Seven breaths left in her chest, yet I looked back at him. He wasn’t meant to be there on the darkest night of my life, but the mysterious Alex Law continued to make a habit of showing up when I least expected him. With one look in his eyes, everything I’d ever been before him drifted away, and everything I was about to become revolved around him.
Grief threatened to ruin me no matter how hard I fought, and Alex had demons of his own to deal with, yet we found a comfort in each other’s pain. We found ourselves alone, two people becoming one. Just us. Natalie and Alex. Natexus. As long as we had each other, we thought we could make it through anything.
We didn't know there were things out there waiting to destroy us: people we couldn’t escape, fates we couldn’t outrun and regrets we couldn’t avoid. Not all love stories go the same way, and ours was about to take a turn neither one of us could have foreseen. All I could do was stand by and watch as my world fell apart for a second time.
I knew there had been life before Alex Law.
I just had to figure out if there was life after him…
That beautiful, tragic first love of mine.
~~ Natalie Vincent.
“Never let the end of one thing stop you from enjoying the beginning of another.”
“I’d been searching for a way to describe it for months, but I got it then, I got it. I knew that Alex felt like peace to me. When I was near him, the noise in my head fell quiet. I didn’t find myself thinking so much. I was too busy staring, analyzing, and daydreaming.”
“‘I have a good memory for nice moments, Natalie.’ Alex tilted his head to one side and smirked as he narrowed his eyes. Natalie. He said my name like he cherished it. I’d never heard it spoken that way before.”
“‘You cow! This dental floss g-string is made of delicate lace.’ Danni quickly glanced back at my parents and offered them a full, beaming smile along with a wave that replicated The Queen’s.”
“Our time together back then is one of those moments in life that we will always regret because we didn’t try, not because we tried and failed. Those kinds of stories, they’re the ones that kill us from the inside out. They’re the ones we’ll think about until the day we die. That’s what regret does. It burns under the skin. It taunts you with the possibilities you turned down, and in the end, there’s nothing we can do to get rid of that. Nothing we can do at all.”
“How was it possible to care for two men and love them in two completely different ways? How was it possible to feel like your body and soul were going in two totally different directions? One half wanted to save someone; the other half wanted to be saved.”
“I can promise to love you like no man has ever loved a woman, and I can promise to do that forever.”
Reading Natexus nearly wrecked me. Oddly, I have never been so delighted to suffer such conflict, and doubt I ever will again as I cannot envision this intangible quality ever being replicated. I was enthralled and completely engrossed, yet tense and somewhat on edge; a condition I generally don’t appreciate, but I didn’t seem to mind that at all, and remain totally enamored with Victoria L. James – she has mad skills. My cold heart received the equivalent of a thorough cardio work-out while reading, the poor old thing alternated between thumping with anxiety, sinking, pounding in excitement, soaring, then shattering at least 4 times. My eyes remained rather misty, a rare occurrence for me, and there were also a few occasions accompanied with ugly bouts of sobbing. However, by the nail biting conclusion, my fist-sized muscle was singing yet again. While I skipped the gym yesterday without guilt – I find I am now in need of a spa day.
The story was beautifully written, and nothing short of exquisite - tender, sweet, romantic, tear jerking, heart squeezing, mesmerizing, relevant, touching, occasionally steamy, frequently devastating, and highly emotive. If I had to pick one word – it would be poignant. The characters were fully fleshed out, intriguing, and complicated, each having experienced tragedy in their childhoods that would significantly shape, scar, and continually alter their life view. His through trauma and a ghastly home life, hers from the grief of living with and losing a chronically ill sibling. They meshed perfectly as only young/first/epic lovers can. But of course - trouble erupted and it all fell apart. I was deeply conflicted and could not decide whom to root for! I had marked six pages of favorite quotes… six pages… all deeply profound, painfully insightful, or cleverly humorous – it was nearly impossible to narrow it down! Victoria L. James must have been blessed by the pixies as she has magical powers in the use of words. Sigh.
Victoria L James is a teenage girl stuck in a thirty-something year-olds body. Living somewhere 'oop north' in England, she has had a strong passion for words and stories going as far back as she can remember, which she credits to her grandmother and her love of reading anything that was on sale and cheap from the local market stall. Never once did she think she would release a novel, though. At best, she thought her love of language and her ability to create stories in her mind would provide her with a 'get out of jail free' card whenever she messed up and her parents were mad at her during her teenage years... and when even that didn't work out, she thought she was pretty much done for.
When an opportunity presented itself for her to take a back seat from paid working life for a few years, she knew straight away that she had to try and write about a few of these worlds she'd come up with along the way, and quieten all the voices in her head without racking up a heavy psychiatry bill for the pleasure.
Wearing her heart on her sleeve and trying to lighten her friends’ and family’s lives with naff, and more often than not, badly timed, nineties jokes, she has yet to learn the art of knowing when to shut up. Which is another reason writing became a passion of hers. With pen and paper, there are no limits.
A firm believer in never quitting, with a ridiculous obsession for all things Rocky, she hopes that one day she writes a story that will inspire at least one person out there to keep on going if they're struggling. Other than that, she's just a regular old converse wearing, corona sipping, English version of Chandler Bing, who loves and adores her family more than life itself. Oh, and she also has two cats. Every writer has to mention their cats, right?