By Rachael Wade
Date Published: April 8, 2012
Published by: Rabbit Hole Press
Review by Wendy Dawn
“In Summation”:Fear is sabotage's sweetest weapon.
Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can't afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else's complicated baggage.
When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell's creative writing class, he is only "Mr. Campbell" to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor.
But underneath Ryan's abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can't stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they're willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That's if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don't pummel their efforts first.
“The Reviews are in”:A truly inspiring novel. Ms. Wade draws readers into the story of two damaged people who have erected walls around their hearts so tall and so thick…they are enshrined at Fort Knox (well what most people imagine Fort Knox is like).
Written from Kate’s point of view, you are allowed to see how childhood drama and trama continue to affect her into adulthood. However, before the prologue there is an insight to Ryan’s point of view. This is placed so readers don’t feel so lost, giving you a clue as to why he is who he is, until you hear his voice in the next installment of the series.
Ryan closes himself off after emotional damage done to him by his fiance. He has the world at his feet only to have it all taken away in the matter of minutes. This causes him to shut down emotionally.
“Trust me, you’ll survive. You get attached easily, love easily. There are plenty of pathetic women out there just begging for a Romeo like you; plenty of them willing to put up with your joke of a career. I’m not one of them.” ~Jamie to Ryan after he catches her cheating on him.
As a character, Ryan is a smart-ass college professor and a man whore. After being cheated on and broken hearted he decided a woman would hurt him, “Nevermore”. He is not very discriminate with his choice of partners, students are not off limits to him. But he sees something more in Kate. He is surprised she is not just a pretty face to him.
“You’re a natural-born storyteller, Kate. And this,” He pointed to the papers in my hand, “is great writing.” ~Ryan to Kate, talking as her professor about a writing assignment.
Ryan is determined not to treat Kate as he has so many women in his past. He slowly lets down his walls with her. Although she keeps her walls up, they slowly crumble brick by brick. At times she will put a brick back only to have him take it away. Ryan’s past indiscressions interfere with Kate’s trust and ability to let him past her defenses.
Kate is written as a woman who has grown up way to fast. She has been the adult in her mother/daughter relationship with her very ill mother. Her father abandoned them, leaving her with abandonment issues.
Female friends are too much work for her. Her best friends are two guys, Carter and Dean. Both are attracted to her and love her, but she only sees them as brothers and wants to be seen as one of the guys by them. They are fun loving guys that will have you laughing at many of their antics.
Eventhough, female friends are not Kate’s thing she is most influenced by he mother’s lack of mothering, her mother’s unrequited wanderlust and a mother figure she had growing up symbolized by a rabbit pendant on a necklace that once belonged the briefly mentioned woman.
I held the atlas in one hand and the necklace in the other, remnants of the women who’d shaped me, pieces that would haunt and feed me until the end of my days. ~Kate reflecting on her influences and who she is now.
Kate longs to be a writer, Ryan is a writing professor who lost his publishing chance. Together they inspire each other and push each other in intellectual ways as well as emotional.
“Oh, were all writers here, darling,” he joked in a stuffy, dignified tone, “we all have a little edge, and we’re all mad, anyway, didn’t you know?” ~Ryan to Kate as they dance at a writers conference and discuss his Poe inspired raven tattoos.
Bad choice and control issues keep these two characters from fully committing to the relationship. How they handle their problems with have you crying and aching right along with them. These are such well developed and well written characters you can’t help but become emotionally attached and invested in their story.
“When you want to learn, sometimes you have to take risks. Someone might laugh at you; your feelings might get hurt. But then you’ll feel good because you were brave enough to try.” ~Kate to Nanette, a child she is tutoring in St. Lucia.
Risk taking, writing and being brave enough to try. These things make up Kate and Ryan as professionals. Risk taking, bravery and vunerablity is what they have to try to become whole and be able to have relationship. Can they do it? Will they be able to lay their past down and try?
The Ratings*:Hero: 4.5
Story/Plot/HEA: 5*The rating system is based on 1-5, 5 being the best and 1 the worst.
Hero - The main male character of the story. Heroine - The main female character of the story. Story/Plot/HEA (Happy Ever After) - The over all story line and culmination of the main plot or theme.