Rushing In, Lexi Ryan
I’ve enjoyed a few of Lexi’s novels now and though I hadn’t read book one this is one of those series where each book is a stand alone, just having a connection by way of the characters and place to the others.
Poor Grace, what a horrific few teen years she’s had, I was so sad for her. Kids can be cruel and to be 13 with a bad stutter and big boobs – well, of course she took the way where she thought people liked her. Its not till later she finds how she’s being used and the consequences are still chasing her years later.
Her dad is overprotective to the extreme, I get he wants to protect her but c’mon she’s 20 now!! It does seem to me as a UK reader though that US teens/early twenties are far slower to be independent. I can’t imagine either myself back then, my own kids, or any of the teens I know now sticking to being told what to do and where she can live at that age….
So Grace does as she’s told, and to be honest its a respite away from the bit -chiness of living in her home town. She’s learning you can’t outrun your past, it comes with you, and though she’s spent years away the locals still think of her as easy gee gee 😦
She’s agreed to spend the summer with her new stepbrother, who she’s not yet met. Then when they do – wow, she finds out he’s the guy she had a “moment” with at her friends house the previous day….She doesn’t want him to know her as easy gee gee, she’s tried hard to leave that girl in the past but as the summer goes on and they finally give on to their feelings that past comes rushing back.
I liked Chris, he’s a good lad, very focussed on his career, and so far done everything to keep that running smoothly, and then he meets Grace and is head over heels in lust, and later love. Can her secrets pull them apart when they come out though? Will his past come up to bite them? Can they make it through or are they doomed to fail because of all the secrets? Its interesting when she brings up the “if a boy/man did that would he still be regarded as a slut or patted on the back” line, its something that so often irritates me. A boy is just “being a lad/sowing his oats/enjoying his freedom” whereas a girl doing the same thing gets the slut/easy/tart etc. label – grrr…
Its a fun read, though I felt I was reading about 14-16 year olds rather than young adults, but maybe as I said its that US/UK divide thing that I’ve noticed before.
I didn’t feel really pulled in to the story, didn’t really feel the issues were huge, more storm in teacup thing mainly. I felt for them both at the end where there seemed to be one thing after another heaped on them, but it all felt a little light ands superficial in a way, not the way I usually feel when reading one of Lexi’s stories.
As serious as the issues were that Chris was facing it just didn’t feel real enough to actually matter, I knew somehow there would be a way out, after all the HEA is why many of us love these stories. Usually the fun is in guessing how the author will do iot but here I just couldn’t really set my mind to working it out. One of those where I enjoyed it but not enough to reread, and I know in a couple of days I’ll have forgotten about them.
Stars: Three, maybe a four? Its a good story but just felt not really deep enough for me.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher
Everything We Keep, Kerry Lonsdale
Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction.
What an amazing Debut, a fabulous, well written story! I’ve been lucky recently and read several great debut books – as a reader I love that, a “new” author to follow, books I’m pretty sure I’ll love…
Anyway – this book. Well, poor Aimee, I was gutted for her. Not only burying the man she loves on their wedding day but to have all those little quirks, pointers, mysteries suggesting that actually he may not be dead. Must be gut wrenching.
Having had my own lovely husband of 40 years die suddenly recently I know just how she feels, how we desperately want them to still be alive. I still wake and feel maybe its all a bad dream, but know that sadly its true.
Aimee though isn’t so sure, she didn’t actually see the body his brother Thomas brought home. Is it possible he was mistaken?
Her friends are sure she’s being duped by someone who’s a scam artist, and sadly that does happen far too much. Grieving people want things to be different and listen to those they’d usually ignore.
Then she meets Ian and he kind of opens her mind to things that may be considered impossible to believe, but somehow are true.
I loved Aimee, loved the way she hung on to her hope for James, wouldn’t just accept he was gone. There’s Ian though, he’s a terrific guy, talented and good looking, really kind, so supportive of her and its clear he feels more for her even though he’s been Friend Zoned.
Aimee is struggling to pick up her life, to carry on with the plans she’d made with James, and supported by her friends she opens her restaurant, but at the back of her mind is always “what if” and it’s the little oddities, coincidences, weird things that happen that keep drawing her to the possibility he’s still alive even though his family and her friends are convinced he’s gone.
Ian is just gorgeous, right from the outset its clear he wants Aimee, and he’s so, so patient, sitting back and waiting for her to realise what they have could be something very special.
When the secrets start to unravel they do so in a huge way, and though I’d a hint of what was going on I didn’t see it happening That Way, was taken by surprise by the way everything came out.
Its got a perfect ending too, one that fitted the story really well, and left me feeling happy but sad too, and that in a way was how I felt about the whole book, it’s a bittersweet story, such tenderness and yet full of heartbreak too.
Stars: Five, an amazing debut read, full of emotion.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher