Is a gift of love enough to open Aiden’s heart and let Tris back in?
After the car accident that killed his parents and left his sister paralyzed, Tris is left with nothing. His family is destroyed. His reputation is shot. And all he has is the guilt of knowing it was all his fault. People in town know he’d been drinking that night, and know he should never have gotten behind the wheel. And even Aiden, the man he thought he’d be with forever, blames him too much to stay.
But Tris can’t let him just disappear. After months of loneliness and isolation, Tris brings Aiden a gift on his birthday, a hawk he’s carved from a chunk of wood they’d found in the forest during an afternoon of love. A small chink seems to open in Aiden’s heart, the first sign of forgiveness. With renewed hope, Tris takes a job renovating one of the older homes in town and tries to rebuild his life. But the townspeople have long memories, and when his sister’s condition worsens, forgiveness—and Aiden—seem to slip even further out of reach…
The poor guy can’t catch a break.
I’m a sucker for Dianne Hartsock’s books. The characters are usually well-rounded and dimensional. In this book, that was the case. From page one, I was hooked. I had to know what would happen for Tris and Aiden. I’ll admit it. I wasn’t sure how this one would end. I had my suspicions, but for a few moments here and there… I just wasn’t sure.
Tris is one heck of a guy. He’s been through the wringer and still hasn’t given up. Ms. Hartsock wrote him with just enough darkness to make his depression believable, but without causing pity. I rooted for the guy. My heart broke for him and…wow. Yeah, I rooted for him. The only thing that took away from my enjoyment of the story was his constantly going back into the past in his thoughts. I needed a couple of rereads early on, but once I got the cadence of the story, I was fine. Besides, the flashbacks were important.
The whole book is from Tris’ point of view, which makes sense, but I kind of wanted to get into Aiden’s head in a few places. Still, I’m glad I read this book.
Without Aiden is a white hot story of redemption, love and never giving up.