Caught Inside is my first read by S. Briones Lim, and I didn't really know what to expect. But I was really drawn in by the blurb and cover of this story and decided to take a chance on it. While there were things that I liked about this book, I ended up not loving it and it was actually hard for me to finish this one. I felt like it started off really well and had a lot of promise, but that after about half way through it just fell flat.
Riley Dillon just had the worst day ever. After finding out she was being fired from a job she didn't want in the first place, she broke her lucky shoes, and returned home to find her fiance sleeping with someone else. She decides to leave NY and head back home to her small hometown of Mistcoast, California to figure out her next move. Needing to find a job, her best friend recommends that she head to the local surf shop since they just posted a sign needing help. She never expects the owner to be the boy she once tutored back in high school. Though at the time four years age difference was a huge deal, Blake Reynolds is determined to show Riley that it no longer needs to be. Blake views Riley showing up at his shop to be his second chance with the girl that he once let get away. But will Riley finally take a chance on a relationship with Blake and stay put in California, or will she return to NY to pursue her dreams and leave Blake with a broken heart?
I really liked Blake. He had a few annoying moments, but after he had a heart-to-heart with Riley it explained why he acted the way he did sometimes. Beyond that though, he was super sweet and thoughtful, and he never gave up on Riley. He went out of his way to always do nice things for her and never once expected anything but love in return. He was so great to her and for her, and I thought that he deserved to be loved and treated well in return. Riley was impossible for me to connect to, and was a large part of my problem with this book. She was weak and wishy washy, and she honestly drove me nuts. She was always running and pretty much being a coward. Everyone around her pointed it out and all she did was get defensive and ignore them. She lied to Blake repeatedly and pretty much led him on the entire book. While I loved Blake and I liked that these two had some history between them, I got to the point that I was rooting for him to move on and find someone else.
My other big problem with this book was that it was really slow and seemed to drag a lot. The first half was interesting and I was really enjoying the story. But after that it just went downhill. I found myself bored and just wanting to skim to get it over with. I wanted to finish to see how things would end up, but it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as the first half of the story. I think the only reason I continued to read was for Blake. To me, this book could have been a really good one but it just sort of ran out of steam. I was disappointed with Riley's actions, and she just seemed to be completely immature and childish. She definitely didn't act her age, and it was hard to believe that she was older than Blake was. As much as I wanted to love this story, she made it next to impossible and I doubt that I will remember this story in the long run.
**Review Copy Provided by Sizzling PR**
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