Chasing Serenity (Seeking Serenity #1) by Eden Butler
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Review Copy from Author
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Graduate student Autumn McShane has had her share of heartbreak. She's been abandoned and betrayed and she lost her beloved mother in a tragic car accident five months ago. That loss damaged her body and fractured her spirit but she's learning to recover, until her ex-boyfriend returns to town, intent on making her life miserable.
Declan Fraser hates her ex as much as Autumn does, but the last thing she needs is to put her trust in the hands of another man, especially one like Declan: his hard body and lulling Irish accent makes more than a few girls weak-kneed. The talented rugby player is rude and sarcastic, with tattooed, muscular arms and a cocky attitude, but he's the only one who can help Autumn win an ill-advised bet that, if lost, could cost her more than she's willing to pay. The reluctant alliance between Declan and Autumn stirs up cravings she doesn't want to admit, but Declan is a hard man to resist.
Just when Autumn starts letting down her carefully constructed walls to the sexy bad boy, he betrays her when she needs him most. Autumn suspects Declan has secrets, and she is determined to uncover what drove him away from her, even if that means fraternizing with the enemy. But will the truth return Declan to her arms or add to the scars on her heart?
Chasing Serenity follows Autumn McShane, a graduate student living in a small, Irish-expat town in the aftermath of a tragic accident. Now to add even more complexity, her ex has just rolled back into town and seems hell-bent on winning her back regardless of her feelings. Enter Declan Fraser—the sexy, new-to-town Irish rugby player. He's exactly what Autumn thinks she doesn't need...but he's out to change that.
Autumn is strong-willed, resilient, and determined to overcome her accident and learn to live again without her mother. Navigating her somewhat-strained relationships with those around her in the aftermath is at times heartbreaking and others uplifting—she struggles with her feeling of disconnect while still clinging fiercely to them. But the way she opens up throughout the story—to her friends, to Joe, and eventually Declan—is thoroughly satisfying.
Declan himself was just—wow. I'm a little embarrassed by how on board all the girly parts of my brain were with him, even at the few times he was a little too alpha-male controlling. It's kind of sad how much I'm a sucker for an accent and a little dash of nerdiness. And, truly, the Irish thing works so damn well for him without being too overwhelming. Certain words are spelled phonetically to sprinkle in a little reminder here and there just in case you forget. But on top of that, he's sweet and caring (if a little overbearing at times), just a bit of a dork, and determined to win his girl. I couldn't help but fall for him, and I was with him the whole way in his endeavor for Autumn.
Their relationship progresses at a jilted pace, but it works in the context of their story. They each have their hangups that cause problems along the way, but it just makes it all the more satisfying when they're finally on the same page. This is a couple that simultaneously challenges and supports each other, even before they were officially together, which is something I love to see.
But even outside of these two there are some really likable characters. The whole town, if fact, is warm, genuine, and intriguing. I'm looking forward to the other books in this series, the first of which will follow one of Autumn's girl friends. I hope all of them will get books in the end!
Chasing Serenity is a great read for new adult fans, especially those who love men of the international variety! Besides that, it's a great love story full of fun, relateable characters. Be sure to check it out!
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, Chasing Serenity, will launch October 2013.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrow-esque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.