Title: In Her Wake
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: A Ten Tiny Breaths novella
ARC provided by NetGalley
Expected Release Date: September 1, 2014
Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.
When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.
Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.
And there’s only one person who can give that to him...
Ok, so I feel like starting this by thanking the author for creating more of Cole/Trent for me. I loved Trent so much in Ten Tiny Breaths. I can remember the overwhelming emotion when his character reveals his true identity to the girl he's in love with. And now we get his story from the night of the accident to the day he starts trying to help Kacey fall in love. So if you haven't read Ten Tiny Breaths yet, stop reading this review now and go start the series. This prequel is better to read after having read Ten Tiny Breaths.
There was so much of Trent's story not told in TTB. Now we get all the details of what he went through starting with the night of the tragic car accident that took the lives of six people. He's suffocating from his feelings of guilt because he believes completely that it's all his fault. But the biggest burden on his soul is his worry over the other survivor of the accident. Kacey Cleary lost her parents, boyfriend and best friend in the accident. She's only sixteen years old. Their losses lead both of them on a spiral down to rock bottom.
I was most surprised by the extreme measure Trent takes to watch over Kacey. But what he learns from all of his time watching her over several years is that the girl he see's in pictures on facebook before the accident is no longer the same girl. She's lost the twinkle in her eyes and zeal for life. "She's always polite but never warm."
Trent is forced to enter into treatment for his depression. I love his therapist Dr. Stayner so much. He is one of my favorite characters of the series because of his unconventional methods of helping patients. It takes weeks of daily counseling for Trent to be at place emotionally to return to life on his own. He's all set to make amends for the things he's blames himself for and the biggest of those amends needs to be made to Kacey. If he can just help her learn to love again she would be able to find her way out of the darkness that he caused. But he can't just have her fall in love with anyone, it needs to be him.
Several times it feels almost like divine intervention when Trent puts himself in the position to watch Kacey and she interacts with him in some way without knowing who he is. Then he puts his plan into motion and creates a moment for them to finally meet. That's where the story of him becomes the story of them and I loved it.
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