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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ARC Review: Rival Hearts by Natalie Decker

Rival Hearts is the second book in the Rival Love series by Natalie Decker. This book continues the story of Caleb and Skylar and should be read after Rival Love. While I enjoyed the first book in the series, I did have a few problems with it. One problem was that I felt like Caleb and Skylar's story was unfinished, and at the time I had no idea if there would be more. I was glad to see that Natalie Decker decided to continue the series and couldn't wait to see where these two would go next. That being said, this book was not what I was expecting or hoping for.

Rival Hearts picks up right after Rival Love with Skylar living in New York with her father because of what happened with the school's pool being damaged. She doesn't want to put Caleb through a long distance relationship, so she pushes him away and refuses to talk to him. But Caleb isn't going to let her go easily and decides to head to NY to convince her to return home with him and give their relationship a chance. But with the person still out there who damaged the pool, Skylar isn't safe even when Caleb vows to protect her. Soon, Caleb and Skylar realize that there are those that would do anything to get rid of Skylar and keep the two of them apart.

With Skylar and Caleb both being in high school, I expect a certain amount of immaturity and poor choices. But I was not expecting to start to hate Skylar so much in this book. She was beyond immature and wishy-washy, and it drove me nuts! She was so different from the first book, and I really got tired of the back and forth. I am not sure why with this story it felt like she had a complete personality shift. Caleb on the other hand was great in this story. While he did have some moments of indecision, he was more mature and committed to being a good person. He had grown up a lot and changed for the better. He was determined to show Skylar how much he loved her, and I thought that he did a great job of trying really hard to prove what they shared was real. He was patient with her and kind, and he stood by her no matter what happened.

While I did like Natalie Decker's writing in this story, I just had a lot of problems with Skylar and the constant hot and cold. I also felt as though the surprise obstacle in this story was pretty overdone and predictable. I wasn't really surprised that it went there, but I was hoping it wouldn't. I figured as soon as Skylar and Caleb returned home that Danielle was up to something, and I just wish that it hadn't been so similar to so many other stories out there. I did think that this book had a great pace and was a pretty quick read though. I think that fans of the first book will definitely want to read this story to get more of Caleb and Skylar. But I am not sure that I would read these if I hadn't already started the series. At the end of this book though, Natalie Decker does let the reader know that there will be another book in the series called Rival Dreams. It appears to be set a few years later when Skylar and Caleb are in college, so I will be interested to read it and see if Skylar has grown up any and actually deserves Caleb after everything she did in this one.

**ARC Provided by Swoon Romance PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository |


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