Publishers: Random House
Published Date: Dec 20 2012
From: Net Galley
My rating: 3 out of 5
Evan Lennox is going nowhere fast. She's living with her grandparents after her parents bailed on her, she got kicked out of her posh private school, her ex-boyfriend proved to be the biggest sleaze imaginable, her former best friend is a back-stabber, and her current best friend is stuck in backwoods NJ. To top it all off, one teeny, tiny fire she lit to burn some memories of her ex goes a little out of control and winds up igniting a good piece of a very powerful family's pecan orchard. Evan lands her pampered behind in court and gets sentenced to community service. Which she knows she deserves. But the hard labor and humiliation may be her undoing. Until she meets Winchester Youngblood on the site. Everything about him is tricky, confusing, not at all what it seems, and so sexy, Evan can't resist pulling closer. But every step she takes to get to know him gives her more of a reason to back up and put him as far out of life as she possibly can. Because Winch is one hundred percent complicated, and Evan isn't looking for that. At all. She needs to meet a nice, responsible guy, not share searing kisses with the charming hustler she met after they both got sentenced in court. But Winch is so much more than what he seems, and Evan finds out that she's falling hard for the guy everyone underestimates and writes off. And Winch realizes that Evan is the one person who's ever challenged him to ask for more out of his life, and her courage inspires him to try to be the person she sees when she looks at him. With every single odd stacked against them, Evan and Winch need to find out whether they have what it takes to fall for each other.
I've never read Liz Reinhardt before so as a first book this is a good read. This is the story of Evan and Winchester who meet in dubious circumstances, in a court room of all places. They both feel an instant connection to each other but it takes a couple of chapters for them to come together, both intrigued by the other. Evan got herself in a bit of a bind and needs to do community service, where she meets up with Winch again. After a little bantering they get along really well. When they start on a date however it goes spiralling. That's pretty much how their relationship ends up going throughout the book. Winchester comes from an old Hungarian family where family ties mean everything. And he's the fall guy. He covers up all his family's little indiscretions but none more so than his brother Remington who's going through a somewhat troublesome time himself. Again and again Winchester has to bail Remy out of trouble and more often than not he's with Evan when he gets the notorious phone calls. So is the story any good?
Well as far as New Adult goes I'm happy to say I enjoyed the story. Thankfully there was a really terrible history of abuse which seems to be the theme for most New Adult books I've read. And so this one felt like a bit of fresh air. Was it believable? Again, yes. I've read a few reviews where readers have said that the Youngblood family moral code is a little far fetched but where I live there are many foreign families who live their lives just like this one. They strive to keep their family and connections together and are fiercely protective of each other, and everyone else are just outsiders. While I enjoyed the story there were episodes where the purple prose popped up and didn't altogether make sentences easy to read. Lots of descriptions using the words 'like a...'.
This book does contain a small amount of sex. It's not that explicit compared to other NA books I've read but its there, and again is believable within the story. The only thing I did find was that Evan got a little too gropey but she is only 17/18 years old so maybe that's all part of her character package. All in all I liked it, I'd certainly read more from this author. -CB x
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