FicCentral received a free copy of this book from *the author*.
February 25, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
I’m in limbo. If you look close, you’ll see that I’m basically going through the motions. If you look even closer, you’ll see that I’m empty and frustrated as hell with my life.
And then it arrives. That four by six card that tells me ten years have gone by when I wasn’t paying attention. I’m paying attention now.
Pulling my dusty box of memories from the closet shelf, my index finger slowly sifts through the keepsakes that represent the aura of Trey Masterson. The boy who moved from Missouri to Vermont and swept me off my feet the first day of our sophomore year. The boy who I never thought I’d have a chance with but he only had eyes for me. The boy I fell in love with and never stopped.
When we see each other again at our high school reunion, every feeling I ever had for him bleeds from my heart and leaks into every cell of my existence, and I finally feel like I can breathe for the first time in years. I don’t quite get the same reaction from him. In fact, his reaction is downright…cold?
Never knowing the reason of our undoing after I went away to college, I just want some closure. But we can’t seem to carry on a conversation without sparking a slew of emotions - each word igniting all the hurt that’s been buried for ten years.
During the week of our stay in our small town in Vermont, we keep crossing paths but jealousy, bitterness and tragedy threaten to hinder any hopes of possibly rekindling the passion we once shared.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
In high school, Addie and Trey seemed perfect for each other, and it was no stretch of the imagination to think they’d eventually live happily ever after. But their future plans came to a screeching halt within a single semester of college away from each other, and Addie’s never gotten over her first love. Now ten years later, their class reunion is looming, and Addie’s not sure if she’s excited or terrified to see Trey again.
While the majority of the book frequently between Trey’s and Addie’s points of view, there was an oddly placed chapter from the perspective of Addie’s mother. While it did provide some insight into a resolution to one of their many miscommunications, it didn’t fit well with the flow of the story. I can’t help but think there’s a better way that could have been done.
I should also mention that grammar nerds are going to be doing some involuntary twitching with each mention of “use to” and “suppose to.” I’m guessing the author went with the way “used to” and “supposed to” sound when spoken, instead of the actual meaning and proper tense. It’s a common mistake, but one even an amateur editor should have caught.
After checking out the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Unclaimed Regrets, and from page one, I was hooked.
Addie’s has steadily refused to pine over the boy who broke her heart so long ago, but even when avoiding the past, she hasn’t truly been able to move on. Then before she realizes it, ten years have passed, and an invitation to her high school reunion brings all the feelings she’s been tamping down for so long to the forefront. But her visit home goes so much worse than she ever imagined. Trey is cold and angry, confusing her even more as to why he dumped her over the phone back in college, and it seems the mean girl nightmare from high school finally has her claws in him.
Normally, when a story jumps from the present to the past to the present again, I get bored with the flashbacks and start skimming them, but not so with Unclaimed Regrets. Even as I just wanted to hurry up and get to the good parts, I couldn’t help but be interested in how things were back when Trey and Addie were in school and in love. From their first meeting in the school office to their nights under the stars, I could understand just why Addie had never quite gotten over Trey.
However, after a long while reading and enjoying their story, there seemed to be a pattern that simply wouldn’t end, no matter how often they admitted their mistakes or how mature they supposedly came to be. Every single bit of drama between Trey and Addie boiled down to misunderstandings and overreactions, starting with day after they met as sophomores in high school to more than a decade later as they tried to reconnect. Character A would see or hear something upsetting, wouldn’t speak to Character B about it at all, would leave in a fit of anger and self-righteousness, and then later see the error of his/her ways and come racing back to apologize. In high school, it made sense, and even after they gravitated toward each other as adults, it seemed realistic as they worked out the truths about the past. But then it just kept happening. Over and over. And again.
I’m honestly a little upset about that, since other than their penchant for creating drama instead of hearing each other out, it was really a great second chance romance. Sure, even the cover says that it’s about “how false assumptions can alter our path in life,” but no matter how many times these two misread situations and walked out on each other, they never learned their lesson. It was frustrating, to say the least, and it led to my being relieved to finally finish the last chapter, when I normally would have been racing to check out what other books the author had available. The thing is that I think Stacy M. Wray has some real skills when it comes to writing, and there were so many times during the story when I felt every bit of emotion that the characters were experiencing. But as the story went on, I became so annoyed by the characters’ complete lack of trust in each other, inability to communicate like adults, and immediate reactions to scenes and situations without any facts that I’m convinced that about ten pages after the end of the book, these two are walking out on each other again.