Friday, July 26, 2013

Caught In A Jam (Love & Skate #4) by Lila Felix {Review}

Genre: YA/Mature Young Adult
Expected Publication Date: Summer 2013
Series: Love & Skate #4
Format: Beta/ARC
Source: Provided by author for review

I’ve loved her since we were kids. But loving someone gets tough when they don’t love you back. Nixon Black has made mistakes. He made one mistake that would change his life forever. Now he’s working and in school—and he’s got a three year old. He gave up dating when Scout was born, but every night he retreats to another life in his mind, one he could’ve had with her. Journey spent her formative years on the arm of any boy that didn’t expect anything out of her. She was hiding from the one person who did expect something in return—Nixon. Years after being cheated on and dumped for the last time, she takes a job at a daycare center where there’s a genius of a ginger haired girl whose last name is Black. But the roles have been reversed and Journey is no longer Nixon’s first priority. Can he make room for the new Journey? And when he does, will he be able to forgive the old one?

My Take:

I am usually a sucker for sweetheart stories. Childhood, High School or otherwise but Caught IN A Jam isn't your ordinary sweetheart story. Nixon Black has been in love with Journey Holt for a long time. And for a long time he suffered in silence with his unrequited love while Journey cried on his shoulder about every other guy that broke her heart. After years of waiting for her to come to her senses Nixon decides to move on and try to live without her but he has a constant reminder of just how much he loves her staring him in the face everyday. When Journey unexpectedly comes back into the picture Nixon has to do what's best for his daughter and puts his feelings for her aside. 

I loved Nixon in Down N Derby. He was hilarious and fun and brought such life to the story. His devotion to his family is very endearing of his character and watching him help Maddox figure things out was amazing. Nixon faces his own struggles in this chapter of the series. This one takes place 3 years after D&D with him trying to overcome the death of his mother and raise a child alone after a one night stand changed his life. Seeing Nixon with a child was unexpected and so incredibly sweet. He was such a loving, caring and nurturing father and it warmed my heart finding out how he came to have full custody. Having Scout settled him down tremendously and he stepped up to the plate and took care of his responsibilities making him a hero in my book. Not many guys would take on a child single handled when the mother bails but Nixon did. Granted he had the help and support of his loving family but from birth to present he was a solid, stand up guy.

Journey's character was one of those females that will have you mixed up throughout the story. For fans of the series who are already attached to Nixon, it may be hard to warm up to her due to all the stress she caused our Nixon. Most of her behavior can be played off as teenage angst but the majority was just her being scared. It's never easy to transition from being close friends to going beyond that threshold into something deeper at the risk of losing your friend. That reason alone is what had me sympathetic for Journey. Not only did Nixon love her throughout their friendship but she also had deep feelings for him but wasn't ready to take that step from friends to lovers. She ran from it for years and jumped from one guy to the next always trying to find someone who wasn't like Nixon. I understood where she came from and even though it hurt seeing her hurt Nixon, I enjoyed watching her grow up and come to terms with her mistakes and prove to him she could be what he needed. I loved watching her accept and adore his daughter Scout the closer they got. She could have chosen to use that as another excuse to run away but she was determined to earn both Nixon and Scout's trust and love.

Felix steps up the drama even more in this installment of the series in the form of Storey's abusive ex boyfriend Simon. Storey we find out, has become almost a surrogate mother to Nixon's daughter Scout and has been there since she was a baby. When Simon sees her with Scout he assumes that the child is hers and with him being unstable he uses that as fuel to his already raging fire of jealousy. This part of the story turned out to be pretty intense. I wasn't expecting Simon to become such a catalyst in the book but his presence is felt lurking throughout and you can tell he was just biding his time as you kept reading. I had every right to be anxious because he does something to upset the balance of the entire family that shakes their foundation.

 But as with the theme of the other books in the series Felix shows once again that a strong family built on love, trust, devotion and heart always wins out no matter what comes against them. I have said it before and I will say it again, I absolutely adore this family. They are all a fierce, close knit group that stands behind every member of the family no matter what comes. With some new additions to the clan there are even more reasons to love them and fall for this world Felix draws you into. The absolute star of the book was hands down Nixon's daughter Scout. She was funny and highly intelligent and kept everyone around her on her toes with her quick wit and sarcasm. I loved the way she was written to be so young but come across as so smart and wise for her age. Watching her confound an entire group of adults was such a real thing that only a child can do. Anyone with kids can appreciate how a child can say something so simple yet bring a conversation to a halt with it's depth. Scout had several moments in this book that brought honesty and emotion into the mix. I really enjoyed that she was such a strong presence in this book without taking anything away from it.

The story of Journey and Nixon while tough in some places and romantic in others was a wonderful addition to the series. This couple proved that time and distance can actually strengthen a relationship where the foundation was built on friendship first. I enjoyed watching them fall in love all over again throughout this book and the way the author wraps everything up leading into the next story was fantastic! Caught In A Jam gave me everything I wanted it to be and more. The endearing romance, the heartwarming family dynamic and the humor are just a few of the things that make this story a perfect fit for this series.

“I know all about your rules about guys and I also know every date you went on and every broken heart.  But I love you, not your past or the mistakes you’ve made.  Just like I hope you love me, not my mistakes.  Because my mistakes have made me who I am today. Beta/Arc 35%

“Tell me you love me as much as I love you.  Tell me you think about me every hour, on the hour and every minute between.  Tell me you want me to take you to your bed, not to sleep.” Beta/ARC 60%

"When you need me I'm there. When you're sad, my shoulder is yours. You and Scout are my sun. I will revolve around my girls, always." Beta/ARC 86%

About The Author:
Lila Felix made the decision to write a book after being encouraged by friends. She is a stay at home mom to three wild children and three boisterous dogs. Between writing books she loves read and watch sappy 80's movies. Favorite things: ice cream, anything purple, roller derby and any kind of music she can get her hands on. If you're looking for her, try looking under Cypress trees in the swamps of Louisiana.



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