He knows everything.
She has all the damn answers. I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature.
I crave control, but with her it’s far more.
He’s a power hungry climber.
Her wealth could buy and sell me.
It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus.
She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her.
When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him.
Her crooked smile cripples me.
He hides his demons, but I’m no fool.
She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong.
A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love.
She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name.
I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after.
My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back.
Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself.
I miss the days when she was just down the hall.
He’s better off without me, and it hurts.
The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me.
Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity.
The lies we told ourselves killed it.
Together, we found Nirvana.
We learned it was all a mirage.
I ruined him.
I broke her heart.
I keep coming back.
I can’t let her go.
I just finished reading the last word of this book, I opened my laptop to start my review while everything was fresh, but I find I’m just staring at my screen. I keep starting to type my thoughts before back spacing them out right away. Nothing I write seems good enough to describe the beautiful and emotional writing in Knot. M. Mabie has indescribable talent, I loved Bait and Sail and I never thought the turmoil I felt during Blake and Casey’s story could be replicated but here I am, at a loss for words.
Knot is standalone but is a spinoff of the Wake series, telling the story of Blake’s brother Reggie and Nora, who we met briefly in the Wake series. Nothing felt manufactured about Reggie and Nora’s love story. It was emotionally charged but all of the angst was real and personal.
“When did we stop telling the truth?” I asked. “When we fell in love,” she answered. “I guess when you have something worthy lying for, you’ll lie to protect it. Even if it is just to yourself.”
Their romance was one of two emotionally flawed peopled who couldn’t get their timing right. They were ultimately two different versions of the same person who were lost, lonely and afraid of trusting.
Knot is emotional and tense right from the beginning.
“Every happy minute we’d shared was solidly grounded in my mind, but each of her tears eroded bottomless canyons into these memories. She thought it was just her body, but what she didn’t know was I knew so much more. I knew her reasons. I knew her demons. I even knew the truths in the lies she told herself”
There was a lot of push and pull- mostly Nora pushing and Reggie taking her back. Initially I really disliked Nora, I felt the same way about Blake in the Wake series. M. Mabie has this amazing ability to write a female character that makes me so angry while still leaving me craving a happily ever after for someone I don’t think deserves one.
But Reggie I loved. My heart hurt for him. He knew that Nora only offered herself in pieces and he took them hoping for more but never anticipating it was a reality.
“I may eventually find another woman. I may have sex with her. I may even enjoy her company and then marry her. Lost in my thoughts I felt bad for the poor woman who lived in my future. She’d only get half a man; Nora was the only other human who made me whole”
This book is written in a dual POV, with a timeline that jumps between past and present. The present occurs primarily on one pivotal day and the past chapters are flashbacks in chronological order leading up to that day. You can feel like you’re handed the story in fragmented pieces and often feel like you know what happens without knowing how they got there which gives you a suspenseful feeling. Due to the timeline jumps and dual perspective this is a book requires your full attention. If you’re attempting to multi-task it may be difficult to follow and you will probably miss something. The chapters are labelled with the character’s POV, as being past or present but also with a specific day. I’d suggest paying attention to the dates, there were a couple times I had to flip backward to double check exactly what day I was on.
One of my favourite features of Knot was that the timing lines up with Blake and Casey’s story. They overlap almost perfectly and we’re reintroduced to portions of their story from Reggie’s perspective. It also gave me some fresh eyes since I was re-reading portions of Blake’s story now that I didn’t dislike her as much. While the book is technically a standalone I would highly recommend reading Bait and Sail first, it will make following the jumping timelines way easier.
I absolutely loved Knot and I will be adding it to my re-read list. It’s the kind of book where you just know you’ll discover something new or find a connection that you missed every time you read it. M. Mabie is always a favourite of mine so I expected to love Knot, but she blew me away with this one!
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