Review: Reckless by S.C. Stephens

Reckless (#3, Thoughtless) by S.C. Stephens

5 I ♥ KELLAN Stars!!!
Stars - 5

recklessWow! What a ride! This book marks the end of an intense, angst-filled, emotional-roller-coaster series and I thought it was an awesome conclusion! I loved this book and actually fell a little more for our swoon-worthy rockstar, Kellan Kyle.

Book 2, Effortless, ends on a high and transitions us into Reckless, which starts with a peaceful happiness between Kellan and Kiera. But, as the title of the chapter notes, it’s “temporary bliss.” I got right back into it, with a smile on my face…

“Mornin’, Mrs. Kyle. 

My heart was instantly thudding in my chest. I twisted in his embrace until I could see him. Eyes the color of a twilight sky stared back at me, and a small smile curved his mouth as he searched my features. His face was perfect–the angle of his jaw, the slope of his nose, the fullness of his lips. At the moment, I couldn’t recall anything quite as beautiful as the man who’d just given me his name.

Good morning, Mr. Kyle.”

And just like Kiera, you couldn’t help but have a small giggle escape you while you read this.

But as usual, their peace is short-lived. The book spends the majority of the time in L.A. while the D-bags record their first album and then, kick-off a tour.  But before Kiera can join Kellan in L.A., she stays in Seattle for a few weeks to help her sister and be with her parents. Both of them struggle with being apart and are fearful for their separation (given what happened in book 2, Effortless).

“Am I making a mistake?… Making an album, going on tour… am I making a mistake?… All I want is a quiet life with you, he continued. What I just signed up for… isn’t exactly a quiet life.”

“Kellan, your life will never be quiet, no matter what you do… You belong on a stage. It’s what you were born to do.”

This was one of the moments I realized how much Kiera had grown from book 1 to book 3. I think Kiera’s growth is a major element in Reckless. As I read, I often reminded myself of how I felt while reading Thoughtless. I spent most of the book angry at Kiera for what she did to Denny… for what she did with Kellan… for her indecision… for her lack of maturity. But this book presented SO MANY opportunities for her to fall apart, for her and Kellan to break, and she was able to overcome them using rational thought, thinking about how much she loved Kellan.

“He whispered, Are you leaving me?…

My heart broke as I held my arms open for him. No, of course I’m not leaving you…

I was remembering all of the reasons why I love you so much. I was appreciating everything you do, and everything you are. I was falling in love with you all over again.”

And even Denny makes a point to tell her…

“Denny shook his head. You HAVE changed. I smiled and shrugged, trying to be okay with this as I could be. Kellan’s life wasn’t private anymore, and parts of it were going to be uncomfortable for both of us. But I knew his heart, and he knew mine, and together we would work through rough patches.”

I have to say there were countless times when Kiera was able to work through the hardships sensibly, that I actually wanted her to get mad… really mad! I thought that there was no way I would’ve been so cool with some of the stuff she went through. But she was resolute and unwavering in her love for Kellan.

“I’d found the one. My soul. My better half. My reason for being. Nothing in this life would ever fill me with as much joy and peace as Kellan did. I really didn’t know what I would do without him.”

And while Kiera’s emotional growth was one of the major themes I was struck with, the other was brutal honesty. Kiera and Kellan have had so many challenges, much of them rooted in lies or secrets, and they have really learned from those errors. From the beginning, the book stresses absolute honesty–sometimes quite harsh–but honesty for the sake of full disclosure and for the sake of their love surviving.

“He was everything to me, and I didn’t want to miss a moment of his journey just because parts of it were unpleasant.”

As expected, Kiera and Kellan’s relationship is tested throughout, and while I was impressed with how selfless Kiera was, I was equally as floored with how much love Kellan exuded. He was amazing!

“I love you too, Kiera. Just you. You’re my always.”

You truly felt how much Kellan loved Kiera. How much so many of the challenges they faced pained him. Despite the rocky start to their relationship, she saved him… showed him that he was good and that he was loved. And I think that because Kiera gave him what he wanted the most, what he needed the most, their love was truly special.kellan

“You’ll never know how incredible you are to me, how desperately I love you. I would do it all over again if I needed to. I’d go back to the beginning for you.”

There were other elements of the book that I enjoyed so much. For one, the music. I loved reading about how Kellan embraced the stage, seductively and with so much confidence. And it was wonderful to read how the fans enveloped him and supported him. It was exciting to see the D-bags succeed!

Secondly, I LOVED reading about Griffin and Anna. LOVED. I absolutely adored seeing him grow, his relationship with Anna evolve and ultimately, fall so in love with his child while still remaining that crazy and crass Griffin we actually grew to love.

And lastly, I especially loved the evolution of Denny and Kiera’s relationship… and even Denny and Kellan’s relationship. Denny is actually one of my favorite book characters–loving and loyal to the end. Read a little more about the inspiration for Denny here.

To summarize, Reckless was such a great book. At first, I kept waiting for something really big to happen, for them to break… but it was a story of personal growth, of learning from past mistakes and of trusting in love to carry you through the challenges you face. The last 20% of the book was amazing and I was so happy to read through it. At the end, I felt completely content, without feelings of things being unresolved… it was really pretty perfect.

Overall, this is a book filled with wonderfully complex characters and a perfect ending to a great series! Stay tuned for a feature coming up highlighting the entire series!

 

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