Preservation (Preservation #1) by Rachael Wade
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press (Discern Publishing House)
Source: Review Copy from Author
Goodreads • Amazon
Fear is sabotage's sweetest weapon.
Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can't afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else's complicated baggage.
When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell's creative writing class, he is only "Mr. Campbell" to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor.
But underneath Ryan's abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can't stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they're willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That's if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don't pummel their efforts first.
I have a hard time trying to sum up my feelings about Preservation. I enjoyed reading the book, but there were also several elements that I really didn't like for one reason or another. For starters, the complete lack of communication between Kate and Ryan. Or the fact that they both seemed determined to remain self-serving. Or, while I usually love a good professor/student romance (and this one even took care of squiggy age differences!), the idea of a professor who constantly has affairs with students, with almost zero subtlety to boot, before finding "the One" was less than endearing. There are more, but there were also enough things that kept me interested to have me pretty confused within myself by the end.
As far as the characters go, there was also a bit of a split. Kate, overall, I liked (despite the fact that she worked the commitment-phobe thing very hard and that tends to bother me more than a little). Her back story, although interesting was vague at times and I think missed out as a result. A more concrete understanding of her past could've really packed a punch, if you ask me. But still, she's confident at times, lost at others, stubborn, a little bit snarky, and loyal. These are all qualities I can get behind.
Which brings us to her male counterpart. I really wanted to like Ryan, but the fact that he doesn't seem to like himself at all made that difficult. There was so much self-loathing that the only things that kept me interested were the forbidden love element (I'm a sucker, what can I say?) and the chemistry between Ryan and Kate (which I actually did enjoy, even if I wasn't particularly fond of their characters). As we neared the end, I would say I'd definitely grown to like him more, but one of the twists at the end really tested that. In the end, I more-or-less liked him, but it certainly wasn't a clearly positive opinion.
The most entertaining characters for me, by far, were Carter and Dean, Kate's best friends. They're awesomely lovable, all-things-British-obsessed, nerdy goofballs and I adored them. I was less fond, however, of the "we're both in love with Kate!" element of their characters (less so Dean, but it was still there). I wanted to see them get over it and just be awesome, and it seemed like one of them had, but the other remained firmly entrenched. Sadness. But these guys were awesome—lovable, supportive, so freaking loyal, and sweet.
So, despite my mixed feelings, I did enjoy reading Preservation. This is the kind of book for true romance fans, where you can find enjoyment in the progression of the story almost in spite of the characters, at times.
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.