Series: Waking Olivia #1
Published by Selfpublished on March 14, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
"That girl isn't just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She's trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She's the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more.
And the last thing I need right now is more trouble."
A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.
A smart mouth.
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her.
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.
I immediately dove head first into Waking Olivia once I’d finished A Deal with the Devil. And to confirm what I’d purported after finishing Hayes and Tali’s story – yes, a resounding yes, EO’Roark is a new favorite author. So much yeesssss!
Olivia is starting a new school and a new track team after an incident that got her kicked out of her last school, off her last team. She’s one of the best long-distance runners in the nation but she has attitude to spare and a problem she feels she can’t share. But when her new coach, who happens to be young and hot, won’t get off her case, she opens up to him. And when he understands her problem, he does all in his power to help her and in so doing, offers her more kindness than she’s ever known.
Of course, Olivia is off-limits to Will personally but he finds it rather difficult to ignore her plight. The more time they spend together, the more entangled he becomes until he can’t help but cross lines. And Will is a standup guy. He wants to do the right thing even at the expense of his own happiness, something he’s proven he can do when he gave up his passion to continue his father’s legacy. But giving up Olivia? That’s too much to ask.
Waking Olivia was gut-wrenching and emotionally draining yet oh, so very good. Learning about Olivia’s trauma right alongside Will had me falling in love with this couple as they did the same. I can’t imagine all that Olivia had endured and it was startling to be reminded of how our minds protect us from things. But this story was about more than Will “waking” Olivia. They each brought out the best in each other and made the other see all that life could offer.
I appreciated the secondary cast, specifically Will’s mom as well as his brother. They added extra layers of richness to the story, weaving a beautiful tapestry. It also ensured I read the other book in this series. 😉
Waking Olivia is another slow-burn romance, developing the characters and story deftly before the heat arrives. Well, there was heat to be sure – it just took a while before it ignited. Who knew slow-burn could be so good?!? LOL EO’Roark has made me a fan, not only of slow-burn but also her writing. Her style is engaging, keeping me riveted to the story. I look forward to further exploring her backlist.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Elizabeth O’Roark sounds like a really great author. I’ve been craving some slow burn romances lately!
She does do slow-burn oh, so well, Stephanie. 🙂
Oooooo I love me a slow burn romance. Those are the best, imo. It gives you time to learn about the characters individually and see them go from two separate entities to one cohesive unit.
I love a good slow burn romance. This definitely sounds like a good book. I don’t think I’ve read this author before, but I am definitely going to see if my library has any of her books. <3
This author is new to me, but I like the sound of the slow burning romance and emotional pull. Great review Brandee!
Strangely, I feel like I’ve been seeing O’Roark’s name around a lot lately. This one sounds super angsty but it a good way. 🙂 I love a good slow burn, too.