What good is running AWAY when you only end up lost? Cassandra Pierce had her whole "perfect" life planned out by her parents. One night of pure weakness and lust has her running away from it all and seeking refuge in Alamosa with her best friend. But it seems life has other plans for her when she finds herself lost in the small town of Keaton. Jason Bradley is a charming country guy. He lives a simple life that’s nothing like what Cassandra is used to. A single moment in life changed everything he thought he once knew, leaving him with a broken heart and an unplanned future. What happens in Keaton is nothing Cassandra or her heart could have ever prepared for. The instant connection she shares with Jason is no secret, but what they're keeping hidden from one another is. Will these two be able to find a way to trust each other or will their secrets tear them apart?
Away was originally published in 2013, but I just found out about it in the last couple of months. This is another case of “meeting” and interacting with one author leading to another, leading me to B.A. Wolfe. Both Away and the sequel sounded good, so I bought them and honestly thought, “I’ll read these soon” and expected it to be a while before I got to them. I was thrilled when Away was selected as a group read giving me a chance to read it sooner rather than later.
The first part of Away is good, but not remarkable. Cassie is a young woman in a tough situation and she is easy to relate to, if a little on the dramatic side. There are things about Jason that don’t really add up, but they make sense later. My only complaint about the first half of the book is that some of the secondary characters in Keaton almost seem too good. I have a hard time imagining a family that would so willingly open their home to a stranger, but I have also never lived in a one stop light town, so it could be perspective.
The second half of Away absolutely blew me away. Romantic tension between Cassie and Jason steps up, Cassie has a health scare, and a secret is revealed. Some of the confusing things in the first half of the book start to make sense and the Ms. Wolfe completely rips your heart out. There is no other way to describe how I felt when I reached the end of the book and put the kindle down – it really felt like I’d been through the ringer.
It’s not a perfect book, but it is a fantastic debut novel and I can’t wait to see what happens next for Cassie in Stay.
Where to find Away: