Title: Finding Me (Second Chances, #2.5)
Author: Stephanie Rose
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: May 22, 2016
SynopsisI've always been lost . . . Abandoned by a father who didn't want me. Cherished by a stepfather, though I wasn’t his. Shattered by a boy who swore he loved me. But I belonged nowhere, to no one. Then I met Owen, the sweet-talking hockey player who made me love him. He gave me the courage to trust in someone besides myself. He showed me a love I longed for. When an unwanted ghost comes knocking on my door, my heartbreaking history threatens to repeat itself. But where do I turn if I lose everyone? And how do I find where I belong, when I’m still Finding Me? Finding Me is a spinoff from the Second Chances series and can be read as a standalone.
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ExcerptI couldn’t quite make eye contact with Ethan since the last time I came back to the apartment with Owen before Thanksgiving break. We caught Ethan naked in the hallway—on a date and thinking they had the place to themselves for a night. I was no prude, but seeing junk not belonging to my boyfriend turned me three shades of red. I hadn't even seen Owen's, but I . . . felt it . . . a lot. On my leg, against my stomach, sometimes rubbing my back if he was holding me from behind. Why I was so bashful I couldn't say, especially since I didn’t have a cherry to pop. But it was only one guy and only one time, shortly before he shredded my heart and then stomped all over it. Even though I couldn't make my virginity grow back, I wasn’t quite ready to go there again. However, not being ready for sex had absolutely nothing to do with wanting it. Our time together always ended with a scorching kiss and groping against the nearest wall. Owen’s Southern gentility was probably wearing thin these past few weeks. “Owen? The movie starts in a half hour!” I called as I strolled down the hallway. “Hey, City. Give me a minute, practice ran late.” Owen had just stepped out of the shower and was dripping freaking wet. The V on his hips disappeared into a towel cinched around his tapered waist. Water traveled from the stray tangled locks at his neck and trickled down over his ripped chest and his abs before disappearing into the bunched up material at his waist. I licked my parched lips and tried to remember how to speak. How many damn abs did he have? Six? Eight? I was gaping at a wet, half naked Owen while the corner of the bastard's mouth turned up in a smirk. I didn't have the faculties to scowl back. My tongue didn't want to work unless it was tracing the water trails across Owen's body. “Keep looking at me like that, baby. We won't be going anywhere tonight.”
4.5 stars - One of the best books I've read
Review Copy Provided by Author
Every now and then, you come across a book or author (or both) that you connect with. For me that is Stephanie Rose. In each of her books, she has created characters and situations that I connect and relate to as more than just interesting people on the page (or e-reader in this case).
In Finding Me, we reconnect with Bella (the little girl from Always You) and she is all grown up and headed to college. She's had her heart broken by her high school boyfriend and is leery when meeting campus heart throb/hockey star, Owen.
I appreciated the tone of this book - I know that's an odd thing to say, but let me explain. Bella and Owen are significantly younger than the other couples Ms. Rose has written (they are a college Freshman and Junior) and while they are definitely grown up and deal with grown up situations, the heat factor has been adjusted to reflect the maturity of the people involved. I would be comfortable with a teenage girl reading this :)
The romance in Finding Me is sweet! Owen is a mature 20/21 year old and I loved that he recognized something in Bella right away and his approach was just perfect. The way he pursued her without pursuing her made me like him and made it so easy to root for them as a couple.
While Finding Me is a romance between Owen and Bella, it's also the story about Bella's relationship with her family and how she identifies herself. We get to see Lucas and Sam (the couple from Always You) and Lucas has several swoon worthy moments as he reminds Bella that biology doesn't matter when it comes to family. When Bella's sperm donor rears his head, I was so grateful that Owen and Lucas were there for her.
If you have read Always You, you will love getting to catch up with Bella and her story. But, don't worry if you are new to Ms. Rose's work. Finding Me is a well crafted, well written story that stands on it's own. I know we all typically swoon over the heros in books, but for this one, the character I am a little in love with is Bella. She's smart, sassy, and does an excellent job of dealing with situations that would be challenging for someone older, much less someone who is 18 and away from home for the first time.
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About The Author
Stephanie Rose was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and still lives there with her superhero-obsessed husband and son. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a day job in marketing, but she always has a story in her head. Her books are full of swoon-worthy men and feisty heroines. This lifelong New Yorker lives for Starbucks, book boyfriends, and 80s rock. Her voice is often mistaken for a Mob Wives trailer. Goodreads |Facebook | Twitter
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