It’s been three days since I finished this book and I’m still at a loss for words. Nicole Williams surprised me in such a good way with this book, especially since it was my first book by her. ‘Collared’ is a very consuming, emotional read, beautifully written that touched me so, so much. I don’t have words to tell you how much this story affected me. This author delivered not only a powerful love story, but also a wonderful story about survival, learning to move on, sacrifice, hope and healing.
“You’re the boy next door, Torrin. My boy next door.”
Jade and Torrin are young and in love. Neither of them expected their relationship to become something more after they became friends, but now after two years they are deeply in love, looking forward to be together for the rest of their lives. Their happiness is short lived when Jade is taken away from Torrin. She is kidnapped. Just several feet from her front door. For ten years.
“When you love someone, you love them. You can’t “slow that down” or portion out whatever “healthy” doses your peers deem acceptable.
You love them as hard as you can, as best you can.”
For ten years Torrin never stopped looking for Jade, never stopped hopping. He tried to find her even if the chance to find the girl he loved with all his heart were slim to none. He hoped when everyone else gave up.
Jade is broken. Having every day several anxiety attacks she struggles with everything in her ‘new’ life. She feels she doesn’t know the people who once upon a time used to mean so much to her. Since she pretended to be someone else for ten years she doesn’t know who she is anymore. When everyone seems to not understand that she’s not the same Jade she used to be, Torrin feels like the one who can see that. He’s still the only one who knows her better than anyone else, who keeps her sane, who knows how to comfort her when everyone else doesn’t.
“He’s the one I’d tie myself to, but I don’t feel like I have anything left to be bound with. How can he tether me when vapor has more substance than I do?”
“You brought me back . . . when everyone else just kind of left me behind.”
I loved this book! Everything about it was done to perfection IMO. Jade and Torrin’s story touched me to the core. It was so beautiful, heartbreaking (most of the time), but also heartwarming and hopeful. Their story was from start to finish epic and it will make you reflect and truly believe in real love, in soul-mates. It made me smile and cry, it gave me goosebumps, it made me hope.
The entire story is told from Jade’s point-of-view and let me tell you Nicole did a wonderful job with it. Jade’s POV was real, honest and most of the time heartbreaking. Being in her head, reading her thoughts was very hard at times, because I felt everything she felt –fear, pain, despair, love, acceptance and everything in between. In some way I experienced everything she experienced. My heart broke for this woman who practically forgot who she is. Her journey was gut-wrenching at times and her tries to understand and ACCEPT that everything changed were so realistically done. I loved how well developed her character is. She’s a remarkably heroine I truly admired for so many reasons. She’s survivor, but most of all, she’s a fighter.
“There’s no past and no future when he looks at me like that—there’s only right now.”
Torrin’s character was well written as well. He was simply wonderful and a real hero in this story. I really would have wanted to read at least one chapter from his POV, because at some point I really wished to know how he felt about some things.
Even if the story doesn’t focused on Jade and Torrin’s relationship/romance I found their love story to be very inspiring, beautiful and so emotional. I loved their connection, the familiarity between them after so many years and the love they still feel for each other. Torrin’s tenderness towards Jade melt my heart. The way he was with her, his gentleness and the way he loves her were simply beautiful.
As for the big twist that everyone talks about…wow…it blew me away. To be honest I expected something to happen, but I didn’t expect to be left with my mouth hanging open or to be left…ugh…frustrated a little (because I knew everything will change for these characters).
In my opinion the story ended perfectly for these characters in a very realistic, believable way. It’s not the “perfect” ending, but it’s the perfect ending for Jade and Torrin.
All in all, ‘Collared’ was an amazing read for me, one that I highly recommend if you want to read an emotional, unconventional, epic love story.
“I’ll never finish falling in love with you.”