Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick
Series: A Standalone Story in The Traveling Series
Release Date: 26th December, 2017
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Empty inside, cold in his heart, Zef turned to whisky and drugs to fill the void.
Instead, he ended up with a prison sentence and a new determination to get clean and make something of his life.
Since his release, Zef has been on the road, finding his spiritual home with a traveling carnival and working as a motorcycle stunt rider.
Live fast, live hard, keep moving.
He doesn’t want to be tied down to anyone or anything. Fiercely loyal, the only people he cares about are his brother and his carnie family.
Until a crazy girl who’s run away to join the circus crashes into his world.
But now his old life is catching up with him, and Zef has to choose a new road.
A standalone story, and the last one in the TRAVELING SERIES.
4.5 Stars ~ Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KFF
This is the fourth book and final installment to the Travelling series and can be read as a standalone although I would strongly suggest reading the previous books as they are all brilliant.
In this book we get to read Zef’s story, the silent and brooding daredevil who’s had his share of ups and downs, the most recent one finding out that his long distance relationship has ended. I have always admired this author’s style of writing; she digs deep through the carnie life and makes the reader feel as if they are living inside the book. One gets all the glorious details, the interesting family dynamics and hierarchy within the carnies and the business aspects of it.
When Sara, the eighteen year old stowaway joins their group, Zef’s life became more interesting. Their friendship slowly grows into something special in which the author takes us through their emotions, Zef’s reluctance in getting involved with Sara because of their fourteen year age gap, and Sara’s hero worship of Zef makes their story a sweet and slow burn romance.
The other couples from the previous books: Kes and Aimee, Luke and Zach, Tucker and Tera and also Zef’s brother Dan with his fiancée Lisanne and the patriarch of the carnie clan Ollo (with Bo his capuchin monkey) who although small in stature is bigger than life; his advice and his wisdom makes his character in this series so special. “The carnival is a place to become the person you could be or should be; a place to start over.”
There was no need for me to reread the previous books because their story all intermingled in this book and once you start reading it all comes back to you. And this being the last book of the series makes me sad to say goodbye to these very interesting friends. Zef and Sara’s story may not be like Kes and Aimee’s fireworks in the sky type of romance but more like striking a match to light a candle in the dark that slowly and steadily glows and shines through. This final book is the perfect ending to a great series.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d landed on my good leg, but I didn’t, and the pain was so intense, my vision went black and all I knew was deafening silence.
I woke up a few seconds later wondering if I’d died and gone to Heaven, because the view was pretty damn good and surely an Angel was watching over me. But as my vision cleared, I realized that Sara was on her knees in the dirt next to me. I think she was screaming, but my ears were ringing so badly, I couldn’t tell.
“…call an ambulance?”
I struggled to sit up, but she held me down by my shoulders.
Kes was next to me, lifting my visor carefully.
“Wait for the paramedics, man.”
Flames of pain were running up from my ankle to my thigh.
“I think I fucked up my knee again,” I groaned.
“Does anything else hurt?”
“Only my pride,” I lied.
Kes grinned and I heard Tucker’s relieved laugh behind me. I squinted up at him.
“Everyone else okay?”
“Yeah, Zef,” he grinned. “We’re all good. You certainly gave the crowd their money’s worth. Can you do that again?”
Then Sara screamed at him.
“Shut up! Shut up! He could have died! He’s hurt! He’s really hurt, and you’re just making a big joke of it!”
And then she burst into tears.
Tucker’s mouth dropped open, stunned into silence. I saw Kes gesturing to Aimee to take Sara away.
“No! I’m not leaving him!”
And she flung herself across my body, gasping and crying. I thought she was going to have a complete meltdown when the paramedics tried to pull her off me.
“Sara, honey,” I gritted out while my whole body felt like it had been run over by a charging rhino, “they’ll do a much better job of getting me onto a stretcher if you climb off of me now.”
She stumbled back, wiping her eyes and nose as I helped the paramedics get me onto the stretcher.
The crowd was on their feet, expressions of interest or horror, depending on how macabre they liked their shows, so I gave them a quick wave and heard applause and cries of relief.
“We’ll see you at the hospital,” Kes called after me.
I gave him a thumbs up, then relaxed back on the stretcher, my knee throbbing like a mofo. Sara was walking next to me, still crying, so I lifted up my gloved hand and she clung onto it as if it would save her from drowning.
But waking up and seeing her sweet face, thinking it felt like Heaven, I wondered if I was the one who was drowning.
I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.
Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.