The original Driven Series by K. Bromberg featuring Riley and Colton is one of my favorite series of all times. I read the first three books twice. I was a K. Bromberg fan from that time going forward. I’ve read all of the other books in the Driven series so I feel like I grew up with the Hero of this book, Zander Donovan. I’m trying to give you very thorough background on my history with this series and this author because it might make my review biased. I may be giving this book a more generous rating than it actually deserves because of my love for this author and this series. OR, I might be undercutting this rating because I have such extreme high expectations of this series. Either way, it’s important that you be able to read the review in the context in which I wrote it.
You don’t need to have read any other books in this series to read this one so don’t be deterred by the fact that it is book #8. If you have read other books in the series than you know that Zander has some extremely effedupness (new word alert!) in his past. Zander’s father was an abusive drug addict who killed his Mother while Zander was present. Zander was later adopted by one of my favorite couples of all time, Riley and Colton Donovan. When this book kicks off, Zander has learned some things about his past that make him question his present. As a result, he starts self-destructing in a very agonizing fashion. Zander escapes to a pull town to pull his life together and runs (literally), smack dab into Getty Caster.
Getty is also trying to get a fresh start in a small town. Getty is escaping an abusive ex-spouse and a loveless family situation. Getty is struggling to learn to assert herself and Zander gives her plenty of practice. Getty first has to learn to stand up to Zander’s rapidly changing moods (which were annoying) and then how to stand against her past. Along the way, Getty and Zander learn to co-exist in the same house.
Their initial attraction quickly evolves into something more. Zander tries to resist because he just feels like he is too messed up for someone as good as Getty. Getty tries (and fails) to protect her heart because she knows Zander is planning to return to his life in LA without her. The connection between the couple is undeniable and well depicted. I loved how Getty monitored Zander’s fix it list and I loved how tender the two were towards one another. I believed Zander and Getty as a couple and I was rooting for them.
So why the three stars? It was the level of angst in this book. The angst level was so extreme I almost couldn’t take it. Zander is in constant emotional turmoil over the events of his past and whether he should “open the box” to his past. There are pages and pages of Zander reliving the same emotional issues over and over. The same is true for Getty. It is angst on 10 about her past and her future and her feelings for Zander, just everything. Even worse is that the angst is internal to the characters. That means that a lot of the book is about the characters internal dialogue instead of their communication with one another. If angst is overdone, for a reader like me, it can feel like emotional torture. I love this author, I like the couple, the writing is good but I need the angst level reduced by 2/3. If that was the case, this book would probably be 5 stars for me.
**ARC provided by Publisher**