New Adult Romance published March 10, 2015
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Synopsis from Goodreads
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.My Thoughts...
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
I have to start out this review by saying that I love Colleen Hoover's writing and so far I have loved all her books immensely. I was so excited to get the ARC of this book (even though it wasn't a print copy), the cover is beautiful and fitting, but I do feel like the blurb is a little misleading. More specifically, the last line of the blurb is misleading, but I will get into that with my review. I ended up giving this book a 3.5 star rating, which I always round up on Goodreads, but I think it's important to point out that it's not a full 4 star rating. I didn't, however, feel the need to give it the lower rating of 3 stars.
There is always something unique about each of Colleen's books and this one is no exception. In fact, I think that with the addition of the artwork she's stepped up her game. However, my ARC version for kindle didn't include the artwork so it's hard for me to say with certainty. I am a little annoyed that all of the early ebook reviewers got shortchanged when the artwork does seem to be a good part of the story. Such is the reality when reviewing from an ARC copy I guess.
There isn't much I can say about the plot of the story with out spoiling it so I'm not going to go into any great detail there. The whole beginning of the novel is really vague as well. We know that Auburn has just recently moved to Texas, but we don't know why. She needs more money than she is currently making at her job as a hairdresser, but we don't know why. We do know that she doesn't particularly care for her job though, which is odd because she's so young she would have just recently graduated from beauty school. Another vague part of the beginning. She's walking home, thinking about how she needs a 2nd job when she sees a Help Wanted sign in the window of a building she walks by every day. This happens to be an Art Studio owned by the other main character Owen. Owen is an artist who paints anonymous confessions and he makes a very good living doing so. He only needs her to work a couple hours one night a month and he pays really well, so Auburn can't pass that up.
There is a bit of unbelievable "love at first sight" here, but at the same time they are both a little hesitant. They both have a lot of secrets holding them back. Here is where I had problems with this story.... Auburn was super hard for me to connect with because she doesn't stand up for herself. She thinks that she has to bend to what other people want or she won't get the one thing she wants most. She's doing everything to please others, when what she really needs to do is take control over her own life. I did like Owen, I just felt like his character could have been developed a little better. With regards to that last line of the blurb, it's almost like that was written before the book was written and then she forgot to make sure it was true to the actual plot. It sounds amazing on paper, but in reality it's a let down when you find out what his "secrets" really are.
I think that the whole story was too rushed and when the climax/resolution happens it's just kind of hurried and done behind the scenes. Suddenly, she finds her backbone, but we never see that happen, it just happens and then the book is over. There are all these loose ends that just disappear and suddenly it's all resolved. There are people in the story who need to have consequences for the actions they take, but instead it's all just dismissed and I don't think this bodes well for the overall feel of the story. It left me with an uneasy feeling in the end.
This is a New Adult novel so there are some love scenes, although they are as heavily descriptive as the ones in her last novel Ugly Love. There is also some profanity, but not really more than a couple of words. If you are a fan of this genre then I would say that this is probably a book you will want to read, especially if you are a fan of Colleen's.
*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*