Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From This Day On - Janice Kay Johnson (HS #1867 - Aug 2013)

Series: Wakefield College (Book 2)

A new beginning…from this day on

Jakob Nilsson has tried to keep his distance from Amy. Like a forbidden temptation, he's always known his weakness where she's concerned. Then an unexpected weekend brings them together. Despite the torture of being so close to her, Jakob is glad he's there…especially when the opening of a time capsule reveals a confession that upends Amy's world. Nothing is the way it was.

But that revelation also means the barriers between Jakob and Amy are gone. Finally he's free to pursue the woman who has always fascinated him. The challenge now is to convince her to look beyond their past. And to consider a future that includes him.

This was a very emotional book.  Jakob and Amy had spent their lives thinking they were half siblings.  Jakob had made Amy's life miserable and Amy had felt unloved by everyone.  When a time capsule confession reveals that they are not related at all, both their lives are completely changed.

I liked both Jakob and Amy though both had their moments when I wanted to shake them.  Amy is living in her mom's house while her mom and stepfather are in Australia teaching for a couple years.  Amy is hoping that this time will give her an insight into her mother's life and why she had never been a warm and loving mother.  When an invitation to a time capsule opening comes from Wakefield Amy decides to go.  Jakob offers to go with her, which she finds a little strange since they have never gotten along, but she accepts his offer.  Now that they are adults there seems to be a better chance for a civil relationship.  When the contents of the time capsule reveals the truth of her birth, Amy is devastated.  Jakob is the one who helps her deal with the news and is there for her as she comes to terms with it.  The news also frees them to pursue a different kind of relationship.  For the most part I really liked Amy.  She had had a pretty strange childhood with a mom that was pretty cold and withdrawn, a father that after they divorced seemed to treat her differently, and a brother that truly tormented her.  Although she had some serious self esteem issues, other than that she was a funny, independent and intelligent woman.  I liked the way that she was able to start an adult friendship with Jakob, but also didn't pull any punches when she let him know just how he had made her feel when they were growing up.  When their relationship stepped up, she still had some trouble believing that his attitude toward her had changed and kept waiting for him to abandon her the way everyone else did.  I loved the way she called him on his attitude toward the end and pointed out the way he had been treating her.  She knew they would have to get over their memories of the past if they were going to have a future.  I also liked the way that she confronted her mother over the revealed truth and then worked hard to forge a new relationship with her.  I loved the way she supported her mom at the end with the visit to her biological father.

Jakob was reluctant at first to get in contact with Amy.  He was still fighting feelings of guilt over some things he overheard as a child.  Seeing her again after many years only reinforced the feelings from when he was younger, but he couldn't resist offering to go with her to the time capsule opening.  I loved the way he was determined to support her.  When he didn't hear from her after she read the contents of the envelope he got worried and went to see her.  His immediate actions to help her showed the kind of person he really was.  Finding out that they aren't related at all, it was a big relief to him.  It also made it possible for him to look at her in a whole different way.  He confessed to her why he had treated her the way he did when they were younger and was horrified to find out just how damaging his actions had been.  While his attraction to her was real, as were his growing feelings, he also had a bad habit of treating her like he needed to "fix" the damage he had caused.  He got really angry when she accused him of it to his face but later had to admit that she was right.  I really liked the way he was there when she needed him, even when they had been arguing.  I loved his admitted fascination with everything about her and how much he enjoyed getting to know her.  I also liked the way that he realized that she had been right about the way he had been treating her and that he had to change if they were going to move forward..

I really liked the way the entire date rape issue was handled.  Not just showing what Michelle's reactions and feelings were at the time, but also the long term effects on her.  I also liked seeing the effects of the revelation on Amy and Jakob and how it changed their feelings toward Michelle..  It was also emotional to see them confront Amy's father and see the effects his actions had had on him and his life.

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