Rating: 4.5 stars
There was something about this book that had me itching to read it and I’m so glad I did. It is not your traditional New Adult book that I’m used to reading and it was a pleasant surprise. What Stephanie was able to create were characters that had flaws, who were broken, but who were able to start to heal and fight their pasts to find peace in one another.
It was a slow starter – I didn’t really know what was going on as the book began. As the reader, I knew Skye was hiding something, something that made her try to disappear and hide from everyone. Something that made her avoid being touched. Something that terrified her. But, just like her name, it was a slow process to find this out; however, once I figured it out – you will probably figure it out before you read the words – it totally made sense and fit the story. I am telling you this is because if you find yourself thinking this book is moving slowly, just be patient and keep reading. You will get your answers and once you do the story really takes off.
When Skye meets her hot, tattooed TA, Duke, there isn’t this insta-love connection that we are used to reading about. Instead, there is something deeper, but it’s not quite love at all. It’s understanding and friendship. These two characters see something similar in one another – a pain they are trying to bury and hide from. At first, Skye shies away from Duke’s insightfulness, but he helps her open up and have a friend, which is something she hasn’t had in a very long time.
“He may be a better actor than I am, but one broken person can always recognize another one.”
Honestly, I would not consider this book a traditional romance – it’s about healing and allowing yourself to lean on someone for support. At first, there is nothing between Skye and Duke but friendship. Duke figures out what Skye has been hiding and nudges her to start being strong and to start live her life, one that includes letting her roommate, Kate, who is awesome, in as well.
“I don’t want to be close to Duke, I don’t want to feel his intense and all too seeing eyes on me, but if the glimpse of him is accurate, he’s not the kind of man to walk away at the first no. He’s the kind to try again and again until he gets what he wants.”
As Duke and Skye start opening up to one another, they both become aware that there is more than friendship between the two of them. However, things aren’t rainbows and roses for these two. They both still have not moved on from their past. In fact, this keeps the angst level high because if it’s not one, it’s the other running. They both run from their feelings and although, I would normally get annoyed with it, I totally understood it – it worked. These two people have so much fear and guilt between them that I’m just glad they are able to recognize the feelings they have for one another.
“That’s the problem when two broken people are attracted to each other and share a true connection. It doesn’t mean you can’t have some kind of relationship with each other, but it does mean you have to fight against your issues to get there and he’s not used to it.”
Just when you think Skye is finally going to be able to move forward and take her friendship with Duke to the next level, her past keeps coming back to remind her of her fears. And despite what is going on with her feelings for Duke, he is what she needs. He knows her, just as she knows him. These two are perfect for one another because they help each other move forward and out of the darkness.
“Then I’ll be glad to kiss you senseless until you’re so breathless that you can’t think about anything other than having your way with me and not about where we are.”
This book has a sequel, but there is no cliffhanger. Had this been a stand alone, the ending would have been good as it is. But, I’m so glad that the author is going to write a sequel because I feel like there is more to Skye and Duke’s story. This book would’ve felt slightly unfinished had their story ended here.
If you want a book that tells you an emotional story that about love, fear, guilt and strength, then this is the book for you. I highly recommend you give it a read. I was going back and forth between 4 and 4.5 stars but as I finish this review, I think it is a solid 4.5 stars.