Stand (Bleeding Stars #6) by A.L. Jackson
Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…
I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.
No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.
For seven years, I’ve never lost focus.
Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.
Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.
She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.
Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand…
Well, we’ve made it to the final book in the Bleeding Stars series and what a fucking ride.
Zee is so incredibly sweet you just want to hug him. He’s the quiet one, the sensitive one, the one you can count on any time, every time and he’s also the one who has hidden the most from everyone he’s closest to. In my opinion he’s also, out of all the guys, and let’s face it some of them have some fucked up backgrounds, the one who’s the hardest on themselves.
Guilt is such a crippling emotion.
I was really looking forward to Zee's story because I wanted him to be as happy has his band brothers. But a series of small, seemingly insignificant at the time choices, snowballed into something he couldn’t see his way out of and that ended up destroying his spirit. He was the textbook example of someone who’s been isolated from his support systems and a perfect example of how once you voice a lie it becomes self sustaining and almost impossible to escape. And once that lie is exposed, no one and nothing is going to be the same and forgiveness may never be given. Even knowing that he might crush everyone around him with his truth, I still wanted him to fess up because the secrecy was killing him.
I saw the need for Zee to find someone who accepted him unconditionally and Alexis did that. But, I also found her a little too sweet and sunshiny for my taste. Not that there's anything wrong with an optimistic heroine, Zee needed someone that happy to offset his overwhelming melancholy, but her penchant for overlooking the bad in people and putting herself in dangerous situations because she only chose to see the good in people was just frustrating.
As for the rest of the band…I think they had a legitimate right to be pissed at Zee for what he’d been hiding. It was highly personal to Zee but it was also just as significant to the rest of the guys and they had been cheated out of something that they would never get back.
The guilt that I mentioned before? There should have been guilt. Two women in this story should be shouldering massive amounts of guilt and it should weigh heavily. But like most people who should be the most ashamed of their actions, they won’t even feel it. Yes, Zee made some mistakes, some errors in judgment and he trusted some people he never should have. A few of them were even pretty big, but his self imposed sentence definitely didn’t fit his crime.
Whether you agree with me or not, you’ll still want to find out what has kept Zee so quiet for so long. You won’t be disappointed.