Revelry by Kandi Steiner
Publisher: Kandi Steiner
Publication Date: April 20, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.
She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.
Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.
Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.
He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.
Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.
This story focuses on Wren Ballard and Anderson Black. Two seemingly different people, with one thing in common; they’re both broken.
Wren’s divorce from her high school sweetheart has just recently been finalized. She’s feeling lost, depleted, and more than a little broken. Designer and co-owner of a fashion boutique in Seattle, she’s been uninspired since the dissolution of her marriage. In hopes of finding herself, and inspiration, she rents a cabin in the country for the summer. This small town is where she meets the man who may just be as broken as she is.
Anderson hasn’t always made the best choices, but you can’t really blame him. Raised by his aunt since a young child, he grew up not knowing either of his parents. He was quite reckless as a teenager, and definitely not one of the responsible ones. Anderson carries a lot of guilt around for his past actions, and blames himself for one thing in particular. He lives each day doing the same thing, same routine, basically just going through the motions. That is, until a new girl moves into town for the summer.
Through each other, both Wren and Anderson find ways to heal themselves, and repair their hearts. I hate the term ‘fix,’ but the two of them gave each other the strength to move on, and find worth in themselves again. Two townspeople offered support to each of them in particular, Momma Von and Ron. They were great supporting characters, and each of them gave Wren and Anderson wonderful support and advice.
“This was my life, and I only had one. I didn’t know how long it would be, I didn’t know who would be in it, but I did know that I deserved to live it. Happily. And that’s what I intended to do.”
Wren’s story resented with me quite a bit. I’ve known other women who stay in broken marriages long after they should, because they think that is what they’re supposed to do; or that it is their fault the marriage is broken. But when you are married to someone abusive, whether that is physically, verbally, or emotionally, you have to learn that it is okay to do what is best for yourself, and leave the relationship. You aren’t being selfish by making sure your wellbeing is safe and healthy. And that goes for relationships in general, not just marriages.
Anderson was definitely bit of a broody, sourpuss at the beginning, but boy does he come into his own once he learns to let go of the past, and stops punishing himself. He can definitely make a girl swoon right along with the best of them.
There are a few reasons I didn’t rate the book super high. I’m pretty stingy when it comes to giving out 5 stars. So here’s what kept me from rating it higher. First, I had trouble getting into at the beginning. I can’t really pinpoint a reason other than, perhaps I was just getting used to Steiner’s voice. It being the first book I’ve read by her, it took me a while to get into the characters’ heads. Second, it felt repetitive at times. Since it switches POVs, I’m not sure if the repetitiveness was because the reader needed to be reminded of certain things, but to me, I felt like I was reading the same passages over and over. Lastly, it felt a bit predictable and too perfect. Even though it was drilled into the reader that the hero and heroine aren’t perfect, they still got all their shit together before the end, and that seemed a little too perfect for me. But, even with those criticisms, I still enjoyed the book as a whole.
Wren says something that really struck home with me.
“I’d learned that if a move in life didn’t make you feel like singing and throwing up all at once, it wasn’t big enough.”
As someone who has made (and is making) a lot of changes in their life direction, this jumped off the page for me. I’m keeping this quote safe, so I can read it, and it can encourage and inspire me to keep pursuing my goals; and to remind me that it’s okay to be excited and scared shitless at the same time.
In the end, this really was an uplifting and inspiring story. It was my first book by Kandi Steiner, and I’m definitely interested in reading more by her!
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Meet the Author: Kandi Steiner
Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.
Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).
When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.