Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Perception is everything to sixteen-year-old Olivia Brown. With her freakishly hot boyfriend, volunteer work at the local animal shelter, successful beauty channel on YouTube, and well-earned spot on X Factor Cheer's elite level five Diamond Girl team, Livvie's the girl every other girl wants to be. At least, that's the illusion she's aiming for.
But Livvie's seemingly perfect life is anything but. Lying about the bruises her boyfriend gives her, and cowering beneath his raging temper becomes a regular way of life until she unwittingly witnesses her drunken neighbor beating his step-son, the town bad boy, Reid Tate.
For Reid, vulnerability is the enemy. Opening up, and letting people in gives them the power to disappoint. Growing up with a co-dependent mother and an abusive alcoholic father, Reid has endured all the disappointment he can stomach.
But when his pretty, do-good neighbor witnesses his step-dad beat him to within an inch of his life, and not only call the cops, but keeps quiet at school about what she saw, Reid wonders if maybe, just maybe, he's found someone he can finally trust.
Elisa Dane did another amazing job at tackling tough issues in a way that just worked so well!!
Livvie Brown, cousin to Nev from Ex-Factor, is a strong-willed, sassy girl. But, the longer she is with her controlling boyfriend J.P. the more she changes to make him happy. When she starts hiding the bruises and making excuses for him, she knows it’s time to get out. The only problem is J.P. refuses to take no for an answer.
Reid Tate has always pushed people away, not wanting anyone to see the crappy home life he has. But when his abusive step-dad takes things a little too far one night, and Livvie is there to help- he can’t help but want to get close to her and finally let someone in.
“You’re my smile, Cookie. I want you all to myself.”
I really enjoyed this story! Livvie and Reid had a great connection and were able to “save” and comfort each other from so much; they just worked so well together. I was also happy that we got to reconnect with characters from the first book. My only complaint was the “tense” situation that occurred (trying to keep it spoiler free) had such a build up, but I felt like it ended and was resolved a little too quickly. It left me wanting more.
I love the flow of Elisa’s writing and can’t wait to read more from her!