Sunday, June 23, 2013

AFTER MATH (Off the Subject #1) by Denise Grover Swank

An Advance Release Copy of this book was provided by the author, Denise Grover Swank, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Denise!

AUTHOR: Denise Grover Swank -- Twitter | Website
PUBLISHED: Self-published March 12, 2013
GENRE: New Adult, Romance
PAGES: 250
SOURCE: ARC from author
BUY IT: Barnes and Noble | Amazon
Find it on Goodreads

*May not be suitable for audiences under 18.*

SUMMARY:
Before she agreed to tutor Tucker Price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

I was led to the amazing Denise Grover Swank and her writing by my author friend Trisha Leigh (The Last Year Saga and the upcoming series The Historians) and was finally able to meet her at BEA 2013, where I was so lucky to be able to pick up this autographed copy of After Math.

I'm newer to the New Adult (NA) genre, but even through my limited research, I have found one thing to be true about the genre as a whole: the books are either entire sex-fests with a superficial plot (if that) or those with characters who young adults like me can relate to: yes, they go all the way, but their story lines are about so much more than just sex. After Math happens to be one of those wonderful stories that falls under the latter category.

The book begins with the introduction of the completely captivating Scarlett Goodwin, a mathematics student  and tutor with an obsessive love for solving equations and a general aptitude for all things academic. Scarlett's thirst for knowledge and to help her department obtain critical software leads her to take on a particularly difficult tutoring client: the notorious campus soccer star and playboy, Tucker Price. Tucker is Scarlett's opposite -- reckless, cocky, even rude -- yet he begins to sneak his way into her heart when she realizes that, like her, there is a side of himself he hides from other people.

Behind his arrogant exterior is a young man broken by a troubled family past and the foster care system. He stands behind the conviction that everything he touches, he breaks. The only thing he manages to not screw up is soccer, where the sport comes naturally to him. But intuitive Scarlett soon learns that his heart is no longer in the game.

Against her better judgement and all her reservations, Scarlett opens her life to Tucker, allowing him to see the broken side of her that few people, besides her best friend, Caroline, have ever seen. In turn, he shows her how passionate love can be and how one person can make her feel truly and completely alive in ways she never has before.

Their romance takes roller coaster ride from start to finish, with more than one heartbreaking interlude. But in the end, the two of them find common ground when they each decide to strip away their insecurities and false exteriors in the name of a love that inspires them to move mountains for one another and strengthens their hearts and souls.

Swank's After Math is a solid NA novel with a heartfelt and driving plot that will have you tearing through the book, which is my only reason for giving it a 4.5/5 -- I wanted more.


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