Friday, May 17, 2013

ARC Review: Need (Want, Book Two)

Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Want, Book Two
Author: Stephanie Lawton Website :: Facebook :: Twitter
Publication Date: May 17, 2013
Buy: Amazon

Isaac Laroche is cursed. All he wants to do is hide out and feel sorry for himself. Never mind that he got caught sleeping with his seventeen-year-old piano student, or that he abandoned her when the truth was exposed. 

Isaac’s feisty high school sweetheart has different plans. Heather Swann has returned to their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to regroup after breaking up with her troll of a fiancĂ©. She’s restless and looking for a diversion, but she bites off more than she can chew when she sets her sights on rehabilitating Isaac with her unorthodox sexual, mental, and physical plans. 

The two quickly reconnect, but their happiness is threatened by family secrets, old vendettas and the death of a beloved father-figure. 

Can Heather handle Isaac’s baggage, or will her own come back to haunt them both?

*Need is the second novel in the Want series. I would absolutely recommending reading Want before continuing with Need because so much of Isaac's story is based around the events in Want. If you haven't yet read Want, there will be some spoilers in my review.*

And if you haven't read Want yet, DO IT! Here, I'll make it easy: CLICK ME!

Need begins directly after Isaac and Julie's "break-up," or, you know, where he left her on her own defending their unconventional relationship in front of the entirety of the town's elite. *scoff* We find Isaac working through his broken heart by quitting piano and working as a landscaper - sweating out the pain and exhausting himself into sleep each night.

The only constant in Isaac's life now is his Uncle Robert (who I love and adore). Isaac's family is disgusted by his relationship with his 17-year-old piano student and refuses to talk to him, but Uncle Robert understands the uniqueness of Julie and Isaac's situation and doesn't give up on trying the bring the family back together. When watching the town exiting church from his car on Easter Sunday, Isaac runs into his old girlfriend, Heather.

After reading the first novel, I wasn't sure that I would fall for Heather the way that I did. I mean, I loved Julie so very much and a little devilish piece of me wanted them to work it out while the angel on my shoulder says NO! Dave is the one! Nice guys, Jenna, nice guys...but surprisingly, Heather was the perfect companion for Isaac, exactly what he needed. Haha, get it?!

Heather quickly rips through Isaac's life like a wild force, repairing that with is innately damaged in him and hoping to steal his heart on the way. Going through her own mess of family and relationship problems, Heather was easily relatable and very likable. I loved her matter-of-fact attitude and her honesty, even in moments best suited for delicacy Heather was a straightforward and refreshing heroine.

Heather's mom, Marcie Swann, makes another appearance in this novel. Still easy to hate and manipulative, we learn a lot more about her background and the Swann's history in general. I loved the road Stephanie took with this family history. It is unguessable (spellcheck says this is a word...I wasn't quite sure).

Overall, I loved Isaac's journey of self-discovery and hearing his voice in Need. The self-absorbed man who had never healed from his childhood abuse begins understanding himself through Heather's tough-love, intense control and surprising tenderness. There were so many heart wrenching moments through Need, literally, my heart wrenched. Such a touching and beautiful story while remaining uplifting.

There are some super hot scene's in this novel, so YA readers be aware. Need was wonderfully written, with relatable characterization and a uniquely captivating love story. Ms. Lawton combines the perfect amount of humor and dispair, love and forgiveness - a must buy for sure!

About the Author

After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting. 

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

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