He’s a troubled young actor, Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, struggling with fame as the star of the latest superhero franchise. Through scandal after scandal, addiction on top of addiction, a flurry of paparazzi hunt him as he fights to conquer his demons.
She’s a single mother, assistant manager at a grocery store, existing in monotony with her five-year-old daughter. Every day when she goes to work, lurid tabloids surround her, the face of a notorious bad boy haunting her from their covers.
A man and a woman, living vastly different lives, but that wasn’t always the case. Once, they were just a boy and a girl who bonded over comic books and fell in love unexpectedly.
When Kennedy Garfield met Jonathan Cunningham back in high school, she knew he had all the makings of a tragic hero. With stars in his eyes, and her heart on her sleeve, the pair ran away together to follow their dreams.
But dreams, sometimes, turn into nightmares.
Now, years later, the only thing they share is a daughter—one who has no idea her father plays her favorite superhero. But Jonathan is desperate to make amends, and at the top of his list is the woman who gave up everything for him and the little girl he hasn’t yet met.
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Ghosted has everything that I want in a second chance romance book.
This book wasn’t part of my short list for to-immediately-read-books. I had no idea that J.M. Darhower is releasing a book. I had no idea that I would like its premise and even end up counting down the days left before its release. I had no idea that my eyes would be itching that much just because I badly want to read it. All thanks to Book Crushin’ for tweeting about it and also for my good timing to see it on my timeline!
Ghosted follows through the story of Kennedy Garfield and Jonathan Cunningham. They were the typical highschool teenagers who got caught up in a whirlwind romance and up and left their town to chase for their dreams. Oh sure, their love was pure, true and passionate but surely they wouldn’t be able to survive just by having that.
Kennedy worked as a waitress to support them while Jonathan continuously scours the streets of California for the opportunity to land a role in any acting gig. A couple of times he got lucky by landing some minor roles on Television dramas but it wasn’t enough.
Not a breakthrough role.
Not enough pay.
They kept that cycle of living before the fall. This is where it starts. Kennedy scored Jonathan an appointment to one of the big shot agents in the city, Clifford Caldwell. It wasn’t an immediate and easy deal but in the end he got signed. Finally, their dream is starting to materialize and come true.
Ensues the chaos.
Meetings and shootings here and there. Celebrating holidays together were a hit and miss. What more with the time to relax and spend in each other’s presence? While Jonathan is seeing more of the world, Kennedy is holding fort in their home and slowly losing herself in the process. She’s terrified and she has the right to feel that because what they have been dreaming of for years is now turning into their own personal nightmare.
Along the way of achieving it, Jonathan became a tangled mess. They’re fighting, fighting, fighting up until the day that Kennedy walked out on him…
“The two of us always seemed to be on the same page until the day we just weren’t anymore, and there was no way to get back to that place once we struggled so much to communicate.”
J.M. Darhower doesn’t need big dramatic scenes. All she needs is her raw and simple stringed words to tell an emotional story. I appreciate it a lot that Ghosted doesn’t have the over the top kind of drama in it. You know the usual scenarios wherein the main characters go back and forth with all the blaming and the pushing and pulling when it comes to their relationship? You certainly don’t have to worry about it. Because despite the rocky situations they were in, the story flowed in smoothly in terms of its sequences and pacing. It’s weird how it felt calm even if the atmosphere suggests the complete opposite of it. Imagine, I found myself so engrossed into reading it and was just suddenly sucker punched in the gut by the lines being delivered by the characters. The feels attack you sneakily.
Despite having a hunch on how everything went down, I appreciate the author’s unique way of letting the story unfold. Ghosted is written through the POVs of Kennedy and Jonathan. While their past is narrated through the inserts of some entries from Kennedy’s notebook. How they met, how they became friends, how they fell in love, how they ran away, how they spent their years together and how they fell apart were all there. Kennedy bared her soul in it. Through the pages of that notebook, I felt her adoration, devotion and various emotions that she invested towards her relationship with Jonathan. It’s also very noticeable how powerful her words are whenever she’s ending her entries. It’s just so packed with emotions. Especially, during the last few ones.
I have previously read Darhower’s Sempre and I noticed that she thrives in writing about extensive character developments in her story. With that being said, you’ll be able to see her once again working her magic on her characters. Especially with Jonathan and his flawed character glory. Seeing the main characters grow wiser, become mature and own up their responsibilities is a thrilling adventure to take.
Kennedy Garfield has a backbone. I commend her for showing strength, resistance and knowing her (their) worth during that time wherein she could just succumb and take him back. She loves Jonathan but she knew where to draw the line on what is acceptable for her and on what she thinks is still right for them. He grovels but that won’t make it do. Instead, she knocked some sense into him and put him in his place. She challenged him and continuously hoped for him to get better.
The fire? It still burns. Something tells me it always will, no matter who tries to put it out.
She might show moments of weakness and give in to Jonathan but she knows when to pull back and focus. You can see how Maddie’s her main concern in everything that she does. Kennedy is surely clouded with doubts and fears but thank goodness for being brave and opening her eyes and heart to see the changes in Jonathan. And to even give Jonathan, another precious chance.
Now let’s talk about Jonathan. Just by the reading the prologue, you can already tell how problematic Jonathan’s character is. It also gives you a hint on one of the reasons why their relationship fell apart. Jonathan’s an alcoholic. He turns to alcohol whenever he feels down. Or whenever he feels like. He got involved in drugs when he got a taste of what fame is like and even try to cover it up. He made the woman he loves constantly wait for him.
But like I said, Darhower writes a good character development and you’ll be able to see that with how she wrote Jonathan. He got a wake up call. Jonathan did what is needed to be done to turn his life around. His love for Kennedy and for the daughter whom he hasn’t even met were the ones who gave him the push to do what is right. He constantly think of them, why he is doing it, in moments that he’s itching for a drink.
It takes everything out of me, because endings are hard. Endings are fucking impossible… especially endings that remind me of a girl I’m trying damn hard not to think about.
Through that I felt the desire of Jonathan to meet her daughter. To be with her and make up for the lost time. Also the desire to woo Kennedy, once again.
If you’ve read some of my reviews here on my blog, I’m sure you know it by now that I’m a sucker for stories that involve kids in it. But more than that, I’m even weaker for stories that involve kids who haven’t met their parents. It’s a sad situation, I know, but having that kind of premise is a sure way to tug at any reader’s heartstrings.
Second chance romance + Daughter = perfect.
The said daughter in this story, Maddie, is a pro-active character. Maddie’s fun, intelligent, creative, sassy, highly independent, could be stubborn at times and perceptive. She’s that and all good things. She wasn’t there just tug at your heart but her existence and essence in the story goes beyond that.
Someday, she’s going to call you her daddy. And when that happens, she’s going to steal your heart, and you’ll get that chance you asked for. But you need to be ready, Jonathan, because she’s here, and she’s waiting. Don’t make her wait too long before finding your way home.
Her honesty, boldness and innocence will kill you because her words and logic will nail you in the head and heart. Jonathan got a lot of burn from her daughter who spills the truth and picks on sensitive matters. But what can he do? The kid is so innocent. Most of the times I found myself clapping my hands or wanting to pat someone in the back because of her. If you can only see my Kindle copy, you’ll be amazed with the number of highlighted lines and paragraphs in it. There are just lots of powerful and heart-clenching scenes between Kennedy, Jonathan and Maddie.
Ghosted has a perfect balance of heart-aching and heartwarming scenes. Every ache that you’ll experience will be soothed out by scenes that involves Maddie. Also, this book gave a proper dose of heartache, support, love and hope. That there is hope for everyone. Hope for change. Hope for a second chance. Hope for happiness and be surrounded by the people you love. If you know someone who are experiencing the same situation that Jonathan went through, help them. Motivate them and offer yourself as a support system. Hold their hands tightly and hope with them that they’ll get better.
GHOSTED MOOD BOARD