Finding Serenity (Seeking Serenity #2) by Eden Butler
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Review Copy for Tour
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Mollie Malone's mom skipped out on her. Her biker dad, always loose and easy with the law, still was able to make her feel loved, and to keep her safe. But thirteen years ago, when his luck finally ran out and he landed in prison, Mollie found herself a new family—a group of friends in the sleepy little college town of Cavanagh, Tennessee, where now they all attend the local university. These girls know about the rotten roots of her family tree but accept her anyway, and the bond between them is so strong and supportive that Mollie is finally able to see past graduation to a future that is bright and secure.
But sometimes the past doesn't stay buried.
Suddenly, inexplicably, there's a shadow behind every step Mollie takes. Someone is lurking in that shadow, threatening not only Mollie, but also the new family she has claimed for herself.
And it isn’t just the past that has Mollie’s life in upheaval. Hunky former Marine Vaughn Winchester—who Mollie really would like to get to know much better—thinks Mollie is just a kid; he's made it clear she wouldn't ever be able to understand the demons haunting him. But if that's what he believes, then why does he keep sticking his nose in her business? And if he thinks she’s such a kid, why does he keep trying to kiss her?
Vaughn’s mind games are frustrating, especially since Mollie knows enough about secrets to be convinced that there's something he isn’t telling her, something he's so far been able to keep hidden. But when that secret is revealed, Mollie is forced into a situation that tests her loyalty and threatens even her closest friendships - just when the shadow of her past returns, and she's going to need them the most.
We met Mollie and Vaughn in Chasing Serenity, the first book in the series. Raised by her outlaw biker father until he was incarcerated, Mollie is independent, tough-as-nails, and fiercely loyal. She met ex-marine Vaughn after taking a spill in the Dash (a race she and her friends ran together) and since then he's run hot and cold, leaving her confused and frustrated. He has a secret, and it's one that will alter the course of both their lives.
Which just makes reviewing this book all the more interesting/frustrating, because that secret is a big deal to plot. But giving it away would ruin the fun! So expect some vagueness.
I loved Mollie. She's fierce, snarky and so much fun. Sometimes she's determined to a fault, but it just serves to make her an incredibly well-rounded character. Getting a better look into how she grew up than what we'd learned in the first book was a real treat. And that, coupled with an outsider's perspective of Declan and Autumn made it so much fun to read.
Vaughn is much more serious and reserved. He's haunted by past demons from his service and trying to get on track, but is still struggling. It just serves to make Mollie an even better match—she understands the painful parts better than anyone, but manages to maintain one hell of a sense of humor! Vaughn certainly needed that a couple of times.
Their relationship was flipped from the first book in a lot of ways, which fit the characters well. Instead of the guy chasing the girl like Declan and Autumn, we have Mollie chasing Vaughn. And it works so well, because she's the free-spirited soul with the screw-em' attitude and he needs to learn how to live with all he's been through. Underlying everything else is a beautiful, classic story of healing and rounding out each other's sharp edges.
I absolutely adored Chasing Serenity, and Finding Serenity did not disappoint as a follow up! There's less yummy-Irish-accent, but Declan makes appearances to fill the void! Overall, Vaughn and Mollie had a great story story and incredible chemistry to keep you interested until the end. 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 launched October 2013.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.