I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review for a blog tour being sponsored by AToMR Tours. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.
Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.
With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.
But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?
First off I cannot say enough about the cover of this book. I totally love the picture chosen to represent the main character, Camryn. This would be exactlty how I would picture her if this picture were not presented to me. And I love the color scheme of just the grays and blacks. It's simple and tasteful and to the point. The picture itself tells a story of an emotional roller coaster ride.
As for the characters, well, I really liked them all very much.
Camryn Bennett is the perfect 20 year old girl. She's feisty and emotional and still trying to find her way in life. She really has no idea what she wants and figures that she needs to set out and try to find herself. One can tell she feels stuck in her life and feels that there is nowhere for her to go. Being stagnant is skewing her perception of things and she feels the need to break out and be free. She's had a hard life the past few years with the "love of her life" dying, her brother being put in jail, and her ex cheating on her.
Andrew Parrish is just the thing she seems to need. He's funny and suave. Gorgeous and talented. He's smooth and tells her what she needs to hear. He pushes her to see herself as someone special, something worthwhile, someone who is going places if she would only let herself go. But he has his own baggage that he brings to their friendship, baggage he is not willing to share with her. Baggage that he feels will change their relationship and hurt her, and he has no intention of letting that happen. He wants her to feel free and keep her from pain. He knows pain, as much as she does, but he doesn't want to let her in to that part of his life.
The secondary characters are kind of just there in the story. Natalie is Camryn's best friend. She's self centered and a little annoying. She is loud and obnoxious. Her boyfriend Damon, who Camryn has known for many years, is a lowlife drug dealer that can't pull himself out of that rut. And Adrew's brothers, Aidan and Asher, also are just kind of there. We don't get to know any of the secondary characters all that well. But that is not the point of the story. The point of the story is to get to know Cam and Andrew and watch them grow and change.
I can honestly say that, for me, there wasn't a real connection with the female character. At times I found her coyness more annoying than anything. But she did make a good ying to Andrew's yang, so in the end I was able to overlook how I felt about her. I just wish I could have related more to how she felt. I wish I could have felt more of her emotion, as I did Andrew's emotion.
At first, I enjoyed the road trip that Cam and Andrew were on. I liked how he instantly felt protective of her, despite not knowing her. This really made me fall for him. I did find that the story was a little slow as they made their way to Wyoming. So I kind of just chugged along until about half way through the book. Them BAM the story turned in a totally different direction than I was expecting. That's not to say I wasn't expecting the attraction between the characters but I wasn't expecting the strong sexual content that just kind of appeared out of nowhere, that's for sure. Once they started their second road trip, things certainly got more interesting. The attraction between the two grew stronger and stronger until finally is just burst and you saw that they needed each other and were good for each other. And I spent the second half of the book waiting for Andrew's ball to drop. Waiting for his secret to be release. Not having any idea what it could possibly be at all. I did finally figure it out when they went to meet his mom, and I was certainly saddened by what I knew was going to happen. The storyline is reminiscent of the movie Dying Young, and that is about as spoilery as you are going to get from me! I do wish there had been more about their relationship after the "big bomb" is dropped, but the story kind of falters off and then all of a sudden wer are two months down the line finding out what happened. I really wanted to see the struggle endured by the characters as this life changing event happened. Then again, I am not usually much of a contemporary romance reader so perhaps this is how most of those stories go?
Redmerski's writing is good. I did find there were words that were used too often, such as "babe" and "baby". These words really didn't convey to me the depth of the relationship between the characters. All in all, I found the writing fairly flawless otherwise and I liked the way it flowed. She adequately separated the voices of the male and female characters and you certainly knew whose POV you were reading.
Redmerski certainly takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride throughout this book. I do wish that I had been pulled under into Andrew and Camryn's world earlier than half way through the book, tho. I felt like I had to wait and wait for something to happen. Do I understand the need to build to it, of course, but I still felt like there needed to be much more action than what happened before something actually "happened". I have to say that after seeing all the 5 star reviews I had extremely high hopes for this book. And while I didn't love the first half of the book, I rather enjoyed the second half and the end certainly had my eyes welling up with some tears. For contemporary romance fans with a bit of erotica, this is the book they should read.
3 out of 5 stars from me.
"*I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own."
Author of THE EDGE OF NEVER, a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, THE DARKWOODS TRILOGY and DIRTY EDEN. A mother, zombie fanatic, book addict and a happy hermit obsessed with the Universe and AMC's "The Walking Dead". I live in Arkansas with my three children and a Maltese.
Website: http://jessicaredmerski.com/ Twitter: JRedmerski
"Thanks to the publisher or author for sending me this copy!"