You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
You are My Sunshine, Written by Jimmie Davis
You and Everything After is book two in Ginger Scott’s Falling series. I am a huge fan of this author and am completely enamored by her style of writing and the beautiful love stories she pens. This book is yet another example of a story that will touch your heart and make you believe that love does conquer all. Despite this story being about a different couple, the timeline for this book does take place at the same time as book one. This book can be read as a stand-alone but I highly recommend reading the series in sequential order.
On the outside twenty-two year old Tyson Preeter (a.k.a. Ty) seems a little sure of himself with all his confidence, strength and intelligence shining through like a beacon for all to see. As a college student completing his MBA, he’s the man who goes after what he wants and gets it. He’s also the man who lost his ability to walk in a freak accident six years ago in high school and has had to relearn how to do “life”. Ty may be crude at times and lacks proper manners; however, he is as loyal as they come and loves his younger brother and family fiercely. The cliff diving accident that caused him to be a paraplegic was devastating for his parents and brother so Ty set out to prove that his new reality would not break him. He fought back and faced his circumstances with an admiral steely determination. However, much of the Ty he shows the outside world is a façade. Yes, Ty is strong but he is also a young man whose life got turned on its axis because of one tragic accident. Some days are hard, coping is often difficult. Ty keeps his pain to himself. After all, he can’t let his family see just how affected he is.
“She’s defiance, in all of its glory.”
Attending McConnell for their sports and rehabilitation medicine program is something eighteen year old Cass Owens has fought for. College is a chance to start fresh, away from her parents, high school memories, the shame associated with the poor decisions she made in high school and away from anyone that knows about the fact that she has multiple sclerosis. Her sister Paige has come with her as it was the only way her parents would agree to McConnell not really trusting that Cass would not overdo it when it comes to her MS. Cass is determined to leave the vulnerable girl who sought love and acceptance by using her body behind. She is not that girl any longer. Her insecurities may still be rooted deep inside her, but Cass is no longer willing to succumb to her old ways. She wants to be carefree, make friends and wants the pain of her past to become a distant memory.
“This one. This girl-she’s that other half my mom talks always talks about. I didn’t kiss her because I felt bad for her. I kissed her because I felt her. Cass is me – in every possible way. We’re both broken and pissed, fragile yet strong, careful with our hearts, but free with our words.”
Ty and Cass have this immediate connection when they first meet. Ty is attracted to the sassy girl who gives him a run for his money and Cass can’t help but fall prey to Ty’s skilled flirtations. The more they get to know one another, the more they discover just how similar they really are. Both are broken and have had to overcome some harsh obstacles. Both hide behind a strong exterior not wanting the world to see their weaknesses. Cass is a little reluctant to give Ty a chance because of her past and the fact that Ty has a playboy reputation. Ty has his own demons from his past that haunt him in the form of an ex-girlfriend who left him when he was at his most vulnerable. He, too, is hesitant to test the murky waters of a committed relationship. It is hard to stay away from someone you feel a deep connection with though. The further they step into a fragile relationship, the more they discover just how much they truly understand one another. The more they begin to realize just how much they need one another.
“My sunshine. Careful, Cass, or I’ll trap you in a bottle and keep you forever.”
“You know I love you, right?”
This was such a sweet and lovely romance with two characters who I could not help but love. However, simultaneously, it was also a story about a girl who learns to embrace life again stepping away from the damaged image she had of herself. Ty was simply the right guy to break through and have enough courage to see past her disability. I loved that! Here you have two individuals with physical disabilities who learn how to support, encourage and depend on one another. They both make mistakes along the way but in the end it’s those rough times that make them stronger and allows them to flourish.
All in all, You and Everything After is a beautiful book with writing that is executed impeccably. This is one of those books that touched my heart, made me smile and had me happily sighing. It is what a romance should be. I don’t really read romance novels expecting everything to be believable and perfect. I want to be transported into a fictional world where anything is possible. Ginger Scott has this innate ability to transport her reader into her book world allowing us to experience and feel right along with her characters. It is beautiful, raw and gripping. I can’t wait for more. The third installment in this series will be about Cass’ sister, Paige. I am curious to see how Ms. Scott will redeem someone who I am not all that fond of.
“It’s bliss. This...everything...this moment – it’s bliss.”
****An advance reading copy of You and Everything After by Ginger Scott was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.