Monday, October 10, 2016

REVIEW: "In Ruins" by Danielle Pearl (New Adult Romance)

In Ruins
by Danielle Pearl

Publisher: Forever
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Publication Date: October 3, 2016

Series: Something More, #1
Standalone: Yes

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Description from Publisher:
She wanted to start again. To be someone --- anyone --- different . . .

Freedom. When Carleigh Stanger thought of college, that was the word that came to mind. Freedom from her unhappy home life. Freedom from high school mistakes. Freedom from the memory of that terrible morning. Only instead of bringing a sweet escape, Carleigh's first campus party traps her in the scornful gaze of the last person she wants to see, Tucker Green.

It wasn't long ago that being close to Carleigh was everything Tucker wanted. But that was before he realized she was just another scheming girl who'd do whatever it took to get her way. Even lie to the guy she claimed to love. Unfortunately while Tucker's brain remembers the pain Carleigh caused, his body only remembers the pleasure . . .
My Rating:
Heat Rating:

My Musings:
This is a truly excellent second-chance romance!

Tucker and Carleigh are freshman just starting college after very recently breaking up. Carleigh shoulders basically all of the guilt, but tries to push through it and enjoy the "typical college experience." Tucker is a lacrosse player (off-season for this story, so there are only a few sports references) with a jealous streak, who is also trying to move on from what he feels was a betrayal.

And that's about as much as I'm going to tell you because everything in this is unraveled expertly from the first page, using a mix of flashbacks and explanations from Tuck and Carl. There are several twists and turns as we get the bigger picture of the very tangled web that was actually *not* woven by our two leads. I did have an inkling or two about some of the twists, but very few were immediately obvious and this turned out to be much more thoughtful and suspenseful than I had expected!

I really did thoroughly enjoy how their relationship and breakup were revealed, slowly and in chunks. It made me a bit sad for them at first, seeing how close they had been and how sweetly things came together for them before they blew up! Both of their feelings and actions as they are dealing with the aftermath of their breakup felt spot-on.

This is set on a college campus and I definitely got an excellent sense of their college life and it felt very authentic. There is a good amount of discussion woven in about sexual assault, date rape, and how important blatant consent is, including an interesting angle of getting that message across. This book sells that message incredibly well on multiple levels and I think it's perfect and incredibly relevant for a New Adult book.

Besides the undeniable connection these two have, there is also some sizzling hot chemistry and a variety of both sweet sex scenes, "angry" "hate" sex scenes, and many in-between. There is no denying that these two are burn-down-the-house HOT together!!

I would highly recommend this to fans of the New Adult Romance genre!

My Source: I received a digital ARC from the publisher to voluntarily review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is unbiased and my 100% own.

About Danielle Pearl
Danielle Pearl is the Amazon and iBooks bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who--luckily--doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary Romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.
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