This book gave me a ride on the let’s get in touch with all your emotions rollercoaster. It shocked me on more than one occasion, it made me laugh and smile, cry and fall in love. It’s a remarkably sweet debut novel from author J. Nathan that will grip you from its tragic start and keep you engaged with its fun and sexy banter, and heart rendering moments ‘til the very end. And one thing’s for sure, it will “seep right down to your bones.”
I’ve considered really hard about what to put in my review regarding the book’s plot because even though you can piece together some things, it still stunned me more than once and I would really hate to give anything away. I also think the blurb does a very good job at telling us what we need so I’ll include that and then tell you my personal thoughts about it.
On the outside, Hayden is every girl's living breathing fantasy, brooding and devastatingly gorgeous. He spends his nights losing himself in alcohol and faceless girls, but it's all just a facade. An elaborate cover for the emotionless shell of a man he is. One who harbors too many secrets and destroys lives the way his was destroyed. It’s the reason he avoids relationships and keeps everyone at arm's length…
Alex’s life just shattered into a million pieces, leaving her with more grief than she knows what to do with and guilt so deep it’s destroyed the carefree girl she once was. Now she’s hundreds of miles from home, living with an aunt she doesn't know, finishing senior year at a college she’s never been to, and trying desperately to get through a single day without breaking down. She's never felt more alone in her life...
The trouble with Hayden is who he wants to be and who he is are in constant flux. And though he’d die before letting Alex learn the truth about him, he can’t be sure he's strong enough to let her in…or push her away. She’s the one person who just might see the real him.
The book grabbed my attention and heart right from the beginning. I was barely 2% in when I was in shock and hurting for Hayden and then smiling because of the smart mouthed girl that had just met the broody “hottie” with dimples. It’s incredible writing when you are so devoted to a couple of characters you barely know.
These two incredibly sad souls told their story from alternating points of view. And even though I think Hayden’s perspective went to the corny side at the end, I really enjoyed being in their heads.
Even though Hayden was broken and angry at the world, he was also sexy, and his pain didn’t blind him to what Alex had to offer, showing his flip side, which was sweet, loving and made me swoon and “I smiled a big stupid grin” repeatedly.
Alex’s patience and understanding with Hayden’s hot and cold attitude never frustrated me and I really admired her strength of character. She was a very grounded and real person.
The story unfolded at a perfect pace, letting us know what we, and the characters, needed for their connection to build and grow. Their sizzling chemistry was off the charts.
“I'd have to touch you.”
He nodded… “I hope so.”
“You might have to kiss me goodnight.”
His eye focused on my lips. “Oh, sweetheart, you can count on that.”
I loved and was equally frustrated watching them get to know each other.
“I don't know what this is. This thing between us... But I really need it.” ~Hayden
As the book got closer to the ending, “my heart ricocheted off the wall of my chest.” It got so intense I couldn’t get to the happy fast enough. I felt like I hit the jackpot with this book and I’ll be looking forward to J’s next book.
* I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review from Netgalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *
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