Published: 23rd April 2013
Publisher: Self Published
Charli Blake’s high tolerance for risk doesn’t always work in her favour.
After a year of living out her dream of travelling the world, the sunny West African village of Kaimte would be her last stop.
She’s bound for New York, in search of the boy she’d let go of long ago.
For Charli, nothing has changed. She’s travelled thousands of miles but hasn’t moved an inch. Adam Décarie still means everything to her.
But reality soon hits hard.
For Adam, everything has changed.
Memories of the best love she’s ever known is all she has left, until Charli makes a shocking discovery. None of it had ever been real in the first place
Charli and Adam’s story continues in Second Hearts, book two in GJ Walker-Smith’s top selling Wishes Series.
Second Hearts starts about a year after the end of Saving Wishes. Adam has returned to his old life back in NYC and Charli is travelling the world with Mitchell. But is either of them truly happy with their lot in life? Charli certainty isn’t, she’s stuck in the world of what-ifs and broken hearts. After much encouragement from Mitchell Charli set’s out to NYC to find Adam for once and all and find out if He is missing her just as much as she is missing him and whether their love might just be the real deal …
In many ways its as though Charli and Adam fall in love in Saving Wishes, with naive concepts of what that means for their world now – everybody gets a happy ever after right? – and then the book ends with the young lovers parting ways and their futures are torn apart. Which brings us to Second Hearts, where for a year Charli fails miserably to not think of Adam until she decides to confront him and find out just what fate has in store for them. In this book, the pair’s faith in love and each other is pushed past the breaking point in a honest and often brutal portrayal of how hard love and life can be, especially for two people so fundamentally different as Charli and Adam.
It’s no secret that I loved Charli’s character in the first book. Her growth there from a naive teen to a grown adult is huge, but that’s nothing compared to the paces GJ Walker-Smith puts her through in his book. Charli is lost once again without Adam, but she’s just as strong, if not stronger then before. She knows the world is finally hers for the claiming and although she has no intention of ever staying in a city, she is willing to compromise her desires and dreams for the one that she loves. For the time being. After all that’s what you do when your in love right? But everyone has a breaking point and Charli is quick to learn that, for although she fights hard for what she believes in and for love, she knows she’s not the only one who needs to fight and that some wars are better left alone.
Having returned to NYC somewhat broken hearted, Adam was determined to get his life back on track, because while Piper’s Cove was nice and he loved Charli, it wasn’t his world he inhabited then. He didn’t belong in La La Land despite his best attempts. At a loss what to do, he throws himself back into his study and sets about righting his life and forgetting about Charli and La La Land. And what better way to do that then rekindling old acquaintances and following in his father’s footsteps. That is until Charli turns up unannounced and his world is turned upside down for a second time.
I should warn you here that the Adam in this book isn’t always a nice person. He is selfish, ignorant and at times just down right rude. He makes promises he has no intention of keeping and tries his hardest to secure a future with Charli any way he can, even if that means being dishonest. He knows time is running out and that Charli can’t, and won’t, stay still for long. While she’s longing for something more, something different, Adam just wants Charli by his side even if that means going against everything she stands for and for that he makes my blood boil.
I’m in two minds about Adam in this book because I still really love him as a character and are hoping like hell that things work out for Charli and Adam in the end, but I also understand Adam and the way he acts to a point. The events of Saving Wishes occurred in Charli’s home town, in La La Land and on her terms. For Adam Pipers Cove was a holiday destination, it was a period of time bubble wrapped and safe guarded against his ‘real’ life back home in NYC. He was free from family expectations and free to just be who he wanted to be and do what HE wanted to do, love who he wanted to love. But now, back home in NYC in a city that might as well never sleep compared to Pipers Cove, he’s back on his father’s time. He has a family name to uphold and expectations a mile long to adhere too. Time is frantic and forth coming and the world is different place. He knows how to act here and does so without thinking because he was born here, raised here. It is his home. But Charli? Charli has no clue what she has just walked into. The NYC Adam is stressed, and dictated too and sinking in world of responsibilities that he just doesn’t want. Tying Charli to that was a lifeline for him to still live and breath the air that they once did in Pipers Cove, to be free from everything for a little bit longer. But it’s also what strangles Charli’s identity for his family and Adam alike push for Charlotte Blake, someone worthy of their attention and time. Meanwhile Chari Blake is left on her own battling uphill a force that she could never win against (Adam’s high maintenance Queen Bee socialite Mother and strict and overbearing Father) especially since Adam won’t fight for her, not even beside her. I lost count of the amount of times I wanted to scream at Adam in this book to look at Charli, really look at her and not with rose tinted glasses, but to see how she was struggling. Or for Charli to let Adam know exactly how she was feeling.
Sadly Alex doesn’t feature much in this book, not even when certain events unfold. Which was a shame, because I love his character and honestly I was looking forward to more of the banter that is typical of a Charli-Alex interaction and Alex-Adam interaction. That said, we’ve move to a new location and with that comes a who new cast of supporting characters. Playboy Ryan Decarie (Adam’s Brother) steals the show among these secondary characters as does Bente Denison (Charli’s first friend in the new city and such a breath of fresh air really). Bente can lighten up the atmosphere when things can too dark and angsty and she really pulls Charli Blake to the forefront. Suitably I hated Adam’s parents in this book, but were positioned to, so that’s not really a surprise. I do wish however that we did get to see more of Mitchell in the book as I love his character but he’s not really given much page space at all.
So I’m deliberating being vague here, I know this. But honestly, this is a book that you need to read and feel the emotions and turmoil and heartbreak to be able to to understand its depth. It’s a story that lives beyond the page and one that many people will be familiar with. It’s the story of how Charli and Adam have to face the facts about who they are first, before they can work out who they are together and well, for some, that takes a little longer than we’d like. It’s about finding your own place in the world, and what’s worth compromising for another. It’s a tale of first love, heartbreak and acceptance. It’s heartbreaking beautiful and moving, and a lovely continuation of Saving Wishes.
But man, that ending… you’ll want book three on hand!
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