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A Gandy Girl

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John Wiltshire
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John Wiltshire
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Riley Hart
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Toxic - Rachel Van Dyken Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Note that this review discusses both Ruin and Toxic. No spoilers.

As I have stated there is something about these heartbreaking stories that has become an addiction to me. Is this book for everyone? Likely not. Is the writing perfect? No but it is beautiful. Are there slight moments where a cringe slightly with a cheesy statement... a few times, yes. But with all that said, I loved these stories and particularly the men in this series. These are heartbreaking stories of 2 men and their struggle with the life they have been handed. Whether this be physical or emotional losses, they are found in a downward free fall. One questions the need to fight to live while the other struggles with hiding behind alternate selves of his own creation, only to fall further and further into the darkness. It is not until they bump into or knock over the true loves of their lives that they start to question everything.

These stories are full of hope, full of emotional and full of beautiful passages and beliefs that we are all on a path and while bad things may happen to us, there is a plan and just when you think all is lost, a person can enter your life and make you want to fight the demons to live another day so that you can hold this love in your arms another minute, even if that is all the time you have left.

I love the quotes and insight at the start of each chapter...each by itself a story...

“Sometimes I wonder if we ever truly let anyone completely in. The desire for another human being to know you, all of you, all the pieces, even the ones you're ashamed of — is huge. But too often, we sit down and sort through the pieces only picking out the pretty ones, leaving the ugly ones behind, not realizing that choosing not to share with someone else is like committing a crime against our very soul — for how can we ever be free? When we purposefully place what we struggle with the most — in the dark? —Wes M.

I love how the characters in this series become intertwined and how their love grows for each other. I was thrilled to see plenty of Wes' character in Toxic. He is the heart and soul of this series. I look forward to more!

While this book does many things well, I have to say that my favorite book of this type would still be Making Faces, by Amy Harmon. Read them both with plenty of Kleenex on hand!