Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Review: Believe by Erin McCarthy

Believe (True Believers, #3)
Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy
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…

My Thoughts:
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!

Connect with Erin McCarthy:



  1. I can see why you would sympathize with Robin. Like you, I can't stand cheater, but seeing how much Robin feels guilt over the act to the point where she's mentally hurting herself is enough to make me feel something for her. This would totally be my type of read few months ago but currently I'm avoiding NA as much as I could. Though I'm glad that you enjoyed it even more than it's predecessors. Great review, Rachel! :)

  2. It's been a while since I've read any NA but seeing as you really like this author, I might have to give her books a go, Rach!

  3. "Robin doesn’t judge him for his circumstances" To be honest, she wasn't in any place to judge, but I liked how she decided to give him a clean slate and how they bonded over art as you said. Haha, for me their romace was a lot insta-lovey, but it kind of suited them, although I still would have liked more slow burn. Perhaps if we saw this situation from Kylie's POV it would have been easy to blame Robin, but yes, I sympathized with her a lot. Can't wait for the next book either ;)

  4. Oh I don't think I have ever sympathized with a cheater before. I hate cheating in books. I've read the first book in this series and found it alright but I really need to catch up with Believe seeing that it is so good. Thanks for your review Rachel! :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

  5. Why did Nate sleep with a girl who was so obviously intoxicated? He seems like a *real* winner. (Ha! I made that comment when I was just at the beginning of your review. "bottom-feeder" sounds like an apt description.) I'm feeling bad for Phoenix with the bad momma, too. Poor boy!

  6. Flawed and relatable characters? You had me at that. I've stayed away from New Adult because I've found it trite and cliche, but this series (and the author) sound amazing!

  7. "Believe made me do something I didn’t thing was possible: sympathize with a cheater."

    That is definitely a feat Rachel, but I know if anyone could do it, Erin McCarthy could. I loathe cheating, I can't even read about it in books, but I think I could handle it with Erin McCarthy at the helm. Robin clearly feels miserable, and while I don't feel like being drunk is a solid enough excuse, there's clearly more going on and I want to read the rest of Robin's story! Fantastic review my friend:)

  8. I would definitely not pick this book up...but then I read your review and now you have me questioning my tastes, Rachel! I'm now interested in this and you have me intrigued with sympathizing with a cheater and the plot-line. Great review as always ;)

  9. Great review, Rachel. It takes a lot to sympathize with a cheater, I tell ya that. This book must've done something right. :)

  10. I definitely need to start this series after seeing your glowing reviews for it, Rachel! I don't know if the insta-love aspects of this would work for me, but the fact that you were able to sympathize with a cheater says a great deal as I know you avoid cheating books. Wonderful review, dear!(:

    1. Thank you, Keertana! :) I wonder what you'd make of this series. I know NA is not usually your type of read, so it'd be interesting to hear what you thought.

  11. I've seen so many comments about Robin being a cheater, but I'm not sure being blackout drunk makes her culpable. I tend to see more of a victim there. I don't know, though, bc I haven't read the series. I do think it sounds like a fantastic series, and I do love McCarthy's adult books.
    Glad you enjoyed this!

    1. I totally agree, Andrea. She wasn't at fault, IMO.

  12. I don't usually have much luck with NA but I've seen this one around. I've heard both good and bad things about the author so I have no idea where I stand but.. I am intrigued by Phoenix's character... it just seems like he is going to be different from the usual cliche.

    I am glad you enjoyed this!!

    Lovely review, Rachel!! :)

  13. I seldom dabble in NA, but this series sounds SO GOOD!! Robin seems to be a good person despite the bit about cheating and it sounds like she has some really good friends. Great review, Rachel!


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