Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.
Published January 21, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: paperback, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) Robin
used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in
bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT
girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell
her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone
until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way
that's good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when
he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no
business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet
smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or
that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be
a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that
it's a naïve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them
at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when
the past collides with the present…
I read nearly the entire True Believers series back-to-back because the stories in each book were each so good both by themselves, and as part of a larger story about four college friends who find love in unexpected men. Believe is the third book in the series, and it's plot was alluded to in Sweet, which was the second book in the series.
In Believe, Robin is struggling over the summer as she tries to come to grips with the fact that she slept with her best friend Kylie's long-term boyfriend when she was black-out drunk one night. She meets a kindred spirit in Phoenix, the cousin of Tyler and Riley, who are her other BFFs' boyfriends. Phoenix is going through his own stuff, having just got out of prison, so falling in love was way far down on his to-do list. But, eventually, Kylie comes back to start the new school year, and Robin will have to eventually own up to what happened.
The best part about Believe is that it's the first book in this series that is written in dual POV. It was such a delightful surprise when I read the first chapter from Phoenix's POV. At first he was a pretty broody and cranky guy (who wouldn't be after just getting out of the clink?), so it was nice to get a glimpse inside his head.
It was good that the main issue of Robin sleeping with Nathan, her BFF Kylie's boyfriend of over a year, wasn't glossed over or solved easily. This is a huge deal, as any girl can attest to. Normally, I'd automatically hate on the girl who would do that to a friend. But, in this case, I actually felt horrible for Robin. She was black-out drunk when it happened, and as soon as she realized what she had done, she made it clear to Nathan that it was a huge mistake and would never happen again. Even when he stalked her afterward, she never once led him on. And, Robin was so adversely affected by this one event that it set in motion some major changes to her life.
Phoenix never had been a drinker. So, when Robin swears off all alcohol forever, she finds it easy and comfortable to be with Phoenix. He's never going to pressure her to go have a drink at a bar. And, he's never going to look sideways at her when she goes for a Coke instead of a beer. Plus, they are both artistic and appreciate art and music. They really seemed to be pretty perfect for each other.
Except, both were harboring secrets. Robin didn't want to tell Phoenix about what happened with Nathan because she didn't want him to think she was a slut or a bad friend, even though she thought those things about herself. Phoenix didn't want Robin to know about his anger management problem that had landed him in prison in the first place. People warned both of them from starting a relationship together, but when things click with someone, you just have to find a way around the difficulties. And, most times, that only makes a couple stronger.
Of course, as you would expect, there comes a time when both of their situations blow up in their faces. Robin's drunken night with Nathan is discovered by everyone and Phoenix's rage is put on display. It was only after they each handle their situations badly that they realize that the first step to making your life better is to find a partner to help you with the hard stuff. When you try and go it alone is when you fall.
Believe was another awesome addition to the True Believers series, and after it was over, it was easy to move right on to the last book, Shatter, which is Kylie's story. More on that one soon.