Author: Ginger Scott
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 8, 2014
When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again.
But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots.
Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?
Reading stories of first loves are always like entering a tunnel that takes me back to my teenage years. I can vividly draw on those emotions that I felt and relate to the characters when that first love is lost as well. For Avery, her first love never even knew he owned her heart before he crushed it like only a stupid boy can do.
But lives go on, we grow up, and our paths change bringing people in and out of our lives. Avery married the perfect guy. When their son Max was diagnosed with autism at just a year old, the perfect guy became a colossal waste of oxygen. The very next day he abandons his wife and son without warning. His parents finally have to force him to at the very least help financially. That truly is the bare minimum when you consider the daily fight Avery had to face raising a son with autism.
I love that the story is also told from Mason's perspective. Mason Street has been on the road for five years touring. Making it big never seemed to be as good as his dream though. Now with no album and a less than stellar performance on tour, the record label has dropped him. He turns to the man that has always been like a father and taught him everything he knows about music. That man also happens to be Avery's dad.
Avery has had to be strong over the last four years as a single mom. Have you ever been in a store and seen a child throwing a tantrum and thought "wow, that lady needs to get control of her kid", or "that kid needs a good spanking"? Well imagine as the parent what it would be like to have your child act out in public and you feel helpless because there is no real way to reason with your child because his brain doesn't function the way a normal person's brain should. You have to endure the stares and ugly comments of people who are judging you as an unfit parent and your child as the spawn of hell. That's been Avery's life. She wasn't prepared to face Mason on his first day back in town. He broke her heart when they were kids and she's resented him ever since. So when he calls her kid a weirdo she releases her pent up frustration with slap to Mason's face. That opened his eyes real quick. Avery isn't the weak girl Mason remembers.
Now he sees her in a whole new light and he likes what he sees. He's going to need help if wants to win her heart again. That's where Claire comes in. She is Avery's best friend. She has pretty much put her life on hold to support Avery and Max any way she can. She also believes she's helping when she tells Mason all of Avery's secrets and exactly why Avery hates him so much.
I loved watching Mason and Avery fall in love again but even better was watching the connection that forms between Mason and Max. The first time Max sees Mason play the guitar an instant bond is formed. Mason starts to reach Max in ways no one else has. Max rarely makes the effort to speak to strangers or ask questions about people but Mason has caught his interest. At first Mason just wants to help Avery because she's got so much to deal with on her own. I could feel myself falling in love with Mason right along with Avery as he began spending more time with Max and filling the void her ex-husband left. It's the tender moments with Max that really make this story so exceptional.
I knew there was going to be a point when Mason was going to have to choose what path he wanted his future to take. But the unexpected detour broke my heart. Thank heaven the author quickly repaired my heart with a happy ending and an epilogue that is the sweet frosting on the cake.
As a nurse I've had the opportunity to work with families affected by autism. I also have family directly affected by it. I feel like parents of children with autism will have a special place in heaven after earning their wings on earth. Unfortunately there really are those parents that abandon their responsibilities and will never reap the rewards that a special needs child can bring their lives. There is nothing quite like a hug from a child who chooses you to give their rare affection to. I'm a huge fan of author Ginger Scott. Her stories always reach that tender place in my heart.