*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
“…I could handle a little darkness. Because I had a feeling that deeper below that darkness was something blindingly beautiful and bright, ready to shine through.”
Where do I start with this beauty? It’s been a couple days since I read this and I’m still tearing up at how insanely beautiful it was! This book takes the prize of being my favorite ending ever. That ending left such an unforgettable impression on me that no book has done so in the romance department lately. It was many times deep and heartbreaking, in the best way. Speaking plainly, it was beautiful.
This was my first read by Katana and I read it in one sitting. I admit, I made the mistake of letting the low ratings scare me. I usually never pay attention to them but for some reason this was an exception and I would like to say, I was worried for nothing. This is my first 5 star rating in a while and I would reread it again in a heartbeat. Which I sure will sometime in the future since this story resonated with me on so many different levels. I had a personal connection to the plot line that only multiplied as the story went on.
We follow Shelby, a 21 year-old student that has worked hard to get to where she’s at financially. She’s also dealing with some dark things, including ptsd. My heart went out for Shelby time and time again. Her story hit a little too close to home and it was hard for my heart not to break into pieces when she needed consoling and I couldn’t provide it.
Then we have Tate, a rich boy whose father is the Governor and lives on the same building as Shelby. This book is the perfect example that wealth doesn’t necessarily mean shallow, and boy does Tate prove that right. He ends up being one of the most tentative main love interests I’ve ever read about. He made my heart hurt for many different reasons than Shelby. He made it hurt from an overwhelming amount of admiration. (What can I do to meet a guy like Tate? Serious question.) He’s thoughtful, sweet, kind, patient, caring, and so much more; I could seriously go on forever. Just when I thought he had already proved himself to be an amazing man, he made sure to show me that he still had room to be even greater. And that, is something I will never grow tired of.
The side characters, especially Shelby’s two close friends, were amazing in their own right. I enjoyed witnessing the dynamic between them. It was obvious that they would do anything for each other and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
The only thing I had a problem with was the fact that the attraction was established a little too suddenly. I would’ve like them to be in denial for a bit before shining a light on it. I don’t know, it could just be me though. After I got over that small thing, the pace of their relationship was nothing short of perfect for me. With what they were each dealing with, it made sense that they would go slow.
This story was perfect amounts of steam and depth woven together to make a perfect love story. It made me cry with sympathy and happiness alike. And I’m not talking about just shedding tears, it was straight up ugly crying. All I have to say is that I can’t wait to own this beauty and read more by Katana!! This is a must read and buy for sure!