming down with something. A fever maybe?
"There is no need for a scale because I'm not disgusted. You're scarred, Merrick, not ruined."
"They're the same thing."
"They aren't," she snapped.
I dropped my head, hoping my eyes were close to meeting hers or at least her face. "Then why does it feel like they are?"
Her small hand touched my cheek, the warmth from her fingers making me ache for more. She cupped my scarred jaw before running her fingers back, behind the damaged skin of my ear. I couldn't breathe. I didn't want to. Not if it meant the moment would be over. Her gentle fingers followed the scarring up to my eye and over my brow. Her touch felt intimate, but more compassionate than anything else.
She hummed softly as her fingertips drifted back down to the scruff on my jaw. "It feels like they're the same because you haven't healed yet. Feels like your life is over because you've lost so much, and it hurts to even breathe." Her hand cupped my cheek again, and I wondered if this was her idea of being professional, because I'd double the pay if it was.
"Grace..." I breathed.
"Being scarred by something so horrible isn't the same as being ruined. You can only ruin yourself, Merrick, and that kind of destruction doesn't leave any visible scars."
I wanted to say something, anything that would make her see me as something other than a damaged man, but I couldn't think of anything. Maybe it was because she didn't really see me that way at all.
But here's the thing: From the moment Grace returned home, Merrick started to heal. He just didn't realize it. One of their first interactions was when Merrick heard Grace singing from her bedroom next door. She overhears him fighting with his mother and to combat the awkwardness, she starts to sing. Merrick hears her and immediately stops fighting. He finds that her voice calms him and throughout the book that is something Grace does to help Merrick when he needs it. His recovery was a long and difficult one, but Grace was there to help him anyway she could. 

There were a lot of sweet moments (I highlighted A LOT of stuff) in this book and those times when Grace sang to Merrick were among the sweetest. But for me, there is a scene where Merrick "sees" Grace for the first time. While they grew up living next door to each other, he has no recollection of what Grace looks like. He goes to her one night and uses his hands to "see" her face. Despite all his anger and frustration, Merrick could be quite gentle, especially with Grace. I definitely cried while reading that.

The author has given us such a beautiful book. It's a story about healing (physically and emotionally), moving on and living. Both Grace and Merrick went through situations that almost destroyed them and they fought their way back...together. Grace was there to support Merrick and help him through everything and their relationship was built on so much more than just their physical attraction to each other. I liked that the early stages of the relationship was more about getting to know one another. Of course there are stumbling blocks (some bigger than others) the way, but thanks to their love for each other, Merrick and Grace manage their happily ever after.

If you follow me on any social media, you may have noticed that I have been posting about this book. Teasers. Countdown to the release. Talking about how much I freaking love this book. Because I do. I absolutely LOVE it. It's one of the best I have read this year. I've said it before, but one of things I like best about doing this blog is discovering new (at least to me) authors. Jessica Wilde is one of those authors. After reading the synopsis my curiosity was piqued. I've read plenty of books about people in the military. Books about soldiers who were injured, but this one felt different. It's an emotional read. I cried a lot and pretty much felt all the feelings. Keep the kleenex handy because you will need it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love it so much!! <3 Thank you thank you thank you! What an incredible review and I love these teasers so much!! :) Thank you so much for reading Vivid and taking a chance on me. I'm so incredibly happy that you loved it! WOO HOO!!!!