Review From User :
Wide Open Spaces is a beautiful second chance love story that pulled at my heartstrings. Second chance romance is a tricky thing for a lot of readers, myself included at times. For me, it all depends on the whys. Why did the hero and heroine separate What brought them back together Did either one do anything that I just can't get past The hero and heroine in this story, Zach and Shelby, were both deeply in love with one another. Something heart shattering happened and the heroine just couldn't handle it, so she left. Now, many years later, she's restarting life for her and her son in her home state, Alaska.
Zach and Shelby were young and in love. Shelby lived with her grandparents, after both of her parents passed away and Zach didn't have the best home life. They were teenagers with little support or means to support themselves, yet alone raise a child. They did something selfless and beautiful, yet something that tore this heroine apart. They mutually decided to give their son up for adoption. As someone who has spent many years struggling with infertility, adoption is one of the most beautiful and precious gifts anyone can give a couple who can't have children. Adoption gives people like me hope that I can one day have a child. The fact that this story dealt with adoption was near and dear to my heart.
After the adoption, Shelby couldn't cope. She couldn't handle giving away her child. Even though she knew it was for the best, and that the parents that adopted her baby would be the best thing for him, it was too hard for her. She had to get out. She had to leave town. She still loved Zach, she just couldn't be with him at that point in her life. Zach and Shelby moved on. Shelby met someone else, got married and had a child. She later got divorced. Zach didn't know how to cope after Shelby left, so he turned to drugs and alcohol to numb his grief. Being left to grieve the loss of their child on his own, and the loss of the love of his life on top of that was just too much to take. Zach made mistakes when he was in this state. Zach is a human. Zach was not perfect. Yet, Zach never stopped loving Shelby.
"I never moved on. I'm still stuck in the past, trying to figure out how to get back the girl I let get away."
Zach has been divorced for many years and has full custody of his twins, a boy and a girl named Steven and Aubrey. Shelby moves into her grandparents home after the loss of her grandfather. Surprise surprise- her neighbor is Zach. She knew she'd have to see him again, she just didn't think it would be so soon. When Zach sees Shelby again, he knows he can't let her get away again. She has always been the love of his life.
Let me just talk about Zach for a moment here. Zach is one of my favorite hero's Reynolds has written. He's a fantastic father. He loves Shel so much and treats her son like he is one of his own. He is a trademark ARR alpha in some ways, but in others, he is a little older, wiser, kinder and more patient. I loved how he gave Shelby space when she needed it, but also knew when to push. Shelby was incredible as well. I love the relationship she developed with Zach's daughter. It was beautiful. This blended family was heartwarming. Shel came to Alaska broken, with a piece of her still missing from long ago. Slowly but surely, Zach starts to fill that space.
"There's been a wide open space left inside of me A space I didn't think would ever be full but from the moment I came back, it's slowly been filling up."
"One day, that space will be full. I swear with everything I have in me, I will make sure it's overflowing and that you never feel empty again baby."
This was a story that was hard to read at times. It made me cry. But by the end, my heart was so happy it could burst. The story was fast-paced with the perfect amount of emotion, steam and romance. Zach and Shelby's story shows that sometimes first love is forever love. The family element was fantastic. I loved Zach and Shelby as a couple, but I loved their 'family unit' even more. The next book in this series is about Zach's daughter, Aubrey and OMG after that little sneak peak we got at the end, I can't wait! Seems like it's right up my alley!
If you're looking for a beautiful romance that is equal parts sweet, swoony, steamy and a book that will give you the feels- pick this one up! I loved it and give it a full 5 stars!
I think my review speaks for itself, but due to all of the controversy surrounding the story- I'm compelled to write a little something for those on the fence trying to decide if they want to read this:(view spoiler)[ There is no cheating. None. Zach was with another woman months after Shelby left. She was gone. As in LEFT him. Not took a break, left for good. He made a mistake when he was in a bad place and got another woman pregnant. This woman was NOT the heroines BFF. She was a girl they went to high school with, a casual friend but not a best friend like I've seen some say.
I do not fault the hero for this. He explains his actions, but does not justify them. He states he would never regret his kids, but he never loved this other woman. He divorced her long before the heroine came back in the picture. Yes, he kept and raised the twins, but what choice did he have If you get someone pregnant and they have the child/children, that's that.
As for those saying Shelby was 'forced' to give up her child for adoption come on. Not the case at all. It's plain to see this was a choice they made together. Shelby, later in the book even admits that SHE was in the wrong for making Zach feel this way and leaving him the way she did when they needed each other.
"I'm sorry for the way I made you feel. Giving up Samuel for adoption was a choice we made together, and I'm sorry for making you feel like you forced me to do it. It wasn't fair of me to make you feel that way back then, and I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me."
I hope this helps anyone on the fence. I know some people don't do second chance romance, and that's totally fine. To each their own. But I would hate for anyone to miss out on this gorgeous story because they thought something that wasn't so :D
Category: Adults, Bestsellers, Romance
That moment your life changes. That moment that changes your life. That moment you love someone more than you love yourself. That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.
There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.
When Shelby Calder left home 15 years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her 10-year-old son.
Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.