Where to begin? First, did anyone see how many quotes I had in the first 4%? And this was me, restraining myself. I just looked, and apparently have 14 pages of annotations. And this is me, restraining myself.
The set up of this is exquisite. I don't know why, but it's perfect. Perhaps it's because Julie Anne Long is some kind of wizard. Going into this, I wasn't intrigued or pumped. The first in the series, [b:Hot in Hellcat Canyon|26242366|Hot in Hellcat Canyon (Hellcat Canyon, #1)|Julie Anne Long|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1452950619s/26242366.jpg|42806548] was FINE. It was a little overwritten, but generally good and definitely recovered in the second half. It wasn't really the reason I didn't want to read this book.
I don't like lawmen. I just...don't. It's a rare romance starring a officer of some kind that I like. Why, then was this so brilliant? Well, because it was part of his character. It wasn’t the alpha part that is usually highlighted in authorities that was part of his character (though that, too, was hinted at) but it was his eye for detail (Oh and he’s Eli, and he’s amazing), his powers of observation, and his absolute complete control over himself. And his ethics. And an ethical man? Sexy. And holy moly, it took all of 6 pages for me to be in deep with this character.
We find out quickly that this is a pseudo second chance, more of a missed opportunity, bad timing. Eli and Glory grew up together, Eli’s best friend is Jonah, who he recently arrested. Jonah is Glory’s brother. Eli, for reasons explained quite well, doesn’t only hesitate to arrest Jonah, he does it with a fair bit of anger and feeling of betrayal. And Glory hates him for it. Because for all their history, Glory is loyal and loving to her family-noting that they are all she has at one point in the book. Her family doesn’t have it easy, and it’s clear they are impulsive by and large, and have a difficult road. She’s frozen him out
“That sentence was almost painfully intimate. It contained decades of memories. And they were the first words they’d spoken in months.”
I just love that he waits. He just waits. He tries a little, but he waits. Why is that so hot? Both of their hearts are broken, but he is so damn smart.
But don’t get me wrong, Glory is mad and understandably mad. Maybe at the wrong person, yes, but she doesn’t think so. And Glory is amazing. I adored her. She’s quick-witted, knows who and what she is, loyal and loving, intense and a bit wild. She is the chaos, but in an extremely reliable way-she’s centered, but she somehow stirs shit up. And she’s not afraid to throw a punch to keep Eli from getting hurt. And she intrinsically understands that she has the absolute freedom to be herself and feel safe doing so with Eli.
This book is mostly about the struggle of them coming to terms with the fact that her life felt in shambles and she blames the man she’s loved the majority of her life for it.
“Life as she’d known it had shattered so hard she could see its innards, see all the little pieces that could never be put
together in the same way again. And that meant all of her best laid plans had been kind of blown to bits, too.”
and how do they bridge that “chasm between wanting and having”
There were some light doses of humor to keep it going, mostly in the form of the others they were thinking they may or may not move on with while thinking their relationship was irreparable. If you’ve seen Mallrats, Franco and his porsche will remind you Of "that kid is on the escalator again!” Eli cannot tolerate his speeding through town and notices it and uses expletives in the middle of sentences and — it just cracked me up.
There are so many beautiful exchanges and thoughts- 14 pages of annotations!! Of this well done, weirdly second-chance, strangely love-hate romance about the beauty of knowing another and the safety, comfort, and love that grows within that.
And yep, the damn oak tree makes an appearance or two. Great quotes below, but don’t want to spoil the moment for anyone, so avoid if desired!
But it was useful to know she’d muttered his name in her sleep. Because she supposed the word that popped out when your mind was shut off and your heart was unfettered by analysis, when you were at your most surrendered…well, that must be the truest word you knew.
“They were quiet. He savored small things: how her head fit snugly beneath his chin, how it felt to breathe with her.
The stars retreating, giving way to the sun.
The silence with her in it.
He broke the silence.
“I love you,” he said softly.
He hadn’t fully known he was going to say those words then. They’d just sort of emerged as naturally as a breath. Part of
This book, as we say.