Saturday, January 18, 2014

ARC Review: Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: InterMix

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…

Former party girl Robin changes her ways after a night of partying finds her in bed with her best friend, Kylies, boyfriend. Having no memory of what happened or how she got there, Robin swears off drinking and partying. Loaded down with guilt, she decides to move out of the house she’s sharing with her friends, including Kylie. She just wants to forget what happened and hide it away. 

Phoenix is fresh out of his 5 month stay in prison and crashing on his cousin’s couch. He has no money, no clothes, and no job. His girlfriend cheated on him while he was away and his mother disappeared. His life is going nowhere fast unless he can change it. Then he meets Robin.

This is the third book in the True series and while I enjoy McCarthy’s writing, something about this series just isn’t connecting with me. In Believe, McCarthy finally moves away from the recycled plot lines that were apparent in both the first and second installments. She changed it up and I was pleasantly surprised. This is still a series where I find that I enjoy the males more than the females because I feel they are better written. Phoenix was a very intriguing character right from the start. I wanted to know his past and it was nice that he wasn’t the typical ‘bad guy with the rep’. He was actually clean – more clean than anyone else in the series. And once again, the dynamics between the brothers rate high on my scale. 

But despite the good, there were still issues that I couldn’t look over. One thing being the reoccurring theme of rape and rage in NA books. When Robin sleeps with Nathan, she’s obviously not in the right state of mind to be making any decision and Nathan takes advantage of that. I’m sorry, but if someone is too drunk to even give you their name, they can’t give you consent. End of discussion. And then there’s Phoenix’s rage. So many NA books feature the guy with uncontrollable rage – beating up other guys, punching walls, etc. – this is not attractive and I don’t feel like it should be viewed as such. At least McCarthy showed that Robin felt fearful of Phoenix when he was like that, but the issue itself was never really dealt with. He completely destroyed someone’s car and nothing happened. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think we should romanticize fighting. 

Insta love also seems to happen a lot. And most of the time, it’s extremely unbelievable. Believe wasn’t BAM I love you, but Phoenix getting a tattoo of Robin’s face on his ribs less than a month after meeting her is a little extreme.

Another issue I have with this series is the drama that’s not needed. What was the point of Phoenix’s prison friend? He was introduced fairly early on then not brought back until the very end for some pointless drama that ended up being dealt with on the next page. Like what? It was this huge buildup and then done. Poof. The whole ending felt really rushed to me and everything was just tidied up so prettily that the realism was hard to grasp. Overall, an okay read and a definite improvement from the previous installment.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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