Zach Aubrey and Violet Smith have been best friends in college. They even ventured a little beyond but after their first time together things fell totally and absolutely apart leading to Violet dating the rich privileged Shep and Zach moving to a different college. 9 Years later they meet totally by mistake and try to find their way to one another again.
We get the story - past and present - from both Zach and Violet's POV. It becomes clearer as the story continues what actually happened 9 years ago and I gotta say - I see NO FAULT in Zach's behavior and actually I'm quite disgusted with Violet's actions.. Violet used the "L" word WAY too soon and expected grand gestures from a very young and inexperienced (at emotions..) Zach, once he didn't deliver she ran off to the first guy she found who is also the one that would be the exact opposite to Zach (and loathed by him..). She spent 8 years with this guy whom she didn't love and didn't make her happy. Who also expected her to become someone else but also gave her a VERY comfort lifestyle...
Zach, not knowing how to deal with Violet's expectation DID bolt after Violet's grand declaration of love but he only wanted a little time to think things through, it was HARD for him, for real. Truthfully, if I was in his shoes I would have made EXACTLY the same decisions! But when he "came to his senses" she was already someone else's girl. There was never a time for him to say to her - listen, I love you and I want you back. Not when he saw who she was hanging out with.. so he gave up and left for another college. He made a name for himself as a song writer and a musician for hire and makes quite a comfortable life and yet he wants MORE, he wants to write different kind of music (though still on metal genre).
While he used to be an awkward skinny guy, now at 28 he is muscular and heavily tattooed. THIS is the guy Violet sees and she is surprised this is the guy she loved all those years ago, and yet while Zach changed a lot in his appearance he didn't really change on the inside. Violet on the other hand became a TOTALLY different person, one she doesn't even like that much. Her only accomplishment in life was a book about her past - how she ended up with Shep after Zach walked away. Now she is staying at a cabin making herself write the sequel which she isn't sure HOW to do. Zach hasn't been in the picture for the past 9 years and well, Shep isn't either.. he died a year ago.
Zach stumbled to the same cabin to write him own kind of music when he realizes who he will be sharing the cabin with...
Though the beginning was interesting and sweet about an old love rekindled, I HATED Violet as the story continued, there is one word I can say about her which sums it all - judgmental. Without having the courage to have any sort of personal introspection to her OWN behavior. She liked how toned Zach's body but she looks down on his tattoos. She calls him talented but she doesn't approve of the music he is making (while he keeps seeing how amazing she is, she only sees the things she dislikes). She expect their life to match PERFECTLY, while not wanting to change (from the girl she became with Shep) so she frowns upon his lifestyle and interests (like live metal concerts). Why not ACCEPT a person as he is, enjoy things together as well as APART? I didn't get that.
I truthfully planned to finish this book though I was struggling from about the middle of the book. I LOVED everything else I've read by Katy and so I meant to keep on going because of that, but honestly, I DON'T want these two to find their HEA which is why I stopped at the 74% mark. Violet needs to grow up, to live a little, to realize who she is, and stop looking at others passing judgments when she has ZERO on her own. Zach is basically the perfect guy. He is grown up now, mature, he knows what he wants, he sure as hell knows what he lost all those years ago and he is willing to work HARD to get her back. Too bad she isn't worth it.. :/
This is my personal opinion about Violet, I'm sure others could be more forgiving for her mistakes and misgivings. For me, it strikes too close home. I can totally see myself in Zach, though I was never in the exact spots as they were, but it's so very easy for me to see that Violet is the kind that expects things to go HER way and even when she made her compromises they were greedy and self serving. That's the way I see it, you might feel totally different. Violet did her best to survive how she knew or figured she can, which is also why she become the women she is today, 9 years later.
Note - Strangely, TODAY this book changed it's name.. it used to be "Playing for Love at Deep Haven", book one in the Enchanted Places series but it turned into a stand-alone novel with a new name.
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 279 pages, 8-25 June 2016 / On GoodReads