Title: Without You
Author: Julie Prestsater
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Rock Star/Musician
Publisher: Julie Prestsater
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Source: Good Choice Reading
Links: Goodreads ☆ Amazon ☆ Barnes and Noble
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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?
Three years ago, Evan James left his high school sweetheart, Madison Grey, to further his music career. Now he's back in town and determined to win her back. When his best friend, Luke, asks him to be the best man in his wedding, Evan sees it as the perfect opportunity to spend time with Maddy. But Maddy has moved on from her heartbreak and now has a boyfriend. Her best friend, Genna (Luke's fiancee), can see that Maddy doesn't really love her boyfriend, though, and still harbors feeling for Evan. Genna and Luke use their own wedding as a way to get their best friends back together.
WITHOUT YOU is a really emotional story about having to choose between the one you love and your dreams for the future. Both Evan and Maddy let go of each other to follow their dreams, unwilling to give them up. In a sense, they broke their own hearts, instead of staying together and finding a way to make it work.
I really enjoyed Genna and Luke's meddling. Using the wedding preparations as a way to push Evan and Maddy together and face each other. Genna was especially gung-ho in her efforts. I liked this story so much that I kind of wish that there was another story after this.
The Guy: Evan James has been a talented poet, song-writer, and musician since his high school days. He lives, breathes, and feels every word he writes and sings. He has a riveting voice and can play the piano, guitar, and saxophone. And he's been in love with Maddy for just as long. Music and Maddy are Evan's two loves in life. He has been three years without Maddy, but in all that time he has never stopped loving her. After his last tour, Evan went off-grid because he just wasn't feeling it anymore, so he headed back to his hometown. While driving by a piano bar, he suddenly has the urge to go in and play the song that he's been working on for years. It's Maddy's song, and little did he know that she was in the audience, listening.
The Girl: Madison Grey couldn't keep Evan from following his dreams when the opportunity was presented, but she couldn't go with him either, feeling that she would only drag him down. She loved him enough to let him go, no matter how much it hurt. Now she's a junior high school teacher and is in a relationship with a man that she doesn't love. When Evan comes back to town, old feelings resurface and she's scared of her heart being broken again.
Evan and Maddy met in high school. He was a Sophomore and she was a Freshman. One day in their creative writing class, he read a poem about a flower blooming and compared it to puppy love. He looked at her the entire time he was reciting the poem and his gaze never wavered. Maddy was hooked. After he sat back down he asked her if she liked it. That was the first time they spoke to each other, and Evan gave Maddy the nickname, Sunshine.
After high school, Evan would ask Maddy to marry him about once every week until the parted, but she never believed that he was serious. But he was completely serious, and loved her with his whole heart.
But as Evan's song-writing career gained momentum, he became more distant - he forgot important dates and phone calls. His career started taking precedence over their relationship to the point where Maddy felt like a single woman instead of someone in a loving relationship. Things hit the bricks when Evan was offered a recording contract and the chance to go touring. He asked Maddy to go with him and she loved him enough to let him go.
Now it's three years later, and Evan's back in town after taking a break from music. He had been working on a song for Maddy, called Without You, that is basically his apology for leaving, pouring out his own heartbreak, and asking for a second chance. It just so happened that Maddy was in the audience the night that he felt the need to play at a piano bar in town. Thus began their journey back to each other.
WITHOUT YOU is a very beautiful, and at times, heartbreaking love story. The love and heartache Evan and Maddy share really gripped my heart-strings. I so desperately wanted things to work out for them. And there was even a moment when I thought that Maddy was going to push Evan away again, this time for good. This love story really makes you wish that you had the same kind of love (minus all the heartbreak, of course). True love always finds a way.
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