Thursday, October 9, 2014

ARC Review: Sideswiped by Lia Riley

Sideswiped is the second Off the Map book by Lia Riley and is a continuation of Bran and Talia's story. This book is not a standalone and the series should be read in order. I couldn't wait to get more Bran and Talia after the first book. I really loved their characters and thought that they were so different. But honestly this book was a bit disappointing for me and the main reason was the characters. I will definitely be reading the next book, and I am hoping that it doesn't have the same problems that this one did for me.

Talia and Bran were facing a deadline for their relationship when Talia returned home to California. But a research assignment offered her the chance to return to Australia for a limited time. When Bran showed up at her door, Talia quickly forgave him and things seemed to be back on track. But as Talia and Bran face new obstacles, they both begin to wonder what is best for their future. Talia knows that they both need to pursue their dreams if they have any chance of being happy and having a successful relationship. But Bran vows to never do a long distance relationship again, and sees Talia's wanting to pursue her dream as her abandoning him. While Talia tries to convince Bran that she will love him no matter where they are, Bran struggles to see the love she has for him.

I loved Talia and Bran in the first book. Talia is strong and independent, and really mature despite her age. She has had to make some hard decisions and she has struggled through her pain. But she always chose what would not only be best for her but also for Bran. She loved him fiercely and wanted them both to be happy and fulfilled. She continues to struggle with her OCD, but in this book it was much more in control than the first. Bran was my biggest issue this time around. He was whiny and immature. He acted like a child and refused to open his eyes. He let his fears and insecurities get the best of him and held on so tight that he actually ended up making things worse. I really wanted him to get over his insecurities, and really see just how much the love he shared with Talia meant. But he just seemed to do the same things over and over and refused to wake up.

For me, this story felt so similar to the first book with the constant hot and cold. It drove me nuts because I really felt like this book was basically rehashing the same problems that they had already gone through. Bran continued to fall into the same behaviors and I didn't like the pattern that he was forming. Talia was so understanding and supportive, and I really felt like she deserved more from Bran. I wanted them to work things out and didn't stop rooting for them, but the whole time I couldn't stop wishing that Bran would just get his act together already. I am looking forward to reading the next book and seeing how things play out for these two. But I really don't think I can take much more of the push and pull between them. Bran has some serious making up to do, and I really hope that he is able to redeem himself. Talia deserves someone who will be loyal and understanding and support her dreams, I just hope that Bran can be that person.

**ARC Provided by Good Choice Reading and Forever (Grand Central Publishing)**

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