Thursday, July 17, 2014

Christie's Review:Beautifully Done by Riley MacKenzie


Title: Beautifully Done
Series: Beautifully Awake #2
Authors: Riley MacKenzie
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Cliffhanger: No

Diagnosis: Borrowed time Treatment: Trust Prognosis: Beautifully Done
Asher Craig drives fast, flies high, and screws hard. But make no mistake, he’s a gentleman.
He learned way too young that we’re all on borrowed time. Fair or unfair, you only get one ride. He vows to live for the moment because it’s the only time he owns. The past is beyond his control and the future may not exist. With his only loyalties being his family, he thrives for that edge where plunging over is always in the realm of possibility.
When a beautiful familiar face tilts his axis, he re-examines everything and realizes that second chances are overrated and a lifetime of firsts are irreplaceable. In the end, it’s not her medical degree but his trust that needs to prove that the ride together is worth it ... until it’s Beautifully Done.

Initially, I was thrilled to finally get ahold of Ash's story. He's Chase's best friend and I really enjoyed him as a secondary character in Beautifully Awake. Book one was probably one of my favorite reads of the entire year last year. It was a surprise hit-I didn't have low expectations, but it was from a set of debut authors and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I took a chance on an unknown and was so impressed by their writing style and it's ability to wring the emotions out of me. So naturally, I was fully prepared to read the next book in the series. Unfortunately, the first part of this book, I had an extremely hard time getting into the story. I actually had to put the book down and come back to it but I'm so glad I did.

When I tried to figure out why I was having a problem connecting at first, I realized that I wasn't crazy about how Talia was so suddenly introduced into the story. We knew a little bit about her because she was best friends with Ash and Chase when they were teens, but at one point, she suddenly appears in the book and right away, Ash is completely smitten and trying to get close to her. I think for me, I would have liked to have seen more proof of their connection and history before we are told how deeply he feels about her. It felt too rushed to me, though I know it wasn't their first meeting. Once I got past this, I really found there was so much to enjoy about the story.

Ash was incredible. He was one of the most supportive and giving heroes I've read, despite the synopsis leading you to believe he was more of a bad boy type. I didn't see him that way at all. He's always giving generously to those he loves, he's extremely close to his friends and family, he's funny and lives life to the fullest, but because of some health issues he's had and some he fears he could have in the future, he's been afraid to allow himself to fall in love.

I wasn't that playboy anymore and she wasn't my next good time. She changed me. Or maybe she brought back who I really was.

Talia was always the "one that got away" and when he unexpectedly sees her after 19 years, it's like he's right back where he was as a teen. All those emotions, want, need, and affection he had for her comes rushing back and he finds he can't keep his distance from her like all the rest.

I had no choice, I was never saying goodbye to this girl again.

He loves her strength, her sass, and her personality meshes so perfectly with his-even though they spent many years apart, it's like they were never separated. They try to be just friends at first, but their true feelings won't allow that for long. They have such a physical connection. They had an intensity about them but at the same time, the passion was emotional-it wasn't simply lust.

I ended up enjoying this book so much-especially the epilogue. It was so perfect and I can't lie, I got teary eyed. It wasn't a traditional HEA, but then again, there wasn't much about this couple that was. They learned some important life lessons along the way. They grew, changed, and flourished together. They were each other's rock to stand on. There were a couple plot twists that really surprised me and had me turning the pages until the end. All in all, it was a great second chance book with a sweet couple, and lots of drama and action. Well worth the read.


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