Declaration (Preservation #3) by Rachael Wade
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press (Discern Publishing House)
Source: Review Copy for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon
Featuring characters from Love and Relativity.
Carter Montgomery spent most of his life blending in, and he liked it that way. It was always better to be seen, not heard. And while a theatric streak and friendly demeanor might have fooled most people, he knew the truth—he was the shy one. The quiet kid most people forgot about. Some might have considered that a bad thing, but those people all wanted to be in the spotlight.
The only place Carter didn’t mind attention was on stage, with The Hellions. Once content in his comfort zone in Seattle, Washington, he only knew three things: confrontation was to be avoided, keeping the peace was priority, and the moment he lost Kate Parker to Professor Ryan Campbell, he had no clue what to do with his life. Playing gigs, working at Pike Place Market, and watching BBC after the love of his life sailed off into the sunset just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
Desperate to escape his rut, he takes a cue from Kate and chooses a random place to relocate—a small island across the country, where no one knows his name and memories of unrequited love aren’t found at every turn. Just when he thinks he’s found the perfect place to unwind and sink back into the shadows, in bursts Whitney Sinclair, a saucy firecracker who loves life and refuses to settle for second best. Full of contagious energy, she dares him to be brave, convincing him that it might finally be time to tell the world what he wants.
It might be time to make a declaration.
If you read my review of Preservation, the first book in the series, you'll see just how much I love Carter. And now he's gone from goofy and adorable best friend to leading man. Yes, please. And not only that, but it's a nerdy love story! Because, despite the tattoos and guitar-playing, that's exactly what Carter is and I love it.
Seeing him get away from Seattle after everything that went down between Ryan and Kate was relieving. The only thing that had ever bothered me about Carter was his rather obsessive, puppy-dog affections for Kate, who so didn't deserve them (okay—that might be some bitterness on my part). Moving away from that, we really get to see Carter as more than just a crutch or support system, and he shines! Still Britain-obsessed and adorably shy, you can't help but fall for this guy. How was Whitney supposed to resist?
As for his leading lady, I really preferred her to Kate. She was free-spirited and open, if a little wounded from past missteps, and she challenged Carter to come outside of himself and figure out what his dream was. It was the kind of relationship that lasts—where neither party lets the other be anything less than they're capable of.
With that said, so much of this book is just about Crater moving forward with his life and healing. And a large component of that is trying to get over Kate. I thought this element was a little over done, but I also never understood exactly why he was and remained so infatuated with Kate. To me, he always seemed more into the idea of her (something that's pointed out to him and one point and rather unjustly dismissed, if you ask me). But, in the end, it does serve to make his relationship with Whitney feel that much more solid when they're able to move past it.
There were a few unsettling moments where events started to remind me of the end of Reservation (book 2), which would've taken Carter so far out of character. Luckily, it all worked out, but it still felt like a stretch for him as a person.
Declaration was by far my favorite of the series. In fact, it wouldn't be at all ridiculous to claim that, for me, it felt like this book was the whole reason for the first two. They were just building it up for Carter to get his turn. Because, really: a good guy with a lip ring? Swoon.
Rachael Wade writes edgy New Adult and Adult romance and science fiction. She is the author of the Amazon bestselling Preservation series, The Replacement, and Love and Relativity, as well as the paranormal romance series The Resistance Trilogy. When she's not writing, she's busy going to concerts, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. She's an avid Brandi Carlile fan and loves all things Tim Burton. Visit her at RachaelWade.com and LightsOnLove.com, and come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.