Series: Frigid #2
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Reading Level: New Adult
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Source: BEA 2015
Sometimes life leaves a mark…
Most days, Andrea doesn’t know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he’s a major player, and they can’t get along for more than a handful of minutes. Until now.
Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She’s teetering on the edge and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.
Andrea’s life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn’t matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she’s speeding toward rock bottom, only she can save herself.
Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after…
I was so excited to pick up this book at BEA! Its predecessor, Frigid, was one of my must-have books from my very first BEA. It's only right that I was equally if not more excited for its companion. And, I have to admit, between the two, I like this one more. This one has an air of realism to it that Frigid lacked in favor of setting of we-must-survive-together ambience thanks to a crazy person in the middle of the woods.
Andrea is a firecracker and Tanner is a muscled up god with a heart. By now, I've learned that characters such as these are favored by JLA, and I can honestly admit that I am totally okay with this. Nobody can do wise-cracking girls that can stand up for themselves quite like JLA. And I am pretty sure she can make me fall in love with any of her leading men, even if they are huge assholes in the very beginning. Character arcs can be wondrous things, and JLA knows how to write a great (and sexy) character arc.
As always, I have to talk about the romance because, I mean, it's JLA here. Let's be honest...this book was hot with a capital H. I blazed through it because, wow, those sexy scenes were sexy. But what I love about JLA is while she delivers a passionate romance, she also finds a way to develop plot instead of allowing the sex to disrupt the flow of the story. Not only does it make sense for our characters, but it makes sense at their point in the relationship and in the context of the book's timeline. Which, in the end, makes it even more enjoyable.
But there's something more important than the romance in this one, and that's the way that JLA chose to tackle binge-drinking and alcoholism. I think it's very important to recognize when an author uses their humongous platform to raise awareness about any kind of issue out there be it racism, religious issues, sexism, substance abuse, physical abuse, violence, sexual abuse, etc. I was not expecting this book to have a plot-line related to alcoholism, let alone for it to explore it so well. The creation of such an addiction, what being inside one's mind is like, how hard it is to overcome it and how vulnerable someone has to be to get to the point of admitting they have a problem...JLA did it so well and made it all the more better by the fact that there was a killer love interest to help the character through their struggles. There are people out there that are willing to stand by your side to hell and back, you just have to find them. Because of this, this novel turns into a story of redemption born from absolute despair and with a spark of hope, and it is so so worth reading.
Sometimes life throws a lot of obstacles in the way of your happily ever after, but with an author like JLA you know the journey will be worth it. Also, it'll probably be sexy, too. Always a good thing.