Title: Thick Love (Thin Love, #2)
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Hosted by: As the Pages Turn
He doesn’t ask their names.
He doesn’t deserve to know them.
Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.
Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.
Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.
But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.
What lived in my heart for Aly was a hurricane that tore away everything in its path. It ripped apart what remained of who I was…
I honestly don’t know what to say in this review but I’ll try.
First off, kudos to Eden Butler for writing such a difficult and complicated story. I say difficult because from the get go, their love story hampered by Ransom’s overwhelming feeling of guilt for his part in the death of his ex-girlfriend. It’s difficult Ransom and Aly had to deal with complicated feelings about old loves and new ones, of redemption and forgiveness.
He’d played that guitar like it was a lover he’d forgotten he could touch.
We’ve met Ransom in his parents, Keira & Kona’s book. If you’ve read Thin Love, you’ll know that Ransom was with another girl who is not the heroine here. Between Thin Love and this book, tragedy struck Ransom’s young life. It marked him and shaped the young boy into a man he’s now become.
Aly is a runaway who found work and shelter with Keira’s cousin Lian. She’s a bit of a mysterious character. All we know is that she’s a dancer and she ran away from an emotionally abusive home at the age of 17.
I watched when you weren’t looking. I waited, but I didn’t pine for you.
When they first met, Ransom was only 16 but he made an impression on Aly. And since Aly worked with Lian, she saw what happened to Ransom and the effect it had on him. Aly has feelings for Ransom from the get go but she didn’t pine for him, and this is one of the things that I really liked about Aly and the dynamics of her relationship with Ransom.
While she readily acknowledged her feelings for him, she was always the one in control. She always had a choice to walk away — and she uses this throughout the book when Ransom gets to be too much. I just loved her character. I love how she was able to love freely and wholly without losing her self-respect.
“I…I love you, but I’m starting to realize that when you love someone, really love them, sometimes you have to walk away. Especially when they are destroying themselves. Sometimes that means you have to love yourself more.
Ransom is a hard man to love because of his baggage. He has a huge amount of baggage. He’s experienced tragedy and it changed him. The Ransom we met in Thin Love isn’t the Ransom we read about here. And while he’s still a pretty functioning member of society — a successful defensive college football player — he’s full of guilt and bitterness. He doesn’t think he deserves love and blames himself for the tragedy that took the life of his ex-girlfriend.
His POV was extremely difficult to read because it’s full of self-loathing and guilt. I had to resist the urge of chucking my Kindle across the room because it can be frustrating. But Eden Butler’s exquisite writing and keen characterization kept me going even when it hurts. And oh my gosh, some parts did hurt.
With every note, Ransom poured whatever he kept to himself, all the things he would not say to the world into each strum.
This was, for the first 96%, was a five star read for me, and I don’t want to sound petty but the epilogue made this one a 4. Just to clarify, I do understand the need for the second book. While this book ends on a very VERY hopeful note or AKA HFN, I wanted more. I want to see them grow into their love more especially since Ransom and Aly had to deal with a lot of baggage. So I wasn’t upset that we’re getting another book. Like I said, this ends on an HFN, so even if you don’t read the next one, you’ll still get a happy resolution. But the reason why I didn’t like the epilogue was because I didn’t understand it. I don’t know what happened between the end and the start of the epilogue.
*cue dramatic wailing*
I’m still not over it. I’ll probably not be over it until I get the next book in my hand. For what it’s worth though, I really loved the story. It’s the kind of second-chance love that don’t get told enough these days. So if you love angst and you love non-obvious stories and pairings, then I highly recommend this book to you. It hits you right in the feels plus it has a healthy dose of steam.
“Thick love is best. Thick love is…it’s when you know.” (…) “It’s when you know you’ve found the one that can pick up the pieces when you let your heart get broken.”