June 8, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Scorched (Frigid #2)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Scorched (Frigid #2), by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publish Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Format: ARC, obtained from the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Sometimes life leaves a mark…

Most days, Andrea doesn’t know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he’s a major player, and they can’t get along for more than a handful of minutes. Until now.

Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She’s teetering on the edge and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.

Andrea’s life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn’t matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she’s speeding toward rock bottom, only she can save herself.

Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after…

I have read all but two of Jennifer L. Armentrout's books, so she is, without a doubt, one of my most favorite authors. I like the stories she tells. I like the characters that she creates. And, now I can say that I like her even more because she isn't afraid of the hard subjects, and she certainly does them justice. 

It's obvious to anyone that Andrea isn't doing so well. She seems to be lacking direction, and she doesn't handle stress or stressful situations in healthy ways. Her bestie Sydney is truly worried about her, but she doesn't want to overstep her bounds, so she watches her friend implode in relative silence. That's not Tanner's style, though. He absolutely grates on Andrea's nerves, mostly because he's not afraid to call her out on her behavior. When Sydney and Kyler invite Tanner and Andrea along with them on a trip to a cabin in the woods, Andrea has a feeling that the issues between she and Tanner are about to either take a turn for the better or a turn for the worst. 

In the beginning of SCORCHED, I thought I knew what Andrea's problem was going to be. I mean, how many new adult characters have a crappy relationship with their parents or a traumatic event that happened in their childhood that caused some long-lasting effects on their young adult life? So, of course Andrea is the same right? It's because of some horrific thing that she drinks too much and has panic attacks, right? 

I'm not going to spoil the book for you, but I will tell you that it was this driving belief that kept me plowing through this book, trying to get to that place where she comes clean on what happened to her. Especially after Tanner proved himself to be such an alpha protective man. I wanted to get to that place where he scares all the bad things away and causes the sun to come out in Andrea's life. I love that part in books - it makes me all warm and fuzzy and happy inside. 

I'm telling you right now - this book is non-traditional in many ways. 

Scorched is a book that demonstrates the importance of the girl saving herself. In Andrea's case, it's a necessity. As much as Tanner wants to shoulder it all for her and save her from what's causing her so much sadness and pain, he just can't. It drives him crazy, too. If their time together in the cabin taught him anything, it's that Andrea is so much more than he thought she was. She's funny and smart and snarky, and she's definitely someone who could finally cause him to turn away from his manwhore player ways. When he realizes how much Andrea means to him, and that not everything is right in her life, every fiber of his being wants to help her. Protect her. Save her. 

Andrea feels like a hot mess. She does the best she can with the help of alcohol and anti-anxiety meds. But, the effects never last. When she meets Tanner, she's never before been so motivated to feel better about herself. She wants to get over her self-loathing and finally get control of her mind, her emotions... her LIFE, for both her sake and for Tanner's. She hates feeling that way, and knowing Tanner's gotten around doesn't help quell the insecurities always present in her head. She know she should tell him all about how she feels, but she is afraid that it will drive him away. So, she suffers in silence and hopes for the best. 

Did he even really know me? The answer to that question was what scared me the most. I didn't think that he did know me. At least not the "me" that existed when there were quiet moments, and that was a "me" I didn't know how to deal with.

As you can imagine, Andrea's desire to keep her problems to herself and Tanner's driving need to fix her cause a clash of epic proportions. This clash sets the stage for the last part of the book which was incredibly emotional. I believe this is the most emotional book by Jennifer Armentrout I've ever read. The particular topic she tackles in this book isn't one I read about often, and in the books I've read, it's never been dealty with so frankly. Kudos to Jen for dealing with the tough stuff and for doing it right. There is no quick fix for Andrea. The love of a good man is not going to make the sunshine come out in her life and chase away all the shadows. Jennifer reinforces this again and again, and highlights the importance of having someone in your life to walk BESIDE you when things are hard.  

Scorched was absolutely incredible. It's told in dual POV, which was absolutely necessary for this story. I loved it so much, but not because it was super romantic or sweet. I loved it because it made me feel - A LOT. Don't get me wrong - there is definitely romance in Scorched. And heat - Tanner and Andrea are... well, scorching. But, what Andrea goes through - what she's thinking, mostly about herself - is heart wrenching and devastating. I loved watching Andrea on her journey to self improvement, and I loved watching Tanner go through a sort of self-discovery along side her. This book will definitely affect you in all the best ways.  


Unknown said...

Krista, I love this review! I am even MORE excited for this one now! I love how you said that it isn't a quick fix with Andrea and that the love of a good man isn't going to save her. I love books that have a more realistic tone, so I think I'm going to love this one. I can't wait to get my hands on this one! And we see Kyler and Syd again? Yay!

KP Simmon said...

Love, Love, Love. Thank you, Krista!