Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.
I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart.
My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.
She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner bad-asses.
It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.
Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.
I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.
I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.
Retreat is a standalone novel, the first in the Getaway series which centers on the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women that dare to love them.
These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.
Note: This is the first book in the Gateway Series and can completely standalone.
This was a departure from the normal Jay Crownover books – no tattoos around, no double POV (which is honestly one of my favorite things about her books!) and not much dialogue – but this being a different did not mean that I didn’t adore this one like I adore her other books!!
A first POV book (and I really hate them!), this one actually ended up hooking me in right from the start – It’s is Leo’s voice that had me hooked right in; but mostly that had to do with the fact that I read Jay’s introduction first 😛
Here’s the thing, when you have an author who goes out of her comfort zone and writes something different, I will always applaud her, but there are only a few of them who end up succeeding at it; Jay Crownover is one of them! Honestly, her talent is brilliant and I adored that this book of hers was fundamentally different from the previous ones, yet still had something that was quintessentially hers, made it all the more enjoyable!
Leora/Leo is a broken woman, not only by her past, but also by recent events – she has had everything of hers broken, her trust, her faith and most importantly her self-esteem! Having a best friend who adores her and wants her to move on, might seem like a herculean task, but it was endearing to watch Leo trying just for the sake of her best friend; now that’s the kind of friendships this author is known for and I am so glad that it didn’t change.
Leo is real, relatable; in fact, she has been you or me at some point in our lives, and no matter how rude or defensive she would become, I couldn’t let go of the soft spot that I had for her. And she grows, phenomenally in through the course of her journey, not just for or with a man, but for herself and at the end, I was proud of the woman she was.
“Love isn’t logical or reasonable. Our hearts make no sense.”
Cyrus Walker, is not your usual cowboy, in fact, he rarely wears Stetsons or hats that I have come to associate with cowboys in books (for I have never seen one in reality!). But what he definitely, abrupt, brooding, a man of few dirty words and with a sweet centre – everything I require to fall for a hero in a book and boy did I fall for him! It took the first meeting to fall for him, even through Leo’s eyes for she can’t really hide her own fascination with him.
He is abrasive, and prickly but the moment he opens about his past – boy does it tug at your hearts. It isn’t an easy past; and it is easy to why he isn’t the most approachable of the heroes. It was also heart-warming to watch him get closer to Leo and let her heal him, and vice versa! Definitely a couple worthy of belonging to each other!
There is also more than a hint of suspense, which again is different from her previous books – and in a wonderful way! Loved the picturizations and eloquent descriptions of this new place – which somehow did become a little stagnant as the book wore on (only reason why this doesn’t get a 5 star rating from me!), but I enjoyed the journey that Jay took us on and honestly the secondary characters are worth every second spent on them, and I am dying to see where the series goes next!
Take a chance on this book, if you are an old fan of Jay, you won’t be disappointed! And give a chance to the western style romance, if you are new to Jay as well! Definite recommendation from me!
“The goodbye doesn’t matter. It’s everything that came before the goodbye that is important.”
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5