I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own.
Wild Sparks’ Hadley Beckett isn’t the only Beckett with a broken past and a story to tell…
Thirty-year-old Jared Beckett has always lived his life unconsciously, contemptuously, single-handedly, and on his own terms, not caring what people think of him, or thinking much of the people who do care. His mother’s abandoning him when he was a toddler laid the bitter foundation in which he proceeded to build upon, but that was only the launch of his downward spiral. His father tried to do the best he could as a single parent, and even though Jared was an honor student and is now a talented structural engineer, he’s always felt slighted and compared to his older sister Hadley, increasing his hostility.
Adding to his foundation of resentment, and unbeknownst to anyone, when Jared was 16, he had met a girl in school who made him question his enduring doubts. They became fast friends, but feeling oddly different about her and not knowing how or why he wanted something more from their friendship, he became frustrated when she didn’t seem to return his advances. Their friendship grew strained, forced, and painful. On his last day of school, he finally said goodbye to her and didn’t look back, yet never moving forward, caught up in her memory, and regrets of what could have been.
Nearly 14 years after he said goodbye, Jared has returned to his hometown of Annapolis for the summer, as well as to his dark memories. However, with a new light illuminating them, revelations about his covert friendship are revealed, and as his secretive nature and progressing resentment deteriorates any relationships he has left, in an unexpected move, he reaches out to help her. With her in his life again, will he become even more entrenched in his acrimony or is she the only one who can bring down his walls, unlock Jared Beckett’s unconscious heart, and revive him before it’s too late for both of them?
Jared “Jericho” Beckett is a very private man. So much so that he doesn’t disclose hardly any of his inner thoughts to anyone. Not his family, his best friends, no one. He has a wealth of baggage and he is unwilling to share it with anyone. He has mommy issues, the one who got away issues, daddy issues, sister issues and friend issues. He’s between jobs and he’s home in his Dad’s house helping him fix his assistants home for the summer until his job and new place open up. That’s where he runs into Katriona “Kit Kat” Merrick. Kit Kat is the one who got away. Can he get the girl finally? Will it be worth it? Can he let go of enough of his baggage to make a true go of it?
Jericho is hard to like in most of this book. He’s painfully mean in his sarcasm and dry “humor”. It’s obvious it comes from a place of pain but he doesn’t let it go and he’s so caustic with everyone. And heaven help you if he thinks you’ve crossed him in some way. And honestly, his family and all his friends are really annoying with their “Talk to me.” crap all.the.freaking.time. I wouldn’t talk either because they’d annoy the crap out of me. Though I do understand why they do it. He doesn’t talk to ANYONE. And bottling all that up isn’t healthy. But I can understand why Jericho gets so cranky with everyone. Kit Kat is gun shy in general and especially with Jericho. He had hurt her heart in the past and she’s afraid he’d do it again.
There are people in this book I loved. I FLOVED Dashiell. He kept me laughing. Most of my belly laughs came from scenes involving him. I eventually fell in love with Jericho. He was a man of truly few words that truly mattered, but as they say, still waters run deep. And in this case, it’s positively true. I loved Kit Kat. I loved Adam Beckett and Hadley. I wasn’t fond of Liberty. Throughout the entire book, I couldn’t stand her. I wasn’t a fan of Rio either. But this is true with all books, you’ll find characters that you like and dislike.
The story is long. So, don’t expect it to go by quickly. But it’s a great read. It’s detailed and it covers some time. But it’s definitely worth the read.
Ms. Alexander writes a very detailed world where people are annoying and lovable all at the same moment. Their struggles seem surreal sometimes and they seem over the top, but the truth is, we’re all messed up and if you don’t communicate then people are going to misunderstand your motives. And she does an amazing job of showing just that, even to the reader. So the question begs to be asked. Would I recommend this book to people? Yes I would. I would make sure that the person was cool with some seriously naughty language and situations and loved reading a story about a love so intense that it spans over a decade.
There’s a song by Jem called “Flying High” from their “Finally Woken” album. The first verse reminds me of Jericho, the second of Kit Kat, and the third of the both of them. This song is not affiliated in anyway with the book. I just thought of the song while reading the book.
About the Author
Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, but grew up in a nearby tiny, historical, college town in the Northern Panhandle of the state. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters and two cats. “Chasing the Wild Sparks” is Ren’s first novel.