I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Going The Distance #2
Published by Barbara Samuel on 2014-08-28
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
EPICA GOING THE DISTANCE NOVELEvery decision is an ending....and a beginningBroke and close to broken-hearted, Jess Donovan doesn't know what to do with her life. She's lost her job and she's discovered that the man she loves, the charismatic and elusive Tyler Smith, has a troubled past that's left him damaged...perhaps beyond repair. Unable to trust him or her feelings, when her long-lost father invites her to visit him a continent away, she leaps at the chance to get some perspective. In dazzling New Zealand, her fortunes seem to be turning way, way up. She lands a lucrative gig in a tourism commercial, cast opposite Kaleb Te Anga, a guy who's Tyler's opposite in every way. When things heat up between them on-set, fake kisses turning to hot real kisses, Jess finds herself torn. Is this just a holiday hook-up, or something deeper? How can she feel so much for two different people, and how will she ever choose between them? If she gets that chance...because her indecisive heart might mean she'll lose them both. EPIC is the third installment of an ongoing series. Read Random and Stoked, the first two books in the series.
I read. A lot. But every so often? A book comes along that I get lost in the pages of. That I devour, and am so submerged in the world that the author has created that I don’t want to leave. Lark O’Neal (pseudonym for beloved Barbara O’Neal) does that, in the most beautiful of ways.
I stumbled upon the Going The Distance series with Stoked (#1.5) back in Febraury. I didn’t realize it was a novella, nor that it was sandwiched in between the two fabulous books at first. But I was sucked in none the less. I loved Tyler, and I fell in love with Jess as I read their story in Random – although I have to admit I always had an extra special place for Tyler, and Jess just came along for the ride.
Book #2 is Jess’s side of the story in Stoked. And let me tell you – that brings out a billion emotions in me. I am giving this book a coveted 5 stars because it was incredibly well written, and because in the moments where I forgot about Tyler (which wasn’t nearly as much as Jess, apparently?) I was so submersed in the story of Jess and Kaleb that I loved it. O’Neal has a way with words, a way that has captured my heart so fully. Her worlds are so vivid, so magical. And her characters so real that sometimes it hurts.
I want to hate Kaleb. I want to hate Jess. And I still want to wring Tyler’s neck for not being open with Jess. (Although I can’t blame this all on him – she is stubborn, and annoying and just plain a pain in the butt sometimes!) But that’s what makes a good book, right? The emotions that it evokes?
And of course, we leave with no more resolution than we did after Stoked. In fact? I am even less sure of what’s going to happen – and that is going to drive me absolutely insane until Brilliant comes out in December!