This is the Wonder by Tracey Ward
Publication date: February 19th 2015
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
From the moment I saw him – all blue eyes and American pie – I knew I’d never be the same.
Determined to escape the pressure of her impending graduation, Wren Porter chooses to take a semester in Europe. She’s there to study, party, and hide from the question that’s haunting her – What’s next?
At least that’s the plan until one night in Munich when she meets Jax, an American soldier stationed overseas. He’s charming, he’s handsome, and in one small act of kindness he becomes Wren’s own personal hero. Suddenly the two are swept up in a mad romance that will cross countries, break laws, and leave them both breathless.
But Jax has questions about his own future and when reality comes calling their bond is put to the test. Are they only meant to have the nights they shared together in Europe, or could they be so much more?
Could they be the future they’ve both been looking for?
"I don't write romances, I write relationships. One is pretty and perfect and all consuming. The other is real."
I was born in Eugene, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) I love writing all kinds of genres from YA Dystopian to New Adult Romance, the common themes between them all being strong character development and a good dose of humor.
My husband, son, and snuggly pitbull are my world.
“When is your flight?” he asks.
His voice is horrible. It’s salt on the wound. It’s deep and slow, like he’s dragging time out. Laying it down and asking it to be still.
“Day after tomorrow. Early.”
“Can I take you to the airport?”
I close my eyes, so touched and so reluctant. Jax standing tall and beautiful in the airport watching me walk away to get on the plane – just the thought of it threatens to bring tears to my eyes.
“I don’t want to say goodbye to you,” I whisper.
“I don’t leave until the day after.”
“I’ll come get you tomorrow. We’ll have one more day. Give me one more day and then I’ll take you to the airport in the morning.”
I hesitate. I want it so badly. I don’t know what he has planned but I want to find out. I trust him implicitly. I’d follow him to the ends of the earth and, really, has he steered me wrong yet?
“Don’t say no,” he pleads.
I smile. “Yeah.”
“I’ll be there in the morning. Early. And, Wren?”
“You won’t be sorry.”
There’s a brittle cold snap to the air the next morning. It stings my eyes when I step outside and freezes my breath in my lungs. I could stay inside but I’ve already said my goodbyes and I don’t want to say anymore. Definitely not this last one.
Just as the first of many fat, fluffy snowflakes begin to fall around me, Jax’s car comes gliding down the road. He parks in front of me, throws on his hazards, and gets out to help me load my bags.
“What are you doing standing out here in the cold?” he asks, lifting two suitcases like they don’t weigh more than I do. “You should have waited inside.”
“I couldn’t stand to be in there anymore. I’m ready to go. All of this has been looming ever since finals and I just want it to be over.”
I don’t have a ton of bags. I travel light and all of it fits into Jax’s trunk and back seat easily. He has a small black duffle bag back there too and my heart leaps at the thought of spending one last day with him. One last night in his arms. Under his hands.
By the time we reach Frankfurt the snow is coming down heavily and the roads are getting dangerous. Jax sees my tension as the conditions worsen. He knows I can’t handle being on the roads much longer.
“I had a whole day planned,” he explains, his voice barely rising above the purr of the engine and the crunch of the wheels on the freezing asphalt. “We were going to go to Cologne. It’s really beautiful. The entire city was nearly destroyed in World War II and this church is one of the few buildings that survived the bombings. We were going to have lunch there, then dinner in Frankfurt.”
“That would have been nice.”
“There are a lot of places I wish I had time to take you to.”
I smile faintly as I stare out the window at the falling snow covering everything, the ancient streets and the new buildings. The old world and the new world being blanketed together as though they’re the same. As though they’re not separated by hundreds of years, hundreds of lives. Hundreds of stories that have played out between them, all of them the same but somehow different. Each one unique in its own right.
Jax and I are nothing new. Our situation is the same as so many others that happened before us. What makes us different is how we live it. How we write our story.
How we author our own fairy tale.
I roll my head toward him and smile. “I want to see Moscow with you.”
He glances at me, surprised. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah. I’ve always wanted to visit Russia. I want to do that with you. Let’s go tomorrow.”
“I thought you had a flight to catch.”
“But if I didn’t, would you go with me?”
“In a heartbeat.”
“So we’ll visit Moscow. Then where?”
“Japan,” he says, no hesitation. “I want to see Japan with you.”
“All of it?”
“Every square mile.”
“That’ll take a while.”
He looks at me steadily. “We’ve got nothing but time, right?”
I smile encouragingly. “Right.”