by S. Walden
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: November 19th 2013
Format Acquired: eARC from author (thank you!!!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | iBooks
Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her family and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he should share his secret with Cadence. He should trust that she’ll understand. But what if she doesn’t? What if their love doesn’t grow stronger?What if it doesn’t get better?
WARNING: I might end up gushing all throughout my "review" of this book and I apologize in advance.
Better picks up right where Good left off. Now with all the stress we're left with in the previous book, all we're after is some assurance that Mark and Cadence will come out fine, right? Right! Walden delivers just that! Even better! (heh... I try so hard sometimes. Sigh) It was a bumpy road for the two but man, it made me appreciate them even more. I love how the story deepened and developed in this one, definitely something that made the story twice as addicting for me.
In this book, Mark and Cadence go through quite a lot. Aside from the inevitable couple problems, they also had personal issues that they needed to deal with separately. Cadence had a lot of growing up to do and this greatly affected the way she handled situations. Her living with Mark, who's 10 years older, really affected her more than she was aware of. Cadence had to grow up (she even had to have that awkward money conversation with Mark. Yikes), she had to deal with scrutiny, she had to re-evaluate her beliefs. There were a lot of sides to her internal struggles that we get to see more of in this book especially now that she is no longer living with her parents and is in college.
Mark also had to deal with his personal demons. We finally get to see Mark's backstory and let me tell you - it was painful. It explains so much about Mark's behavior in the first book. It actually made me love him more if that's even possible. Naturally, Cadence flipped out when she found out about Mark's secret on her own and it all went downhill from there. No matter how reckless she got, I somehow understood Cadence. Not because I've gone through the same but because I clearly saw just what led her to making bad choices. She just didn't have enough time to be young. Her personal issues doubled the hurt she felt hearing the words Mark said in the heat of an argument. There was quite a lot that was happening but it wasn't overwhelming in any way because Walden balanced everything out with lighter scenes that kept the story interesting (and I mean reeeaaally interesting, *wink wink*).
Whenever Mark and Cadence are all happy and lovey dovey, I can't help but wish I was them. They're so sweet and sexy and awkward and GAHHHHHHHH!!! Wait, what's that? Did I just say 'awkward'? Yes, yes I did. What did you expect? Cadence is young and Mark's the only guy she's been with. Awkward is part of her/their charm. I'm serious. Props for keeping it real! Ha!!
See, this is the kind of writing I like. You can't just dump all the bad stuff halfway through the book and give readers a teeny tiny happy ending where we're left unsatisfied, forced to use our crazy imagination to picture what else happens to them. In Better we see how the characters go through their problems and what becomes of them, all told in a good pace with the right mix of good, happy scenes. I love how every bit of Mark and Cadence's relationship is fleshed out here. I love that reading this made me fall in love with the pair that I had to read the epilogue slowly and more than once! I love it so much that even though it's been weeks since I finished it but I still can't write a decent review without fangirling. I'll probably go back and edit this at some point but for now...
JUST BUY THE BOOKS ALREADY.
Seriously though, S.Walden - you did it again! ;)
(P.S. the first book, Good is only 99 cents right now. -dunno when it'll change though- GET IT! GET IT! GET IT!)