Exclusive Excerpt + Review: Every Wrong Reason by Rachel Higginson - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Exclusive Excerpt + Review: Every Wrong Reason by Rachel Higginson

Gripping and consuming—this emotional, intense,
heartbreaking story owned me from the very first page.
4halfstars

Synopsis
Every Wrong ReasonFirst comes love.

Then comes marriage.

Then comes the… really nasty divorce.

Kate Carter thought she married her soul mate. She thought she had her happily ever after. But seven years into Kate’s marriage, she realizes that her husband Nick is not what she wanted. He’s selfish, he’s oblivious and he doesn’t love her anymore.

Maybe she doesn’t love him anymore either.

Divorce is the only option if either of them wants to find happiness.

Kate and Nick thought they knew what they wanted, but neither is prepared for the heartache that separating will bring them. The journey they embark on is not the freedom they wished for, but a painful look at the people they’ve become.

At the end of it, Kate has to decide if this is really the life she wants or if maybe there’s a way to salvage her broken heart.

My Review

As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew this book would own me. Knew this book would stir up emotions. Heartbreak pulsed beneath the words that depicted a broken marriage at the brink of total collapse. Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship will be able to relate to at least some of this, and I think the relatability factor made an already emotional story all the more powerful.

“Nick was supposed to be my forever. Nick was supposed to be my “until death do us part.” And now, the rest of my life had taken a sharp, life-altering turn, I didn’t know where I was headed anymore.”

After seven years of marriage, Kate Carter was done. Following yet another argument, more tears, more empty promises, she’d finally come to the point where she needed out. She and her husband increasingly Nick brought out the worst in each other. Small, meaningless things sparked bigger battles that were only fought and re-fought, circling without end. So she pushed and Nick walked out. She thought it was for the best…

“I thought back and tried to remember the last time he looked at me, really looked at me, and couldn’t remember. When was the last time we hadn’t been fighting long enough for his clear blue eyes to look into mine and make a real connection?

It had been years.

Maybe he had never seen me.”

But with weeks of separation turning into months, Kate didn’t feel the euphoric sense of freedom, nor the peace she expected. She felt lost, destroyed, empty.

“Had I just made the most colossal mistake of my life?”

The story unwinds in Kate’s point-of-view, as we see her struggle to process her feelings and her choices. Her experience is gutting, as she both hates and misses the man at the center of her problems.

“Not everything about him was bad. In fact, most of him was good and beautiful and right. But with me, he wasn’t those things and I wasn’t either.”

Kate and Nick’s story is both intrinsically complicated and simple. Their marriage began to fray with small things, daily things, insignificant things, and then unraveled in heaps as hurt and resentment built over time. I felt both of their pain viscerally… it was clear they loved each other, but the story really explores the question: Is love enough?

Raw and honest, gut-wrenching and evocative, Every Wrong Reason takes a close look at what a marriage that’s falling apart really looks like, feels like.  It’s anything but easy. Anything but clear or black and white. It’s messy and complicated with conflicting feelings and desires. The story was turbulent and volatile, but so well done. Without spoiling, I loved the way it ended. It gave me hope and perspective.

Readers who love to read emotional powerhouses… stories that grip you and won’t let you go… should not miss this novel.

Excerpt

I turned back to the TV and took a big bite of pizza. Why did he make me so nervous tonight? Why did his words feel so ominous?

He picked one of our shows to watch, one that we were super far behind in since we’d spent so many months not watching it and we dug into our pizza.

We didn’t talk much as the show went on, just mostly ate in silence.

“Another one?” he asked as that show ended and he grabbed another piece of pizza.

“Sure,” I whispered.

Late evening turned into night as we spent another hour quiet and involved in our show. Occasionally he would make a comment or I would gasp in surprise, but mostly our interaction dealt with the pizza that was slowly disappearing in front of us.

After another show, he paused the TV to use the restroom and grab another beer. When he came back into the room he flicked the lights off and settled in the middle of the couch without asking permission or checking to see if it was okay.

I didn’t know why, but I didn’t object or even make a comment.

After the next episode ended, he said, “You know, if you’re not watching this without me, we should probably watch another one. Just in case, we don’t get to find out what happens.”

“That’s a good point,” I conceded.

He turned his head toward me and captured my gaze. For a minute we just stared at each other. Nothing was said. Nothing was thought. I wasn’t even sure I took a breath.

I wasn’t sure I could have taken a breath if I tried.

He leaned over, bringing his body closer to mine. We had somehow managed to scoot closer and closer during the night. Now, I could feel the warmth of his body. Sometimes if he moved, his leg would press into mine for just a brief moment or his elbow would graze my arm.

I could smell him again.

And it was intoxicating.

I licked my dry lips and tried to find sanity… rationalization. I tried to remember our divorce or what had led up to it. I tried to argue my way out of this craziness I’d walked into willingly.

“Kate,” he whispered and his voice went straight to my heart, straight to my core.

Afraid of this moment, of our truce, of every single thing about him, I turned back to the TV and gave it my attention. Or at least pretended to.

I couldn’t see anything in front of me or comprehend what was going on. But I couldn’t face whatever it was that Nick wanted to say. I couldn’t stare at him for a second longer and not lose myself completely.

He seemed to realize that I had shut down because he turned back to the show without another word.

In fact, we didn’t speak to each other again for the rest of the night.

I had been planning to ask him to leave after the next show, but there was a cliffhanger and I was desperate to find out what happened. The show kept going and going, we hadn’t watched it all summer and there were plenty of episodes to catch up on. Finally I could focus on what was happening and not the man sitting next to me that I couldn’t untangle myself from.

But my mind was never far from him.

And apparently my body wasn’t either.

I must have fallen asleep at some point because one second I had been blinking slowly, trying to stay involved with the plot, the next I felt fingers threading through my hair, brushing gently behind my ear.

I inhaled a deep sigh at the caress, the luxurious feeling of being touched after not being touched for so long. Then I realized those fingers belonged to Nick. I realized I had stretched out on the couch and laid my head in his lap. I realized his other hand had settled on my waist and slipped beneath my shirt to press against the curve of my side.

I steadied out my breathing and tried not to move. I couldn’t let him know I was awake. I couldn’t let him know I didn’t want to confront him about this.

I was a coward.

I was weak.

I was so frustratingly confused.

He shifted on the couch and I faked a sleepy stretch. His body stiffened beneath mine and I couldn’t tell if it was because he knew I was faking or he was embarrassed at getting caught.

I kept my eyes closed and refused to open them. I would claim to be asleep until the end of my life. This was something I was willing to commit perjury over in front of a jury of my peers. You know, if I ever had to swear to this in court. I would never let him know I woke up.

Finally, after endless moments, after I realized the TV wasn’t on anymore and we were sitting in the complete dark, he gently lifted me and stood up. I felt his presence as he hovered over me. I couldn’t have guessed what he was thinking or doing or not doing.

He was, maybe for the first time since we first met, a complete and complex mystery to me.

Just when I thought he would finally leave, he bent over and pressed a warm, familiar kiss to my temple.

A wince escaped my lips and my eyes squeezed tighter, giving me away, but still I refused to look at him, refused to acknowledge what had just happened between us.

He left a moment later. I heard his bare feet on the wood floor, his movements as he slipped into his shoes and gathered up his clothes, I heard the front door open, then close and his key as he locked the door behind him.

I didn’t move the entire time.

I didn’t move from the couch for the rest of the night.

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