Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Christie's Review: Surviving by Ahren Sanders


Title: Surviving
Series:Surrendering #2
Author: Ahren Sanders
Release Date: April 30, 2014
Rating: 3.5 stars

Raven Hayes experienced a love she thought would last forever. Declan Collins consumed her from the moment she fell into his arms. Their love was what fairytales are made of. But when his band is given an opportunity of a lifetime, he made the one choice that would tear them apart. 
Walking away from him and leaving for the summer seemed to be the best idea to mend a broken heart. With the love and support of her best friend, the pain eases, but a decision has to be made. Is Declan her forever? Is she prepared to have a place in his rock star life? 
Declan’s broken when Raven leaves. She tamed him and taught him what all- consuming love is. So many factors tried to pull them apart, but his choice was the one to push her away and possibly into the arms of another man. Losing her is not an option. Now he’ll do anything to get her back. And this time she will never doubt the depth of his love and commitment to her. 
The journey to their happily ever after is paved with obstacles and challenges, will their love survive?

Just to let everyone know, this is the continuation of Raven and Declan's story from the book Surrendering. If you haven't read book 1, you must read that one first. Also, I wouldn't advise reading this review as there will be some spoilers for the last book.

So...where do I start? I have mixed feelings about this one. I hate writing reviews when I'm feeling conflicted. I feel like I'm not going to write a fair review since I'm not 100% clear on what to rate it/think about it. So to give the most fair review I can, this review will be my personal pros and cons of the book. What worked for me, what didn't. And hopefully you all can decide if this series will be for you.

First of all, what I LOVED. Not liked, loved. Yes, there were some things that I was crazy about (in a good way) and my feelings are still inconsistent.

I LOVED Declan in this book even more than the first one. He became the ultimate book boyfriend for anybody who loves hot as hell rockers. What wasn't to like? I mean, he's inked and pierced in places you can see AND places you can't...if you know what I mean. And he uses those piercings to his full advantage. He takes direction well. For example, while she was in Paris, he found her smutty romance books and educated himself on some new moves and tried each and every one of those bad boys out. He's that perfect blend of possessive, jealous, and protective. The trifecta of BBs that we ladies all search for. He treats her like she's made of glass-if anyone dares to mess with her, he's in their face protecting his woman. All I can say is, he pulled his head out of his ass and got his shit together. After taking her for granted and making his band his priority over her in the last book, he snapped back to reality and realized what he had to do after she went to Paris. She is the number one most important thing in his life and he's not afraid to tell the world. And he makes sure that she knows as well.

Finn, her best (guy) friend and surprise love interest. I loved Finn's character. He went out of his way to make sure that Raven made the choice that was best for HER. Even though he was in love with her, he didn't push her to do anything unless she was completely sure it was what she wanted. He could have taken advantage of her in her vulnerable time, but he was a perfect gentleman and was very supportive of her. He did some amazing and romantic things for her in Paris and I fell a little bit for him when he took her to the Wall of I Love You's. It was SO sweet!

I loved the music scene in the book and everything involved: cutting an album, the fans, making a music video, the touring, concerts. Seeing someone rising to stardom might go through was pretty great. It wasn't just about how hot the band was and how all the women wanted them. It was about the music and the experience. That was refreshing.

What I didn't love.Mainly it was two things.

1) I didn't like how Raven acted in Paris. (view spoiler)

2)Mixed feelings on the supporting characters

Ok, there is a HUGE cast of characters here. I mentioned that about the first book and I felt the same way about this one. In fact, there were actually a few NEW characters added on! There was a brother, 2 sisters, 3 band mates, 10 friends, (I think) 3 parents, and a couple other minor people. They weren't just thrown in, they had a major part in the story as well. It had to be the biggest supporting characters I've seen in a contemporary romance. Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy, this is normal. Not CR. I did like that they were so close to their friends and family and that they were a part of their lives in a big way. It was sweet, they were a riot at times, and it made the book more fun. BUT...I think I could have done with less of them. They seemed to take away from the main characters' story a bit and let me tell you, it's been a few months since I read the last book, so I had to go and read my review and remind myself who was who. And poor Raven was struggling to find some alone time with with her man with all the people around all the time.

Declan is in for the fight of his life to prove to Raven that he's come to his senses and he's ready to make things right. Raven is doubtful, but with a little communication, can they repair what's been ripped apart?

To sum it up, there was a LOT going on in this book. It's very action packed, lots of friends and family hanging out, hooking up, making up and breaking up. There's an awesome music scene that's fun and different from the usual rockstar plot. There's hot ex-military security men, rockstars, and sassy friends. I enjoyed the conclusion to this story and the epilogue especially was fabulous! I'm going with 3.5 stars because I just can't make my mind up between 3 and 4 but don't let that scare you off. This series has a lot going for it and there's a lot to love.

***ARC kindly provided by author for an honest review***


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