Afterburn by Zane - Book Review
I read this book back in college, but as I was sifting through the books that I wanted to read it again, my mind automatically went to this book. Besides Ashley and Jaquavis, Zane has been my favorite author for a very long time and this book was the first time I read something different in a love story that wasn't linked to the drug game. This book made me believe in love again and had me in tears each time. From the start, you meet the character of Rayne way back in the teenage days and you basically see her family and friend settings and just how she is living and its ok but it could be better. Because of Rayne's mother, Rayne grew up quick and put up with a lot of things but she stayed true to herself. To me, she sounded like a typical girl with that best friend and that high school crush on boys well at least one.
Still in the teenage days, you meet the main character Yardley and his boys Dwayne, Felix, and Mike. You actually meet them at a time where Yardley is still a virgin which I found interesting because no book I have read has really took it back the far, but I see why.
Through certain circumstance, Yardley made a decision. A decision that I think that will define him as a man from this point onward.In the book, from the beginning you start out with both of them in their teenage and you see the moment that really defined them and that's what I loved about this book. The author switched back and forth from one to the other and before they ever meet, you see sequences of their journey. With Rayne, you see what happened with her long time crush and you also see her interaction with her mother. Through one act with Ruiz, it forever changes Rayne and how she views men. She is always looking for the one, but after awhile she just stops and takes what is offered. You also see Yardley's life and what he did in college and what he did before college where he was amidst in a learning stage. So fast forward to present day, and I had the biggest smile on my face for these two. Rayne works at a bank and Yardley is a chiropractor and they finally know each other. Well, kind of. They know of one another is obviously there chemistry is there, but like normal people they are interested but don't know anything about one another. I love how the author portrayed their first meeting because it made it look like it was coincidental at first, and then you later realize that they are already feeling each other. Even though they know of each other, that doesn't stop them from going out on other dates albeit not great ones and are actually laughable.
In a real twisted way, even though these two have not met yet, they seem to have the same experiences just flipped a little. When I was reading, I felt like I was reading it twice just different versions. Right when Yardley makes up his mind to go after Rayne, he is thrown a curveball and I can't really blame him. I mean if your fantasy person
showed up out of the blue you would want to snag that as well. Rayne isn't doing to bad herself. It's funny to read because not only are you reading two sides to relationship, but you are kind of seeing both of these characters find love in the wrong way. When I say the wrong way, I mean that they are accepting a lot of things without thinking it through.
You also come to discover they are also into the same things. With a stroke of luck Yardley finds out Roxie's true intentions and kicks two people out of his life and then the moment of truth happens. They meet and it's so funny because I can see that happening in real life and love how close the author made it to reality of people meeting in real life.
So let's just say after a few weeks' things heat up in a good way and just when Valentine's Day arrives an unexpected visitor comes into Rayne life. You would think that this would ruin plans right? Wrong!!! Upside Yardley understands Rayne and where she comes from and why she was so desperate to get out. If anything Yardley respects her more. He takes her out and to the most extravagant places and I was excited for her. They air out her past for a minute and then things start to heat up Zane style. This is the second scene that just touches me because it's very rare that it would happen in this day and age, but let's just say it solidifies their relationship and gives them an even deeper connection. In Yardley's mind he wanted this woman to not just love him but to trust him too. From time to time you meet the boys and these scenes would take me back to movies like "The Wood" or "The Brothers" where they would talk about real facts and just mess around and be boys. You see the Yardley is real well rounded in his life. When you see the decision that Yardley made come to fruition, you see his past coming back to try and veer him away from Rayne, but oh no you see how focused he is about his relationship and how he doesn't want to waste any more time without Rayne in his life. He even goes as far as opening up the bottle now instead of waiting till later and I must say that my first thought were that things were going to be ruined. What I love about this author is that she will throw things at you that you were expecting to come but in the most awkward place even though I must say that they were both feeling it so hell jump in.
Just like Rayne, when Yardley is finally settled and is in love with being in love with Rayne, his past comes to ruin his life again and this time they approach what he loves most. What I noticed with both of them is that whenever a curveball was thrown at them they were able to learn and grow from it as far as their relationship grew.
Ok, so fast forward through an almost perfect relationship coming together. For both Yardley and Rayne you see the cracks in each of them that are outside of their own relationship. Right when you think that things our good and Yardley has made up his mind that Rayne is the final show in his life and makes plans to prove it. But in Rayne's mind she is nowhere near ready to fully commit to him. This threw me for a second because you are reading this love story unfold and they seem perfect for one another and Rayne is just not ready. Right when you think everything goes bad; just continue reading because you see the inner working of not just Rayne, but her mother Arjay as well. Fast forward to Yardley and he is a mess but things get so much better.
The rest of the book you are basically seeing a plan coming together and howthis couple is coming to fruition and have plans for the future. Just when things are so good thing go horribly wrong, but the book ends with the fact that you can feel love after you lose it. One quote stuck in my head toward the end of that book and it was " You only live one, and if you do it right, once is enough". Big props to Zane for that because she showed me that life is precious and should not be wasted on what ifs. To me, time was a big factor between Yardley and Rayne because even though both were feeling one another life and their own minds stopped them from starting early. It also begged a question that even though circumstances pulled them apart in the start of this budding relationship, did they really waste time or things would have changed if Yardley had dated Rayne sooner? Loved the theme but I don't think it went along with the flow of the book because I feel like if written differently Rayne would be married, but their marriage would never make it. I felt like there were many themes within the book that went with this beautiful story, but felt like this one was minor and could be pushed around a little bit. I feel like no one should just waste time with life, I mean you only get one so live it doing the things you love. Still, my hats off to Zane for not just going outside her box but giving us a genuine love story that made me feel so good after reading it.