Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Date: January 21st 2014
My rating: 4 stars
Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a naïve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…
Believe was an touching and heartfelt romance that really got to me!
Robin has done the unthinkable, and in her mind, the unforgivable. She slept with her best-friend’s boyfriend, Nate. In her defense she was drunk to the point of blacking out and doesn’t remember any more than a flash here and there of the evening. However, this is enough to drown her in feelings of worthlessness, and depression. Robin’s friend, Jessica, knows there’s something up with her because she’s stopped taking care with her appearance, won’t hang out and has lost weight but she’s not sure what happened. When Robin meets Phoenix, Tyler and Riley’s cousin, and develops an immediate friendship, she feels her dark cloud lighten a little. She’s not sure why she doesn’t care that he’s fresh out of prison, only that they seem to have a connection, and for once she starts to feel like herself again.
I was so lonely I ached with it. But here, in the hot car with Phoenix, I felt like at least one person understood what I felt like, and I wondered if two loners could make each other less lonely. So far, the answer for me was yes.
Phoenix is staying with Tyler and Riley while he gets back on his feet after being released from prison. His mother moved and didn’t tell him where, taking all of his clothes and belongings with her. Phoenix didn’t have much before, but now he has absolutely nothing. Things begin to change when he meets Robin. She’s beautiful and quiet with sadness pouring off of her in waves, and he wonders what happened. They bond over art and easy conversation, and even though he knows he’s in no position to go after her, Phoenix wants more. For some reason, Robin doesn’t judge him for his circumstances, and soon they’re together every free moment.
Robin and Phoenix met at a vulnerable time in each other’s lives and provided love and support, helping them to heal and move on. Their romance was a little on the insta-lovey side, but it didn’t bother me one bit, and I felt it just fit Robin and Phoenix.
I wasn’t playing it cool with Phoenix. I knew that. I just didn’t care. What did playing head games with guys get me ever? A boyfriend who cheated and a lot of casual dates. There was no flirt left in me.
Believe made me do something I didn’t thing was possible: sympathize with a cheater. The circumstances made it impossible to hold this against Robin, and in fact she beats herself up more than any other person could. My heart hurt for her! Nate, the bottom-feeder boyfriend, was the guilty party in this situation!
Phoenix was raised by a completely selfish mother, and I was blown away that he was deprived of so many things a parent should automatically provide. He was so starved of love that Robin’s simple gestures of love and affection completely overwhelmed and touched him.
Erin McCarthy’s take on New Adult has once again proved to be a cut above the rest. She has a talent for creating flawed, but relatable characters that I won’t soon forget. Believe was more of an emotional and deeper read for me that the last two books, making me tear up in more than a few places! *sniff* I can’t wait for the next in this series, Shatter. The teaser at the end has me chomping at the bit!
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