Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way and the thoughts expressed are my own.
Thalia and Christopher’s love story has more than a few challenges to overcome. Set in a couple of neighbouring small towns the two teens accidental fall in love with the one person that they shouldn’t. If that doesn’t have you intrigued I don’t know what will!
In the beginning of the novel, Thalia is consumed by thoughts of a boy she met for half an hour at a local Parade months ago. No matter how hard she tries she can’t get him out of her mind. On top of that, she has to deal with being a transfer student in a challenging new school and the unwanted advances of Dave, the school’s top sleezes-bag. One day at the beach Thalia is a boat accident and rescued by none other than her Parade Guy.
I loved seeing her first meeting with Christoper after months of daydreaming about him. Like many people, she tries to play it cool, downplaying her interest in Christoper for fear he doesn’t feel the same. It was very relatable, making my stomach turn with Thalia’s butterflies and smiling at her amusing thoughts. From the every beginning we were deep in Thalia’s mind, knowing her thoughts and feelings. She was well developed with multiple layers to her personality. Doing well in school, obeying her parents, being a good friend and her religion are all very important to her. It’s hard trying to suss out if your crush is interested in you, let alone knows you exist. Thankfully for Thalia, Christopher confesses he likes her that same day. I was so grateful, I don’t think my nerves couldn’t handle not knowing for much longer.
Unfortunately, that’s when things became complicated. Thalia’s parents are very conservative with a strict rule that she isn’t allowed to date until she turns seventeen. Even when she doesn’t turn seventeen, they have strict dating rules; she can’t go out with a boy they don’t know, it has to be in a group, etc. Such strict rules on dating are something many teenagers can relate to, much to their frustration. But Christoper won’t let that stop him! He’s so into her that he is determined to wait and be her first date after her birthday. I love Christopher, he’s such a sweet, understanding and downright determined guy. He’s determined to jump through so many hoops to date a girl he hardly knows, all the while not knowing if she’ll say yes to going out with him against her parents’ strict dating rules. His joking, teasing banter with his friends is very entertaining but all the time he’s thinking of Thalia, making sure no one’s jokes will upset her. He’s constantly looking out for his sister, Cynthia, even chaperoning her dates like a good, protective brother.
All the characters are well-rounded, developed and interesting. That alone deserves praise. Even the school sleeze has multiple layers to his personality. It feels like the author has taken real people and turned them into a story, but, unlike many that attempt this, it actually works. It sounds like there are a complex line up characters which could make keeping track of them all very confusing. Luckily, there are enough characters that it feels like a real girl’s life in a small town but, not too many that it’s difficult to read.
Once the two have decided to be together that when everything falls apart. For Thalia’s entire life she’s known her parents have a feud with another local family, the Coopers, refusing to even let their children speak to each other. To her horror, Thalia discovers that Christopher is their son. Though she knows she shouldn’t have feelings for him, Thalia can’t help it. Christopher feels the same. Over the next couple months, he develops a complex plan in order to be able to date the girl he’s infatuated with.
Things just get more complicated as the novel continues. From the very first page, I found I was completely sucked into the story. The various conflicting elements made this contemporary novel one that I actually enjoyed for a change. I give it 4/5.
My first short story is FREE in the You and Me Forever: A Sweet Romance Collection
Masquerading Our Love Reviews:
Loved my first unsolicited review!
Review : First of all, thank you to Audrey Rich for me an ecopy of her novel. It was a pleasure to discover your world!
Have you ever fell in love with a book from the very first page? I have with this novel. Seriously, I was already convinced that I would love this story thanks to the synopsis but it was even more the truth when I started the first chapter. I loved everything about it: the writing, the characters, the plot, absolutely everything!
But let’s be clearer… Talking about the writing, I love how Audrey Rich managed to deal with suspense and romance. The story and the characters are so cute, it warmed my heart! I couldn’t have enough of these beautiful words, I had to read more and more chapters, even if I didn’t have time to do so. But at the same time, there was suspense between the different chapters and it gave another dimension to the story. This is not a romance like others, there is this little more which makes the difference. I smiled, I laughed, I tried to guess what was going to happen and I cried when I discovered a detail that blew my mind away. And what a beautiful end! I won’t say much about it because I don’t want to spoil you, but I couldn’t imagine it and I’m so happy with it! Once again, my heart is full of joy!
Thank you Audrey for giving me such a beautiful time reading your novel!
You can find this review and other ones on Alycia’s blog: Alyttérature..
(These reviews I asked for. Okay, maybe I begged and cried and I wasn’t above using the old fashioned” poor me I don’t have any reviews”pity shout-out. Seriously, these reviews are special because I asked others who declined but these wonderful people read and reviewed my debut novel and they didn’t have to. So many thanks!):
Great readon November 23, 2016
Although romance / coming of age is not my usual genre of choice, I am actually happy I picked this one up. The story is well thought through, the characters believable and I found myself getting involved in the plot. The author has a nice style of writing about a very relevant subjects, parental obligations, faith, insecurities, learning to swim ! I would recommend this book to any YA reader looking for a satisfying clean novel about young blossoming love.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This is a great YA novel!! I bought the book for my 14 year old daughter and it’s perfect! I loved the fact that it is smut-free but still filled with teen romance. My daughter loves teen romance novels! When I read the book to make sure it was appropriate for her, it echoed a modern Romeo and Juliet story with an interesting ending. Kudos to the author given this was her first book. I am looking forward to Ms. Rich’s future work for my daughter to read.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This story is so outside my preferred genre, that I admit to being nervous about not being able to finish it. That said, I read it in 24 hours. What a pleasant and wholesome read! It is so refreshing today to be able to find a book that is sweet without being sappy. There are some wonderful Christian values that never come across as preachy or over-the-top. This would be an excellent read for any young adult. It certainly captures what it is to be young and in love. There were times when I thought that the young lady was a little too head over heals for the fella, but then I remembered what I was like in high school, and I realized that Ms. Rich hit it on the nose. There are some serious subjects addressed in the book, but they made the story so real! I found the characters to be extremely likable while still having enough flaws and insecurities to keep them from devolving into “Mary Sue” type personas. If you are looking for a sweet romance, you will not be disappointed in this story.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When she’s rescued from a near-drowning off the beach in South Florida, Thalia is chagrined to discover she has a massive crush on her rescuer, rich and handsome Christopher. Luckily for her, Christopher has the hots for her, too. But Thalia has a problem. Her parents won’t allow her to date, and no matter how hard her heart beats for Christopher, she refuses to compromise her character by lying to them. But things get worse when Thalia realizes her parents and Christopher’s parents despise each other and neither family approves of their love.
It was nice to see a main character struggling with her conscience as she tries to do the right thing. This is a clean read with no cursing or drug or alcohol use. The characters go to church and are good people, but the religious aspect is low key. I also appreciated that the main character was Hispanic. This is an enjoyable clean, sweet romance for teens.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The first book in Stonehaven High, is a positive well written story. It’s very PG and aimed at a younger audience. I don’t usually read YA, but I found this book to be enjoyable, it had believable characters and good flowing plot. This book is perfect for anyone wanting a clean smutty free YA romance.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author*
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The story explores the feelings, passions and adventures that you go through as a teenager, which are conveyed in a clean cut way. It is a book that I will recommend to my own daughter when she is older. Definitely recommended!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A great YA novel!on March 7, 2017 Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Format: Kindle Edition
Overall story I rate with FIVE stars and I do recommend the book to others who like teen romance and books where lessons are learned. The story idea itself is terrific. The author not only conquers the subject of obedience to one’s parents, but also the importance of forgiveness and communication. Some people might think that Thalia and Christopher are too young to recognize that they are in love. I disagree. There is a long history of young marriages in my family – most right out of high school – Many of us have made wonderful, sound marriages with very few divorces among us. Thalia is a good Christian girl who is torn between her love for Christopher and her obligation to be an obedient daughter, showing that even Christians aren’t perfect. I love that. I also love that Thalia isn’t afraid to tell her mother that what she really wants in life is to be a wife and mother. This is a decision that someone should be able to make without judgment. The characterization I would rate with FOUR stars. I feel the author did a great job on Thalia and Christopher, but I didn’t get a strong sense of falling in love with the other characters. In other words, I didn’t feel as if I knew them that well. Four is still pretty good. Story structure and flow. I have to rate this with a FOUR because although I felt the story flow was great, I found the dialogue in many places confusing. There were several instances of dialogue where I couldn’t tell until the end of the conversation which character was speaking. A few more he said/she said tags or location description would have helped this. If I were to have rated this book half-way through, I could have honestly only given it a THREE-star rating due to the structure problems and typos in the book. However, I was intrigued enough to stick to it to the end. As the story went on, I became hooked and couldn’t put it down, waiting to find out what happened and what the big fallout between the two teens’ mothers was. As I did finish the book, I was able to upgrade to FOUR stars. Without the issues I pointed out, I definitely would have rated it with five stars. Well-done, Audrey. It’s a great first novel.