After Math: Denise Grover Swank

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Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

"Nothing easy is worth having."

Tucker and Scarlett are seemingly opposites. He is the popular, party-going, soccer star who is failing classes and always in trouble. She is he perfect college student and tutor, quiet, shy, closed off, and knows where she is going in life. But when she ends up tutoring Tucker, they begin to see that they are not so different after all. They both have had difficult pasts and family situations. They both hide who they really are, are lost, and broken. They develop this soul touching connection that is hard for them to comprehend. But they come to trust each other and share things that they keep hidden from the outside world. 

I'm surrounded by people every day, yet I always feel alone, no matter how hard I try to connect, It's as though a veil has been thrown over my heart, and no one has ever been able to tear it down, Until this boy. This unattainable, untouchable, unreliable boy. 

But as they get closer, they also cannot hide their growing feelings. They are both afraid of what that would mean for them and are fearful of losing their friendship. But at the same time, they cannot deny what they want or need. Thus begins the struggle. 

"Tell me to walk away right now before it's too late. Tell me to leave you alone so you can have the life you deserve, Scarlett Goodwin, and not get stuck with a f**kup like me."

There's a crack in the armor encasing my heart. I've handed Tucker the opportunity to get closer to me than anyone has ever gotten. Or I've given him the opportunity to destroy me.

I truly loved Tucker and Scarlett together and wanted them to beat the odds. They were so good for each other and really did give each other a sense of peace. They had such an understanding of the other person and could see right through the walls that they put up for others. They had this deep intense connection  and chemistry that you could truly feel. I loved the dichotomy of Tucker in between his persona to the outside world and the real Tucker he only let Scarlett see. He was vulnerable, observant, sweet, and almost child like with her.  And I enjoyed Scarlett starting to come out of her shell, gain confidence, and start to live. They both needed each other so badly, that it was frightening for them since they had never had healthy, real relationships before. 

"Everything just feels so right when I'm with you, Scarlett. I can be me. But it's more than that. You give me something I haven't had in a long time, if ever. You give me peace. It's like the jumbled mess in my head can settle down, and I can be still with you. Like none of the other stuff matters."

"I'm broken Tucker. I'm hopelessly broken inside, and I'm not sure there are enough pieces in me to put back together. but when I'm with you, I feel like maybe I can actually be whole."

Can they face the outside world and conquer their fears? Or will they remain broken and end up alone? They had opposition and circumstances getting in their way. No one really supported their relationship. I loved her room mate Caroline, but even she was not very encouraging. It was heartbreaking to see how hard Tucker struggled and how unworthy he felt. He did not think he deserved happiness. Scarlett encouraged him to be himself and make better choices. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for. Tucker helped her open up, calm down, and made her feel.  It is a story about being honest with yourself, opening up, learning to love yourself, and finding your own path in life.  It was heartbreaking, sweet, inspiring and beautiful.

This is the first book in her Off the Subject series. The second is title Redesigned expected in May 2013 and it is about Scarlett's room mate Caroline. 

Thanks to Denise Grover Swank and AToMR  for providing me a review copy for an honest review

Denise Grover Swank Facebook/Twitter/Website
Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She’s a gypsy who can’t live in one place too long or stay in one genre. She writes contemporary romance, urban fantasies without vampires and werewolves, young adult science fiction, and romantic comedy mysteries set in the south. Denise has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading, or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.


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