RATING: 8/10 – Brilliant, couldn’t put it down
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realises that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.
If you loved the first book in this series ‘Perfect Chemistry‘ then without a doubt you’re going to fall for this one too. The plot itself is pretty similar, bad boy falls for good girl. But this time with no star-crossed lovers quality.
Like his brother before him, Carlos is descending into the dark world of drugs, violence and gang crime. With an attitude the size of a small planet, he can’t see what’s wrong with his lifestyle. He’s putting food on the table and preventing his mother from working like a slave. When his brother and Mum insist he moves to Colorado, enrol back in school and make a fresh start for himself, he’s of course immediately resistant and inevitably falls straight in with the wrong crowd.
Kiara, is a good girl. I liked her more than I liked Brittany from ‘Perfect Chemistry‘, she is a less conventional heroine. Her love for over sized t-shirts, shorts and hiking boots, the fact she doesn’t even own a pair of high heels and her favourite past time is renovating old cars. She also has a stutter. All of this adds a touch of difference to her character.
I read this book pretty quickly, in about two days. It’s a fun and engaging read. The romance between Kiara and Carlos develops at a nice pace. I liked the fact that beneath the tough, cocky exterior Carlos has a soft, vulnerable centre. Which allowed for some lovely tender moments.
This book is also surprisingly funny too. I shall just say look out for the gay Frisbee scene.
An issue I did have was that the ending does get wrapped up pretty quickly. There was more focus on the relationship between Carlos and Kiara and because of this things are tied up a little too easily for my liking. It felt like, ok they’re in love now, now we need to find away to resolve this problem (not wanting to give too much away), which of course had been a huge part of the storyline.
It is interesting seeing Alex and Brittany again, two years on. While I know this was Carlos and Kiara’s story, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of them. But I did certainly like seeing a wiser, more mature Alex.
I’m usually a fan of epilogues. I sometimes think if I could live in a Disney movie I’d be in heaven, I adore happy endings! But unfortunately Simone Elkeles can’t seem to get the tone of hers right. The epilogue went beyond cheesy, and I hate to sound mean, but to pretty ghastly. My advice…. skip it.
Despite the too easy wrap up I had fun with this book. Made up of great characters and with a romance that is very easy to get swept up in. Carlos is as dark, wild and handsome as his brother.
Also, what a fab cover!
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Books In Series Order:
2. Rules of Attraction
3. Chain Reaction
This book counts towards the following BCC reading challenges: