Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Erin Doyle can’t stand manwhores, and she particularly can’t stand Brendan Langstrom—the guy who avoids relationships like the plague and never sleeps with the same girl twice. She and Brendan have waged a war of mutual disdain for years, but when Brendan picks up the pieces after her world unravels, they’ll be forced to admit that beneath their dislike is something else entirely—something they’re not supposed to feel.
Because Brendan isn’t just her nemesis…He’s also her fiance’s best friend.
I have been waiting for this book since I read Waking Olivia. That book started my love for this author, and I read everything she had written. I’ve said it before, but her writing is like a spell, weaving stories so consuming, I can’t put them down! Drowning Erin, while a standalone, does feature characters from Waking Olivia. It was a top read for me last year, so I highly recommend you read it first. This book literally had me glued to the pages, and I read it straight through. It’s rare these days for a book to completely consume me from the start. It had everything I love in a story, dimensional characters, convincing emotions, and a plot that never left me bored.
Drowning Erin is about two characters who hate each other. Well, that is what they would have you believe at least. The tension between these two is amazing. ALL that feeling has to explode sometime, right? Only problem is that Erin already has a live in fiancé and Brendan doesn’t do commitment. The sparks fly when they are forced to spend more time together than either ever imagined.
“Because Brendan-beautiful, reckless, irresponsible, hateful Brendan, who I’ve loathed for so long-has been kinder to me tonight than anyone I can think of, ever.”
Erin has had a hard life with an alcoholic father and an almost child-like mother. She hides so much of herself away from the world, including the man who is supposed to know her above all others. It broke my heart that she carries the many burdens of her family because she loves them so much and doesn’t want to disappoint them. Over the years, she has slowly lost herself, and Brendan is just the man who is able to help her see how much she’s given up for others.
“I’m not sure when, exactly, my life turned so empty that a warm body would be the only thing to look forward to in the first place.”
Brendan is harboring his own burdens and insecurities. Something painful in his past has him running from being serious with anyone, especially his best friend’s fiancé. Yet, he was always protective of Erin before she ever met his friend, and that drives him to want to be there for her. I loved Brendan, even when I wanted to knock some sense into him. He wants more for Erin, but he thinks that doesn’t include him.
“Allowing myself any piece of him is like jumping into the deepest chasm. I can’t begin to imagine how I’d ever climb back out.”
I’m a total angst lover, and this story did not disappoint. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy this author’s writing style. Her words draw out every emotion, whether it’s frustration, heartbreak, or love. You can’t help but fall in love with both these characters and want their happily ever after, although, it won’t come easy. This book had all THE FEELS and I can’t recommend it enough. This author has quickly become an auto-buy for me and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Have you ever started a book and after reading just a few pages thought “This is going to be an amazing story”? That’s how I felt the entire time while reading Drowning Erin. It’s told in dual POV that kept alternating from the past to the present. Once I started I was riveted to my seat and finished it in one sitting. I felt the hairs on my arms stand up, and I had a strong sense of foreboding, almost from the start and I wasn’t disappointed. I live for stories with substance, with meat on the bone so to speak, and this story delivers it by the pound.
Make no mistake about it; it’s a romance, just not the hearts and flowers, easy breezy romance so many of us love to read. If that’s the kind of story you’re looking for, look elsewhere because, this book is not for you. If you can handle angst, this is what you’re looking for; it’s the kind of romance that’s messy and emotionally draining but leaves you satisfied at the end. All the feels, as we like to say, in spades. It’s is going on my Top Ten of the Year list.
Erin Doyle’s known and hated Brendan Langstrom, for years. He was, and probably still is, a manwhore as far as she’s concerned. He was the original one and done man who didn’t want, or believe in having, a relationship.
“Relationships were remarkably easy to avoid if you know what you’re doing: don’t take a girl out who isn’t going to sleep with you, and don’t sleep with girls who will expect a call the next day. It’s that simple.”
They met one summer working together and her best friend, Olivia, later married his brother, Will. To top it off Brendan was also Rob’s, her fiancé, best friend. He’s told Rob a thousand times he’s making a mistake. It comes as a big surprise to find out he moved back to Colorado, after living in Italy the last four years, and Rob’s offered to let him stay in their pool house while he looks for someplace to live, without consulting with her first. As upset as she is Erin should be used to Rob making decisions without informing, much less asking, her in advance. One thing he can’t seem to make her do is set a date, or make plans, for their wedding.
When Rob goes on business trip to Europe, for an extended amount of time without consulting Erin yet again, she and Brendan begin to spend time together. Everyone’s mentioned how much he’s changed, something happened with a girl he met overseas, and that relationship damaged him. With Rob so distant, figuratively and literally, Erin starts to question her life, and choices, until now. Her coworker, and friend, Harper knows something’s up and questions her relationship with Rob.
“I don’t expect her to understand because she didn’t grow up like I did. But I’m not looking for excitement. I simply aspire to the absence of pain. And therefore, I have exactly what I want.”
Not every page is heavy and wrought with emotion; there are moments of levity, especially when Erin meets Brendan’s “dates” and engages in conversation with them. I want to tell people who insist they don’t “do” angst that is the book they need to read, to dip their toes into this particular pond, and get a taste of it. And yes, in case you’re wondering, it’s a true romance with a HEA ending!