by Nazarea Andrews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published on: 07/30/2015
Rike and Peyton fell in love in college.
A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.
They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn't work--and with their best friends, they made a life. Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.
They, more than anyone, knows that life doesn't go according to plan.
Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet's heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.
But what happens when the fairy tale doesn't fall apart--but is forgotten?
**This advanced copy was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review**
My Rating: 4 Coffee Cups!
I loved the fresh take and new spin on a kind of common storyline! Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Girl get amnesia. Sounds kind of contrite and unoriginal right? Nope WRONG. Nazarea Andrews takes this and turns it up a whole bunch of notches. This story is about Rike and Peyton. Quite literally the before and the after. This story is told in a dual POV (which I absolutely ADORED).
The Before: pretty much the story of how these two individuals met and fell in love is told from Rike's perspective. He takes you through the emotions of not only the extremely significant moments in their story (from their first meeting to the first time they did the deed to the intimate sharing of their dark pasts) but you also get a look at their day to day. The little things they did, the smiles they shared, the "less significant" moments. But they are moments that open your heart to their story even more.
“I’m not good for you, Fish.” I say.
She blinks, startled. “Did you just call me a fish?”
I nod and roll us. “It’s a quote I heard once. ‘People say there are other fish in the sea. I say, fuck you, she was my sea.’” I shrug. “It stuck with me.”
She propped herself up on my chest and gives me a frown. “Wouldn’t that make me the sea? Not a fish.”
I slap her ass lightly and she yelps, her eyes flying wide. “Shut up. Fish sounds better.”
The After: the story of how these two individuals handle the fallout of a horrific accident. This is told in Peyton's POV. This accident has erased years of memories. All of which include Rike, her best friend Lindsay and her boyfriend Scotty. You see and feel the confusion that emanates from her when she wakes up in the hospital bed. She needs to re-learn what her life is now, starting with figuring out who the guy holding vigil by her bedside is. And it's heartbreaking.
The alternating POVs make it so.
You learn a little sliver of their love story from Rike, only to watch the confusion of it from her end. You feel Rike's feelings of loss and hurt and devastation. He loves her, but he is trying to give her space and be patient. But you're not upset or frustrated at all with Peyton because you see inside her head and her emotions- which are confused at best. This story tugs your heart like a yo-yo. And this isn't even taking into account Scotty and Lindsay. The four are more than just friends, they are a family. The accident caused a ripple in all of their lives and although this is Peyton and Rike's story, you get a small glimpse into the fall out on Lindsay and Scotty's end as well.
The Before is beautiful and painful and sweet and sexy. It makes everything that they are going through in The After worth it. Every painful non-memory, every struggle with self identity, every frustration that Peyton feels is equally balanced with beautiful scenes from their past. Moments of hardships won, love realized, emotional barriers being broken down (and not to mention some super steamy scenes ;)). And the last few line before the epilogue. Let's just say I teared up with happiness. Because you will get invested. Really invested.
"And all of us are broken, all of us are flawed,
All of us have battles, and times when we fall
And I will love you always, with scars and broken heart
You’re beautiful and broken, my perfect girl."
Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.
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