AGAINST ALL ODDS by Jezz de Silva
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Outbreak Hearts #1 (standalone)
Published on: September 18, 2017
POV: Third Point of View
Rating: 5 STARS!
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Against All Odds is, hands down, one of my TOP reads I have ever read. Not only it brings out all the emotions in me, it also inspires and puts a new perspective on me as to how to see and live life. It is a powerful, amazing story about love, hope, and life. It covers the problems I believe everyone can relate to. Jezz de Silva is a new author I am very grateful for discovering this year. My 2018 has undeniably kicked off with a great, promising start.
Against All Odds is a story about two strangers who are heading to the same destination with different life plans and dreams, unaware that their lives will change forever. Abigail Williams is a teacher who just received a devastating news that her brain tumor is back and she has to go through another, risky surgery in five weeks. Since chances of survival depend on the surgery and if she survives, she has to endure another months or years of recovery with the number of life-threatening side effects, she decides to take a leave of absence from her teaching job and have an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable trip to Australia to kick off her bucket list (one of which is her sister’s suggestion to have sex) before the surgery.
At the airport, she witnesses an act of kindness performed by the hottest and handsome man she has ever seen and secretly admires him. To her surprise, the man ends up seated next to her on the plane and thirteen hours later, their small talks lead to flirty, hilarious banter and unexpected kisses that both excite and terrify her.
She stared into slate-gray eyes that looked to have survived multiple lifetimes, and there she stayed, caught in a fragment of time and space completely divorced from the world bustling around her.
Sergeant Ryder Harper is an Australian war hero and amputee who came to the US for a prostatic leg. After a decade spent in overseas away from his family, he decides to spend a quality, much-needed time with his family. However, after spending time with the beautiful, smart, and fun Abigail, he doesn’t want it to end and does his best to convince her to spend more time with him. Little does he know that their meeting will make an unexpected turn in his life forever.
From the moment he’d lost himself in those incredible eyes on the plane, he’d wanted her, but with each casual glance and touch and with every verbal salvo they’d fired at each other, he’d grown more convinced this rare link they shared was more than simple lust. It had to be. Lust wouldn’t have him wanting to find out everything about her or make him feel he’d known her for years.
Her adventures in Australia might not be what she planned and, in fact, very few have had her mark the items off her bucket list but they are beyond her imagination and fulfill the things she has never thought she needed. They change her life for the better.
It has been a while since I cried like a baby and I am not a crier for your information. Very limited books have managed to turn me into a crier so far. Against All Odds had put me on an emotional roller coaster and brought out all the emotions out of me. I had rarely been completely invested in a story before. Against All Odds is one of the books I will want to reread in the near future and will, no doubt, stay with me forever. I loved this story and could not say enough praises to the author for his amazing storytelling skill.
The writing was not what I had used to, with it being told from the third point of view and having a unique kind I had never encountered in my previous books. It took me some time to get used to it but once I did, I was immersed in the story and enjoyed the ride it brought me to. I struggled to choose which quotes to put in this review since almost all the phrases and sentences were remarkable. Please don’t give up if you struggle with the writing style in the beginning. Trust me; it was worth it.
The romance was the highlight of the story. Abigail and Ryder’s relationship was one of a kind. They started as friends to lovers effortlessly, though it didn’t mean it was free of bumps. In spite of it being fast moving, it felt real and believable. Their interactions were short yet deep, and the progress was understandable considering their unique situations. The struggles, fears, and the rationalization going through in Abigail’s mind deeply connected me to her character. It was as though I were her throughout the story.
She was giving him a way out, granting him permission to escape this nightmare and get on with the rest of his life. Problem was, his life was meaningless without the woman lying beside him.
She forced herself to meet his gaze. “You don’t love me. You don’t even know me. For Christ’s sake, we’ve known each other for only two weeks.” The words burned her throat as she spat them at him.
His eyes narrowed. “I know every sound you make when you sleep. I know the smile you use to hide the pain. I feel your heart beating inside my chest. I know you so well it terrifies you.”
If you are like me, the kinds of readers who always have high expectations to the main characters especially the heroes, I guarantee you will love Ryder. He was a laid-back but thoughtful, very committed character who had never given up on the things he believed and the people he loved and it showed in the way he treated Abbi. Words could not describe how much I admired, respected, and loved him. His devotion had no boundaries and his love to the broken woman pierced my heart deeply; it put me in a reading frenzy.
“When things got bad out there in the desert, when artillery shook the ground and all I could hear were bullets thudding around me like hail and my teammates’ screams, I measured my life in seconds. The most important things I learned out there with blood congealing in my gloves and darkness trying to steal my consciousness was how precious life and time are.” He lowered his head until his nose touched hers, and he was staring straight into her eyes. “I’ll give anything for more seconds with you.”
He’d make it work. He had no idea how, but he’d make it work.
The supporting characters were my favorite as well. Ryder was adopted along with some of his brothers and sisters; therefore, it made them a multi-racial family with an admirably strong and wise mother as a leader after their loving father passed away. Each of them was unique and memorable. Their differences were shining yet what bonded them together. Abbi’s sister is an outstanding young woman as well. Her strength could be seen in the way she took care of her sister. I enjoyed her character very much; she never stopped having me laugh my belly hurts. It was fascinating and refreshing to see how Jezz de Silva highlighted each of their personalities to the absolute best.
I also loved how realistic this story was. It portrayed the reality of what brain tumor patients went through daily. The days, at times, were devastatingly heart-breaking that put Abbi in numerous feelings of guilt and self-hatred for being such a burden to her loved ones. They were not easy but it was what made her story relatable to all readers, especially to those who have been through the same path or are currently in it themselves.
On top of all of these, I appreciated the message about families in this story. The main characters’ families played significant roles in their relationship. The understanding, acceptance, and supports they showed to the couple and how much impact they did on their relationship showed how important and powerful families were/are. It personally reminded me of how precious my family is despite their weaknesses and to never take them for granted.
Yes, there is a happy ending. Abbi survived the surgery and Ryder was by her side throughout the surgery and the months of recovery. Although the process was grueling, their bond got stronger and together they got through each stage.
“You took a sick, lonely girl on the adventure of her life. I’ll never be able to repay you for that, but the ride’s over, Sergeant. Time for you to get back to your life and find another damsel in distress to rescue.” The storm raging in him darkened until his irises turned black. “My life’s with you, and this ride’s just beginning.”
“Tough, I’m not letting you go.”
With each word, her throat clenched and her breath quickened. “And I thought I was the dreamer.” She tried laughing, but it spluttered out as a choked whimper. “This isn’t a fairy tale, and we’re not riding off into the sunset on your rainbow-colored unicorn. This is my third time in the ring. And I don’t know how many fights I have left in me.”
“Then we’ll fight together.”
If you are looking for a deep, emotional love story with fun, smart, hilarious banter, and a fantastic cast of characters, Against All Odds by Jezz de Silva should be your next reads. It is a story about love, hope, and finding strength in each other with the help from their loved-ones while being in challenging situations. I highly recommend this book and beg you to give this a try. Trust me; this book is one of a kind. You’re going to love it. ❤️
“I promised to let you go. I never promised not to come after you.”