March 25, 2014

Book Review: Preservation Series by Rachael Wade

Preservation Series by Rachael Wade
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis book 1:
Fear is sabotage’s sweetest weapon.

Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can’t afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else’s complicated baggage.

When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell’s creative writing class, he is only “Mr. Campbell” to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor.

But underneath Ryan’s abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can’t stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they’re willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That’s if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don’t pummel their efforts first.




Preservation (Preservation, #1)Preservation by Rachael Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book, but I struggled with it. I gave it a 4-star review, but the more I think about it, the more I think I should change it to a 3-star. Either way, here's my review.

This book and characters could have been amazing, but to me there were just too many unrealistic moments that kept pulling me out of the story. I don't want to give too many spoilers, or ruin the book for anyone, so I'll try to be vague. First of all, Kate and Ryan, the two main characters, go from not even knowing each other to being "in love" at warp speed. This actually worked for me because I think that Wade did a good job showing that they connected and spent a lot of time together getting to know each other in just a few weeks. My problem is that they both had emotional and past relationship baggage that they never really dealt with or talked about that I think would have caused way more problems. We did get to see a little bit of this as their relationship moved forward, but ultimately I find it hard to believe that they both (Ryan especially) would be able to go from commitment-phobe loners to being able to maintain a serious, exclusive relationship.

Secondly, I had a big problem with Ryan. I felt really bad for him and what his ex-fiance did to him at the beginning of the book, but that in no way gave him a free pass to act like a complete and total jerk. He was jealous, controlling, and overbearing at several parts of the story, and while he did apologize, I'm not so sure that someone as independent and stubborn as Kate would have forgiven him so easily.

And then the big two that I just could not get past. After Kate has a very traumatic experience, Ryan just bails on her. Not immediately afterward when you might expect, but after being there for her and trying to help her through it. Then when he doesn't feel that she bounces back fast enough or is able to love him enough or some other crap, he leaves. Then the DOOZY! He betrays her so totally, so intimately, so enormously, that I HATED him! There is no way in the real world that a woman, especially a woman like Kate, would ever forgive him for what he did to her. And if she ever did, it would take years, time and distance before she was ready to forgive. But, that's not what happened here. Nope, I just didn't buy it.

Even though I'm sure this review make it seems like I hated this book, that is actually not true at all. I enjoyed reading it - I liked the characters (Ryan not so much but maybe he'll grow on me) - and I liked the story line. Book two in this series is supposed to be told from Ryan's POV so maybe once I can see inside his mind and what his motivations are, I'll warm up to him. I sure hope so, because I'm not ready to write this series off yet!

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Synopsis book 2:
A sequel to the Amazon bestselling romance, Preservation, told from Ryan’s point of view.

Old Habits Die Hard.

Ryan Campbell is not only leaving his title of Professor behind to move on to bigger and better things at Simon and Warden Publishing, he’s also become Seattle’s rising literary star. Sitting on the overwhelming cusp of newfound fame, he learns soon enough that being popular has its downside.

Attracted to the buzz surrounding his new career, former lovers begin to creep back into his life, and potential ones emerge with enticing advances. While he works to juggle reserved, yet stressful, wedding plans with Kate and his new public image, he has enough to manage without worrying about Carter and Dean—Kate’s loveable albeit eccentric friends—and their latest shenanigans.

Surrounded by a lifestyle that includes temptation at every turn, Ryan finds himself immersed in a world full of scandal and lies, where his oldest weaknesses thrive and his ghosts return to haunt him. Questioning whether his life with Kate is his best path, he must discover if he’s still capable of being the man he aspired to be when she first became his, or if happily ever after is only an illusion.



Reservation (Preservation, #2)Reservation by Rachael Wade

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book better than the first one in this series. I think it's because I finally got a look into Ryan's mind, and it made me understand him a little better. In the first book, he came across as a huge d-bag, but in this one not so much. I think it's very obvious that he has reformed his man whore ways and that he loves Kate wholeheartedly.

But good grief he has a hard time in this book! He has written a book that is on it's way to being a bestseller and to being made into a movie, and his publicist and publishing house want to make him into the next "It" guy. Ryan is not comfortable with this at all, especially since Kate is still halfway around the world in St. Lucia and isn't by his side to help him cope. Then when scandalous details about his past start to surface, the distance between him and Kate also becomes emotional instead of just physical. And the poor guy can't catch a break. It seems like hoochies are just coming out of the woodwork to trip him up and make him cheat on Kate, and he is caught in a compromising situation once or twice. I have to give it to him though, he handles every crappy situation in the best way possible without being just downright rude and ugly. (Although there was a time or two when I think he should have put people in their place - with a fist if necessary.)

Then comes the breaking point. The breaking point for him, for Kate, and for their relationship. I felt really bad for both of them, but everything that happened seemed sort of inevitable. However, I'm glad that things worked out the way that they did. It seemed like the only possible conclusion to their relationship.

The first two books in this series have been pretty good, so I will definitely be reading book #3 Declaration. I can't wait to read Carter's story and all about the new life he has made for himself in Florida!

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Synopsis book 3:
Featuring characters from Love and Relativity.

Carter Montgomery spent most of his life blending in, and he liked it that way. It was always better to be seen, not heard. And while a theatric streak and friendly demeanor might have fooled most people, he knew the truth—he was the shy one. The quiet kid most people forgot about. Some might have considered that a bad thing, but those people all wanted to be in the spotlight.

The only place Carter didn’t mind attention was on stage, with The Hellions. Once content in his comfort zone in Seattle, Washington, he only knew three things: confrontation was to be avoided, keeping the peace was priority, and the moment he lost Kate Parker to Professor Ryan Campbell, he had no clue what to do with his life. Playing gigs, working at Pike Place Market, and watching BBC after the love of his life sailed off into the sunset just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

Desperate to escape his rut, he takes a cue from Kate and chooses a random place to relocate—a small island across the country, where no one knows his name and memories of unrequited love aren’t found at every turn. Just when he thinks he’s found the perfect place to unwind and sink back into the shadows, in bursts Whitney Sinclair, a saucy firecracker who loves life and refuses to settle for second best. Full of contagious energy, she dares him to be brave, convincing him that it might finally be time to tell the world what he wants.

It might be time to make a declaration.


Purchase Links:  Amazon  III  Barnes and Noble


Declaration (Preservation, #3)Declaration by Rachael Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was definitely my favorite out of this series. The first two books Reservation and Declaration centered around Kate and Ryan, and they just had way too much drama for my taste. Plus, both of them irritated me in certain circumstances when I couldn't identify with or understand the decisions that they made. But out of those two books, Carter was probably my favorite character. This is Carter's book, and while it does pick up the story and continue from the first two, it has a complete change of scenery and a lack of all stupid drama that plagued the first two books. It does have it's share of angst and drama, but it fits the story, and I connected enough with the characters that I understood and agreed with their choices.

Carter is heartbroken when he moves cross country to Sanibel Island. He is running from his old life, but convinces himself that this is the new start that he so desperately needs. He has been in love with Kate for as long as they have been friends, but she has never returned the feelings. Now that she is engaged to Ryan, Carter has finally began to accept the reality that they will never be together, and that Kate will never love him the way he loves her.

I have never been Kate's biggest fan with this series, but I have always liked her well enough. However, she really aggravated me when Carter was obviously trying to get some distance from the entire situation and she was harassing the hell out of him. I get that he was her best friend and she wants to "talk" things out with him, but good grief give him his space! Not only does she constantly call and text him, she also shows up uninvited and unexpected on his doorstep. I think she shows herself to be extremely selfish in her actions. She's not worried about what Carter actually needs, she's worried about getting the closure she needs so she doesn't have to feel guilty anymore. But, Carter grows a pair and finally stands up for himself and reads Kate the riot act, and I was so proud of him!

Once Carter sort of starts getting his life back on track, there is no stopping him. He kind of falls into a relationship/friendship with a local girl named Whitney, but they just decide to keep it casual since they are both dealing with their own baggage. But of course Whitney is the perfect girl for Carter, and forces him out of his comfort zone, plus finally gives him the attention and affection that he deserves. And Carter is perfect for Whitney because he sees her for who she is, and he is serious enough about her to not play with her feelings. Of course, their relationship is not all rainbows and roses, and they hit the few obligatory bumps along the road. Overall, though, they are perfect for each other, and while both are stubborn, they also both realize that they owe it to themselves and the other to try and work things out.

Like I said before, this book is definitely my favorite so far out of this series. And while it can be read as a stand alone, I recommend going back and reading the first two books so that you have more of a reference for all of the back story that is mentioned.

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AUTHOR BIO
Rachael Wade writes edgy New Adult and Adult romance and science fiction. She is the author of the Amazon bestselling PRESERVATION SERIES, THE REPLACEMENT, and LOVE AND RELATIVITY, as well as the paranormal romance series THE RESISTANCE TRILOGY. When she's not writing, she's busy going to concerts, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. She's an avid Brandi Carlile fan and loves all things Tim Burton. Visit her at RachaelWade.com and LightsOnLove.com, and come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.

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2 comments:

  1. Great reviews, Jessica! It sounds like the 3rd one was the least dramatic and more compelling. I have heard a lot about this Carter fella already! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour, Jessica!

    Much love,
    Rachael
    xo

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

 
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