I have said it before. Sometimes I find it hard to give authors that are new to me a chance. I mean I do it all the time but unless it comes highly recommended to me by someone who knows what I like then I generally start reading with a slight amount of wariness. The reason this one grabbed me was actually the title. Nineteen Letters. I am one of those people that loves a lot of written communication in a book. I think it stems right back to 2004 and P.S I Love You (amazing book – God awful movie). Lots of emails, texts, letters then I am there.
Of course I didn’t read the blurb. I swear someday I am going to surprise everyone and read the blurb first. I had no idea what was coming, I love a story naturally unfolding, getting a shock and the anticipation that leads up to an even that you have no idea what is going to happen. Like in this book, blissfully happy newlywed getting into her car on an awful day and hoping and praying what you can see coming is not going to pan out the way you foresee. The sadness that hits you like a punch to the stomach when it does. The tugs on your heart strings when you see the struggle for both parties to accept what is happening to their previously idyllic life.
I just loved how this story played out. The willpower and the belief that Braxton had that his love for Jemma would defeat any and all obstacles. How her heart knew she belonged to him even if her brain wouldn’t let her remember. The journey of their relationship through the years was just beautifully written and it was just the most amazing love story. It had just enough sadness, angst, happiness, and joy to make it one of the best books I have read this year!
It’s a wet
and dreary morning is the first thing I hear when the radio booms to life,
alerting me to the fact it’s time to get up.
doesn’t even come close. The thought of no longer being able to spend every
waking minute with my gorgeous husband has already put a dampener on my day. I
can’t believe our time off together has come to an end. I hate that I have to
go back to work this morning, and leave the little bubble Braxton and I have
been living in for the past four weeks.
until the wedding, things were so busy with our careers, building our dream
house and organising our special day. Everything combined seemed to take away
from us being together. This one-on-one time we’ve had since tying the knot was
just what we both needed.
onto his side, pulling me further into his warm, luscious body. It has been
exactly nineteen days since we exchanged wedding vows, and I’m still floating.
Mr Spencer.’ I lean my forehead against his. ‘I’m not ready to go back to work.
I can’t stand the thought of spending the entire day without you.’
as his teeth nip at my pouting lip. ‘I feel exactly the same way, babe. Our
time off has gone way too quick. We should have taken two months off, instead
being a constant figure in my daily life, for the past nineteen years, I still
get a rush when I think about what our future together holds.
Braxton when my parents and I moved in next door. We were just kids, but we’ve
been inseparable ever since. He’s my one and only. He always has been, and
always will be. He’s not only the love of my life; he’s my best friend, my soul
mate, my forever boy.
incredibly dreamy, with his movie-star looks. I run my fingers through his
sandy blond hair as my eyes roam over his perfectly sculpted face; his big blue
eyes pop against his tanned skin. He has a smile that makes my knees weak. His
front tooth turns in ever so slightly, but it takes nothing away from his
realises I’m checking him out, the sexy grin that I adore appears on his face.
It highlights the cute dimple in his left cheek. To this day, he still manages
to turn my insides to mush, but it’s his inner beauty that affects me the most.
always call in sick,’ I say, perking up for a moment, but in reality I know
it’s not possible. I have a big client coming in first thing Monday morning,
and I need to prepare.
didn’t have this damn meeting later this morning, I’d say do it,’ he replies,
to miss you.’
to miss you too, Jem. The past four weeks have been my kind of heaven.’
‘I’d give anything to be back in Kauai right now.’
move from his hair and skim down the side of his face as I speak. The beach has
always been our favourite place. That’s why we built our dream home overlooking
the ocean. The soothing sound of the waves crashing against the shore as I
drift off to sleep every night, and the sweet smell of sea air first thing in
the morning . . . it’s cathartic. It’s also one of the reasons we chose
Hawaii—a beautiful villa on the majestic shores of Tunnels Beach—as the place
to spend the first two weeks of our married life.
He gives me a wistful look. ‘I’ll take you back there over the Christmas break,
that.’ My fingertips dance over his collarbone, before moving across his
shoulder. When I run a path down his strong back, he groans.
again when I think that Christmas is ten months away, but I guess we have the
rest of our lives together to create the kind of memories we did in Hawaii.
my legs from his, I pause briefly. I don’t want to leave him. I exhale a
drawn-out breath. ‘I suppose I better jump in the shower.’
like some company?’
for me, he rolls onto his back, taking me with him. I laugh when he wiggles his
eyebrows. I straddle his waist before covering his mouth with mine. My shower
can wait. Making love to my man is much more important.
forward, I line myself up. His strong hands grip my hips, and we moan in unison
as I sink down onto him. My eyes lock with his as I slowly rock my body against
him. ‘I love you, Brax.’
‘I love you
too, Jem. So much.’
for my hands, lacing his fingers through mine. We’ve always had such a strong
bond, but when we’re connected like this, we become one. I’ll never tire of
these feelings he evokes in me.
times I feel guilty because together, we’re perfect. None of our friends have
the kind of relationship Braxton and I do. What we have is unbreakable.
Sometimes my feelings for him overwhelm me. I’m not sure how either of us would
survive without the other.
As I rush
around putting the finishing touches on my make-up, I catch a glimpse of
Braxton in the mirror. He’s leaning up against the doorframe watching me get
ready. He’s shirtless and wearing a pair of grey sweats that hang low on his
hips. My pulse quickens as my eyes rake over his bare chest, and each delicious
muscle that defines his torso, from the perfect V just above the waistband, right
up to his washboard abs. One of my favourite things to do is watch him work out
on the small home gym he set up in the garage. I don’t think he even realises
how sexy he is. Growing up, he didn’t notice the way all the girls swooned over
him. But I did.
move back to his, and the adoring look on his face sends my heart into a
flutter. The sheer love I feel for this man consumes every fibre of my being.
have you been standing there?’ I ask as my mouth curves into a smile.
admiring my beautiful wife.’ I love hearing him call me his wife.
off the doorframe and stalks towards me. When his arms encircle my waist, he
pulls me back into him. A soft moan falls from my mouth as his lips trail a
path up my neck. I tilt my head to the side, allowing him better access.
already running late,’ I breathe.
‘I wish you
didn’t have to go.’ His warm breath on my skin leaves goosebumps in its wake.
eight hours are going to feel like an eternity.’
I sigh in
agreement. ‘I know.’
glides over the sensitive spot behind my ear, sending shivers down my spine. He
did that on purpose. ‘Don’t make any plans for tonight, because I’m taking you
out to dinner.’
taking me out? Where?’
Shanty.’ He groans as he sucks my earlobe into his mouth.
My eyes fly
open to meet his in the mirror. ‘Our what?’ My mind starts to race. What anniversary?
He turns me
in his arms so I’m facing him, and pulls a small black box from his pocket. ‘I
was going to give this to you tonight, but I want you to have it now. Happy
nineteenth anniversary, sweetheart.’
tremble slightly as I take hold of the box. That’s when I remember that today
we have been married for nineteen days, and a huge smile breaks out on my face.
The number nineteen has always held special significance for us.
happiness pool in my eyes as I open the lid. Inside I find a white-gold
necklace that’s holding a diamond-encrusted number-nineteen pendant.
Braxton, it’s beautiful. I love it . . . I love you.’
as he tucks a lock of hair behind my ear. ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my
life with you, Jem.’
forms in my throat and I feel like I’m choking back tears. I use my hand to fan
my eyes; I don’t have time to redo my make-up.
box out of my hand, he removes the necklace. ‘Turn around, and hold up your
hair.’ I do as he asks, gathering my long brown hair on top of my head so he can
fasten the necklace. ‘Perfect,’ he says, planting a soft kiss on my skin at the
base of my neck.
fingertips glide over the pendant as I admire it in the mirror. ‘Thank you . .
. I’ll treasure it.’
arms around my waist again, he rests his chin on my shoulder, and his eyes meet
mine in the mirror. ‘You know, I’ve been thinking . . .’
when he pokes my side.
‘I want you
to stop taking the pill.’
I feel my
heartbeat accelerate as I swing around to face him. ‘You do?’
time we gave it another try, Jem. I want to see our baby growing inside you.’
I swipe my
finger under my eye to catch the stray tear that has fallen. ‘I want that too,
but what about my job? We just took out a second mortgage to build this house .
. . we need the money.’
before continuing. ‘I know how much your career means to you, but you’re giving
so much of yourself to that bastard, Andrew. We both know he doesn’t appreciate
you. Why don’t you think about setting up your own interior design business
from home? That way you’d be here to look after our son, and still be able to
do what you love.’
daughter,’ I say with a smile.
‘As long as
our baby is healthy, I don’t care what sex it is.’ I bow my head as memories of
that day flood my mind. I want this so badly, but I’m scared.
talk more about it tonight over dinner? Andrew’s going to chew me out if I
don’t get to the office soon.’
I run my
finger over his forehead, trying to flatten out the crinkles of his frown. I
love how protective he is. He hates the way my boss treats me, but he’d never
interfere because he knows how much I love what I do.
has eased by the time I’m ready to leave, but Braxton still insists on walking
me out so I don’t get wet. ‘Bye,’ I say reluctantly, when we come to a stop
beside my car.
Andrew keep you any later than needed.’
I say, placing my lips against his. ‘Good luck with your meeting. They’re going
to love the new design.’
‘I hope so.’
He opens the driver’s-side door, and moves the umbrella closer to shield me
from the rain. ‘Be careful on the roads, they’ll be slippery.’
always worry where you’re concerned, Jem. It’s my job to look after you.’
I smile up
at him once I’m seated. ‘I love how much you love me.’
never change,’ he says, winking, as he closes my car door.
feels heavy as I blow him a kiss and reverse out of the driveway . . . I miss
cautiously but still faster than usual on my way to work. I know I shouldn’t,
considering the roads are slippery from all the rain, but the backlog of work
I’m going to face from being on holidays for a month is making my stomach knot.
Just the thought of facing Andrew in one of his moods this morning is quickly
undoing all the calm I’ve felt while being away from him. Braxton’s idea of
starting my own business is sounding better by the second.
I smile to
myself as I replay his words in my head. My fingertips lightly skim over my
stomach. I’d like nothing more than to have his baby growing inside me again.
mumble to myself when the heavens open up. I turn the wiper speed up to full,
but visibility is still poor. I can barely see the car in front of me now. I
jump when my phone starts to ring. I grip the wheel tightly with my right hand
as I reach across the passenger seat, my hand blindly fumbling in my bag as I
try to find it.
I just know
that it’s Andrew wondering where I am; I should have been there fifteen minutes
ago. My chest tightens just thinking about it.
leave the road for a split second as I glance down at the screen. I was right,
it’s him. As I attempt to accept the call, I hear the loud sound of an angry
horn, and the screech of tyres. My head snaps to the left as my body is thrown
violently sidewards. The sickening crunching sound of metal is almost
Braxton and our life together flash through my mind as a crushing sensation
consumes the right side of my body. My head connects with the driver’s-side
window, and the sound of shattering glass fills my ears.
Oh god. I don’t want to die.
. . Braaaax,’ I cry out as the world around me stills, and I succumb to the