“I’ll never let you go again. You’re
“I always was yours, Baby cake.”
- Joe & Callie, If Only
What a terrific debut novel from Louise J. She blew me away. This book brought a lot of emotions to the surface and I was utterly powerless to stop them. Joe and Callie took me on a journey. A journey of a love that refused to die even in the face of every obstacle that stood in their way.
For me it wasn't obstacles that got in the way but misunderstandings and just well . . . life. When Joe meets Callie she'd just almost run him over with her car. Their subsequent meeting was when this pink haired angel came into the tattoo shop where Joe and his brother Adam worked.
Circumstances were against them from the start as Callie had a boyfriend that she cared deeply for and was secure with. That didn't affect how they felt about each other though. The sparks, the heat between them was real. The instant attraction, the indecent thoughts but neither of them said or did anything about these feelings. Joe respected the boundaries set by Callie's relationship and Callie with her bff Su became fast friends with Joe, his brother Adam and his gf Saffron and their two friends Dane and Gerard.
Fast forward seven years. Yep! I said seven years.
Joe and Callie aren't together but they are the closest of friends. One thing has change though . . .Callie no longer has a bf.
Joe and Callie loved each other in silence for seven years . . .always wanting but never vocalizing. This was a miscommunication of epic proportion because one word and they could have had those seven years together that they spent pining for each other.
One annual camping trip changes everything when they both own up to the love they've always had for each other. Things go fast from here. They steam up the bedroom and other places . . .ahem. And they plan to get married.
But sadly, life gets in the way again by way of a baby. One of Joe's many past sexual conquests comes to visit and she's having his baby. Callie can't deal with it and she leaves to think.
Callie said she would leave for the duration of Emily's pregnancy and then she would come back. Fast forward and Callie has stayed in Arizona for 13 months. It's no surprise though when she calls home and finds out that Joe gave up. He thought he had to because it seemed that she was never coming back. He and Emily are together now and they are raising their son Jack together.
I get that Callie was heartbroken knowing Joe moved on and I was glad she accepted her fault in that. The man waited a year for her She loved him so much, a year didn't change that but she never once called him? What was he supposed to do?
Well it was at this point where I started to cry. The waterworks just wouldn't cease. I got emotionally involved and I don't think I've cried while reading since reading "Taking Chances by Molly McAdams. That book tore me to shreds.
We fast forward to three years later and Callie is with Roman, a older guy who she met while living in Arizona. She 's living with him but she still loves Joe. She moved on because she thought she had to because Joe was with Emily.
All this could have been avoided with better communication and I kinda' blame Callie for that because she didn't blame Joe for Emily's pregnancy but she never once tried to contact him.
TEN YEARS! These guys have wasted ten years because of miscommunications and situations that could've been so easily resolved if they'd just talk. Callie mainly.
The end was rushed but I understood. A decade of love between these two characters never failed. Distance never waned the feelings and the love that was everything. When they saw each other again, it was effortless because they were Joe and Callie . . . their friendship defined the basis of their relationship and built something that would never ever change for either of them.
"You are so fucking right for me, in every way. All those one night stands and flings were just because I wanted to be free the moment you were. None of those women came close to you, so I didn't invest time in them. You set the bar, Baby Cake."
-Joe, If Only
I loved the side characters Su, Dane, Saffron and Gerard. I guess we'll probably get something about the love lives of Dane and Gerard next. Fingers crossed xx.
I definitely recommend it. Wonderful book. And I have cover love. I pictured the cover girl as Callie the entire time. Effortlessly beautiful!