Against All Odds by Angie McKeon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5+ picking up the pieces stars!
Dreams have a way of shattering you when they don’t work out. The illusion of hope is a very dangerous thing. Once you’ve lost that it’s like a black hole that sucks the very life from your soul, making you doubt your purpose.
What do you do when you’re as happier than you ever thought possible... Married to the love of your life, getting ready to start a new and beautiful chapter, and then suddenly, everything changes. The life you knew was torn from you and all thats left are broken pieces of what you used to be? One shattering event changed Kylie and Cooper Bailey forever. And they’re not sure if they can ever recover...
Our heroine, Kylie
Kylie is a broken woman. She is living with loss, regret, and heartbreak every day. She wants to fix her life, but at this point, she doesn’t know how, or even if it’s possible. Every day she lives with the guilt of what her marriage has turned into.
The truth is... when we start crossing boundaries, things get messy. Often times, one boundary leads to another and another, and before we know it, we’ve crossed so many, we’re screwed.
Kylie isn’t perfect. In fact, she’s flawed and destructive. Yet, I sympathized with her. I didn’t agree with a lot of her choices, but I felt for her. I think it’s easy to judge someone on the poor choices they make, but unless you’ve been in their shoes, you really can’t.
Then, there is her husband, Cooper
My feelings for Cooper were so conflicted. I wasn’t his biggest fan in the beginning. The first half of the book, I didn’t care much for him, didn’t really know what to think. Then about half way through, I got his p.o.v. And it changed EVERYTHING. Kylie isn’t the only one who has made mistakes. Cooper has too...
I’ve starved my wife... I’ve starved her of my love.
Throughout the first half of the book, I just kept yelling (in my head) at Cooper to wake up! I know he could feel Kylie’s pain, see why she was doing what she was doing. Yet he did nothing. I’m so happy I could finally feel the love for Cooper. He really was a good man, but he was also blind sighted by grief and loss.
My man, and the best friend Grayson
“What’s that love costing you?”
Along her path of devastation and destruction, Kylie had a friend she could count on. Someone who was always there for her. Who listened to her, loved her and didn’t judge her. That person was Gray, Cooper’s best friend. After two years of being that guy, of course some feelings are going to develop. Gray is sick of standing by and watching Cooper and Kylie self destruct. He’s sick of picking up Kylie’s pieces and watching her hurt herself over and over.
“I swore I’d never get between you and Coop. It wasn’t my place, and it’s never been my intention. When I started taking care of you, all I wanted was to support you guys. But it’s turned into a dysfunctional mess, and I can’t watch him hurt you anymore. I won’t allow it. I just want you happy, sweet cheeks. It kills me to say this, but I don’t think Cooper’s that guy anymore.”
I swooned over Grayson. From start to finish, I loved this man. He was sensitive to Kylie’s feelings, of her relationship with Cooper. Two years is a long time to be there for someone like that. He’s an amazing man. One of the hardest things about this story was (view spoiler)[Gray’s pain. He didn’t deserve to hurt at all, but I feel like things worked out the way they were supposed to. (hide spoiler)]
If you’re anything like me, you might wonder.... why? Why choose this ‘open marriage’, why not just divorce. It’s not as easy as you would think... in a normal situation that would be the perfect solution. For Cooper and Kylie, not so much. They need each other, they just can’t meet each others needs at the time.
We share a reckless, toxic love that feeds the brokenness in me, in us. Our love is an addiction. A love that I won’t ever consider living without.
There were many times I wasn’t sure how this couple would survive, if they could make it. Is there a way to come back from something like this intact?
With everything they have going against them, can Kylie and Cooper make it? Against All Odds, will they pull through?
I know a lot of readers are going to shy away from this one due to the angst and the subject matter and thats really a shame. It’s a shame because this is one of the better books I’ve read this year. It’s so beautifully written, original and refreshing. I would have never guessed this was a debut novel if I hadn’t known. The writing was phenomenal. I was impressed with how unique the story line was, I can’t say I’ve ever read a book quite like this. It evoked many feelings from me. Most of them weren’t all that good, especially in the beginning, but the healing process is a beautiful thing. Just like Kylie and Cooper started to heal, I found myself healing as well.
Now the questions I KNOW everyone will ask- Was there cheating? Was there a love triangle? Not in the traditional sense. Due to their ‘arrangement’ all the lines are blurred. Personally, I would say yes (slightly) to the love triangle (view spoiler)[Though I am SO thankful those lines with Gray weren’t crossed! (hide spoiler)]... the cheating, I’m going with no. To me, it was a really fucked up situation, but I wouldn’t call it cheating.
Against All Odds was a spectacular story about love, tragedy, loss, hope and the power of healing. It was an emotional ride... I was in tears for a good part of the book, but I love when a book can bring out those types of feelings in me. Even with some of their poor choices, the characters were likable and relatable. I was wowed by this story. This is a book I enjoyed from start to finish and one I would highly recommend!
“Never,” I whisper. “I could never regret being with you. I’ve always loved you. That’s never stopped. Even in the most painful moments when I wanted to hate you or when I didn’t understand you, I’ve loved you.”
“We’re a fucked up pair.”
“We are. But we have each other. Even lost, we’ve had each other.”
*ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review*View all my reviews
“Look at me, Kylie,” he says.
If I look at him, I’ll die. My heart will crumble, and I won’t make it out of his office. I can’t do it. The pain is unbearable. When I leave here, he’s with her. The thought of him with her, while I’m pining away for him makes me sick.
It destroys me.
“Please, Ky. I need you to look at me. Don’t do this. Don’t play fucking games with me. I need you to look at me now.”
Just do it. Suck it up.
I turn around and look at him with tears in my eyes and distress smeared across my features like paint on a canvas. My body seeps anguish I can’t hide. I can never hide my heart. My feelings are always written on every seam of my face, every angle of my form. My distress penetrates the air around me, pulling him into my suffering, entangling and entrapping him within the storm that rages in me. I’m broken without him and I’ve been without him for so long that I’ve lost pieces of myself along the way. The jar that holds the last of my heart is about to shatter until nothing is left but shards of the woman I used to be.
“I can’t take this anymore,” I whisper, my voice broken. “We need to talk about us over dinner.”
I can’t give a voice to my thoughts. If nothing changes between now and then, our marriage can’t go on. He’s killing me, and I’m killing him. Together, we’re a car wreck heading straight for a cliff. A cliff that spans a mountain. We are on our way to certain emotional death and this ride’s something I don’t want to be a part of anymore. I want off.
His eyes pierce mine, and I know he knows what I’m thinking. He looks stunned, and for a split second, I see fear. Cold, fucking fear. He sees everything I need him to see and more. I hope he gets it. I hope he understands that this might be the end of our road. We need to have something to work for, or we have nothing. I love him, but this love hurts. It hurts in a way I would’ve never dreamed it could.
All rights reserved. Against All Odds © 2014 Copyright, Angie McKeon.
A multi-tasker from birth—and now proudly able to add 'writer' to my resume—I'm a mother, wife and blogger. I love to read, write and drink copious amounts of iced coffee.
All three aforementioned addictions are detrimental to my sanity.
I have a voracious appetite for dark, painful and twisted reads. I'm enamored with the concept of love and heart break. I believe life is a journey, a tale in its own for each of us. The road to happiness is sometimes paved with stones from hell, or glitters of satisfaction graced from the heavens above.
In my upcoming debut novel, 'Against All Odds,' I strive to make you feel. I believe any emotion—whether painful or happy—is good. To me, the key to living is to go through life feeling its ups and downs. Love is dark and it can be painful but, at the end of the day, it can save the most lost of souls and the most broken of hearts.