At eleven years old, Macie James was certain she saw her prince standing in her kitchen with his rosy cheeks and cute smile. She was going to marry that boy, she had no doubt about it. As she became a teenager, it was that boy who taught her how to become a confident and sure woman. As the years went by and they grew up, he taught her how to love and to be loved. Greyden Michaels was surprised when he fell for his best friend’s little sister. He wasn’t opposed to it and, even more surprising, neither was his best friend. When he was in college and her just in high school, he realized they were too young to be committed, he opted for friendship with her and together they decided their love was for the future. When you hesitate, life happens. When life happens, your plans change. Macie wanted her fairy tale and Greyden was prepared to give it to her when unfortunate events changed his whole life, including his future with the UFC and, most devastatingly, with her. Macie made the decision to live her life, to move on without Greyden, especially once she met the man who wanted to marry her and give her the life he couldn’t. The problem with that was that Greyden had always seen her as his. Could he give her up completely for her supposed happiness or could he somehow manage to get his life in order to try and win her back, heart and soul?
‘Without Hesitation’ is another emotional roller coaster ride in the fabulous ‘Without’ series. It pulls you in from the first page and won’t let you get off until you’ve sampled each devastating low and passionate high. This is a cleverly written book. We experience Macie’s and Greyden’s present day lives from their points of view but learn about their eleven year love story from a third person point of view. Macie’s and Grey’s present day love story stands alone full of angst and desire. The story of their past lives and loves enriches and intensifies the emotional depth of the story. Macie is a complex character. What seems like weakness when she waits for Greysen, until he thinks he can give her what she wants is in fact the behaviour of a girl and then a woman in love. She is very young when she believes herself in love with Greysen and he knows and accepts this. His weakness is in not realising when she becomes a woman, able to make her own decisions and mistakes. The journey they take together and apart allows them to grow and appreciate the change in the other before they can find their happy ever after. I loved the complexity of this story. Particularly the effortless way the past informs the present emotional characters of Maisie and Grey, a lovely poignant read. I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
“I don’t know what happened!” she wails. “I don’t know where it all went wrong and I don’t know where to begin to fix this, Grey.” Cradling her to my body, I carry her to bed, laying her down beside me while she continues to cry. I brush her hair back from her face and kiss her forehead. “I literally feel broken inside, like I’m not working right anymore.” She sniffles, hiding her face. “You’re not broken, Butterfly, maybe just misfiring a little. We’ll get you back in working order, I promise.” “That’s the problem, though, I don’t know how or where to start. I used to have it all figured out, ya know?” She takes a shuddering breath. “We were so young, but we knew what we wanted. Before. I was certain that you were all I needed. If I had you and we had our family like we talked about.” She laughs through her tears; it hurts my heart. “All the time, I thought that was all that mattered, that nothing could touch us.” I’m at a loss for words as she wipes her face off and gets a little more comfortable. “I mean, what eleven year old knows what boy she wants to marry and actually gets him for a good amount of time before she does something stupid and throws it all away?” I get up off the bed and pace. She’s going to take our whole history, blame herself for it, and then blame it as the cause for where she is currently. Not happening. I swallow hard as I try to focus on the main priority here, getting Macie to a place where she can get back to her normal. “Butterfly, you need to start by realizing that when we went wrong, it was only because it wasn’t our time to be right. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no telling what would have happened if you would’ve stuck around, so there’s no use in playing the ‘what if’ game with it. Okay?”
“I can’t make you mine right now, Macie.” He sounded dejected. “I know,” she whispered across his lips, this time pressing her mouth against his. “I don’t trust anybody else with you,” he said as she deepened the kiss a little more, but he wasn’t letting her fully in. She licked his top lip and a small groan came out against his wishes. “I know, Sugar Plum.” She kissed just his bottom lip; being the only participant in the kiss was becoming challenging. Greyden laughed. “Noooo.” He gripped her face, stopping her ministrations. She scrunched up her nose at him. “Macie, remember our plans?” She nodded. How could she forget? They had a future together, just not a present. He tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear. “I promise to keep my mouth shut if you want to date, if you promise to date guys your own age and to be smart.” Macie’s shoulders sagged in disappointment. That’s not where she was hoping he was going to go with that. “Grey, I don’t—” “Butterfly,” he slides a finger to her lips effectively shushing her, “I wish I could be that guy for you right now, but I can’t. I know that others can’t either, but apparently you’re going to have to figure that one out on your own. That’s why I ask that you wait ‘til you’re eighteen for the major stuff. Because, Butterfly…God. Macie James, you’re not the girl guys screw around with. You’re the girl guys marry. You’re the girl I’m going to marry.” Macie gasped in complete shock at his words. Stunned speechless. What does one say to that anyway? Thankfully, she didn’t have to think too long. Greyden slid off the truck, coming in close contact along her body, not letting her back up. He leaned down, his lips hovering over hers momentarily, just barely brushing them before pressing the sweetest kiss to her hyperaware lips. His lips were soft and warm and Macie wanted to pull him even closer than he already was and open up to him, but that’s not the kind of kiss he was giving her. No, he was giving her a kiss of a promise, a promise of a future, of a friendship and of a love that will only bloom with time, that’s what this kiss was. It was kind of heartbreaking on her end. It may be what he wanted and needed right now, but he just told her he was going to marry her, yet she couldn’t really kiss him, or have him.