Elliot Halloran is running away. Away from her privileged Manhattan upbringing and a promising future at business school. Away from her family, which plummeted from A-list to disgraced after her criminal father’s atrocities were exposed. Despite the guilt Elliot feels for abandoning her family, she has no choice. She is too recognizable to live life as the person she has always been. So when an old family friend offers her a position as an economics instructor at Miami’s elite Alford Academy, Elliot jumps at the chance to distance herself from her past. She cuts her hair, changes her name, and vows never to speak of her old life again.
Keeping her identity hidden is harder than Elliot expected, especially with a roommate who seems to be on the verge of uncovering her true identity. As she fumbles through the opening chapters of her new life, Elliot encounters an entirely unforeseen obstacle: photography instructor Luke Poulos. Luke is sensitive and spontaneous. An art lover. Smart. Everything Elliot has ever wanted. Luke and Elliot’s connection deepens when she learns that he lost his parents in a car accident when he was a teenager. Like Elliot, Luke understands that life can shatter in an instant.
Elliot knows that a relationship with Luke is impossible; that he would never love her if he knew the details of her past. But as she struggles with whether to open herself to love or keep her true self locked away, Elliot learns that she’s not the only one with secrets.
I’m not going to lie, this book drove me absolutely crazy. Not in a bad way crazy, but curious crazy. I wanted to get to the bottom of Elle’s situation and figure out what had her running away from her family. I got that it was bad and I knew it was about her dad. But I never really got a feel for why her mom was so angry with her. Maybe for disturbing their happy home and not being dishonest in a court of law… I don’t know, but if anything I would be happy to know that my child was a good person and an honest person. But the self doubt that Elle has in her past has led her to meet Lucas, the amazingly hot art teacher.
When Elle abandoned her life in New York, she just wanted to get away. She didn’t want to be where everyone knew her, where she was easily identified. She wanted a fresh start to live her life outside of the prying eyes of the media and her social circle. She wanted to start again, to forget her past. She has the chance to make her life her own. To remove the public image of herself and learn to live again. Of course, when she meets the art teacher and her new mentor at the school she is going to be working at, suddenly that wall she swore she wouldn’t let down, crumbles and falls all around her.
But nothing of course is pefect, she is not being honest with the one person she knows she can trust. She just can’t find the way to tell him and keep him in her life. Instead she gets all over him for keeping his own secret. The problem is, his secret is just so fricken adorable.
These two are instant and fall quickly but will her past be the end of everything they can be together or will the future be enough to see them through?
I will say I kept reading and reading this book, wanting to know more and more just to answer the constant questions. But the truth is, I was waiting for Lucas’s reaction to Elle’s big secret. In all honesty, the reveal of the secret was better than the reaction. It was jaw dropping and I wanted to curl up and hide in the corner for Elle. It takes a strong person to move beyond her past, but she can’t fix it either.
Lucas was just a beautiful character with a heart of gold. He had true passion in his life for his job, his family and Elle. If an guy every did any of the things this guy did for Elle, a girl would certainally be swooning hard. He was just amazing and comforting.
I really liked this book, more so, I really liked Lucas’s character. He had seen such tragedy and he learned to grow up a lot faster than most, but he also held so much compassion and love. He truly stole my heart. The part of this book I was actually diappointed in was the end. I didn’t want it to be over. I wanted more of these characters. I wanted to know what the future was going to hold for them. I wanted to know about Elle’s sister and what happened with her mom. But it was a great read and I really enjoyed the characters. Though I thought the book ended too soon and there was a lot more of the story to be told, I was happy that it ended the way it did. It shows a lot of promise for future books and I cannot wait for them!
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ABOUT MIA HENRY
Mia Henry adores all things romance, from steamy stories to ugly cry-inducing movies. She lives in Florida, where she dreams up storylines during beach walks with her muse, a ferocious 8-pound pup named Lulu.