Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree

PerfectlyUndone

Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree

A stirring debut rife with intoxicating family secrets and dazzling insights into our most basic desires, Perfectly Undone offers an intimate, uncensored exploration of forgiveness and fidelity, in all its forms, as a young doctor struggles with her sister’s death—and the role she played in it—while her own picture-perfect relationship and promising career unravel around her.

Yes is such a little word…

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no?

For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it.

Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a the courage to define her own happiness before her life becomes perfectly undone?

Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places.

Sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself

As I start my review, I still can’t believe this book is from a debut author. This book has vivid imagery, but the author is skilled enough to know when to pull back and when to push the reader. The story is beautiful, painful, and yet manages to ride the line between the two.

Our story starts with Dylan and her boyfriend, Cooper. Both are successful doctors, and Cooper and Dylan have been together for nine years. Cooper is ready for the next steps but Dylan is just sort of existing. She isn’t unhappy, she isn’t happy. She isn’t really anything. Personally, Dylan’s character worked for me. I understood her immediately and I feel like a lot of other women will too.

Normally, books with the main character having some mysterious secret really irk me. Mainly because when the secret comes out, it’s never as big as the story built it up to be. With this story, however, Dylan’s secret regarding her sister’s death seems less about the secret as the story goes on and more about forgiveness, of others and oneself. I appreciated this because it made the secrets more dynamic and more about moving on and how we heal versus being about a big confession and then the characters just automatically feel better.

This book was truly wonderful. It made me think, it made me cry, and this author definitely made me open my heart while reading this book. The way ideas and feelings are presented caused me to open my eyes a bit and really see things from a different perspective. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who wants real characters with real life problems, and anyone who believes in the power of forgiveness and love.

 

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The Alexa Series by T.R. Cupak

Alexa Crushed by TR Cupak

Alexa Morgan lost her mother when she was two. At eighteen, her father and stepmother died when a devastating earthquake hit the Bay Area. Only one person has remained a constant in her life: Devin.

Devin has been Alexa’s best friend since childhood. The two are inseparable—or they were until Devin declared his love for her at sixteen. When Alexa can offer him only friendship in return, Devin retreats, brokenhearted.

Alexa, on the other hand, longs for Ethan, the boy next door. Four years older than her, and with an ever-changing roster of girlfriends, Ethan is everything Devin isn’t: wild, sensual, and unpredictable.

In the aftermath of the deadly earthquake, Ethan makes his move on Alexa, who reciprocates in a confused whirl of grief and desire. When Ethan leaves town the next day, Devin comes back into Alexa’s life, offering support and expecting nothing in return.

Alexa begins to see the advantages of Devin’s quiet, stable love. Can she get past the friendship hang-up while trying to forget bad boy Ethan? It’s a choice that changes her life forever.

Alexa Loved by TR Cupak

After her parents died during her senior year of high school, Alexa Morgan is completely alone in the world—except for her best-friend-turned-boyfriend Devin, identical twins Becca and Jessa, and Sebastian, a mysterious associate of her father’s.

Upon graduation, Alexa wants nothing more than to move on with her life, go to college, and forget all the hard and hurtful things from her tragic past. But when her first love, Ethan, shows up on her doorstep—the night before she’s supposed to meet Devin in Miami—it kicks off a whirlwind of events that threatens the good and stable things she’s worked so hard to achieve.

Ethan and Alexa shared one night of passion before he disappeared, leaving her bewildered and confused. But now he’s back, declaring that he loves her and that the only reason he left was to protect her from his malicious stepmother, Olivia.

In her heart, Alexa knows she loves Devin, but her attraction to Ethan is so strong she can’t help but be drawn in by their shared chemistry. Meanwhile, the threat of Olivia lurks around the edges, casting a menacing shadow over everything and everyone Alexa loves.

It’s double review time over on the blog! I was contacted by the very kind TR Cupak and asked if I was interested in reviewing her Alexa series. I was definitely happy to do so. Before I even knew she was an author, I actually had the chance to meet the author and she is beyond kind. So if you get to meet her, take the opportunity to do so!

Let me start by being entirely honest and saying I didn’t necessarily love the start of the story. Its necessary for the reader to see, but it just wasn’t one of my favorite parts. I want to state that up front because there was a part of me that just wanted to stop. But I kept reading and it was worth it. The reason the beginning was just a little off for me was that I kept getting distracted by the timeline.

We see Alexa moving to her new neighborhood and meeting Devin as a little girl. But then when she later moves, she and Devin can skype, text, and use facebook. Then as time goes on, things are still really the same. Maybe I was getting too engrossed in that but then I kept wondering what time frame we were in. I think the characters moved forward but other things stayed constant. This led me to keep thinking I missed something.

When the story really gets moving though, that is when this author shines. If I’m being entirely fair, I’d love to see this author really do more suspense because when the story kept moving and different people were moving in and out, I enjoyed the story a lot and really could feel the author’s passion for the story come through.

My opinions on the second book, Alexa Loved, are really scattered. I had so much respect for a newer author taking risks with her characters and pushing the reader into areas that we probably don’t want to venture into. Alexa hasn’t had a bad life but her life has certainly had many terrible moments in it. I admired that her character, in particular, is thrown into so many situations. We see Alexa with the love of her family, then we see her growing into a woman, and then we see her as an adult and dealing with adult situations. It was a great evolution of her character.

I won’t say more about the second book other than it is a major rollercoaster. A rollercoaster you want to ride. Some of the twists and turns in this book totally threw me off because I was not expecting it. Again, this made me have a lot of respect for the author.

I would definitely recommend this series and author. In particular, if you love New Adult series with some twists, you will really enjoy Alexa, Devin, and Ethan. I have always loved reading new authors because I truly do enjoy seeing them evolve as writers. Seeing this writer evolve in two books was so awesome to read and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with in the future.

Games (The Dangerous Games Book 1) by Brianne Day

gamescover

Games by Brianne Day

9 months away from Audrey’s ex didn’t seem like long enough.

Audrey thought she had been able to let go. She had tried so hard but the scarring wasn’t just skin deep, he had marred her soul. After a moment of weakness Carson is back but at what cost? Her life or someone that she loves?

Brock has it all figured out until his thoughtlessness lands him on Audrey doorstep. Clothed Audrey would have been hard enough to resist but half naked Audrey? No chance.

He struggles with accepting the new whirlwind of emotions she invokes in him and getting involved with her psychotic ex. But when Audrey’s life is on the line, just how far will he go to protect the woman he can’t stop thinking about?

Author Brianne Day is a new author to me. But when I was given a chance to read this book, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity. This story is available in paperback right now, but there is an ebook release scheduled for December 6th, 2016.

I liked the overall concept of this book. From the synopsis, we know that Audrey has an insane ex, named Carson. Audrey meets Brock through her sister, Ari. Brock happens to be a mechanic and runs his own garage, and he’s helping Audrey with her broken down truck.

I really liked Brock’s character. I thoroughly enjoyed his character, and I loved how sweet he was. Brock is truly a thoughtful guy. Another aspect I appreciated was that even though he is trying to figure out what is happening, in regards to the ex, his feelings for Audrey don’t waiver.

Audrey’s character was a bit harder for me to like. I think part of that is because she sort of keeps letting Carson back in her life at certain points. It was somewhat hard to understand her true intent. I know that part of that may be the portrayal of someone who has been abused, but it still did confuse me a bit.

Based on what I just said, I will say I wished this book was longer. Its listed as being 150 pages on Amazon. The story did move quickly, which I liked. I think I just felt it was a bit too much story for such a physically shorter story. I truly enjoyed the concept, I just wish that it could have developed even more.

Overall, I did enjoy this story. I was definitely able to stay interested in the story throughout, and I am excited to read more from this new author.