Series: The Traveling Duet #2
Published by Harvey-Berrick Publishing on April 7th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
THE CONCLUDING STORY of Aimee and Kestrel, begun in THE TRAVELING MAN...
How many times do you gamble on love? When love has knocked you down, should you give it another chance? When does optimism become stupidity?
And what happens when the man you’re in love with is never still, always moving, always traveling? Do you say goodbye, or do you leave behind everything that you’ve worked for, everything that you’ve ever known? Can a traveling carnival be my home?
Oh. You thought I had the answers. No, sorry. No answers, just a lot of questions—and a heart that wants to rule my head.
Can one person be my home?
Reviewed by Joanne
*An E-ARC was supplied to me in exchange for review*
Kes wasn’t safe. He wasn’t a sensible choice. He made my heart race, and swoop, and die a little. When I was near him, I burned. When he was far away, my blood moved sluggishly, reluctantly, cooling without his heat. Maybe we’d burn together. But maybe, just maybe, we’d fly.
I absolutely loved The Traveling Man, with all the magic of the carnival sprinkled throughout the book, and after the way it ended I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! Kes and Aimee were perfect together, but a summer together is one thing, changing your whole lifestyle is another. Kes would never be able to live in one place for ever, he needed to be free, so it would be down to Aimee to make that leap, and give up her home, her career, her life, but would she be able to adapt to a life on the road?
The book starts a month after the end of TTM, with Aimee back teaching at her school, but she’s just going through the motions. She misses Kes, and who can blame her! I wondered who would be the first to crack, and it soon becomes clear Kes is missing Aimee just as much when he surprises her with a visit. He wants to see what her life is like, and give things another go. Neither can live without the other, but Aimee soon realises that Kes will never be happy in one place, so she makes the sacrifice that he can’t and gives up her life to be a travelling woman.
I loved how Aimee embraced the travelling lifestyle whole heartedly. Kes was her soul mate, her one true love so it didn’t matter to her where they were as long as they were together. I don’t think it was too much of a change to make though, I think Aimee was more at home with the carnival than anywhere else.
I rolled down the window and imagined that I could smell the faint scent of the fair: hotdogs, onions, cotton candy. I was transported back over a decade, to the first time I’d visited the carnival, the first year I’d met Kes. It was magical to me then, and even though Kes had been the one to show me the puppet’s strings behind the illusion, the magic had not lost its power. I was home.
Although Aimee was leaving her old friends behind, she was getting reacquainted with old ones. Zack, Zef, Tucker and Ollo are all part of the extended family and Kes’s older brother Con also makes an appearance with his German fiancée, Hilde. I really liked Hilde and her bluntness, she almost made me choke with one of her quips!
Whilst the first book had all the magic of firsts – first love, first kiss, first time, this book is about the sacrifices and compromises of an adult relationship. With that comes the trials and tribulations you can expect, and then some you don’t see coming! There is a twist later in the book, something that would test the pair of them. I worried for Kes, I hoped he wouldn’t retreat and push Aimee away at a time when they need each other more than ever. I loved how Aimee handled Kes, she gave as good as she got from him, and didn’t back down. I admired her for being so strong and resourceful. She had some difficult choices to make in this book, and she did everything with Kes in mind. She chose love, and all that came with it. It didn’t matter what happened, as long as they were together.
Before I close my eyes tonight, I’ll be looking up at the lights of the Ferris wheel and Kes will be beside me. And then our dreams will have come true—for both of us. Up or down, rich or poor, wherever the road takes us, whatever adventures we have, we’ll have them together—me and my traveling man.
I have loved every minute I’ve spent reading this series, it’s definitely going into my ‘all time favourites’ list! Jane Harvey-Berrick has created an enchanting world that I would love to be a part of. I must have been sprinkled with the fairy dust too, because I just can’t get enough of the carnival!
I was amazed to see that the school field had been transformed into a mini-arena with two small ramps in the middle. It was about the third the size of what Kes used in his usual act. A shiver went through me. I prayed that this impromptu display was safe.
The children sat on the grass around the edges, chattering loudly. Then Zef appeared in his leathers, carrying his helmet.
“Holy shit! Who’s hottie number two?” Mirelle hissed.
“That’s Zef, one of the other stunt riders from the display team.”
“Oh my God! Do they have a special laboratory where they make smokin’ hot motorcycle riders?”
“You should see Tucker, the third guy. He’s hot, too, but he totally knows it. They all do. Tucker and Zef are both players.”
“Good to know,” Mirelle muttered, straightening up and sticking out her boobs as Zef strolled toward Kes and Principal Browne. “Introduce us later,” she demanded.
Mentally, I was rolling my eyes. She’d been warned, the rest was up to her.
Kes disappeared, and I assumed it was to change into his leathers, as well. A familiar gnawing anxiety twisted my stomach, and I remembered how hard it was to watch Kes throwing his body fifty feet into the air and come crashing down again. It wouldn’t be that high today, but still…
The children cheered when Kes and Zef came roaring onto the field, performing spins and turns, wheelies and slides.
Then they took to the ramp, doing a pared down version of the usual show. I cringed as I saw the small ramps buckle and bend as they landed their bikes, but Kes had pitched the act perfectly between drama and humor. He and Zef had added a new trick of tossing a football to each other mid-jump. The children loved that.
As he finished, he stood in the center of the field and pulled off his helmet, waving at the kids and teachers as they cheered for him.
I was clapping along with everyone else when my hands fell to my sides.
“What’s wrong?” Mirelle asked.
I turned to stare at her.
“Look at him in front of a crowd,” I sighed. “See how brightly he shines. This is where he belongs. I’ve always known it.”
Mirelle turned to look at Kes.
“Yes, I see it, too,” she said quietly.
“I can’t keep him here, can I?”
Mirelle looked at me sympathetically. “No, chica, it would be wrong. He’s got you, but there’s nothing else here for him.”
I nodded slowly.
“What does that mean for you?” she asked. “Are you going to give up on your dreams?”