Publication Date: October 11, 2022
Genre/Tropes: New Adult/Forbidden Romance
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Review Rating: 4 Gold Stars
Not exactly The Perfects, but more of a hotmess that somehow worked with all of its imperfections.
Mary-Belle is a foster kid who has been placed in home after home after home, until landing in her final home with the McCree’s. A perfect family, at least to any outside looker, but the inside is an emotional mess of hurt, pain and imperfections.
Mary-Belle or MB and Ambrose, her new foster brother, hit it off immediately and have that insta-love connection. Unfortunately, because his world is truly not perfect like everyone believes, their world crumbles pretty fast and the story turns to one of regrets and isolation. While I wouldn’t call it bullying, Ambrose ignores MB and she does the same to him, but they are still very much aware of the other’s orbit. This is the time that Ambrose’s ex-best friend makes an appearance and upsets that quiet standoff.
It was heavy on teenage angst, with tension that ran between Ambrose, MB and his former best friend named Quinn. My heart actually ached for him quite a bit, but I’ll leave that opinion up to you for further judgement.
While this wasn’t a top read for me, it also wasn’t bad, it was just a hotmess when it came to how Ambrose and MB circled back to each other to achieve their HEA.
Until it wasn’t.
Until my family took on a foster girl and placed her across the hall from me. A charity case to look good and a person who should have never existed in my world.
I kissed her to get her to stop talking, and then I kissed her again because I liked the taste of her words—I liked her.
It was our secret until we got caught—that night changed everything.
We became strangers living in the same house, seeing the same ghosts of our past mistakes, but I can’t stop thinking about us, about those forbidden moments.
I pretend to hate her, I tell her I’ll never forgive her, and then Quinn, my ex-best friend, steps into the picture. I can’t tell if he actually likes her or if he has a death wish and just likes pissing me off, but what do I say? Stay away from my step-sister?
I’ve already had her?
Saying that to him would expose what we were and ruin everything.
We’re all three of us living multiple lies, and eventually, I know our ivory tower of perfection is going to come crashing down.
He knows my secrets.
I know his.
And now she knows both.
But I always—always get what I want.
And what I want is the girl, no matter what it may cost me.
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