Series: Waiting on the Sidelines #2
Published by Independent on October 1st 2013
They fell in love in high school and found their way back to one another despite the odds. But can first loves really be forever? For Reed Johnson, the dream was always football. But then Nolan Lennox took over his heart. Is he willing to give up his first love just to keep his true love? Or will he be too late?
Reed and Nolan’s story continues in "Going Long," sequel to "Waiting on the Sidelines.
It’s not often as a reader that you get to meet characters so well realised that you feel they could be manifested fully formed in front of you simply by thinking of them but that’s what Nolan and Reed were for me. They may have been characters wrested from fiction but they transcended their 2-dimensional existences on a page and transformed into something so much more, so visceral and real. In WAITING ON THE SIDELINES I got to know this couple and grew to love them as they fell in love with each other so I was delighted to have the opportunity to spend more time with them in GOING LONG despite it being all too brief.
GOING LONG picks up the story of Nolan and Reed two years after we last saw them. I don’t want to give too much away given this is a sequel but halfway through their college careers, Nolan’s scholarship is going well and Reed is being courted to declare for the draft and go pro. Throughout the book we see the couple face hard choices, emotional turmoil and betrayal as the couple struggles to figure out how to make the step from teenage love to a truly adult and mature relationship.
WOTS was narrated by Nolan and took place over four years of high school enabling Ginger Scott to create the world of Nolan and Reed with care and finesse. GOING LONG takes place over a much shorter period of time but is no less brilliantly visualised and we have the added bonus of Reed’s perspective which added to the emotion as we saw how the events that transpired affected both parties equally. Whereas in WOTS Reed’s actions came across as pigheaded at times, gaining insight into his head allowed us to see what he was dealing with and how his thought processes and opinions took root.
Nolan is without a doubt one of my favourite female MC’s and she really broke my heart in this book. Her struggles and the pain she experienced as she went through experiences both expected and unexpected truly filled my heart with sorrow but equally with joy at her refusal to stay down and fighting her way back, confronting her fears and reaching for her dreams in both her career and her relationships.
Ginger Scott knows how to put her readers through a gamut of emotions and I applaud her and her talent wholeheartedly for her ability to weave simple words into storylines you can’t help but invest your heart and trust in. At no point does anything thrown at Nolan and Reed to challenge them feel like a frivolous attempt to stir things up for dramatic effect. The events unfold exactly as you would expect them to in real life as if it’s a friend divulging their secrets to you over coffee and cake.
The WOTS series has everything I wish for in books – friendships, love, and a spectrum of emotions to test your heart and resolve to love these characters, relationships without dysfunction (praise Jesus) and secondary characters that are just as well developed as the MC’s. GOING LONG was a tender true love romance that touched my heart and soul and left me turning the last pages with happy tears running down my cheeks as I whispered goodbye to characters I’ll cherish forever.