Change is never easy. For seventeen year old Nicolette Vanelle, life is about to change… Relocating to California, Nicolette finds herself starting over. A new high school. New friends. New life. Attending her first Hollywood event, Nicolette meets bad boy Michael St. Clair, and unknowingly becomes the object of his obsession.
Feeling overwhelmed by Michael’s attention, she escapes the party to go to the beach where she meets Simon Paulson. He takes her breath away, an inevitable connection leading to romance between the young couple.
Nicolette and Simon’s happiness is short lived and their relationship is put to the ultimate test when tragedy befalls Nicolette. Can Nicolette find the strength and courage to emerge from the darkness she fell into? Will Simon’s unconditional love be enough to bring her back into the light? Life can change in an instant, leaving you changed forever.
This is the debut novel for Mary A. Wasokski and I say she is off to a good start. I really enjoyed the read, as the book is told from Nicolette, Simon and Michael’s POV.
Nicolette is thrown into a new life her senior year of high school and is not too happy about it. That is until she meets Simon on the beach while at an industry party with her parents. It’s your typical boys meets girl and is smitten instantaneously. But there is one big problem. The boy who lives at the house where the party is…he’s instantly falls in lust with Nicolette too. Micheal is a spoiled rich kid who always gets what he wants, including girls. No one says no, that is until Nicolette comes a long. And of course Simon and Micheal hate each other and for good reason. Michael starts to become a little too obsessive with Nicolette and starts creepy stalking her. Simon tries to protect Nicolette, but she is scared of the relationship between the two boys and withholds information from Simon and her parents, leading to a disastrous event in her life.
Although I really liked the book, I think it either needed to be broken up into two books, so you could get a little more background, or tightened up and some things just left out completely. I really can’t put my finger on it. There were some issues where the POV totally switched in the middle of some of the passages and then went back to the original POV, but it was nothing that made the read unbearable or hard to follow along. I really had a hard time being convinced that they were in high school. They really acted much older as if they were a junior or senior in college. Like most new authors, I think the book really started to hit it’s stride about 30% into the book. Overall I give this book a 4 star rating and I can’t wait for more from Mary in the future.
WARNING: If you have not read A Changed Life, this a major spoiler!! I would suggest reading the book, then coming back to read this passage.
In an instant, life can change forever. How true this was for my beautiful girl, Nicolette. I watched her changed right before my very eyes. From a vibrant and self-assured seventeen year old, to a broken and shattered girl who had no light left in her caramel brown eyes. If I had only known sooner what she had been dealing with…I could have prevented the unforeseen act of brutality that awaited her.
I allowed her to go to her mother and my brother while I lived my life in Chicago with no knowledge of him… the psychotic attacker, Michael St. Clair. My world had been shattered with one phone call. All I saw was red! I wanted revenge on the person who hurt my girl. My hand was forced and that is something that never happens. I made a promise to my brother to believe that justice would prevail and the animal that hurt Nicolette would suffer for his crime.
After months of watching her, existing and not living, trying to gain back some semblance of her life… was excruciating for me. She left us…her family, to find the strength she needed to be whole again. He took something from her that can never be replaced. Nicolette, as young as she was, was strong and determined. Although it broke my heart to say good-bye to her, I knew we had to let her go. She was battling through days of darkness and nights of despair. On the outside to others she appeared to be getting better but, on the inside she was struggling through darkness and pain. She beguiled us all with her strength and courage. She found her light again, and returned home to us. She was not the same girl I said good-bye to months earlier.
Nicolette was fearless, stronger, and determined to right the wrongs of what happened to her. I was too and I knew the promises I made to her father and my wife would have to be broken. I sat in the courtroom and listened to my girl re-live the events of that horrible night. She never cried, she just told her story all the while I clenched my jaw and tightened my fists. I wanted him dead, and that’s exactly what was going to happen…promise or not, he was going to die! The judge issued the sentencing. He was handcuffed and taken back into custody. He dared one more glance at Nicolette and then turned his head down and followed the guards. Did he think this was over? No way in hell!
Nicolette was beaming with happiness. She did it. She faced her fears head on and was able to start to finally put this nightmare behind her. I watched her leave with Simon, the boy who captured her heart and loved her unconditionally. My brother and his wife were smiling for the first time in months. This was over for them, but just beginning for me. I excused myself and pulled out my cell phone. I knew once I set this in motion, there would be no turning back. I hit the speed dial on my phone, and gave my orders. “He’s on his way. He is not to be touched, and will remain under the protection that I have provided until all is in place. Do I make myself clear?” I heard him answer, “Yes” and then I shut my phone. I made sure he was unharmed in prison and never allowed him to be confident in knowing that he was untouchable. His first warning was waiting for him when he entered his cell for the first time.
Anticipation of death is worse than death itself.
I had several of these delivered to him over a course of several months. I wanted him to look over his shoulder… be afraid like the coward I knew he was. Then they stopped, and I was ready to strike. I cashed in all my chips that were owed to me for this favor. I had only one chance to make this happen and today was the day. He was on laundry detail.
The room was located on the lower floors of the prison, surrounded by loud sounds of the industrial machines. He was taken and bound to a chair with his mouth stuffed with a rag to silence his screams. Nestled out of sight in a dark corner of the room, I slowly crept in and approached him. His eyes were red from his cowardly tears that fell down his cheek and moaning for his life. I leaned in to his ear and whispered.
“Do you remember me?”
He shakily nodded his head. I took in several deep breaths and began what would be the last words Michael St. Clair would ever hear. “I could have ended your life that day in the hospital, but I didn’t. Every day Michael… I could have but, I didn’t. I watched you in the courtroom as you sat there, confidently thinking that you would get your sentence and still be able to live your life one day. Did you think that, Michael?”
He sat there with no emotion, and just listened to me. I circled him round and round, he didn’t move. “You made my girl bleed, you PIG. Do you remember what I said to you? Hmm…Pigs get slaughtered! You preyed upon an innocent girl, infected her with your seed and caused her undeniable pain. You robbed her…YOU BROKE HER! I can’t let you live one more day knowing that life awaits you outside of these walls, because they don’t.”
I removed his gag and I asked him one last question. “Do you have anything to say before fate comes for you?” He looked directly into my eyes, and said… “Do it! I can’t have her… I’m already in hell.” I plunged my blade into his heart with one strong thrust. He gasped, as his eyes slowly closed. I watched as he bled out, and I let out the breath that I was holding. I swore I would never return to this life again, but after what happened to Nicolette, I knew there was no way I could ever live with knowing that the animal that hurt her still had breath in his lungs.
Writing has always been a passion of mine. Growing up, I used writing as my outlet for my feelings, as I grew older I knew one day I wanted to do it professionally. Finally pursuing my dream after twenty plus years, I have written my first book. Happy Reading!
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