Title: Life After Taylah
Author: Bella Jewel
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 26, 2014
My mother's name is Taylah, and once, a very long time ago, she was my best friend - she was everything I wanted to be.
Until the night she disappeared.
Ten years on and my life, my families lives and the world around us has never been the same again.
How can it be when you are left not knowing?
No leads. No connections. Nothing. Just pure emptiness.
My dancing is the only way I can separate myself from the pain that lies in my home, in my father's eyes and in my brother's spirit. They need me and I'll fight with everything I am to be there for them, but who will be there for me?
Then I meet Nate.
Champion Motocross racer and everything my father doesn't want for me. He's forbidden, he's beautiful, and he's carrying a bundle of his own secrets.
When I step into his world, there is no turning back.
He will consume me.
He will teach me how to breathe again.
He will put a tiny piece of my broken heart, back together.
4.5 “Conflicted” Stars
“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.”
Life After Taylah by Bella Jewel is one of those books that I had a tough time rating. Frankly, formulating some sort of review for this one is difficult as well. We often see missing person segments on the evening news and see the desperate pleas of families that would do anything to have their loved one back. But, what happens to the family when the missing person is never found? Never returned to the frantic family? This is a heart-breaking story that is about such a family. When Taylah, the matriarch of the family, goes missing never to be found again, how does her family even begin to pick up the pieces? How do they cope? Does it get easier with time? Even ten years later…..
“Now we’re seeing what it’s like to live with life after Taylah.”
Our circumstances often mold us into the people we become. That is the case for Avery and her brother and father. Losing her mother at the age of thirteen and never discovering what exactly happened to her has irrevocably changed Avery. The only way to maintain her sanity is for Avery to lose herself in dance. So, that’s exactly what she does. When she is dancing she does not worry about her brother who is falling part. Nor does she worry about her father’s coldness and never being enough to please him. Avery tries her best to be there for her brother and she’s stuck in a loveless relationship all because her father expects this of her. She is living day to day barely hanging on. She is surviving and living in an emotionless and colorless world. That all changes the day she meets Nate.
“He’s the kind of man you struggle to look away from, struggle to say no to. He’s got this beauty that goes far deeper than his looks.”
Nathaniel (Nate) Alexander is a world champion motocross racer. He has the world at his feet professionally but his personal life is a mess. Nate is stuck. He is in a loveless marriage trying to make it work for the sake of their young three-year-old daughter. He realizes that marriage is a commitment and it can be hard work; however, his wife is making it hard to salvage anything that ever existed between them in the past. Nate’s marriage is beyond broken but if he walks away he loses time with his daughter and he leaves her in the hands of someone that is very unstable and selfish. Nate is between a rock and a hard place, his happiness or the well-being of his daughter.
Nate and Avery meet and there is an instantaneous attraction felt by both. Both grasp at a friendship because the alternative would mean crossing a line that neither of them want to venture into. Avery is the goodness that Nate so desperately needs in his life and Nate makes Avery feel again, to live and breathe again. What they feel for one another develops into something so powerfully real and all-consuming
“He’s helping me find myself again. That’s worth hanging on to.”
“Don’t make me becomes someone I’m not – because I will, Nate. For you, I will.”
I am the first one to admit that any form of cheating is usually a no-go zone for me when it comes to the books I enjoy. With this being said, this book was so much more than two people going after an unforbidden love. This is a heart-breaking tale about two individuals who make some hard choices. Did I agree with the actions of the hero and heroine? My first reaction is to yell a big “heck, no”. However, this intricate and multi-faceted story had me questioning my own moral compass. I feel like that perhaps if I found myself in the same circumstances I would have ventured down a different path and made some different choices But, who knows? We all make some flawed mistakes in our desperation and loneliness. I will say this, Life After Taylah hooked me in from the very beginning and did not let go. I felt the pain both the heroine and hero were going through. I laughed and cried with them. Hell, there was a point that I was ugly crying. So, at the end of the day this is one of those books where I may not have liked all that was occurring but my heart was wholly involved every step of the way. That, in my opinion, is what makes a fan-fucking-tastic book.
Bella Jewel makes a note at the beginning of the book stating that this story stems from some very real events. While the storyline itself may be fictional, it is absolutely evident that this author is writing from a deeper and more personal place. The heartbreak, the loneliness, the desperation and the repercussions of all that happens are all so passionately detailed that you can’t help but “experience” and “feel” your way through this book. Life After Taylah is a powerful and evocative tale that I am sure readers will either love or hate. This book made me uncomfortable. It made me scream with fury. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I experienced a plethora of emotions and that is what I based my rating on. We may not always like what we are reading but if it makes you feel with your whole being….well….isn’t that what reading is all about? Well done, Bella Jewel. This book may just be your best yet!
About The Author
Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.
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