Kellen Handler is in deep.
Ever since he can remember, he’s wanted to be a professional surfer. And he made it, rising to the top of the ranks, traveling the world and riding every break he’s ever dreamed of. His good looks and reputation for living on the edge—both in and out of the water—have made him an international superstar. But when his best friend dies in a tragic accident, Kellen wipes out big time, spiraling so badly that everything he’s worked for starts to disintegrate.
Tour officials scramble to do damage control and demand he work with a public relations company to clean up his bad boy image. It doesn’t help that the person assigned to him, Gina Bellori, has her own demons associated with the surfing world.
Against her better judgement Gina accepts the job and concentrates on repairing Kellen’s tattered reputation, despite his protests and despite the pain it causes her. With her past colliding with her present—and Kellen in the thick of it—she begins to realize that some secrets can’t stay hidden.
And suddenly, Kellen Handler is no longer worried about losing his career.
He’s more worried about losing his heart.
Overall Rating: 5/5 — Not your typically angsty and annoying new adult novel! This one’s got heart, depth, and substance. Oh and better prepare your Kleenex while reading this one as well.
“I see you holding on to the past. Letting it control what you do, what you allow into your life. I don’t want that for you. And I don’t want that for me.”
“And I’m not saying that things are gonna be perfect. I’m not saying we’re gonna wake up tomorrow and all our demons will be gone. But I think we can keep them locked away. Deal with them on our own time. In our own way. You know?”
First of all, the hot cover totally misled me to believe that this was just some typical new adult read about a playboy surfer and a girl who puts him in his place… BUT NO. I’m way beyond ecstatic to stumble upon this novel that really struck deep into my emotions with its depth and substance. In addition, this novel was also mostly from the guy’s POV and switched just a few times to the girl’s POV, which gave me more insight to Kellen’s thoughts and feelings as well.
So we meet Kellen Handler, a playboy surfer at the top of his game but seem to want to piss it all down the drain, and Gina Bellori, a PR exec who’s hiding an equally tragic secret of her own that hinders her from getting too attached with another person. Basically, both of them are wounded and broken souls who just can’t seem to let go of their tragic past so much so that it consumes their every move in the present. Kellen’s past was revealed pretty early on but it did take some time for me to put two and two together as to what happened to Gina. Both their stories were so heartbreaking that I found myself randomly tearing up even with their little flashbacks and whenever their thoughts go to those special people they’ve lost in their lives.
The moment they were thrown in each other’s paths, you just know how hesitant they both were in opening up and trusting each other but somehow it just happened naturally. Not to mention, their budding attraction and intense chemistry were so palpable as well. Kellen really surprised me with how he was actually the first one to sort of cave in, showing that there really was more to his cocky and rude playboy facade. It took some time for Gina to do the same because of self-preservation and I honestly cannot blame her for it because if it was me who was in her place, I’d probably do the same or worse even. I swear, there came a point when I was reading this book that I could not see through my tears. They just really had their personal demons that they can’t seem to let go and move on from. But once they accepted it as part of who they are and who they will be and decided to deal with their demons together, oh man, it was so completely beautiful how they found the perfect partner and ally in each other.
I really highly recommend this novel to those looking for more substance when it comes to new adult novels. After dealing with your typical angsty stories, it was refreshing to get sucked in deep once again in a story and I have nothing but praises for this novel and for the author as well!