Without You by Julie Prestsater
February 14, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
When two people connect, they can make beautiful music together. But what happens when music is the thing that tears them apart?
Evan James had it all. Drop-dead sexy, brilliantly talented musician, a skyrocketing career and his high school sweetheart by his side. When he’s offered a golden opportunity to go on tour, he never imagined she wouldn’t go with him. Without her, he found his dream meant nothing. Three years later, bereft and alone, Evan stops at an open mic night and spots someone sitting in the audience, the beautiful face of a woman he’d never forget...Maddy, his one true love.
Madison Grey had only ever loved one man. When Evan broke her heart she had no choice but to move on with her life, start a career of her own, and she even finds a new love. Still, thoughts of Evan were never put to rest. And on one fateful night, she unexpectedly hears him pour his heart out into a new song. A song about broken hearts, lost love, and second chances. A song about her.
With the help of their scheming friends, Maddy and Evan are thrown into each other’s lives once more. While learning to love and trust again, there is only one thing left on both of their minds... Is life better with or without you?
They were practically kids, fresh out of college and with the whole world at their feet. And as Evan’s songwriting career took off, Maddy was with him every step of the way. But when a new, bigger career opportunity came, Maddy was left on the sidelines, their relationship coming in second to his work, his contacts, his life.
Evan never expected an ultimatum, and within seconds of choosing his music over Maddy, he knew he’d made a mistake. But then the years went by, each one bringing new reasons to keep them apart. He was touring, winning awards, becoming a household name. And she was seeing someone else.
He didn’t expect to stop at the little bar for open mic night. He didn’t plan on anything at all. But he played the song, the one he’d written for her, the one that told the whole world he was sorry. And there she was to hear it.
Within the first few pages, I was ridiculously hooked. Most of the time, stories about musicians just annoy me, simply because I don’t like reading song lyrics, but this one just sucked me right in. Something about the way Evan described his feelings for Maddy, the way he intended to get her back just had me turning pages as fast as I could devour the words.
But then it just all fell apart. The premise hinted at a slow, somewhat painful, ultimately rewarding resolution, complete with a happily ever after. But there was virtually no conflict, nothing more than the characters meeting again, dancing around each other for a few days, and getting back together to plan their future. After years apart, years during which Evan dated Playboy Bunnies and Maddy developed a long-term, established relationship with a lawyer she was still seeing when Evan reappeared… One week or so later, and they were conveniently back together, overlooking everything that happened in the time that they were apart, with Maddy’s boyfriend amicably bowing out. All that perfect plot potential was wasted on a rather dull reconciliation, and I just got bored.
I loved the other books I’ve read by this same author, and I had high hopes for this one, even knowing it would most likely be completely different than the rather humorous romances the others were. I was really hoping for something a little angstier, but what I got was something just less interesting. It had so much promise, but the rush to resolution and the absence of any deeper plot development just kind of killed it for me.