Holy crap! You have to read this book, like NOW. This is the follow-up to The Ballad. I want to shout from my roof top about how much these two books intrigued me, but I can’t because my house isn’t big enough, so standing on the roof wouldn’t do any good. And failing to get the word out isn’t an option here. When I wrote my review on The Ballad, I wrote that Ashley Pullo was an author to watch. And with this collection of Novelette’s, she did not disappoint or make me a liar.
Here’s the thing, Intermission is a collection of 4 short stories or novelette’s about the past of the main characters of The Ballad: Chloe, Adam, Natalie, and a new character, Zach Parker. Ashley’s writing is so good that as you read each short story, you are given such complete characters and plot that you don’t realize you just read a short story, she packs so much into them and they were so well done I didn’t feel slighted.
There are different dates given within each selection and they are used as chapter headings. This gives us a guide or time line to follow as we learn about each character. I LOVED IT.
Interlude is about Natalie Lagrange. I loved her in The Ballad. I loved her witty sense of humor. Natalie is fiercely independent, a risk taker, a little self-absorbed, she speaks her mind and doesn’t much care what others think of her. (Gosh, I wish I could be a little like Natalie.)
Natalie wants away from the stifling country club life of her parents. She has big city dreams, she wants the Sex in the City life. She certainly has the personality to carry it off, she just needs a break to get her there.
Her break comes on a train in the form of “sandy brown hair, smoldering navy eyes, bitable pink lips, broad shoulders and muscular thighs”… Zach Parker. The chemistry between them is instant and holy hotness … I fanned myself several times while reading… these two definitely could cause a fire to combust with the sparks flying between them.
“Holy shit, I thought women like you were an urban legend. I’m Zach, and before we make plans to go to the library, let’s discuss the sex.”
And they do, in the cab on the way to his apartment where they “enjoy” each other’s company all night long. (See…H O T). They do have some conversation while together about dreams and life. An instant friendship develops. The two become inseparable. When Zach reveals his mother’s health is failing quickly due to the effects of working at ground zero after 9/11, BAM, my heart was ripped from my chest! I could feel the pain Zach was feeling, I cried his tears when he cried about her life being over. My heart ached for him.
Out of anger at the devastation of 911, Zach joined the Marines. This is a story of what could have been. I wonder what there story would be had he met her before he made the decision to join the Marines? Would he have chosen to go and fight in his mother’s honor having known Natalie and what they have and could have together? I don’t know. He represents our true hero’s.
“Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would sacrifice a life in order to save one?”
“No, no, you cannot leave me. Absolutely not. What about your family? What about me?”
“This was decided long before I met you and I didn’t realize I would fall so deeply in love with you.”
Uh, ya, I was a blubbering idiot. Ashley toyed with my emotions with this one.
This is about the young 18-year-old, music loving Chloe. As she struggles through young adulthood to find her real self. To discover who she is. This girl’s a wild child! Ha! She and Nat sure had a crazy, full young adulthood. These two together experienced underage drinking in a bar, a swingers party, a one night stand and a psychic. Of all these events, it’s the psychic who would have the biggest impact on Chloe, even tho she doesn’t really believe in them. I loved Madame Clarice, her insight was perfectly beautiful.
“Your aura is a contradiction – only one man will be able to interpret your psyche.”
This is narrated by Zach Parker and is truly a sweet love story. Zach comes back home from leave for a few short days, and surprises Natalie. The love story between these two is absolutely stunning! We get to watch as they fall in love with each other.
Zach also visits with his mother. He doesn’t know how much time she has left and that scares him.
“I thought I could do it – but I can’t. She’s alone. How can I let my mother die alone?”
When he returns to Afghanistan, we see him struggle with being away from his love Natalie and his sense of duty. I adored reading their touching, funny and sexy as hell love letters to each other!
“Je ne regrette rien, because I found everything.
Ah, and here we get to meet the young, 18-year-old Adam Ford from The Ballad. I have missed him! A chance encounter with a beautiful girl at a party sets Adam’s future in motion.
“And that’s that. My first taste of the unexpected returns to her house never to be seen again. A perceptive mistake – a misinterpretation. And it will forever be the moment that began my pursuit to find the girl that makes me smile.”
Pullo had me laughing, swooning, panting and bawling! But it was so worth it. This is a MUST READ!