I have loved the Cruel & Beautiful series from the start, and One Wrong Choice was on my list of most anticipated books this year! A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine make a fantastic writing team, and I figured this one was going to be yet another favorite of mine from this duo. Unfortunately, this book wasn't what I had been expecting at all. I have been trying to put into words for days how I feel about this one, but the only word I have been able to come up with is frustrating. Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of readers are going to love this one. But for me, there was a lot about this story and the characters that didn't work.
Jenna's life is what anyone would think of as perfect. She is about to marry a handsome and rich man that cares about her and that her family approves of. But when Jenna met Brandon, everything he changed. Kenneth's opposite in every way, Brandon is tattooed and works as a mechanic, the kind of guy her mother would never accept. But as Kenneth is away a lot on business, the friendship between Brandon and Jenna grows, leaving her town with what choice is really the right one and which is actually the wrong choice that could ruin everything.
Having read the previous books in the series, I was expecting to see the confident and sometimes feisty Jenna that I have come to know and love. Unfortunately that girl was nowhere to be found here. It really truly felt like she was someone entirely different here, completely hung up on what her mother thought she should do and refusing to think for herself. Her character here came off as weak, wishy washy and a complete flake at times. I wanted to shake her and tell her to stand up to her mother, and it got to be so frustrating throughout this story. Brandon was a character I loved and was rooting for from the start. I really felt bad for him, and honestly I thought he deserved so much better. We don't control who we fall in love with, and yet at times he let Jenna walk all over him and pull him back in every time he tried to break free. He was a great guy, worth of being truly happy and my heart ached for him at times. I did think that Jenna and Brandon's connection and chemistry were strong and easy to see, but the fact that she kept stringing him along all the while refusing to be with him because of circumstances left me with a bad taste in my mouth even though ultimately I wanted them together.
Overall, I really feel like this book was so different from what I had been expecting. While I did expect some angst and the fact that Jenna was engaged to Kenneth, I really thought that the chemistry and connection she had with Brandon would have things quickly turning around for them so that they could face the world together. I knew taking on her mother and going against her wishes wouldn't be easy, but I really didn't expect the fact that Jenna would just kind of roll over and have the attitude about it all she did. Brandon truly deserved better, and this just didn't feel like it fit with this series or what I have come to know about these characters. I do still love A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine, but this wasn't the book I had been hoping for if I am truly honest. This series is fantastic, but sadly this book was my least favorite and had me disappointed in how they ended this series since this is the last book. It was great to see familiar faces here though, and I definitely recommend reading the previous books. I think that this is one worth reading if you are a fan of the series, and that there will be a lot of readers that love this one. For me though it just didn't live up to what I have come to know, love and expect from these two authors.
**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**