Love is a promise... a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear. John Lennon

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No Matter What: Published by Amira Press
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (5/07)

Since age ten, Cassandra has had a difficult life. Leaving a candle burning in her home, her house burnt down and her parents died. Carrying the weight of blame and guilt at not having been the one to have died has affected all of Cassandra’s relationships. During her early teens she began dating Brenden. At seventeen, she discovers that she is pregnant. She doesn’t want to ruin Brenden’s future or be a further burden on those who have taken her in, so she runs away. Trying to raise her daughter as a single parent is really rough. Cassandra finds herself engaging in risky, promiscuous behavior as an escape, yet she finds that it just makes her life worse.

Four years after running away, Cassandra returns home to face the consequences of her decisions. She wants her daughter to have a good life and to know her father. Brenden and Cassandra have to struggle to get past the anger that he feels from her leaving him and not letting him know about his daughter. Cassandra has to deal with not feeling worthy of a man like Brenden. Other relationships also need healing.

“No Matter What” is a book about healing old wounds. Cassandra and Brenden both have to deal with serious consequences of actions that they have taken as a result of their grief from their past. Brenden’s own mother abandoned him at age five. When Cassandra left him, he did everything he could to avoid being in a committed relationship. He hurt a lot of women with his actions. He too must heal now.

“No Matter What” is a very deep book. The characters have to deal with overcoming some very painful situations and emotions. This is the type of novel that you will want to read with your friends so that you can talk about it. It leads to a great deal of introspection and really makes you think about what it would be like to have faced everything that Cassandra has at such a young age. It is very hard to judge someone who has gone through so much. Enjoy this novel.
Fallen Angels Reviews: 5 Angels
No Matter What is an emotional tale that will really engage your feelings. Jordana Ryan really puts her characters through the wringer and you, the reader, right along with them. The end of the tale feels completely different to the beginning, signaling the journey Cass and Brenden have had to take to navigate the path of love. The depth of these characters is also shown via their maturity. All of our characters, Cass, Brenden and their friends, feel as though they are in their thirties. In actuality, they are only in their early twenties, yet they have been through so much they feel much older to the reader. Each character is well developed, Cass and Brenden most of all, with the demons they still need to fight before they can have a happy ending. The sexual side of the tale is not an overwhelming part of the plot; in fact, there isn’t any sex just for the sake of it. Instead, sexual intimacy is used to develop our characters’ relationship, to make it stronger (with the exception of a couple of scenes towards the start where a different character is involved, which demonstrated how far apart the characters are in the beginning). Jordana Ryan’s No Matter What is a heartwarming tale of love, forgiveness and coming to terms with one’s past.

Reviewed by: Elizabeth
The Romance Studio: 5 hearts
No Matter What is such a poignant read it is hard not for the reader to share in the emotions of Cassandra and Brenden. I was so moved when after years they faced each other and she apologized. One can almost hear the words of Brenden when he voices about her hurting not only him but others. Jordana Ryan spins a magnificent tale about trying to get past the anger and hurt to regain what was lost. She crafts a great story about repairing the heart and the wounds that left scars. If any two people needed to be complete, it is Cassandra and Brenden. Sometimes people incorrectly misjudge when they don’t know what other people go through and this marvelous story has a way of showing how to find the healing process to make one whole again.

Do not Judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes