Series: Compass Series #3
Published by BCherry Books on December 9, 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited
I always believed in fairy tales, but he preferred horrors.
Damian Blackstone didn’t care about my existence. He came into my world for one reason only. He came to find answers about his past.
He moved like the villain in my favorite fairy tales. He wasn’t the one who received the happily ever afters; he was the one who destroyed them.
Which was why I couldn’t understand why the man who raised me set it up in his will for Damian and me to be married. I wasn’t certain I’d be able to live with a man like Damian. We were as opposite as any two people could be. I loved to bathe in the sunlight while he prospered in the shadows.
I didn’t think I’d develop feelings for the one who looked at me as if I were nothing more than a means to an end. Yet in his darkness, sometimes I’d see sparks of light. I’d see gentleness. I’d see his soul.
We became entangled with one another as we fell into mistakes and called them fate. I was his Cinderella, and he was my Beast.
I wasn’t certain that twisted fairy tales ended with happily ever afters.
Still, I was determined to find out.
I had the pleasure of another buddy read with my COYER friend, Nadene. This time we read Western Waves by Brittainy Cherry. You can check out this review and others at Nadene’s blog, Totally Addicted to Reading. 🙂 Let’s get to our chat!
Despite some consistency issues, I think we both enjoyed Western Waves. The inconsistencies did pull me out of the story at times. It felt rushed. But the bones of the story were good. This was actually the first book I’ve read from this series but I plan to go back and read its predecessors since you recommend them. 😉 Your overall opinion?
Yes! You need to read the previous books. You won’t regret it. They were both enjoyable and raised the bar on my expectations for Western Waves. I went into the story expecting an emotional ride and despite the inconsistencies it did not disappoint. I do agree with it feeling rushed, which I found surprising based on my experience with the author’s work.
Some of my favorite elements and moments were the initial meet (aka the scone scene!), the wedding vows, the sarcastic banter between Stella and Damian (Cinderstella and Beast! *giggle-snort*), and the references to gods and goddesses. I particularly liked how the gods/goddesses played out in relation to Stella, the ocean, and how she could commune with her lost loved ones via the sea. I also appreciated the Twilight reference. That made me laugh! “And seen the moves. I’m an asshole, Connor, not some culturally unintelligent schmuck.” LOL What were some of your favorite elements and/or scenes?
Oh yes! I enjoyed the scone scene. I laughed so hard; my eyes watered. The wedding vows had me swooning. For someone who built so many emotional walls around his heart, Damian was quite poetic. I too loved their banter. What made it so much fun was how they both viewed life. Damian had a cynical view on life, while Stella was bubbly and saw the good in everyone, even when it was not deserved. I too found that scene between he and Connor in reference to Twilight entertaining. Especially when he told Connor that his wife should have taken his not reading Twilight as a red flag.
“You’re just now reading those books? Aaliyah should’ve taken that as a red flag and run the other way.”
By the time I was about a quarter in, I felt like I really understood Damian and his issues. However, I was surprised at Stella’s being two-fold. While Damian had abandonment issues, Stella had body image issues that coincided with abandonment issues. The way they each dealt with their problems actually worked well together in the resolving of them, in my opinion. It was interesting how BCherry drew Stella and Damian as opposites yet they had many similarities. It made for a solid relationship once they circumnavigated a few bumps. 😉 Did you like the way Damian and Stella were able to work through their baggage while building their relationship?
I knew going into the story that Damian suffered from issues with abandonment. This installment gave me a better understanding of the circumstances. He didn’t have an easy life and I understood his bitterness towards the man who sired him. I am happy the truth came to light, giving him the chance to let go of the bitterness get on the road to healing. She had such positive outlook on life I never suspected Stella had problems with body image. I loved how Damian made her feel good about herself, which resulted in her seeing herself in a positive light. Despite the difference in their circumstances, their shared similar issues which in my opinion contributed to their ability to overcome the obstacles to their forming a lasting relationship.
The stepmothers were all around awful. They certainly left their mark on Stella so I was saddened to learn one of them was Damian’s birth mom. Although I thought the reveal was anticlimactic, I also though to give her more time on the page would have given her more credit than she was due. What are your thoughts on the stepmothers?
Don’t get me started on those stepmothers. I am still trying to fathom what Kevin was thinking when he allowed those women to be a part of Stella’s life. I understand he missed Stella’s mom and regret not letting her know his true feelings, so he was searching for Stella in all these women. But Stella was the one who suffered for his choices. I agree with you on the reveal of Damian’s mother. It was rather anticlimactic. I thought that aspect of the story could have been further developed, but then like you said she didn’t deserve more page time.
The supporting cast added a lot to the story. Maple, Connor, and Aaliyah specifically. Stella’s boyfriend, Jeff, was a complete tool. But I really thought the others gave depth to Stella and Damian. How did you feel about the supporting characters?
I agree they added depth to the story. I loved both Connor an Aaliyah whom I met from the previous book. It was fun getting to know Maple. Jeff on the other hand was a big jerk. I knew he was up to no good from the outset. I hated how he played on Stella’s insecurities and it made me sad to see her making excuses for him time and time again. So glad she eventually saw his true nature with Damian’s help.
One last thing I want to touch on was Kevin’s letter. Kevin had raised Stella as his own, Stella’s mom having been his best friend. Kevin had looked for love in all the wrong places – the aforementioned wicked stepmothers. And Kevin had found he had a son once it was too late. While the parameters of his will were completely unconventional, they brought Stella and Damian together. The letter Kevin wrote laying it all out? Poignant. And it helped make sense of his dying wishes. What did you think of Kevin’s letter?
The letter was touching and it helped me understand Kevin’s final decision. He knew what he was doing when he made his will. He knew what his choices in women did to Stella. His will was his way of trying to make amends for bringing those evil women into Stella’s life. I am sorry he didn’t get the chance to know his son.
It was such fun buddy reading with Nadene again! I can’t wait to see what we read next!
Terrific buddy read reviews. I’m so glad you were both laughing about this story. I’ll need to check out this series.
Thanks, Wendy. I hope you’ll enjoy the series as well. 🙂
Brandee, I had fun too and I am definitely looking forward to our next buddy read.
We’ll have to chat soon about what our next buddy read should be. 🙂
Excellent buddy review! I love the back and forth nature of these reviews. Also glad that despite a couple issues, you both enjoyed.
Thanks, Jen. Yep, this was a pretty good read. And buddy reads/reviews are so fun! 🙂