Reviews: Fearless: Rachel Van Dyken

Fearless (Ruin 2.5)
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Expected March 9, 2014

When I met Kiersten, time stood still. It was as if every cell in my body screamed HER. I couldn't look away, I couldn't walk away, I couldn't even move. My other half, my soul mate, was staring right at me. I had to have her. I had to make her mine. But I felt selfish doing that--knowing that I may not have endless amounts of time to give her...and even now that every things' over with and I've been given that time back. 
Nothing is ever certain in this life. 

Which is why I'm about to do something crazy, impulsive, daring.

After all, what type of person would I be if I didn't take my own advice? 

I'm jumping off the cliff, I'm living fearlessly. 

This is the continuation of Wes and Kierstens story (Ruin).

"Where we thought we may see the end--we write 'The Beginning'."

This is not a stand alone. I recommend you read Ruin and Toxic first. Fearless takes place right after Toxic and will bridge the gap to the next book Shame. We follow Wes and Kiersten and share their joy as they live their lives together after going through so much pain and fear. These two faced the worst possible situation and came out of it stronger and together. They are now taking each day as a blessing and trying to make the most of life. But still every once in a while fears sneak in to add worry especially for Kiersten. But Wes is determined that since they have been given a second chance that they will live a life of no regrets.

Moments with a girl like that? I knew they were one in a million. And I was on a mission to capture them all.  Each. And every. One.

It is told in both Wes and Kiersten's points of view so we get to really feel everything that this amazing couple thinks about each other and how they completely changed each other's lives. They truly are soul mates and their love story is beautiful and heartfelt. 

"You stopped my heart the day I met you--re-started it--and gave it a new rhythm. You are my heart."

"I love you...My heart's been yours since the minute you needed it to beat for you."

And we also get their friend Lisa's point of view in this one so we get into her head and start to hear more about her painful back story as well. We got a little tease of it in Gabe and Saylor's book Toxic, but this time we see how much her past has affected her and continues to do so. She is a wonderful supportive friend, but underneath is lonely and broken. It opens up the story line for the next book Shame. I am already intrigued by the interesting plot and her full story. 

I really love this series and these characters. One of my fave things are the heartfelt, emotional quotes at the top of each chapter (in this one they are by Wes and Kiersten) that just make my heart happy. Well let's face it, Wes especially makes me happy every time I read about him. And Gabe is now right up there with him now. These guys are not only funny and protective, but they are also loving, sweet, and just plain swoon worthy. They truly make up a pseudo-family who is there for each other in good times and in bad. The story lines are engaging, intriguing, and have many layers with secrets and surprises. This novella was short, but it still gave us some memorable moments that had me smiling, tearing up, and sighing with contentment. And it also provided some interesting teasers and got me anticipating Shame just that much more.  

Thanks to Rachel Van Dyken for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.  

“Every girl should be told her worth the way Wes was telling me of mine. In that instant, my heart soared and I experienced true security. All because he told me I was important, special… a treasure.”

Wes Michaels has to be the most poetic, philosophical leading man. The things that man says to Kiersten, and the advice he gives his friends is so perfectly insightful, always. He has such a way with words. Or maybe it’s Rachel’s way with words through Wes. Either way, it’s beautiful. Fearless takes place after Toxic, but centers on Wes and Kiersten and their upcoming wedding. 

Kiersten is mostly along for the ride in this novella, following plans made by Wes and her friends. But her fear of losing Wes and fears of reliving his illness haunt her drive her reactions several times.

This was an excellent bridge between the first two books and Lisa’s upcoming book. All five major characters from the series play large roles in the storyline, so we get quick check ins to see the state of Gabe and Saylor’s relationship, and Lisa’s feelings watching her friends find love. We know she was harboring a secret alongside Gabe, but until the hints that start dropping in Fearless, we don’t really know what she was running from. After these hints, I am really excited to dig into her story in Shame. 

Fearless is a quick novella, taking me only a couple hours to breeze through, but a great companion to Ruin. It made me laugh and cry, sometimes within moments of one another. It was sweet, sexy, hopeful, and aching. It was a fast, couldn’t-put-it-down kind of read -- perfect for a lazy afternoon at home. 

Thanks to Rachel Van Dyken for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.  
Ruin (Ruin#1)
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I'm not your typical girl. I've been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness...until Wes Michals offered to be my light.
I didn't know that time wasn't my ally -- that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer--each moment as it came--but it would never be enough.
Sometimes when you think it's the end, it's only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn't--I wouldn't ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own

Toxic (Ruin#2)
Rachel Van Dyken
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Released March 4, 2014

Everyone has a secret...

Gabe Hyde is on borrowed time. He's been hiding his identity for over four years-hidden from the world that used to adore him--obsess over him--driven to the edge of insanity by one poor choice. 

But that one choice, altered the course of his life forever. 
Pretending isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when pretending means hiding your real self from the people that care about you the most. But if anyone ever discovered the truth it wouldn't just be his life at risk--but hers. 

Saylor doesn't hate men. 
Just Gabe. 
Only Gabe. 
He's a reckless, happy-go-lucky, silver spoon fed pain in her ass. Everything about him makes her more and more confused. Unfortunately they both donate time at the same Group Home. If she wasn't afraid of flunking, she'd be long gone. She hates that she's attracted to him almost as much as he hates that he's attracted to her--and she can tell, especially since their first encounter ended up making her knees so weak she couldn't form coherent sentences for weeks afterwards. But the closer she gets to him, the more confused she becomes. He isn't who he says he is, and he's hiding something big. 

What happen when two worlds collide? Two worlds that never should have met in the first place? Some secrets are too big to be hidden forever--the only question? Will his destroy everyone he loves? Or finally bring about the redemption he's been craving for the past four years?

Everyone has a secret...What's yours?


Shame (Ruin #3)
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Expected June 2014

Tristan Blake doesn't drink, smoke, stay out past midnight or do anything that guys his age typically do. He's been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders for too many years--and his number's finally up. His only goal is to find the girl who's life his brother ruined--and make things right.

The only problem? She's the most beautiful woman he's ever laid eyes on... And she just walked into his Sophomore Literature class--the one he's teaching.

Lines become blurred as Tristan tries to fix damage done by lying about who he is. His plan was supposed to be easy, move to Seattle, say you're sorry, and get the hell out of dodge.

The plan never included falling in love with the girl your brother almost killed.

What happens when the roles are switched? Bad girl meets good guy who has the look of a seducer--but the heart of an innocent?
Rachel Van Dyken Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at http://rachelvandykenauthor.com


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