Endings are difficult. I’m never sure how to feel about a book that leaves me with more questions than when I first started. You know, the type of questions like, “But what ever happened to Blankity-blank?” It usually boils down to “But what happens next?” There’s always that part of us that doesn’t want a story to end, that wants to know what happens next.
Deceptive Cadence ended on a cliffhanger. Some readers were not aware of this when they picked it up. Having worked on Deceptive Cadence and Diverging Cadence, I got spoiled and was able to read both books back-to-back and edit both books back-to-back. If you read the end of Deceptive Cadence and found yourself sputtering, “But what happens next?”, the only consolation I have to offer is that there was a two-month wait to find out, and it will leave you satisfied in the end.
Katie Hamstead’s Diverging Cadence picks up right where Deceptive Cadence left off. Cadence Anderson, now eighteen, is off to university across the country, but she finds herself questioning this choice. Before, in Deceptive Cadence, she sets out to correct her past mistakes with the goal of saving her husband (Austin) and daughter (Melody) in the forefront of her mind. In the process of doing so, she started forging a new path in her life, a path that included James, her high school sweetheart of three years.
Now, in Diverging Cadence, we see Cadence’s struggle of how to reconcile saving her family and saving her relationship with James. Cadence’s whole motivation to go back in time was to save Austin and Melody, and while she clearly loves James, she can never stop loving or thinking of Austin and Melody either. They were her life, and she lost them. Even though it’s never explicitly said, you understand that James’s love can’t replace that, which is why we follow Cadence to the university where she met Austin.
At times it’s difficult to watch Cadence make the choices she does throughout the book, to the point of heartache. While her family and friends seem to direct her toward the path with James, by holding on to life as they currently know it, Cadence feels the pull of her original life constantly, and you begin to wonder if she’ll undo all her efforts of the previous book entirely to make her relationship with Austin come about again. Ultimately, Cadence makes her choice and must deal with the fallout from that decision.
I still stand by what I said in my review of Deceptive Cadence: I am not a romanc-y kind of reader, but I love Hamstead’s characters and the world she created. If you look at Deceptive Cadence and Diverging Cadence as one massive book*, you get to follow Cadence’s journey to a satisfying conclusion. She isn’t a perfect character, even if it seems like everything’s coming up Cadence in the first book – you can see her grow and develop, from her good choices as well as her bad ones. For all the damage her poor choices cause, you still get to see the underlying impact her good choices had on others long afterward.
And hopefully, once you reach the end, you won’t be asking “But what happens next?” for Cadence. You’ll know.
*Which you really should – don’t let the two-month span between releases throw you off. But I’m not advocating duct taping the covers together either – the artwork’s too pretty.
About Diverging Cadence:
When Cadence Anderson woke to find her husband and infant daughter had been killed, she thought her life was over. Instead, she was offered a second chance and sent back in time to do it all again.
She’s made the most of this opportunity, repairing her relationship with the best friend she lost the first time, avoiding the romantic mistakes she made originally, and even bringing her family closer together. But she’s also done something she wasn’t planning on — she’s fallen in love with someone other than her future husband.
Stepping onto a plane and flying across country to attend university is the hardest decision she’s had to make. But unless she follows through with it, her future with Austin might never happen. And what becomes of her beautiful baby if she stays with James, the man she was never supposed to love?
The only thing she knows for certain is that she has to see Austin again, and she’s intent on reliving that part of her previous life exactly like she did the first time. Even if that means she has to lie to James to do it. Because, deep down, she can’t quite bring herself to let him go.
Now, past and future are about to collide, and Cadence has to make her final choice — follow the uncertain path of a life with James, or the one she came back to save . . . with Austin.
In this emotional conclusion to the story that began in Deceptive Cadence, relationships will be tested, identities revealed, and the past will overshadow the future, putting the finishing touches on an unforgettable tale of courage, sacrifice, and, above all, love.
About Katie Hamstead:
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.