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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review: Before You by Lisa Cardiff

Let me start off by saying that Before You by Lisa Cardiff had almost every single box checked for me before I ever started this book. Hot Cover-Check. Rockstar-Check. New Adult Genre-Check. Love triangle with plenty of angst-Check. But when it came to the actual story here, I had some issues with this one. This one should have been an absolute home run for me, but unfortunately it just wasn't able to fulfill all my expectations and fell short.

Aubrey and Camden have been best friends since they were ten, and have been dating for the last six years. They have been forced to have a long distance relationship while Camden is in LA trying to get his bad off the ground and Aubrey finished school to pursue a career in art back in Colorado. When Aubrey finished her masters degree she agreed to spend a month in LA with Camden and couldn't be more excited to finally spend some time with him. Upon arriving in LA, Aubrey meets the lead singer of the band and instantly feels attracted to him. As Aubrey is continually ignored by Cam and is left by herself more and more, she strikes up a friendship with Jax. As the distance between Cam and Aubrey gets wider, the feelings between Aubrey and Jax continue to grow. Aubrey isn't willing to let her relationship with Cam go easily though after he and his family have been there for her for so long despite how he has been treating her. Aubrey also isn't willing to let it go when Jax is known to never stick with any girl for long or do anything serious. But when Aubrey finds out that Cam has been keeping secrets from her, she can't help but wonder if it is time to move on. Could Jax be the right one for her, and is he willing to risk everything including the future of the band to be with her?

I absolutely loved Jax and hated Cam. They were so different and honestly I just couldn't figure out how Jax was friends with Cam after everything and why he continued to allow things to continue the way they were. Jax was sweet and sexy and really caring and thoughtful. He was known to be a player, but honestly he was honest with the girls and he was less of a player than Cam was. You could tell what a great guy Jax was and that despite his feelings for Aubrey, he really did try to stay away from her as anything other than a friend. He was always there for her and he was so supportive of her in everything that she did. I loved seeing him get to know Aubrey and it was great to see him just spending time with her and also teaching her new things. I could not stand Cam. He was selfish and cowardly and absolutely disgusting. He was the exact kind of guy that thinks he can have his cake and eat it too, and he did not even think that he was doing anything wrong. He would justify everything and make excuses, and then would be an absolute jerk when Aubrey would be upset that he had blown her off again. I just hated him all around, and honestly I have no idea how he would even redeem himself after this story. Aubrey was hard to like at times. She was weak and oblivious. She didn't see anything going on right under her nose, and if that wasn't bad enough she also wouldn't break up with Cam even for what she did know was going on. He treated her horribly and that was without her even knowing about him cheating on her repeatedly. I just didn't understand why she was willing to continue in such a horrible relationship when she had such a great guy right in front of her. I did have times that I liked her and it was nice to see her stand up for herself eventually. She just had such great chemistry with Jax, and they were building such a strong connection that it drove me nuts waiting for her to realize it.

Overall, I think that this story had a lot of promise and it had good moments. I wish that things would have happened sooner though, and I was waiting for Aubrey to wake up. She and Jax were so great together and I felt like it took too long to get there. At that point I hated Cam, was starting to really dislike Aubrey and felt like Jax should have moved on. I really loved Jax though, and I am glad that he got his HEA. He definitely deserved it and I really was happy for him. I think that this book had a lot of back and forth that could have been resolved much earlier. It would have been nice to see more of Jax and Aubrey together rather than so much of her hot and cold relationship with Cam. Cam didn't deserve to be her friend let alone her boyfriend. I think if you are looking for a NA read with a sexy and sweet rockstar, you might give this one a shot. I honestly don't know that Cam can redeem himself after this story, but I am interested to see him try. I will read the next book in this series though, Redeeming You, to see if he can turn his life around and be the guy that once was so great with Aubrey.

**Review Copy Provided by Author**

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