Review: Relentless (#1, Shattered Hearts) by Cassia Leo

My Thoughts

Super engaging and emotional.
This book hooked me from the beginning and didn’t let me go. I felt and connected with the characters and was so
into the story that I simply devoured the book.

4halfstars

Synopsis

relentless-cover

Claire Nixon is a twenty-year-old college dropout with a secret.

To Claire, Adam Parker is just another flirty customer at the cafe, until a chance encounter and seemingly innocent comment spurs a bet between them. The bet is simple: If Adam can get Claire to reveal the secret that made her drop out of college, she has to re-enroll. If he doesn’t succeed, she gets to keep her secret and he has to stop stalking her at the cafe.

Claire thinks she has this one in the bag. She’s perfected the art of forgetting her past. But she isn’t prepared for Adam’s relentless pursuit or for him to share his own secrets. And she’s definitely not prepared for her rock star ex, and her secret, to come banging down her door one year later.

My Review

“With every choice you risk the life you could have had. With every decision you lose it.”

So I started this book cold turkey, which is something I almost never do, and I didn’t realize the series featured a love triangle! GAHHHH!!! You know how stressed out I get with love triangles, but I have to tell you this book was such a great surprise and really the love triangle doesn’t come into full play until book 2. Not only is the writing smooth and captivating, but the story is poignant and heart-wrenching. I loved it! The book is told through alternating POVs from the main characters, allowing you to really get them… their thoughts, their feelings and the intent behind some of the choices they make. I truly felt I knew them and fully experienced what they went through.

Claire Nixon works at a coffee shop to make ends meet. She dropped out of college and seems to be hiding a deeply painful secret she can’t seem to let go. We learn early in the story that she often becomes lost in her own memories, which seem to almost haunt her on a daily basis. It’s during one of these moments at work, where a customer gets angry at her and a gorgeous guy comes to her rescue. Later that night, to her surprise, she comes face-to-face with that same stranger, who turns out to be her neighbor. Adam Parker is a surfer — tanned, handsome and relentless in getting to know Claire… but the last thing she needs is a new relationship.

We learn that Claire comes from a harrowing background, living with her drug-addicted mom and soon after jumping from foster home to foster home. She finally lands in a safe place and meets her first love.

“Chris was more than my first love, he was my first friend, my first heartbreak, and my deepest betrayal.”

She’s hesitant to get involved with anyone, but with his charm and insistence, Adam starts to break through her walls. There’s something about him that makes her feel comfortable and the attraction between them intensifies every time they’re together.

“I want to leave you dazed and confused for a week with nothing but my name on your lips.”

But as they get to know each other, we learn that Adam is keeping big secrets of his own, but realizes her secrets are almost paralytic for her. He makes her a bet.

“If I can get you to tell me why you dropped out of school then you have to go back.”

I felt so much for Claire. It’s so clear what she’s hiding is big and it’s eating her up. She’s also battling so many insecurities and fears. She self-medicates with meditation… denying the fact that she has to deal with her very real problems by escaping into her thoughts. Together, however, they connect over their past experiences and they both realize that they’ve fallen hard for each other.

“I guess we both had to lose something to find each other.”

Adam is exactly what she needs right now. And gosh, I loved Adam. He doesn’t give up on Claire and just cuts through it all to see how special she is, always giving her exactly what she needs. Adam’s secrets also weigh heavily on him and his temper is continously simmering on the surface, ready to explode. We see that as they get even closer to each other, they also start to push each other away. The push and pull is heart-breaking some times and I desperately wanted both of them to be okay.

“The quickest path to self-destruction is to push away the people you love.”

Of course, as the story gets to a place where you’re feeling good and happy, we get to know Chris,  a famous rockstar, but most importantly her first love. And yes, he enters the picture and things get complicated… FAST. We also finally learn Claire’s secret, and it’s completely heart-breaking.

“I guess that’s the way secrets are. They’re only heavy when you’re holding them. As soon as you let go, the significance of keeping those secrets hidden blows away and everything falls into place.”

The story ends, not necessarily on a big cliffhanger, but definitely at a precipice of so much more to come and certainly at the point where I grabbed the next book immediately. Ultimately, this story is about so many things, but really, it’s about a girl that has gone through more than anyone should have by the age of 20… a girl that needs to be brave enough to face her past so that she can move on and find her happiness. It’s a gripping story that fully captivated me and left me wanting more!

“The relentless pull of love is a thousand times harder to fight than the tides. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it out before you drown. If you’re even luckier, you’re pulled under just long enough to wash away the sorrow. If you’re really lucky, like me, you resurface just in time to find the one you love floating right beside you.”

addseriestogoodreads

About Cassia

cassia-leo-croppedUSA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading–sometimes both.

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Comments

  1. You convinced me, I bought it! I have 5 books waiting patiently in my Kindle to be read. Oh, not to mention my own book to write -___- lol. So much for productivity! Thanks for a great review. 🙂

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