Secrets are heavy.
They’re heavy and they’re hard and sharp and they suck.
They press into your chest and make it hard to breathe. They make it hard to sleep or relax or just be…
But most of all secrets make me sad. And sad made me scared.
Georgia King is a young woman trying to put herself back together again after the downward spiral of mental illness and a crazy, out of control youth. Newly discharged from a mental hospital she’s living with her brother and trying to figure out how to get on with a normal life when she meets Ben Lancaster. Ben is the young, talented hockey player recently signed to the Philadelphia Flyers who has everything going for him. He’s new to town and has accepted an offer to stay at this coach’s loft while looking for a place of his own. When he gets to the loft it’s Georgia he runs into, not her brother and he’s instantly attracted. But Georgia isn’t who he thinks she is, and it will take everything he has to build a relationship with her.
When I started this romance I thought I was going into just another story of a young couple falling in love, but I soon realized there was more to this story than my first impressions. There is love, romance and quite a few sexy scenes, but it’s more about Georgia’s struggle to accept herself and come to terms with the demons from her past, some she inherited and some she created for herself. I felt for Georgia. I connected to her struggles. There is a little bit of her in every woman who has ever done crazy, messed up things in their youth and has to rationalize those things with the adult they are now. Georgia’s deceased mother plays quite a big role in her life and how she views herself. Her mother’s battle with depression and being bi-polar concluded in her driving her and Georgia’s father off a bridge. It seemed to me that this is how Georgia viewed herself, the troubled girl who is a danger to anyone who loves her. In her teenage years she lived a pretty messed up life, sleeping around, getting involved in drugs and alcohol, she can’t seem to get past these things to become someone new. Until Ben walks into her life and he gives her a reason to try.
I loved Ben. I loved him for Georgia. Ben was willing to be whoever he needed to be for her. All the conflict in Ben and Georgia’s love story stemmed from Georgia’s secrets. Ben enters this relationship having no idea what kind of issues Georgia has, and stumbles through only learning bits and pieces as times goes by. They have a deep connection and quite a bit of mutual lust for each other, Georgia just can’t seem to let Ben in on her past. He’s the all-American boy who has the perfect family and is successful at life. She’s afraid he’ll dislike her if he really knows who she is… mainly because SHE has so much self doubt and loathing. How can she trust Ben if she doesn’t even trust herself? The alternating POVs helped me understand how Ben sees Georgia vs. how she sees herself. I really wanted this couple to succeed and loved watching them come to a place of understanding.
The ending might not be for everyone, in fact it might create some frustration, but it made sense to me. It seemed like the perfect set up for a realistic continuation of their story in the next book. Final grade: B+
“You’re wrong you know. I love you. All of you, even the pieces that you won’t show because all of that stuff makes up that circle and I don’t give a flying fuck if it’s broken. I love every cracked and fragmented piece of you. And when you’re ready I hope you’ll trust me enough to let me be the one to help you put those broken pieces back together.”