Now & Forever by Mary Connealy is the second book of the "Wild at Heart" series. Book one is Tried and True, about the youngest of the Wilde sisters, Kylie. Now & Forever is about the short hair, middle sister, Shannon Wilde and her adventures leading to love.
started off with a bang! I mean, who would've thought that's how Shannon and Matthew Tucker gets thrown together, literally? Over the cliff and into the Slaughter River. What a name?! Adventure follows them as you join them on this journey through the danger of rapids and darkness. The only they have is the two of them. What can and will they do to get them out of this situation. Truly, the first chapters of the novel had me on edge. I won't spoil the fun for you, so I'll stop here. It is through this adventure and reliance on each other that starts their journey together, not the other way around, as many novels are. It's refreshing. However, I felt it ultimately fall short in convincing me that they love each other so much in such a short period of time, considering what we, as readers see. One can say that there was a short time lapse, that we don't get to "read" about what went on between them, and I felt that time may have been the reason I felt "shorted" on. I want to see/read about the process in how love grew.
Now about the main characters. I like Shannon. She's resourceful, with her experience following a med doc during the Civil Wars (and yes, she was in the war as a soldier, disguised as a man). It's remarkable and yet, somewhat unbelievable. However, all in all, I like Shannon. She has a good heart and proves herself to be independent in many aspect. The bond the sisters share warms your heart. As a middle child myself, I find myself rooting for Shannon and feeling a sense of comradery with her. Matthew Tucker, on the other hand seems arrogant and just can't quite put myself on it. I don't understand how he was so sure in the early - and I mean early stages of their adventure that he knows she's the one and he has to HAVE her? Then there's the whole profession thing. He's also resourceful in his own right, as any hero in a novel should and are. However, I don't get him or the ending. Or rather, I felt it was too quick for the decisions that were made.
Overall, Now & Forever is about Shannon's and Matthew's "now" moments from their short adventure before knowing each other and then the "forever" part. It was the now that lead to the forever. This novel is aptly named and I guess the question begs, can it be now and then straight to forever, without the in between? That is what this novel falls short on - the in between, at least more of it. It's an interesting read. As I said before, I was all over the book, but then that was it for me.
NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House for an honest review.