Life After Taylah by Bella Jewel
Adult Contemporary Stand Alone
I wan’t to start off this review for Life After Taylah by Bella Jewel with a few disclaimers. I don’t like cheating in books (or in life) but I know there are exceptions to every rule. There are books that I have loved that had it, and there are friends I love that have done it. Had I known there was cheating, I’m not sure I would have read it, but once I started I couldn’t stop. What drew me in was the fact that though I have been dying to read Bella Jewel, I haven’t yet, and this stand alone seemed like a great place to start. Second, the hero is a motocross racer. Motocross is the only sport I ever watch and all the guys in my family ride, so that in itself made me want to read Life After Taylah.
Avery’s mom, Taylah went missing when she was 10 years old. There were no clues, no resolution, no closure. After her disappearance, her father shut down and her brother turned to drugs. Avery turned to dancing.
“My mother was my sunshine, my happy place, my best friend and hero, she broke us when she went missing – intentionally or not.”
13 years later, Avery is expected to marry a guy so he can step into her father’s business. She is just going through the motions in her life and never really knew or cared what she might be missing out on. Her only passion and goal in life is to become a dance teacher.
“Grunt, grunt, grunt.”
I close my eyes, hating that I hate this, but I do, I hate it…
It’s emotionless and cold, and it feels awful.
Jacob could be a good lover if he actually thought of anyone but himself. He only cares about getting off and going to sleep.”
Until she meets Nate, champion motocross rider, and sparks fly. Nate is married and has a beautiful young daughter, but Nate’s wife is awful. She is an alcoholic who repeatedly puts her little girl in danger. Nate won’t leave and take the chance that he won’t be there to protect his little girl from her horrible mother.
Despite (or because of) their attraction to each other, Nate and Avery bonded quickly.
“I’m sure I met you for a reason.”
“To give you advice?”
“No. To give me a friend. I really need a friend, Dancer.”
The friendship quickly escalated.
“Do you know what you’re doing to me, Dancer? You’re making me see that there’s better out there. You’re makin’ me feel again…and it’s been so long since I’ve felt…”
Despite them fighting their feelings, they just couldn’t stay away.
“You’re taken,” he rasps. “I’m taken. But you’re still fucking there. Why are you there Avery? Why the fuck are you consuming me?”
“So fucking perfect, so fucking beautiful, and yet another man is fucking you. He’s fucking you because you’re his…”
And I fucking hate it. I shouldn’t hate it, but I do. I fucking hate it.”
Avery hates that she is turning into the other woman, but she can’t stay away.
“Don’t make me become someone I’m not – because I will, Nate. For you, I will.”
But how can you turn away from this?
“I’m falling for you, in a way I’ve never fallen before. Don’t walk away from me. You’re the only sunshine I have left.” ~ Nate
- The writing kept me involved the whole time, and I read it quickly.
- I liked the side characters.
- I liked the story, to a point.
- There were some good sexy times.
- The missing mother storyline and how it affected the family was great.
- It made you root for a couple you know you shouldn’t really root for.
- Nate’s POV. If we didn’t have that, Nate would have come off as a total douche.
- A motocross racer. Yum.
- As sexy as he is, Nate is a total idiot. He kept buying his wife’s promises time and again and put his child in danger.
- Nate didn’t prove his love at all.
- He was too much of a pussy to go after what he wanted. How can this be a guy that fights for the hole shot when he races?
- The vilification of Nate’s wife and and Avery’s future husband made it all a little too easy to hate them and root for the couple.
Rating: 3.25 Stars, 3.5 Heat
I wish I could say that the reason that I didn’t love this book was the cheating. That wasn’t the reason I didn’t fall in love. It was the fact that Nate, despite claiming his love for Avery, never proved it. He was a fucking idiot wuss. He fell for his wife’s bullshit every time. He left his daughter in danger. He finds his wife passed out when she is supposed to be watching a toddler and doesn’t think to take a photo. He still thinks she would get custody and take her away from him. If he really loved Avery, he would move heaven and earth to be with her.
This is a controversial book, and I’d like to say that my personal feeling on cheating didn’t get in this rating, but I’m just not sure. What bothered me the most was the continued cheating, and the reasons for staying. Despite my dislike of some of the plot points, Life After Taylah was a quick, engaging read, and I like Bella’s style. I still look very forward to reading the MC Sinners series.
“You define love by deciding if it’s right or wrong. That’s not always correct. Love creeps up on you at the most inopportune moment, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Love cannot be reasoned with and it can’t be as simple as right or wrong.” ~ Avery
Purchase Life After Taylah by Bella Jewel