Series: Pushing Limits #1
Published by Loveswept (Penguin Random House) on April 5th 2016
Genres: Friends to Lovers, Musicians, New Adult, Romance
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Fame, fortune, and stadiums full of screaming fans are right around the corner for the rock band at the heart of Stina Lindenblatt’s steamy, intense Pushing Limits series. But it’s an epic love affair that steals the show in this opening act.
When Nolan Kincaid skipped town to chase the music career of his dreams, he knew he wouldn’t miss the reminders of his broken family—he wasn’t so sure he could forget the girl he left behind. Now his band is touring nonstop, the recording sessions go all night, and the groupies are crazed. But when he hears that Hailey Wilkins is in trouble, he drops everything.
Hailey thought she’d missed her chance with Nolan. Five years ago, the moment she realized she loved him was the moment he decided to leave. Now, when a brutal assault lands her in the ICU, Nolan flies straight to her bedside, acting like nothing’s changed. What’s a rock star like him doing, canceling shows and risking his record deal, just to nurse an old friend back to health? And why should Hailey believe he’ll stay this time?
With her attacker still at large, Nolan’s ready to rise to the occasion. He knows he let Hailey down once before, but he’s ready to give her everything, heart and soul—and he’ll fight for the chance to prove it.
I think I may be having a problem with friends to lovers romances these days. A lot of times a reader is told there’s a connection from the past. That’s it, that we need to believe it and they’re already in love with each other. But here’s my thing: I want to see them grow as a couple as well. There were already enough flashbacks, a few more scenes of our main characters building this connection as they grew older would have been nice. Then also when they were together again after Hailey’s attack. All of a sudden they wanted each other but would never actually talk about anything, just think over and over about how things are changing.
I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her tight. “Where do you think you’re going?” I murmured in her ear.
“My room.” The vulnerability in her eyes almost brought me to my knees, and I took her face in my hands.
“What if I don’t want you to go?” This was the first time I’d ever said that to a girl.
Something I really liked in this book was the amount of sexual tension. Even if there was a back and forth and some confusion, it was always known that Nolan and Hailey wanted the other. The angst was also done quite well. This One Moment had the perfect amount to make you hold your breath as you flipped through the pages.
He brushed his thumb against my cheek. “But you’re important to me too.”
I gave him a small smile. “But you won’t always be here for me.
The biggest issue these two characters faced was due to their constant lack of communication. There was so much running in circles and back and forth, uncertainty, all because no one would actually come out and say how they felt. Then when they did, the other character would just think they didn’t mean it in the same way. This got annoying real fast. Yes there were conflicts to deal with but sometimes you just have to sit down and talk like adults, especially if you love someone and you think there’s a chance that you’ll never see them again.
“Kayla believed everyone deserved a happily-ever-after. And maybe it was true. But Nolan and I wouldn’t be getting ours. Not together, at least.”
Overall I didn’t feel a huge connection to either of the main characters. I’m not sure if this is just because their story and predicaments are so out there and far from average, or if I just couldn’t get to that point on a personal level. I liked following the journey of each regaining their memories, but aside from these moments I didn’t feel much for them beyond wanting to know what all the drama was about.
Other than the whole communication issue, I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot… This even saddens me because I often like suspense books, especially if they have some thriller elements thrown in as well. I found it to be confusing, with a lot of different characters and clouded details. Even at the conclusion I found there to be too many variables and not enough fact. It connected different parts of the book in an odd way and I think it could’ve been smoother. Perhaps by eliminating some of the aforementioned or incorporating them differently. Maybe if there was a bit more of a solid direction and focus on one of these problems and didn’t focus as much on connecting everything together with a bunch of extra characters, it may have been more successful in my mind.
In the opposite sense, I found Stina’s writing to be pleasing. Even when I was questioning the plot and how the story had been laid out, I never doubted the writing. The emotion seeping from these characters is palpable.
“I caught a flash of emotion in his eyes. It went further than lust and desire. What I saw in that moment was a reflection of what I felt for him: love.”
“I missed you after I left the first time. More than I thought would be possible. You’re my heart and soul, Hailey.”
I liked the concept of not being able to escape your past. It needs to be faced and then moved on from because those memories will always be there, hiding in the dark corners of your mind. I can appreciate how Nolan faced the demons of his past, but considering his history was such a large part of the story I would’ve liked to see more time spent during these scenes.
I really enjoyed the premise of This One Moment and think it holds promise. The cover was great and I’ll definitely give the other books in the series a chance. With perhaps a bit more fine tuning certain aspects and details it could have come together more so for me. It’s in no way a bad book, I liked it enough but I just wasn’t wowed.
*An ARC was received from Loveswept in exchange for an honest review.