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Review and Giveaway: Drowning in You: Rebecca Berto


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Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences.

Disclaimer: Recommended for mature readers due to sexual content and crude language.



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"I'm the worst kind of bad for you, Charz."
"Maybe I like bad, Dex."

This is the story of two young people that have been crushing on each other for years. Unfortunately for them, their lives have been touched by tragedy that has ripped their lives and their families apart. Even though they have always had hidden feelings for each other, now they are left in a place where guilt, sadness, and fear place demands on them and interfere with them getting any closer.

Charlee is a scared twenty year old who is going through a horrific experience, dealing with loss, having to care for her younger brother, and is feeling guilty for the fact that she cannot stop her feelings for the guy that could have been involved in her parent's accident. She tries to be strong, but how much can one girl takes before she breaks?

"My Charz is drowning in hurt, and no amount of swimming records or money will save her. And I'll do anything to stop her from hurting. Maybe that's what I'm doing, trying to save her from drowning in her mispalced gguilt and feelings."

But I hate the way I love him.

Dexter is lost and feels unworthy. He is closed off, shunned by friends and the community, scared of intimacy, hiding a personal secret, and trying to come to terms with the tragedy that has so deeply affected him. He has also suffered other traumatic events in his past that have  deeply affected  him and his relationships. He has had a crush on Charlee for years, but never let her know. Now he fears she will never see him for anything other than the boy who was involved in her parents' accident. 

I've been wanting to kiss this girl since  before I got my first tattoo, or my eyebrow ring. Before seeing her at the opposite end of the occasional party. All things considered, a rich, beautiful, kind-looking girl like Charlee would never bring home a guy like me. I've never spoken to her the way I want to. Why take the risk of getting rejected by the only girl I've ever really wanted? 

"Please me make unlove her because I can't love her with everything going on, and not being with her is hurting us both. And I wouldn't want her to get involved with a guy like me because Charz deserves to be treated like she's the only girl on the planet. "

But despite everything stacked against them, they still feel a strong pull to each other and find it hard to keep their distance. I hated to see them struggle with the guilt and have to hide their feelings. I was not sure what was going to make this situation better for them. It seemed like they would take one step forward and two steps back. There are mysteries surrounding the accident and the past. There are family issues and personal issues. Dexter truly has a good heart and just wants to make Charz happy. But it all comes down to if they are strong enough to stand together or let others dictate what they should feel. I was totally hoping this couple could make it and that Dex would find redemption. 

Charz isn't a relationship to work on, though God knows I've tried so hard to prevent it. Charz and I just are, and hard as I try, I'm f***king scared we're too intertwined to begin to separate us."

"Before Dex, I didn't know the feeling of "intense".

The book is built around terrible events with vast repercussions. But this along with the other mysteries added a depth to the story. I really liked Dex and Charz, their good friends Elliot and Rosa, and her little brother Darcy. They were some of the most positive influences. The relationships with the parents were complicated, sad, and difficult at times. But it was all intermingled in the past that needed to be brought to the forefront so they could move on.

And in the end, there are lessons to be learned about the importance of telling those you love how you feel about them before it is too late. 

"I had a half-life before you."

I have to admit that some of the Aussie terms were a little different for me and at times some of the story seemed a little disjointed. The conversations and transitions could be a little hard to follow. I would have liked to see Dex and Charlee's relationship have a chance to deepen even more. But I was still satisfied with them and the ending. All in all, I liked the story, the characters, the mystery, and I enjoyed it.

Thanks to Rebecca Berto for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Rebecca Berto  Website/Facebook /Twitter
Rebecca Berto is the author or the dark contemporary/literary novella, PRECISE and the upcoming new adult contemporary romance novel, DROWNING IN YOU. She is also a freelance editor.

She writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy. 

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds really great, emotional. I understand what you mean by the feeling of disjointedness in novels these days. Glad you enjoyed it though :) I love the way you do your reviews!

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