He broke me, he lied to me, he used me and then he left me. Physically and emotionally I was broken and not just a little broken, I was obliterated. I was in so many pieces it took a long time for me to even gather enough pieces to even begin rebuilding. But, the important thing is I did. I’m not one-hundred percent yet, heck I probably will never be completely healed but that’s okay because I made it. I’m alive. I use my pain as fuel now. When I want to give up I think of all my hurt and anger and it pushes me to keep going.
A year and half ago I died. It was my mistake and if I could do it over again I would, but I can’t. What’s done is done. All I can do now is move forward and try to forget I ever loved Cutter Daniels.
Review by Amanda
Oh my Cutter Daniels! How do I begin to count the ways in which you make me swoon??
This is book 2 in the Love and Hate Series. Book 1 (Hate) ended with Cutter and Paige completely separated. Cutter has gone back to school and left Paige to heal from her injuries.
Book 2 picks up two years later. Paige has been undergoing intensive physical therapy to help her learn to walk again. She has also been attending a community college close to home, however, her dream of getting back on a horse has been shattered. The doctor has advised in no uncertain terms that horses are not in Paige’s future. Paige decides to return to college, but with her injury is unable to live at the sorority house. There are too many stairs which will make living there impossible. Her parents buy her a house behind Greek Row and she and Millie move in together.
Upon her return to school Paige receives an email from Cutter asking her why she has returned. Paige ignores him and tries to carry on with life as normal. However, at every opportunity it seems Cutter is thrust into her face. He is now dating Laney “Bitch Face” Davis and it appears as though his life has just continued as normal. This completely devastates Paige, but she puts on a brave face and pretends as though she is alright with it.
Millie and Paige attend a frat party one night and Paige meets Holden. He is gorgeous, caring, compassionate and smart to boot. They end up really hitting it off and soon start spending time together. Holden is also studying physical therapy, and encourages Paige to make use of the facilities at the University – specifically the pool in order to strengthen her core and her back. They start spending a lot of time together and although the relationship is still new, it is clear Holden is very interested in her. He soon realizes that the ghosts from her past relationship are still ruling her and that she isn’t over Cutter and tells her that for now they should work on just being friends.
“Just know that I’ll be waiting Paige, the minute your heart is available. I’ll be waiting” – Holden, Love and Hate (Book #2 Love) J.J. Dorn
Paige although upset understands this because she isn’t over Cutter, and is still dealing with his betrayal. Cutter confirms to Paige that he and Laney have broken up, but a night at one of the frat parties sends Paige reeling. She walks into the room Cutter shares with Tanner and discovers Cutter and Laney being intimate. Cutter tries to go after her, but again, Paige feels like he has lied and betrayed her.
“Please Cutter, I can’t survive you twice.” It feels like my words are just a whisper but I know he hears them because I watch the pain dart across his eyes. – Love and Hate (Book # 2 Love) J.J. Dorn.
With Halloween fast approaching Paige and Millie decide to let it really all hang out, figuratively and end up going to the Halloween Party/ Paige’s 21st birthday party in outfits that leave very little to the imagination. Paige ends up having too much to drink and ends up being rescued by Cutter and taken home. Cutter takes care of Paige and makes sure she is cleaned up and put to bed. Cutter tells Paige that he would like to work on their friendship and that he wants her to drive home with him the next day. Paige argues with him and tells him that if he wants to ride together, he should ride with her. He quickly agrees and the next day they set off for home.
Although initially awkward the ride home isn’t as bad as Paige imagined it would be. She is also introduced for the first time to Cutter’s mom. This is not the disastrous meeting she imagined it would be – and Cutter soothes her by telling her that his mother is now sober and realises that his father’s death was never her fault. This eases some of the guilt that Paige has weighing on her soul.
Paige is home alone for this break and Cutter takes it upon himself to ensure that she is safe and looked after. This of course raises a litany of emotions and brings up all the old feelings – especially when Paige sees him in her room. They reconnect, however, Paige keeps reminding herself that this is still the same man that betrayed and destroyed her.
This time when visiting at home Lacey encourages Paige to get back on her childhood horse, The Biz, and although initially terrified, Paige gets back on the horse. She spends her time getting stronger in the saddle under Lacey’s guidance. This is definitely balm for her soul as well as her body.
During the day Paige is with the animals she loves and the nights are consumed with Cutter.
The course of true love never did run smooth though and there is a development that Paige is too nervous to tell Cutter about. When she eventually does work up the courage to tell Cutter, she is accosted by Laney Davis and things spiral out of control. She is helped by the last person she expected, Cooper Daniels (Cutter’s brother).
After another tragedy occurs and she refuses to see Cutter, Cooper visits her and begs for her to see Cutter.
“I’m begging you Paige, please see him,” Cooper pleads. “I’m sorry, I can’t help you.” I stare past him out my giant window. Cooper sighs and I hear him exit my room. I’m sorry Cutter. I just can’t save you and myself” – Love and Hate (Book #2 Love) J.J. Dorn
Will this be the end of Cutter and Paige? Has too much happened over the course of their relationship for them to ever recover what they have lost and move forward.
I have been waiting in anticipation of the release of this book. Book 1 ended on somewhat of a cliff hanger, and we weren’t sure of what would become of Cutter and Paige. We also knew Cutter had pretty much cut Paige out of his life and couldn’t be around her.
This book is full of angst, emotion and heartbreak. We finally discover what happened that led Cutter away. We also discover the hell that he has been dealing with on his own. Although he appears to have moved on, it is clear that he still deeply loves Paige and has been unable to move forward from their relationship. Their pain is palpable, for anyone that has ever loved and lost, this book will certainly strike up the chords of that heartache and remind you of how you felt.
I loved the references to all the music. Especially when Paige is experiencing the breakup and then when she gets angry and starts listening to the really angry music. This made me laugh, because as any young woman will tell you – this is exactly how we experience our breakups. Crying into our ice cream at first and then getting really mad and cursing all men.
I also loved how both main characters were both so fractured and broken. Although they were strong – they were definitely in pain and in need of each other to soothe the pain and heartache. There were times when I wondered if these two were ever going to get their acts together and be brutally honest with one another.
I loved how much of a fighter Paige is. Although, she is from an elite family, her life had never been easy. She was mercilessly teased as a child by her class mates and as an adult she had endured more than most would ever have to. She came out a survivor and not only that she went on to do what she was told she never would. Too often these days, we read books with heroine’s that are weak and that will never stand on their own two feet. Paige is not this girl – she is broken yes, but she is most definitely tough and a fighter.
I am giving this book 4.5 stars. J.J. Dorn is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next.
About JJ Dorn
J.J. Dorn lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and terrifyingly maniacal cat, Pippa Kiddleton. J.J. also lived in Oklahoma City for six wonderful years where she attended law school and worked as an attorney. She currently owns three American Paint Horses. She has been riding and competing since she was a very young child. J.J. competes on a national level with her horses. When she isn’t spending time at the barn, she is busy working on her next novel. Please visit www.jjdornbooks.com for more info. There are frequent sneek peeks of current projects!