December 19, 2014

No Woman is an Island. A review of Becky Wick's BEFORE HE WAS GONE

Book:  Before He Was Gone (Starstrucks #2)

Author:  Becky Wicks

Publisher:  Becky Wicks Books

Genre:  Contemporary Adult Romance

The Blurb:

When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.

Joshua's different to everyone she's ever known - a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she's left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise. But in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret - one he won’t risk anyone finding out.

Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose - a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.

My Review:

We often get asked the question:  If you were stuck on an island, what would you like to bring?  the basic answer would be to bring the one you love.  But what if the reverse happens and you get to the island with nothing but the clothes on ur back precisely because the one you thought you loved DUMPED you.... And it is on This island where you fall deeply in love.... With millions of eyes watching you.

That's what happens to Alyssa after she joins a reality show ala Survivor called Deserted after a horrible and well publicized breakup with a legit rockstar.  She is sent to a remote island in Bali, Indonesia with nine other people who are expected to betray her trust and vote her off. Even before stepping on the sands of Bali, Joshua already caught her eye.  He is not just hot, he is also very able.  An obvious Alpha male among the deserted.

Standing out was never his intention.  He has shunned love and relationships for so long for a very valid reason.  Joshua has to win the game.  He is in dire need of the Million dollar grand prize.  It is a matter of life and death.  His life, his death.  But this is something he can not tell anyone, not even the woman he is falling for.  Alyssa's eyes are on the prize too... The ultimate prize that is Joshua.

Before diving into this story, I had already read the first book Before He Was Famous which I reviewed several months back here.  I loved the story, and the end brought good closure on the story of Noah and Chloe.  Alyssa was also in that book as Chloe's best friend, who at the end of the book, was making the moves on Sebastian, the very man who breaks her heart in Before He Was Gone and is the reason she takes on the challenge in the show Deserted.

I am not a fan of the show Survivor. I can't imagine living in a jungle for two whole months wearing the same (tattered and barely there) clothes, starving, being burned by the hot sun, constantly bitten by sand ticks, dealing with wild and deadly animals and sleeping next to people who have no access to toothpaste, mouthwash and deodorant.  This book does not glamorize that.  It stays on track with the hardships that survivors face head on.  Even so, I understood how Joshua and Alyssa fall into each other and it saddened me when Josh felt compelled to leave.

Love stories have to have more than sliver of believability to be appreciated by me and this had it in spades.  I loved Joshua's vulnerability and Alyssa's strength. And their chemistry? Well let's just say I couldn't put down the book ,staying awake reading till 1 in the morning even though I had to wake up three hours later.  I needed to know what would happen in the next page right away. No waiting and no nodding off.

Author Becky Wicks has another winner in this one.  I do hope there's an extra novella somewhere in the future for Josh and Alyssa, though in my heart, I still love Chloe and Noah just a little bit more.

Looking forward to the third book in this series, Before he Was A Secret, coming out next year.  Will write the review on that one too.   In the meantime pick up both Before He Was Famous and Before He Was Gone.  You might want to read this by the beach for the best ambience.   And thanks Becky Wicks for the shout out to the Philippines in the book.  A Thrilled Filipino I am.

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