Sunday, December 28, 2014

Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell (Toronto, #1)

Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo
by Heather Wardell

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Toronto - Book 1
Publication Date: December 16, 2013
Publisher: Heather Wardell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Print Length: 256 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


When Candice's in-laws were killed eight months ago buying a huge faux polar bear rug for her Christmas present, she lost more than just two of her favorite people: she lost her husband Ian as well. After only two years of marriage, their guilt and pain have left them living together but apart, unable to really talk for fear of what they'll say to each other.

Ian leaves for a month-long contract overseas, and Candice plans to use the time apart to decide whether her marriage can be saved. When her ex walks back into her life as the new client at work, ten years more attractive yet saddened by his own recent loss, she's left wondering what she really wants from life and love.

Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo (Toronto, #1)My Review
Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell

Have you ever thought about the one that broke your heart? Candice and Ian have only been married for a short time, but tragedy, misplaced guilt and blame have built a wall of ice and doubt between them. Ian has a month long job overseas, will this time apart give them the chance to examine their true feelings or will outside forces interfere and cut the last remaining tendrils of love they share?

A new client has sent Candice reeling, falling down the rabbit hole of heartbreak, fantasy and love lost. None other than her ex, the one who crushed her is now back, handsome as ever, in control and coming on like gangbusters toward Candice. Could her dreams of life with Kegan become a reality? Could they have a future? Has he really changed or is she a conquest, another notch on his belt? At the risk of losing her integrity, her husband and her friends, a few reckless moments may or may not be the best thing to happen to her. Ian is coming home soon, and Candice must decide, will she fight for her marriage or fly away to live the life in the fast lane with Kegan. Is it possible to love two polar opposite men? How does Candice tell Ian? What will he say? Will her friends ever forgive her? Can she forgive herself for the pain she will cause?

Heather Wardell and Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo will scrape your emotions and feelings raw as you follow Candice’s story, hear her thoughts and listen to her justifications. Candice appears to have a conscience, but manages to twist her actions into being justified; looking for change, when what she is feeling is lost, confused and alone. Kegan’s re-entry into her life is shocking at best, the worst timing ever in reality. Fate? A test? Ian became a shadow that haunted Candice, almost as if he wasn’t real, and trust me, he is not a saint, but he is real. I can’t say I liked Kegan much; he was like a snake toying with his food before devouring it whole and Candice was definitely on the menu. Candice’s friends were her sage advisers, but she failed to listen to them and demonstrated poor judgment over and over. No, I am not criticizing Ms. Wardell’s work, it is brilliant! She has fictionalized reality and hit the nail on the head, over and over. Her writing style is brutally strong, unapologetic for either her character’s actions or the direction this tale took! Flaws as big as warts, lies as evil as the sins committed, and no thought of the consequences until the plot was set, never once did Ms. Wardell paint a rosy picture of any of her characters, and she never asked me to like them. What Ms. Wardell did do was evoke my feelings, my opinions, and my wrath for what was going on. That is gifted writing, that is connecting with her readers.

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