Meet Willow and Kane in the newest stand alone by Harper Sloan!
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I still cringe when I hear that line. A fairy tale that had girls pretending they were the fairest, the most beautiful, and the most entitled. A fairy tale most couldn't grow out of turned my haunted childhood memories into a living nightmare. Girls who grew up believing that pile of garbage became the meanest of all 'mean girls.'
And those mean girls were right - it was a line meant for all the beautiful people in the world - and I knew the answer would never be me.
The women with long legs, flat stomachs, and perfect chests.
The type of women Kane Masters gravitated toward.
Well, that's definitely not Willow Tate.
No. That will never be me.
Because I'm completely imperfect.
And ... I hate myself.
I have no idea what Kane could possibly see in someone like me when he could have them.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Harper wrote this book with a purpose. There is a lengthy forward and it is definitely something you should read before starting this story. It will help explain why she wrote it and give you a new perspective while reading.
From the start of this book, my heart broke for Willow. Her mother was the only person who truly cared about her and after her mother's death, Willow's world fell apart. Her stepfather not only blamed Willow for her mother's death, but he treated her like dirt. And Willow's half sister was just the worst of the worst. Then throw in a husband who was just as bad as her "family" and Willow has been beaten down about as far as she could be. Seriously, I wanted to reach into the book and give them all a good ass kicking. Cruel doesn't even begin to explain how they all treated Willow.
Then there is Kane Masters. He sees Willow when she is at her absolute worst, but he is one of the few people (the other being her best friends Eddie & Kirby) who sees the real Willow. In Willow's eyes Kane is about as perfect as a person can get. He's a famous actor who dates beautiful people and has pretty much everything a person could want. Or at least that is what Willow thinks. But Kane is so much more than that and once Willow understands that, her world starts to change. A chance encounter at their lawyer's office thrusts Kane and Willow into each other's worlds and transforms Willow in ways she never thought possible.
This is Willow's story. Yes, there is a love story between Kane and Willow and lots of drama to go along with it, but this book belongs to Willow. It's a story of learning to not only love one's self, but to also allow someone to love you back. Throughout the course of the book she comes to the conclusion that the people in her life who belittled her and made her feel like she was nothing, didn't matter. Of course she didn't do it all on her own and she had Kane, Kirby and Eddie to help her along, but a person has to be willing to help them self. She rebuilt a life (and fantastic one at that) for herself and by the end of the book she realized that only she could take that away. Willow becomes the confident, self assured person she was always meant to be.
But this isn't a perfect book. There was the casual use of the word "rape" that I found to be quite unsettling. Especially when later in the book that topic plays quite an important part of the plot. And to be honest, as much as I enjoyed the love story between Kane and Willow, there were times that I felt things were a bit to "neat" considering everything going on. But overall I think this book sends an important message that has the potential to speak to a lot of people. Whether it is from our own doing or because of others, I feel like most people have at least one thing we don't like about ourselves, so the plot can be relatable on all different levels. So thank you Harper, for writing this book.
“Are you nervous right now?”
“Tell me why.” His demand, steady and calm, gives me the courage I need to tell him. To open a vein and bleed my insecurities.
“I’m not perfect,” I whisper.
“And neither am I, Willow. I don’t want perfect. What so many see as perfect, to me, is fake. Perfect isn’t achievable naturally. No one, and I mean no one, is perfect.”
I’m shaking my head before he’s even done speaking, but one long finger comes up and presses against my lips before I can speak.
“No, let me finish. There isn’t beauty in perfection. It’s as fake as the image the word projects. Beauty is found in imperfection, Willow, because to admit you’re not perfect means you’re admitting you’re not whole and absolute. When I think of myself, I see someone willing to admit he’s as far from complete as it gets because, in order to get to that perfection, I need to find the other part of me who will make my life better. To take all the faults I have and fill them, and only then will I be there. You see, the way I see it, the only way to become perfect is to find that perfectly imperfect person who brings it out of you.”
When he stops, I swear I might have stopped breathing. How am I supposed to respond to that?
“Do you trust me?” he asks, his voice strong and sure.
“Yes, Kane. Nerves or not, I do.”
“Then let me show you what I see when I look at you.”
He brings his hands up, framing my face once again in a way I’m quickly becoming addicted to the feeling of. His warm eyes implore, begging me without words to let him continue. I do not intend to stop him, regardless of the butterflies currently taking over my system. I’m all in.
Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
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