William Morrow Impulse / January 28, 2014 / $3.99 print, $.99 digital
Jackson Hunt hasn't been out of the military for long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.
Becoming bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled rich girl Kelsey Summers isn't exactly what he had in mind, but it's a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey's father doesn't want her to know she's being followed.
She's vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When Jackson sees her falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago, he decides it's time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know Kelsey is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.
In what seems to have become a great tradition in the world of New Adult, Seeking Her provides readers with the perspective into the mind of Finding It’s hero, Hunt. For those not familiar with Seeking Her, it is the third (and I fear final) book in Cora Carmack’s Losing It series. I loved the first book in the series and have been waiting with baited breath for the story of Bliss’s out-of-control friend, Kelsey.
Unlike Bliss’s own perfect union, Kelsey has spent her college years drifting in a haze of booze and boys. Enter Jackson Hunt. We learn in Seeking Her (as we do later in Finding It) that Hunt has been hired by Kelsey’s father to make sure she stays safe while she takes a gap year to travel around Europe.
In the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty great gig. Certainly better than the landscaping job that I wasted two weeks on, too. Boring or no, I’d be on the road. For whatever reason, I couldn’t stand staying in one place right now. My father had been the one to negotiate this “job.” He was tired of helping me out, and I was damn tired of needing him.
So Sorority Girl Stalker it was. Put that shit on my résumé.
Hunt quickly learns that Sorority Girl stalking won’t quite what he thought. It’ll be more like seeing Europe, one bar at a time. There’s one tiny problem—he’s barely one year sober and following Kelsey night after night as she plunges herself into the alcoholic haze he’s all too familiar with is bringing up all of his old demons.
I was almost one-year sober.
Less than two weeks until I would hit that milestone. If I were back home, I’d be getting my one-year chip, and I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be any easier if I had it now to squeeze in my fist.
While learning to tackle his own issues, Hunt also realizes that the same demons haunt Kelsey. What starts out for him as an annoyance—and a big one as he doesn’t even like Kelsey—turns into a desire to help her. And then that changes to just good old fashioned desire. This novella was a great introduction to Jackson and Kelsey’s story, and a great addition to the book if you have already read it. I will be honest, however, I don’t know if I could have loved Jackson and Kelsey together as much if Finding It hadn’t been from Kelsey’s perspective. At the start, she is not a likable person, or at least she’s is so self-destructive that it is hard to watch. But like Jackson by the end of Seeking Her, Kelsey’s layers are revealed to us in a way that help us understand why she makes the decisions she does—and most importantly that at the end of the day we are all worthy of love.
Learn more or order a copy of Seeking Her by Cora Carmack, out now:
Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.