Genre: NA, Contemporary Romance
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I expected what you usually find in Adult Romance novels. But this book has a lot more heart to it and wasn’t nearly as focused on sex.
The book follows Romy who, after surviving an abusive relationship, is trying to get her life back. She joins a painting class for this reason. There she meets Caleb and feels a kinship with him because of his paintings. But Caleb has problems of his own and if he and Romy want a future, they will have to battle against their past and sort out their present.
Now, when I say Caleb has problems of his own, that’s a huge understatement. His life is pretty much a nightmare and the entire time I wanted to give him a hug and bake him cookies (even though I can’t bake). But most importantly, I wanted everyone to stop hurting him so much!
I can’t remember the last time I read someone who’d had such terrible luck in life.
And that’s where Romy came in. Sure, she was dealing with her past relationship, but she also cared about people and she wanted to help them. She helped Caleb a lot and he helped her as well. They were both there for each other, like a support system.
That was one my favourite things about the book; the relationship between Romy and Caleb was really good. They were both really supportive of each other and the issues in the book weren’t between them. They were a team dealing with external issues. It was refreshing to read and I really want to read something more like it.
Another important character in the book was Caleb’s sister, who lived with him. She was dealing with having had an abusive childhood and blamed Caleb for it. And I know I’m not supposed to say this about an emotionally scarred person, but I really didn’t like her. I wanted to yell at her and shake her for how she treated Caleb. She made me very angry.
The writing in the book was good and the pace didn’t lag. The story was consistently engaging as well. I’m not giving it five starts for some things in the beginning, like the cliché-ness of Caleb being the hottest guy Romy had ever seen. *eye roll*
I’m also not a huge fan of the ‘I need you’ dynamic. It just immediately makes me think co-dependence! even though I know it’s not. It’s just that, for me — someone with serious commitment issues driven by my need for independence and maintaining my individuality — co-dependence is as bad as it gets. But I assure you, the romantic relationship between Romy and Caleb was perfectly healthy.
But overall, this was a really good book and I want to read something else like this. I recommend checking it out.