on July 19, 2016
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I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.
Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.
Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy--sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and denies her.
Now it's too late . . .
Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin find themselves crashing back into each other's lives. Haunted by the past, they're forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can't seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.
Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn't the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?
I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. When I saw the gorgeous cover and read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book. I enjoyed this book for the most part. This is a cute but sometimes tragic friends to lovers romance and it was very, very angsty. Even though I crave angst in my books, in this one it didn’t necessarily worked for me.
Chloe is the main narrator of this story, although we get different POVs and other things such as flashbacks and journal entries throughout the book. She’s best friends with Gavin and Devon, her twin neighbors. Growing up, the twins had a role of protectors when it came to Chloe because Chloe was a victim of bullying. Chloe had a thing for Gavin yet she decided to date Devon instead. That decision causes a rift between all and things change between them from then on. The book is divided in various parts but one of the more pivotal moments happens the night of their high school graduation. Tragedy strikes, life changes for the 3 of them and Chloe leaves town. Chloe then returns four years later and that’s when most of the rest of the story takes place.
I found the writing to be beautiful and engaging for the most part. However, I found that there was a lot of inner dialogue between the characters so a lot of thought but zero action. I loved the references to music and super loved the references to Teen Witch. I also found the underlying topics of bullying awareness, second chances and rebuilding from the ashes to be exquisitely done. For me, the problem was that I found it really hard to connect with Chloe and Gavin. Chloe sounded very immature at times and some of her decision making was awful from the start to the very end but I think that could just be attributed to her age. Same with Gavin. I understood his hesitation for the most part, but I found myself shaking my head at his actions sometimes, he ran very hot and cold the entire book. The romance is very slow building in this one and there are a few twist and turns along the way.
For the most part, I enjoyed this story. It definitely kept me interested and I needed to know how this story would end. And I totally loved the ending. This is my first book from this author and I think she’s extremely talented. I recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a sweet but angsty friends to lovers romance!
**An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review**