ARC received in exchange for an honest review for SMI Bookclub.
Before I started on the newest installment to Cora Carmack’s bestselling series, I did a re-read of all the ones that came before. Going into Finding It, I was certain that Cade and Max were my favorites and there was no other couple Cora could create that I would love more. Within just a few chapters I realized how naïve I was. With each book, her characters increase with intensity and depth, and this couple takes the cake!So maybe, my new “friends” only wanted me for money and sex. It was better than not being wanted at all.
The unique thing about this series is that for a lot of the timeframe, they take place simultaneously. So while in each book all the characters appear, they are only front and center in their own book. I love being able to get each one’s perspectives. I will admit that going into this, I didn’t expect much out of Kelsey. She seemed like a spoiled rich girl who wasn’t serious about anything in life except having a good time. I am here to tell you that appearances can be deceiving and sometimes the people who appear to have it all together are really the ones falling apart. Some of us just wear our masks better than others. You don’t realize how small you really are until you’re faced with something like that. We live our lives as if we’re at the center of our own universe, but we’re just tiny pieces of a shattered whole.
After graduating from college, having no real direction in her life yet not ready to return home to begin life as a country club wife, Kelsey decides to take a year to explore Europe. Detesting being alone, she shuns nice hotels, choosing to stay in youth hostels instead. She meets new people daily and parties the night away, not caring about the consequences. After a few weeks, she starts to notice a handsome stranger, Hunt. Unknowingly coming from similar backgrounds, they push each other’s buttons relentlessly. “The best parts of life are the things we can’t plan. And it’s a lot harder to find happiness if you’re only searching in one place. Sometimes you just have to throw away the map. Admit that you don’t know where you’re going and stop pressuring yourself to figure it out. Besides…a map is a life someone else already lived. It’s more fun to make your own.”
Coming to the realization that this trip is not at all what she imagined, Kelsey decides to give up and go home. Enter Hunt. He challenges her to give him seven days to help her find an adventure. If she will do that for him, he will kiss her. You may think this is a weird arrangement for a girl who has seemingly slept her across Europe, but she wants Hunt so badly, and he won’t give her what she desires. That was where it started. Those soft touches. Each one pulled us a little closer. Each one gradually smudged that imaginary line between us. And soon, the pull between us wouldn’t just erase that line. It would obliterate it.
Immediately it because glaringly apparent that there was a magnetism between these two that rivaled all other couples. Despite how hard they each tried, how much they pushed each other away, they were drawn together like moths to a flame. Kindred spirits, they each had a heartbreaking story that unfolded throughout this journey. The only thing that would have made this story perfect for me is if it was told in dual POV. I LOVED that about Faking It, and was really hoping for the same with this book. That being said, as our couple fell in love, I fell right along with them. They have a novella coming soon, and I cannot wait to see what happens with them next. Top notch, heartbreaking, soul searching 5 star read for me!When you love someone, really love someone, it’s a lasting mark on your soul. There’s a lock on your heart that you’ll carry with you always. You may lose the key or give it away, but the lock stays with you all the same.