#DGRFave Review: Ghosted by @JMDarhower

GHOSTED
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: August 24, 2017

He’s a troubled young actor, Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, struggling with fame as the star of the latest superhero franchise. Through scandal after scandal, addiction on top of addiction, a flurry of paparazzi hunt him as he fights to conquer his demons.

She’s a single mother, assistant manager at a grocery store, existing in monotony with her five-year-old daughter. Every day when she goes to work, lurid tabloids surround her, the face of a notorious bad boy haunting her from their covers.

A man and a woman, living vastly different lives, but that wasn’t always the case. Once, they were just a boy and a girl who bonded over comic books and fell in love unexpectedly.

When Kennedy Garfield met Jonathan Cunningham back in high school, she knew he had all the makings of a tragic hero. With stars in his eyes, and her heart on her sleeve, the pair ran away together to follow their dreams.

But dreams, sometimes, turn into nightmares.

Now, years later, the only thing they share is a daughter—one who has no idea her father plays her favorite superhero. But Jonathan is desperate to make amends, and at the top of his list is the woman who gave up everything for him and the little girl he hasn’t yet met.

AMAZON

Never make someone else the main character in your own story.”

EVERYTHING. This book was EVERYTHING. All of the things. Of the angsty, second chance romance feels variety.

You know when you see a book on your feed and find yourself wondering if it’s really worth all of the hype? I can tell you with total conviction, that this book is. It’s a huge step away from Darhower’s other books, pure contemporary, and downright magical.

He’s an actor. His talent comes natural. He’s never had to work very hard at it. He can switch moods in a moment, change scenes in an instant, flip the script without anybody even realizing it’s happening. It’s hard to tell if he’s just playing a character or if you can trust that he means things.

So what is it about this story that enraptured me so completely? Aside from the multi-layered characters that are full of depth and you can’t help but fall for immediately, it was the writing. The way that this second chance romance unravels and the way the author gives the reader the POV from the past? Pure literary magic.

You don’t know this, but that girl? As she stands there, staring at you, seeing the light in your eyes and feeling so much love in her heart, she would’ve done anything you asked. Anything. She would’ve climbed any mountain and dug any hole. She would’ve lied, cheated, and stolen. That girl would’ve promised you forever. As long as you love her, for as long as you care, she’s yours.

A troubled young actor, struggling with newfound sobriety and righting the wrongs of his past. A heart-broken, hardworking single mother with a spine of steel that was left in his rearview mirror as he chased his dream and got lost in a haze of alcohol and drugs. An adorable baby girl that brings the two of them a full circle. This was a powerful, incredibly realistic, and emotional story of second chances. Jonathan is not a perfect hero. He’s nowhere close to it. You want to hate him for his mistakes, but as you learn the story through the eyes of the woman that loved him and get his POV in the present, you get to see a man that’s determined to pay for his mistakes and make them right. He’s a man that never stopped loving the girl from his past and the woman that never truly left his present. He’s a man that knows that if she gives him just one more chance, though he doesn’t deserve it, he won’t squander it, and he’ll do anything to convince her that he’s worth the risk.

To me, she was the center of the universe, the sunlight that burned so bright, but she writes herself in the shadows, secondary in her own life. Instead, she made me the hero, the center of this alternate universe she invented around her.

Once burned, twice shy. Kennedy gave up everything once for the man she loved to chase his dreams, and now six years later, she’s still picking up the pieces that he left in his wake. It’s impossible not to immediately love this character. There’s this endearing vulnerability to go along with her spine of steel and determination to make a life for herself and her daughter that you have a tremendous amount of respect for. She struggles with trying to let go of her past and move on from the man that will always hold a piece of her heart.

I’m playing with fire, like I don’t remember how much it hurts to get burned, but from here, where I’m standing, all I can seem to feel is the warmth.

Ghosted is perfectly paced, phenomenally written, and completely enrapturing. It was full of emotion and a beautiful romance that’ll stay with me for a long, long time.

But love is only as strong as the people who fuel it. And you? You’re Superman, thinking Kryptonite makes you invincible. And the woman you love? She… can’t keep pretending any of this is normal. She can’t keep writing this as if somewhere along the way the plotline will fix itself. She can’t keep acting as if this isn’t her story.

 

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