Still isn’t merely a sequel, Still is the story.
“Emotion tells you about love, but hard times prove it. How can you know something is great unless it’s tested? Until then, it’s just an assumption. It’s a question, but life has a way of answering.”
I wasn’t worried when Kennedy Ryan said she’d be writing a follow up to Grip, my previous top romance of the year. I was elated, because I knew how she approached sequels after reading and loving Down to My Soul, the follow up to My Soul to Keep. Her sequels involve digging deeper into the characters and revealing what they’re really made of. She creates situations that allow her characters to grow and her readers to connect on a more substantial level. So, I knew I wasn’t going to get fluff.
Still, I wasn’t prepared.
“‘Don’t stop knowing me better than everyone else does.’ I say between kisses. It’s our greatest intimacy, the way she knows me, accepts me. This is as intimate as when I’m inside her. It’s a closeness that goes beyond bodies.”
Although Grip ended positively and was a complete chapter in these characters’ lives, if you don’t read Still, then you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know the half of it.
I compared Bristol and Grip to Claire and Jamie when I finished reading Still, and I don’t make that assertion lightly. Still is the kind of love story that I love best, but the kind I rarely get to read. It’s the type of love story that focuses on the couple and the power of their connection in the center of a chaotic world that tries to break them. Grip and Bristol’s love is already established, and with Still, the reader gets to see it strengthened, reinforced, fortified by the type of pressure that turns ordinary love into an epic one—a diamond that’s stronger than the forces that threaten it.
“When she looks at me like this, her eyes stripped of every defense, no guard in sight, completely honest and open and vulnerable, I feel slightly invincible. It’s a trick of the heart, I know, but I can’t help but think that as long as she looks at me like this, there isn’t anything I couldn’t survive, that our love is the stuff of legends, rolled in Teflon, disaster-proof.”
I think it’s hard to find those grand love stories in the contemporary genre, since usually in order to create the kind of angst that resonates, more often than not, authors write stories that revolve around unnecessary drama. Still isn’t that. This novel is grounded in reality, which makes the characters relatable and easy to empathize with. Both Bristol and Grip battle forces—internal and external—and they battle them together. I love that, I respect that, and I’m inspired by that. Add to that the fact that Kennedy Ryan brought her A-game in terms of prose, and there’s nothing I can find fault with.
“What I feel for you is not optional, Grip. It’s a mandate, a demand I have not problem meeting.”
There is so much good in this book, and so much to be learned from this book. Kennedy continued to tackle the issues addressed in Grip, as well as other struggles and fears that most couples can empathize with. I experienced the gamut of emotions: elation, humor, frustration, heartbreak, but mostly I experienced devotion. You will go on the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. The devotion that these characters have for each other is otherworldly, and exists on a level that few fictional couples—hell, even real couples—do. Kennedy Ryan has set the bar high.
“To let you go would be to let go of life.”
I love these characters, I love them so much, and I’m sad that this is likely it for them in terms of new material. But, it definitely won’t be that last time I visit them. Flow, Grip, and Still, the entirety of Grip and Bristol’s romance is in the category of Great Love Stories. That is truth. I recommend.
“Ask me if I love you, and my heart will answer before my lips can part…Always, evermore, even after. Still.”
Still by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Grip #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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I'll be there.
Through thick and thin.
Ride or die.
You can count on me.
The promises people make. The vows we take.
Assumptions of the heart.
Emotion tells us how we feel, but life...life has a way of plunging us in boiling water, burning away our illusions, testing our faith, trying our convictions.
Love floating is a butterfly, but love tested is an anchor.
For Grip and Bristol
Love started at the top of the world
On a Ferris wheel under the stars
But when that love is tested, will they fly or fall?
((US and Canada only. Will ship Internationally if winner pays for shipping.))
One winner will win signed copies of Flow, Grip, and Still.