The Light in the Wound (The Light in the Wound #1) by Christine Brae
NA Contemporary Romance
When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.
Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.
Isabel grew up with a life of privilege, best friends with her sisters and never wanting for anything. Until one day they were torn apart thanks to their parents’ messy split, and she spent years away from her family trying to pull the pieces of her life back together. When she was finally able to return to her mother and sisters, Isabel once again was in the position where she had to adjust to a new life; and that’s when she met and fell hard for the gorgeous and charming Jesse Cain.
Jesse and Isabel’s relationship spans several years, and we see them both changing as their lives take them in different directions. Jesse swept her off her feet, sweet and devoted to her at every turn, but even early on it was clear that Jesse had issues with mixed priorities. He was enviably hard-working, the ultimate goal-setter with the intention of providing a great life for a woman used to having the finer things in life. But by being so determined to better himself for Isabel, he lost sight of what mattered, and that was what SHE wanted. I struggled with Isabel’s complacent attitude towards Jesse’s outbursts and moments where he just acted like a jerk in the name of gaining success. I wanted her to get that backbone she needed to send him packing, so when the sweet and patient Alex stepped up to the plate…well, let’s just say he was a breath of fresh air!
There was all kinds of drama here, between Isabel’s torn family, Jesse’s jealousy and fast-tracking to success, and Isabel’s heart being pulled in two very different directions. We see from the very opening pages that even she isn’t sure what her heart wants, and it was a very bumpy ride. I just wish Isabel had been stripped down more as a character so we could really see and feel along with her. I didn’t get that here, I felt like Isabel was robotic in her emotions and I didn’t really FEEL her heartache so much as hear her telling it. Jesse’s behavior didn’t help; he was so sporadic, with his devotion one minute and then being a chauvinistic workaholic the next. When Alex came into the picture, he actually smoothed things out in the story, to the point where the relationship made sense and Isabel became a stronger character. But Jesse was always her weakness (and I definitely felt like they had more passion), so it was a question right up to the end whether or not the good guy was going to finish last! Overall, while I wanted more personality and depth from the characters, this was an enjoyable story with plenty of twists to keep readers drawn in.
He looked even more beautiful than the last time I saw him. He seemed sleeker, more polished. His hair was still wavy and ruffled, but tamer somehow. His eyes looked tortured, conflicted. ~Loc 2110
“I don’t need weeks or months or years to figure out what my future might be like with you. I need weeks and months and years to be with you.” ~Loc 2533
“I’m content. You can never replicate the feelings of a first love, Jesse. The passion, the elation, the sorrow, the pain. When it’s the first time, everything is so much more magnified. You feel like it’s the end of the world when you’re not together.” ~Loc 4020
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.