- Publisher: Simon & Schuser Audio
- Publication date: 6/4/2013
- Format: Audiobook
- Read by: Elizabeth Louise
- Length: 7 hours 23 minutes
- Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review.
From New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Emily Snow: Hollywood starlet Willow Avery is out of rehab, with only one chance left to redeem herself before she’s officially on every director’s blacklist……At least, that’s what her parents and her agent are claiming. She doesn’t really give a damn if she never makes another movie—she just wants to get on with her life, get back to her friends, and find her next escape. But Willow is broke. And whether she likes it or not, acting is the only job she knows how to do.
When she accepts the lead in a beach drama, set in Hawaii, Willow meets Cooper, the gorgeous Australian surfer who’s been hired to train her for her new role. With the bluest eyes she’s ever seen and the sexiest accent she’s ever heard, Cooper’s different from the men she’s used to. He doesn’t want to use her. And he refuses to let her fail.
But when an old friend re-enters Willow’s life—a friend whose toxic presence reminds her of the painful memories and deadly habits she’s tried so hard to suppress—Willow will have to choose between the girl she was and the person she’s becoming…or she may lose the man she’s starting to love
Going into this, I was pretty confident I would like it. It sounded like a great story. A bit typical to New Adult, but still interesting. It was very raw and emotional and I really loved that aspect of it. Yes, it has the Hot guy, insecure girl thing going on to an extent, but they are both much more damaged than you would think upon first meeting them. I loved how it wasn't like an instant romance either. The characters got to know each other, they were well developed, and they were good for each other. I did guess the secret that Willow was hiding pretty early on, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. I wanted to know how it would come out. That along with some other big secrets that both of them were keeping made for an amazing story about learning to heal yourself.
Willow was not a very easy character to connect to, but I was able to really feel for her. She's lived a pretty messed up life being an actress from an early age. Every mistake she's made has been right out there for the media to see. All the partying, the drugs, the rehab. Basically everything that has destroyed her. What hasn't been in the public is the one major secret she is hiding that makes her want to lose herself in the oblivion that drugs bring. She is an extremely broken person. Yes, she's been to rehab and back, she's still working in Hollywood, but the lack of her parents respect and affection, plus every aspect of her life being controlled for her isn't helping her to get better. That's where Cooper comes in. She really does struggle, but I like that it wasn't simple. She does have set backs, but she learns and grows from them.
Cooper is just awesome!! He makes it clear that she is what he wants, but only when she is ready. He doesn't want to screw things up with her. He has his own secrets too. He's broken, but in a different way. He really does care about her, and she isn't just some fling to him. He wants to help her get where she needs to be mentally. He won't push her or force her to tell her about her past. He wants her to open up willingly and trust him. The secrets he has aren't anything that he thinks really would affect her, and some of it is stuff that he doesn't intentionally hide, but he doesn't come right out and tell her. Even when she messes up, he doesn't turn on her like everyone else in her life has, but he is there more. He stands by her through everything that she is struggling with, even when it directly affects him in a negative way. He feels like as long as they care for each other, they can get through whatever life throws at them, whether it's their broken pasts, or what the future might hold. I absolutely loved Cooper!!
The romance was done really well. It progressed slowly and seemed very real to me. It wasn't easy, and that's why it worked. They were fighting a constant battle with themselves and outside influences. Willow is scared to be hurt again like she has been in the past, and Cooper doesn't want her to think that he is just using her. They need to learn to trust each other and to not be afraid.
The narrator for the audio captured Willows voice very well. I could really feel the emotion of the things she was going through. I wanted to comfort her, I wanted to help her not fall again. She also did Cooper very well too. The accent came through great. It was easy to tell the character's dialogue from one another. I have listened to books done by this narrator before and I really like her.
Overall, the story, the characters, and the audio were fantastic. Not only are Willow and Cooper well developed, but the other characters as well. You really get a feel for them and how they affect both Willow and Coopers lives. I thought that how all the secrets came out was done really well too. It was an emotional, gradual work up to everything. By the time some things are discovered by the other, they already are falling for each other. Even when things seem really bad, they communicate. Everything isn't all tidy and that was what was enjoyable about it. I also thought that the sexy times were really great too. Not too drawn out or too often like some other books tend to do. The author had a great balance and it was a wonderful book!!
*An audiobook copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.