AUTHOR: A.M. Wilson
AGE GROUP: New Adult
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: March 16, 2015
PUBLISHER: A.M. Wilson
PAGES: Approx. 395
COPY PROVIDED BY: Author
MY GOODREADS REVIEW LINK
RATING: 4 Stars
Eighteen year old Tatum Krause wants nothing more than to finish her senior year without any more drama. After the near overdose of her drug abusing mother the previous year, she moved out in the hopes of making something better for herself. However, the week before her final year, she ends up needing the help of a sexy stranger who’s about to flip her world on its axis.
Jacoby Ryan only wants one thing: to forget his past. The last two years have been filled with empty feelings and women in an attempt to stem the heartache and guilt. He’s ghosted blindly through the motions until late one night, he finds a car stalled on the side of an empty highway where he meets a beautiful girl with a haunted look in her eyes.
She has a secret, but so does he. Despite their magnetic pull, the two come to the shocking revelation their relationship isn’t so black and white. Is it possible to fight a bone-deep attraction when the entire universe is telling you it’s wrong?
REVIEWERS NOTE: I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
4 Indisputable Stars!
I really enjoyed this read. It had a great story, interesting characters and a different take on the whole teacher/student/forbidden romance theme, which I really liked. There were also a few things I think could have been improved on which I’ll explain later in my review.
The writing was well done and the author showed a talent for getting inside your head and making you think about the characters and the situations they were facing. I felt anxious and sad and happy and loved the sexy butterflies I got. This is this authors debut novel and it was an excellent afternoon read.
Tatum Krause is eighteen and living on her own. She works a full time job, she takes care of herself, she’s prepping for college and she’s very independent. She’s also damaged and a little bit broken. Her life has always been a struggle but she never thought she’d be living as an adult while still a teenager.
One night out changes everything. Meeting a handsome stranger who she might could actually have feelings for was the last thing she ever thought possible. But what she really didn’t expect was he would turn out to be her teacher.
Jacoby Ryan has a dark past he’s trying to escape. Guilt and despair are just two of the emotions that strangle him on a daily basis. Starting a job in a new place is supposed to be his fresh start but when he comes face to face with the girl who ran out on him before things got too heated, he’s not only stunned to see her again but appalled she’s his high school student.
What I really loved about their scenario was it was an instant attraction but it wasn’t an instant love. They couldn’t stand each other... well, at least on the surface. They were both monumentally attracted to one another, they just didn’t want to admit it and I loved that. The angsty, slow build to romance was refreshing.
This book was well written and it had some great plot points. The characters were interesting and really fleshed out. It was heartbreaking but also had a fantastic story.
I also liked that there wasn’t a huge fall out for what Tatum and Jacoby had found in one another. The author gave us a great love story with lots of conflict but also strayed from the usual consequences for this type of situation and that was nice. Jacoby and Tatum finally find their peace especially after all they’d been through.
I got the butterflies, more than once. Jacoby was sexy and had me swooning. He and Tatum don’t start out on the best of terms so there’s a slow build in their relationship and those are always the best kinds. And when they do finally come together, it was explosive and hot! I enjoyed watching their walls crumble and subcoming to one another.
Much of the story felt like one huge contradiction. One sentence would state something and then in the next, it would contradict itself. For example, at one point during one of Jacoby and Tatums fights, she’s scared to confront him because she knows he’s going to be angry and then when the confrontation goes down, she’s “confused” as to why he would be angry with her. This is just one example of something that happens often in the story. One sentence will state something and then the next will state the complete opposite.
Also, it was like everything but the kitchen sink was throw in as conflict for these characters. Both of them were suffering painful pasts to the extreme and with all they had going on and all they’d been through, I didn’t think they always stayed true to what you’d expect from their characters. Jacoby is moving forward, shedding off the blame he’s placed on himself and is ending a purely sexual relationship as he’s contemplating a relationship with Tatum, however, when his past is revealed and the tragedy explained, he’s suddenly saying he’s carrying around too much guilt and will hold on to that forever and he doesn’t deserve happiness. But he’s so “in love” with Tatum and she’s the only one for him. It just felt off. Someone with that much pain, guilt and past tragedy is usually fighting the “moving forward” thing we see in these kinds of scenarios and doesn’t come to the conclusion he’s worthy of a happy ending until he finds redemption. Jacoby just didn't act like I expected him to given his past.
Tatum on the other hand held true to her character most of the time and the author did a great job with her resistance to anything good after all she’d endured. Tatum was in so much pain and you could feel that through the pages as she walked through life with that small bit of hope buried in her drowning heart. She wanted good things but was scared to wish for it.
There was a lot... and I mean a LOT, of drama. Not angst... but drama. And I’m not a huge fan of drama. At times, Tatum acted grown and given her circumstance, she had to be independent. In other circumstances, she was very immature and not the good kind either. This was another scenario where one thing contradicted the other. Jacoby states more than once, she’s too immature for him but then he’s all swoony over her and changes his mind. The push and pull in their relationship didn’t display a good flow or dynamic, it was all over the place and left me more confused than consumed.
And there seemed to be conflict just for the sake of conflict. For example, Jacoby’s sudden disappearing act. He has the presence of mind to text his bff but not the love of his life? And then Tatum goes off the rails.. after only a couple of hours? That was another case of her immaturity and her insecurity. Her confidence didn’t have time to bloom before the story was over and we don’t see a healthy, secure girl. We still see the damaged girl who needs a safety net or she crumbles.
Both Jacoby and Tatum are two very damaged people and I didn’t see the healing or the resolution to their pasts I was hoping for. The little we do see, happens off page and it’s not explored as well as I would have liked. Maybe if there was an epilogue or a hint at a book two, then I’d have been more satisfied with the way the characters story ended.
The Wrap Up...
Regardless of my “buts”, this author did a good job creating a forbidden but believable story with characters you could relate to. I do think some consistency editing was needed and a few plot points hammered out as well as a few character changes, but overall I enjoyed this read which kept me eager to get to the end. I’d definitely read more by her and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Connect with the Author...