Updated: Jan 23
Forever With You
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Avon Books
Book 5 in the Wait for You Series
Some things you just believe in, even if you've never experienced them.
For Stephanie, that list includes love. It's out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she's got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph's eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.
Nick's self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he's knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she's building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can't walk away. Not when she's the only one who's ever made him wish for forever .
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy New Adult Bittersweet
Trigger Warning (and spoiler, sorry!): Forever With You deals with unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage. Please be advised.
Forever With You by Jennifer L Armentrout is the fifth book in the Wait for You series, and we are still in Plymouth Crossing, centering around Steph, (Cam's and Jase's casual fling back before they were with Avery and Teresa) who has recently moved to Plymouth Crossing after graduating college, taking on a job in the offices at a mixed martial arts gym, and Nick, the surly, quiet bartender at Mona's. After a one night stand between the two, they chemistry with on another heats up, despite them both not looking for a relationship. As things heat up, and they both talk of their dreams of the future, tragedy happens, taking it all away. Nick won't give up though. Not on the only woman who he has ever had a connection with like this.
First of all, I can't do this review with spoilers. I try hard not to, and usually do well, but this one, is just impossible to do. So if you DON'T want to be spoiled, just skip ahead to my star rating. Okay. You ready for it?
Okay. I warned you. It's been a while since a book had me emotionally hung over. Forever With You did just that though. I bawled. Ugly tears. I am one of the lucky women who have never gone through a miscarriage. It happens way more often then you think though. As a mother, I know the connection between a mother and baby starts the moment the shock wears off. The love you feel for something that is so small is intense. To have that suddenly taken from you, would be nothing short of tragic. Jennifer did an amazing job writing out what a woman goes through after that happens. It's real, and raw, and you can't help but cry tears, not just for these fictional characters, but the very real pain that is felt every day by hopeful parents all around the world.
I was very hesitant going into this book, because ... it's Steph. Her hovering around Cam, and Teresa walking in on Jase and her way back when, left me with the feelings Avery and Tess had of her way back when. After this book, though, I love her! She is a no bullshit person, and believes to her core that a woman should be able to find sexual fulfillment without being in a relationship, and without the stigma that men seem to get away with, but get women labeled as a slut. There is a slight inconsistency with character here, which bothered me enough to remember it. In Wait For You, Steph seemed to be interested in more with Cam. Take the UFC match. Jase brought Steph with him, and she was all over Cam. Yet in this book, this is not mentioned. She just saw Cam as a friend who she sometimes slept with when the need arose. Forgetting those moments back in Wait For You, I truly liked Steph. She is a shining example of a strong, independent woman.
Nick went through quite an arc from the moment we meet him back in Stay With Me, to the end of this book. Quiet, observant, and yet an obvious playboy, I always wondered what was up with him. Why he wasn't into relationships. His rules when it came to women were ... well, a bit dickish. Although after learning why, I got it. Hell, it even made me like him. When Steph verbally took him down a peg in the bar, and he jumped over the bar to go apologize ... hell. Swoon. Once they talked, he apologized, Nick became ... wonderful. His reaction to the pregnancy was amazing, and his obvious growing affection for Steph (even before the pregnancy ... I mean ... he made her homemade chicken noodle soup) is, I'm going to use the word again, swoonworthy. *Sigh* Nick, underneath the tough exterior he built around himself, is a big old teddy bear, and Steph and Nick together ... oh man. Great character combination.
Forever With You in the end being very bittersweet for me. We get a couple with INTENSE chemistry happily together in the end, but the child they were so excited for, and loved deeply already, was gone. As a mother, it was hard to read Steph's agony and confusion over the why of it all. Jennifer continues to write stories that are emotionally very real. I highly recommend Forever With You (as well as the whole series), but be warned. It's emotional.
Steph and Nick's hook up
Steph taking Nick down a peg at the bar and Nick jumping over the bar to get to her
Nick reintroducing himself to Steph
Breakfast with Katie and Roxy
Steph finding out she is pregnant
Steph telling Nick she's pregnant
Nick cooking for Steph
Nick kissing Steph's belly
Nick telling Steph the truth of why he has kept his distance from Calla
Steph spending Thanksgiving with Nick and his grandfather
Steph standing up for Jillian
Nick fighting to be by Steph's side after she pushes him away
Steph's mom drooling over Nick
Steph and Nick telling each other they love one another
Cam and Avery's wedding
Where to Buy
Nick: "By the way, I'm Nick."
I took his hand. His grasp was warm and firm.
Steph: "I'm Stephanie, but almost everyone calls me Steph."
Nick: "It's nice to meet you."
His hand still held mine as his lashes lowered, his gaze dipping again.
Nick: "It's very nice to meet you, Stephanie."
Steph: "Mutual. After all, if you hadn't happened along, I'd probably still be out there cussing."
Nick: "Probably not the greatest way to meet new people."
Steph: "Seemed to work just fine with you."
Nick: "I'll let you in on a little secret. It wouldn't take much for you to make it work for me."
Steph: "Am I that transparent?"
Nick: "In the best possible way."
Steph: "Apple ale? I like that. How'd you guess?"
Nick: "I figured you'd like something sweet."
Steph: "I also like it hard ..."
His gaze cut to me, and I grinned.
Steph: "My drinks, that is."
Nick: "You seriously just said that?"
Steph: "I seriously did."
Nick: "I think I like you."
Steph: "You need to remove 'think' from that statement. For it to be accurate."
Another rough chuckle rolled out of him.
Nick: "Well, since we're being completely honest with one another, I wasn't really hopeful when it came to you showing up at the bar."
I raised a brow as I lowered my bottle.
Steph: "Oh, really?"
Nick: "Yep. I knew you'd show up. It was inevitable."
Steph: "Inevitable? That's a pretty powerful word."
Nick: "It's the truth."
Steph: "You're a cocky bastard, aren't you?"
Nick: "And you're a cocky chick?"
I laughed as I leaned against the counter, across from him.
Nick: "I like it."
Steph: "What's your favorite hobby?"
Nick: "Besides fucking?"
Steph: "Yeah, besides that?"
Nick: "Hmm ...If I had to pick one, I'd have to go with working with my hands."
Steph: "For some reason, I think that has a double meaning."
Nick: "What about you? Favorite hobby?"
Steph: "Besides fucking?"
Nick's laugh was deep, but his stare was no longer lazy.
Steph: "You're not the kind of guy to beat around the bush, are you?"
Nick: "Nope. And neither are you. You're done with thee questions, too."
Steph: "I am?"
Nick: "Yeah, you are."
He lowered his head o that his mouth was near my ear.
Nick: "Want to know how I know that? You started to get hot from the moment I said fucking was my hobby."
Nick: 'It's late."
Steph: "It is. You good to drive?"
Nick: "I think I got just enough brain cells left to make it home,"
Steph: "Fucking your brains out can be dangerous. I'm sure there's an operating machinery and driving warning involved."
Nick tipped his head back and laughed as he reached for his jacket, shrugging it on.
Nick: "God, I really do like you."
Steph: "Of course."
Still grinning, he shook his head as he grabbed his helmet.
Nick: "You're welcome to what's left of the beer. Tonight was ..."
Steph: "Just tonight. I had fun."
Nick: "Of course."
Roxy: "Shut up, Reece."
A mile broke out across his face s his gaze shifted toward her.
Reece: "Oh, I love it when you get bossy with me."
Roxy: "You're ridiculous."
Reece: "You love me."
Roxy: "I don't know why. But I do."
Roxy: "You're terrible. And you make a horrible first impression."
Reece: "I think I make an awesome first impression."
He sent a grin in my direction
Reece: "I'm Reece Anders - the love of Roxy's life."
Steph: "I'm Steph Keith."
Reece: "Ah, the infamous Steph. Where is -"
Roxy: "On break. Sorry about his rude interruption. He's socially damaged."
Reece: "I'm also very thirsty."
Roxy: "You see Jax over there? Why don't you get him to serve you?"
Reece: "That's mean. I'll be back"
He wheeled around, heading toward Jax, who stood further down the bar. As he rounded me, he tapped my shoulder with his fingers.
Reece: "I like it when she's feisty."
Katie: "I've texted Roxy and me from your phone. So now you have our numbers and we have yours. There's no escaping us. We're going to adopt you as our new best-est friend-est in the world-est. You're going to get breakfast with us on Sunday. Of course, you're probably thinking 'Oh hell no,' but you're totally going to come."
I was still gaping at her.
Katie: "There is so much we need to tell you."
Turning back to Roxy, Katie started to speak, but stopped, clapping her hands together.
Katie: "I have the best timing. Ever."
Nick: "Stephanie. What are you doing here?"
Steph: "Excuse me?"
Roxy: "Oh no."
Katie: "You're a dumbass."
She twirled toward me.
Katie: "Give him hell. The payoff is so much better in the end. See you on Sunday. Tootles!"
Nick: "You haven't been back since the night we hooked up. So I figured we were on the same page."
Steph: "Obviously, we're not."
Nick: "That night was just that night. One time. There's no reason for you to come back here, especially you."
Steph: "Let me get this straight. You though that I would not come back to the bar, because we'd hooked up?"
Nick: "That's how it's always been. One night. You said so yourself."
Steph: "And just to make sure we're completely on the same page, you think I cme back here solely to see you?"
One side of his lips curled up.
Nick: "Well, why else would you come here? Someone like you is much better suited for the bars and clubs in the city."
Steph: "Someone like me?"
Nick: "You know you're gorgeous. You know -"
Steph: "Stop right there. We are not and obviously never have been on the same page, Nick. You don't know me. I don't know you. And frankly, how I look has absolutely nothing to do with what bars I go to."
Nick blinked as surprise crowded his features again.
Nick: "Hey, I'm -"
Steph: "You're unbelievable."
I pushed to my feet, grabbing my purse off the counter.
Steph: "The last time I checked, this bar wasn't your oyster and you sure as shell aren't the pearl in it. You may get to tell other people - other women - what they can and cannot do, but that will never, ever, work with me."
Nick: "We need to talk."
Steph: "I think that's the very last thing we need to do."
Nick: "I'm going to have to disagree. Let's talk. Please"
A huge part of me still wanted to whack him with my purse, or better yet, introduce my knee to a sensitive part of him, but most, if not all, of the bar was staring at us. We - actually, Nick - was already causing a major scene. Eyes were fastened on us. Heat crept up my neck.
Nick: "Are you going to make me get down on me knees and beg? Because I will. Right here."
Steph: "You wouldn't."
Nick: "I would."
Steph: "Fine. We can talk."
Nick winked, and turned around, leading me.
Steph: "We don't need to hold hands."
Nick: "But we do. I'm afraid you'll change your mind and run off on me, then I'll be all kinds of sad."
I shot him a dirty look as he guided me out.
Jax: "Nick. Don't make me have to clean down the office later."
My jaw snapped open.
Steph: "Yeah, that won't be necessary."
Jax: "I like her. A lot."
Nick: "Of course you do."
Nick: "I'm going to be brutally honest right now."
Steph: "Like you haven't been already?"
Nick: "See, it's that."
Steph: "The attitude. When you throw it at me, all I can think about is getting deep inside you again."
Steph: "Are you for real?"
Nick: "The last time I checked I was."