Blog Tour and Giveaway: Cherished: Kelly Elliott

Cherished (Wanted #4)
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Jessie Rhodes has been in love with Scott Reynolds for most of her life. But he ran away from her once, leaving her heartbroken.

When they find their way back to one another, things seem to fall into place, and they begin to plan their future together…

Until Scott’s ex-fiancée deceives them all. With yet another broken heart, it is Jessie’s turn to run away. During her retreat, she meets an intriguing man, and they form a bond that makes Jessie question everything.

Scott’s world collapses when the only girl he has ever loved disappears with no word on her whereabouts. When he finally discovers where Jessie has been hiding, he also learns of her new relationship.

Will deceit tear them apart? Or can Jessie and Scott survive their mistakes and choose to love and to cherish?

Cherished is the fourth book in the Wanted series.

Other books in this series:

Book 1: Wanted: Ellie and Gunner's story
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Kim's 4.5 star review

Book 2: Saved: Arianna and Jeff's story
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Book 3: FaithfulHeather and Josh's story
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Novella 3.5 : Believe: Brad and Amanda's story
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Excerpt #1
I pulled over on the side of the road and jumped out of my car. I couldn’t even see enough to drive because I was crying so hard. I frantically wiped the tears away as I looked up to the black sky and screamed, “Why?”
Oh my god. How could he do this to me? I thought we were happy? I was going to move in with him. We talked about marriage and new puppies and babies.
“Oh god! How stupid are you?” I screamed out to no one.
I felt my legs slowly giving out on me, and I fell to the ground. I pulled my knees up to my chest and cried. I closed my eyes, and all I could see was Chelsea fucking Scott. I shook my head as fast as I could. I’d never be able to erase that image from my head. Never.
Then, my phone went off. I pulled it out of my pocket.
Scott. How dare he call me!
Then, a text message came through…and another…and another. I opened the first one.
Scott: Jessie! It’s Bryce. I NEED to talk to you. Please let me explain.
Ugh. He had his brother send me a text message?
I backed out of it before I read any more.
My phone started ringing again. I stood up and looked out into the open field before tossing my phone as far and as hard as I could.
Fuck you, Scott Reynolds. I hate you. I’ll never forgive you for this. Ever.

We started Scott and Jessie's story in Faithful. They had unresolved feelings from their youth, but after reconnecting as adults their lives seemed to be taking a positive turn towards their future. But one mistake caused Jessie to run, leaving Scott unable to defend himself. And both were left heartbroken.

It is a journey for both of them to try to find their way back together. It is not quick, easy, or without complications and pain. But their connection and love is strong. They have obstacles to face, people that want them apart, and situations that could tear them apart for good. But there are also positive changes and happy moments they share as well. This couple had serious fight or flight syndrome. They made snap judgments and would take off with poor communication. Then they would have to deal with the fall out. I really loved Scott. He knew what he wanted, even though sometimes even he got bogged down in fears and insecurities. But he was sweet, romantic, and caring. Jessie gave me fits at times with her indecision and poor communication. But she was also pretty resilient, loving, and I came to like her again more as the book went on.

We also meet Scott's helicopter flying, alpha, playboy friend, Lark. He is fun, flirty, and happily single. He has a past issue that marked him and he has no plans to change his vagabond life as a government contractor with no attachments. I totally loved Lark. He is so hot, sexy, funny, and all man. We are also introduced to Jessie's friend, Azurdee who sparks with Lark right away. But she does not take crap from him and gives it right back. He does not know what hit him and it drives him nuts. I loved their interactions. 

Intertwined with these two newer couples, we get updated with the couples and families from the entire series. Although each book in this series focuses more on the culmination of one couple's love story, they are all really ensemble books. All the main characters have story lines, issues, and progression.  This series has always had multiple points of view (Even the first one, Wanted has 4 and I really liked that) but in this one each main character from the series has their own point of view chapters so there are 9 different points of view not including the epilogue that makes 10. I had some mixed feelings over this. At times I have to admit that sometimes I got distracted from Scott and Jessie's story and of getting to know Lark and Azurdee more. I would be in the angsty part of their story and then it would switch over to another POV and one of the other couples having family time or sexy time. And by the time I got back to Scott and Jessie I had to remember where it left off get re-engaged.

But with that being said, all of these characters are truly embedded in my heart and I do enjoy catching up with them and seeing their happy progressions. They are also humorous and their blunt interactions continue to crack me up. She brought all of their stories to a good place which was nice since we have seen them go through so much pain, heart break, and angst in the past. But even though it made my heart happy to see them so blessed, at times I have to admit that it was almost too much gushy love and happiness with couples, kids, and each couple getting some lovin' time in too. But I also understand why she focused more on the families now and the kids because these children will grow up together and form bonds just as their parents have. 

This installment has the romance, love, steam, humor, healing, and joy with some drama, twists, and surprises that I have come to expect from this series. But my overall feeling about this one is that it was  mostly sweet, and showcased all of the couples with both Scott and Jessie's dramatic story and Lark and Azurdee's emerging story in the mix. We have seen  these characters go from young, naive, troubled, and confused young adults to more mature married couples with kids. But all along their friendship, love, camraderie, and sense of family never wanes. They are a tight group and take care of their own. I love the fact that their kids are all going to grow up together to know this kind of closeness as well.

Kelly gave her beloved characters their complete story and extended epilogues. And left us with a couple of starting off points for future books with characters introduced in this one. I am excited about these new stories and the prospect of more appearances from  Gunner, Ellie, Jeff, Ari, Josh, Heather, Brad, Amanda, Lark, and Azurdee in the future as well as their children. These characters will remain some of my favorites and I feel like I have been through so much with all of them. It was a fitting conclusion to their stories with potential for us to revisit them in the future. So it makes me happy to know that we do not have to let them go completely. 

Thanks to Kelly Elliott for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Cherished, as the fourth novel in the Wanted series, continues the stories of all the couples already established, and highlights the new relationship between Jess and Scott. They have known each other since high school, when one kiss caused Jess to lose her heart to Scott and Scott to run away from Jess. That first kiss only set up the pattern of running that these two seem to do so well. When things get tense, look ugly or go bad for one or the other, they run. It makes it very difficult to work through a problem if the first instinct is to run, and that instinct is the big hurdle for Scott and Jess's relationship.

I ached during Jess and Scott's scenes reading the way they dealt with their pain. When Jessie disappears without telling anyone where she is going I just wanted to reach into my e-reader and yell at her to call home and listen to what happened. And then her time away increases, and she meets a brokenhearted man also seeking refuge at the same hotel, and then I was mad at her. Meanwhile we watch Scott's reaction to finding Jessie missing and not being able to find her and my own heartache just continued.

I also really liked the humor in some of the individual scenes, including another instance of Garrett having a six sense interrupting sex. This group of friends is really there for each other, in good times and bad. The girls' reaction to Jessie's disappearance, and the whole group rallying around Scott to help keep him focused really shows the community that has developed over the course of the series. They know exactly what each other need and are they to give that help.

I have loved this series from the beginning and love seeing the established couples in their daily lives, but in Cherished, it almost felt like the other couples didn't add to Jess and Scott as much as they have in previous books. There were a lot of scenes that felt repetitive and unneeded for the central plot to progress, which made it hard at times to stay as excited about Jess and Scott. If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that I wanted more of Jessica and Scott and less of the friends. A hard statement to make.

The hints made in this story as to the next couples make me excited to keep reading the series, even with my frustration with the secondary couples in this book. I will keep reading this series because I do love the characters and community development that has happened over the last four books (and the novella), but this one was sadly not my favorite in the series. 

Thanks to Kelly Elliott for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Kelly Elliott

Kelly is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason...he claims it's because he loves her!

She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.

In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus....her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.

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