Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 21st 2013
Author: Anna Cruise
Format: Mobi/ebook given by author for review
Just going by the cover I assumed this book would be all hot surfers and hotter sex! The cover is yummy so you can see why I felt that way right? What I got in return was a much deeper and emotional story than just a hot sexy surfer with lickable abs.
When the book opens Kellen is in the process of kicking out his one night stand in a hurry to get to a surfing competition. Right away you can tell he has a "Kiss My Ass" attitude about everything. From the girls, to the surfing to the drinking he does daily. You would think with all of that going on he wouldn't be able to perform adequately but when it comes to surfing, Kellen nails it every time. On the heels of his most recent win he gets caught up in some barroom drama and throws a punch that almost costs him his career, until his management steps in and hires Gina as his PR rep. She has to help keep him out of trouble and clean up his image which is hard to do when Kellen is still grieving the loss of his best friend six months prior and gives zero f**ks about his image. What he doesn't know is that Gina has a secret of her own that keeps her locked away from the outside world focusing only on her work. The more closely Kellen and Gina work together, the more the attraction between them grows but they have to overcome their pasts if they want to be together.
I was highly surprised by this book, so much so that when I found myself crying a little throughout I was Like WTF? For Kellen to lose his best friend in a surfing accident was heartbreaking because not only did he love surfing but he loved his best friend. Watching him try to cope with the grief of thinking it was his fault was the hardest part. Of course he does the usual things guys do to hide the pain, he bangs trashy women and drinks more than any human should But I loved how resilient his character was. Even though he was wasted 90% of the times he surfed in competitions, he still managed to focus his attention to get the job done. The second hardest part was watching him slowly fall for Gina only to have to watch her keep herself locked down hoping she didn't further damage poor Kellen's heart. I loved his character, he was cocky, arrogant and a total douche at first but the more layers you chipped away, the more you understood where he was coming from.
Gina's character on the other hand remained somewhat of a mystery for most of the book. As the story unfolds you find out she loved and lost someone too but you don't find out the entire story until almost the end. I loved that these two broken people found each other by chance and helped each other heal. Gina had some family problems that wounded her very deeply and ultimately became the reason she guarded herself from Kellen. My heart broke for her once I found out what happened and I just wanted to hug this poor girl. She didn't just lose one person she loved, no she lost two people due to the circumstances surrounding the events that took place. Despite Kellen losing his best friend, I think Gina's loss tugged at my heart more because like I said it was a double whammy for her. She was what a good female character was made of though, she too was resilient and strong, determined and feisty. She didn't take Kellen's shit and seeing him do a complete 180 just by having her around was both hilarious and fun!
I didn't realize that the points of view would change so when the book started I was confused and had to stop and figure out whose eyes I was looking through at first. The POV's switched from Gina to Kellen without much warning so it was a little jarring even for a seasoned reader such as myself. I think the character's names should have gone at the top of the chapters just to make it less confusing. The characters share an electric chemistry and when the time came for their steamy scene I felt like it was a little all over the place. It seemed like some things were repeated a couple of times and that took away a little of the focus on the romance aspect for me. It wasn't that it was bad, I just felt like with a little bit of tightening up it could have been spot on.
Seriously though I really liked this book. It had heart, drama, romance and funny moments to break up the tension between the characters. Kellen and Gina's story was done beautifully and left me feeling like I just read something significant. This was my first experience with reading an Anna Cruise book but I know it won't be my last. Maverick may appear to be about a hot surfer with gorgeous tanned skin, but with this book there was definitely more than meets the...abs.
My eyes traveled the length of her body and I drew a quick breath. At least I hadn't been so drunk that I'd brought some sea hag back to my room. I could have done worse. Much, much worse. Loc. 40
"I'm not even sure if you care about your reputation, about getting back on the tour. But I know one thing. Nothing gives you the right to fuck with me. So you can save your little seductions for women who give a shit about you. Because I don't.” Loc. 1525
“He was face down. Leash was still on him, but no board. We never found it. We got him to shore, but...you just know.” Loc. 2156
About The Author:
A little about me. I have been writing and drooling over boys since middle school. Lots of years have passed but some things never change... IT WAS YOU is my debut novel but I have a lot more in store this year -- two YA novels and two more NA novels, including Tana's story!