Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…
USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.
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Believe by Erin McCarthy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
2.5 stars rounding to 3
Robin was a party girl… in college it’s the thing to do right? That is, she was until she got so drunk she blacked out and had sex with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s struggling with the guilt of it and she’s cut herself off socially from everyone, shutting them all out. Until she meets Phoenix.
Phoenix is recently released from jail on the day he meets Robin. Sleeping on his cousin’s couch he overhears a conversation between her and her friend. He’s inexplicably drawn to her… the quiet withdrawn, sweet and artistic girl has secrets… but doesn’t everyone?
This was my first Erin McCarthy book, and while I may look for other books by her in the future, I’m not sure I’ll read anything else in this series. I struggled with this book. A LOT.
Let’s talk about what I did like first… The writing was really well done, the story flowed really well, and the characters were wonderfully developed.
I liked Robin. I really did. I mean how many of us have done something incredibly stupid after drinking? It just so happens that her mistake is constantly reminding her about it and pursuing things he shouldn’t be. This really put her struggle in a different light for me, because most times we can move on from our stupidity, but between living with her best friend, and getting random text messages from the douchebag, she really wasn’t allowed that.
I even liked Phoenix… His struggle to make something of himself, his fierce loyalty to his family despite their faults … these things make him a wonderful guy. And the way he and Robin connect was wonderfully done. It wasn’t forced, you can see how why they end up together.
The things I didn’t like though, overshadowed these positive for me.
I struggle all the time with insta-love and let me tell you this book had it in abundance. Yes, as I said above, I understand the connection they have and the bond they form, but (view spoiler)
Also, the tiny bit of a plot point with the former prison mate? I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the point of even having that be part of the drama and to be perfectly honest, it was done pretty half-assed. I mean, the story would have been fine without it. Believe me, there is enough drama in other areas of this story. Yeah, okay, his past is catching up with him… but if you wanted it to be a serious plot point, then at least put the effort into including it and making it a serious part of the story.
Finally, the anger issues that Phoenix has. I know they are touched on and discussed as part of his ‘problems’… but do we have to keep making beating the shit out of people and things sexy? It could just be me, but I don’t find it sexy. AND the fact that Phoenix does what he does at one point and there are absolutely no repercussions to it is unbelievable to me. UNBELIEVABLE.
So there you have it. Like I said I struggled a bit with this one for the reasons above. But if you’re a fan of drama filled New Adult stuff then this just might be a perfect fit for you. I see Ms. McCarthy has some other books I might try though, because as I said there were some things I really liked about this, but ultimately the characters and their actions didn’t work for me.
Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.