Friday, February 9, 2018

Begin Again (Again #1) by Mona Kasten

He makes the rules. She breaks them all.

A new start. It's the only thing keeping Allie Harper going, when she packs up her life and moves across the country to Woodshill, Oregon. She's about to start college, desperate to leave the ghosts of her past behind her. Even if that means never talking to her parents again.

Now the hard part - finding an apartment before classes start. Just when it seems she'll have to live out of her car, Allie visits one more place. It's beautiful. With one exception: can she stand being roommates with campus bad boy Kaden White? Sure, Kaden is sexy with his tattoos and careless attitude, but he's also an arrogant jerk. With nowhere else to go, Allie moves in.

The first thing Kaden does is make a set of rules. Either Allie obeys, or she's out:

1. Don't talk about your girl problems.
2. Keep your mouth shut if I bring someone home.
3. We will NEVER hook up.

Easy enough, thinks Allie. Who would want to get involved with a brute like Kaden? But the more she gets to know him, the more she sees beyond his gruff facade. He, too, is harboring some painful secrets. For Kaden and Allie, it gets harder and harder to ignore the sparks between them. And the lines between the rules start to blur-

Begin Again is a beautiful romance that shows us just how possible it is to start over. To find freedom in heartbreak and love in the most unlikely places. (add on Goodreads)
"At this moment I could not only imagine the freedom that I’d been longing for—I felt like I had achieved it, like it was filling me. The energy of life tingled through my body; I didn’t even feel my muscles ache anymore. A slight breeze tickled the ends of my hair. I was breathless."
I received an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, the quote I used may have changed or been altered in some way, but I am quoting from what I received.

Begin Again was originally published in German, but I'm delighted they decided to translate it! The night I started this, I could not put it down. I kept telling myself "one more chapter," because you know how that is, but the story was on my mind even when I wasn't reading it. It wouldn't take long before I was engrossed in the pages again, housework be damned.

Obviously, we know Kaden's rules are doomed to fail, and it was so fun watching them crumble. He's a hypocrite when it comes to his rules, too. He even admits that he can break them when he wants to because they're his. Kaden has freely admitted to being an asshole from the beginning, but we can see how he uses that as a shield against the world. He has demons to deal with, but so does Allie.

Allie is forced to confront her problems a lot sooner than she would have liked because her mother is psychotic. If I were Allie, I would have disconnected my phone service long before arriving in Woodshill. She may have been her mother, but that woman was not motherly. I don't care how much money someone throws at you, your child should always come first. I can't even think about Allie's parents without throwing up in my mouth.

The scenery for this book is beautiful. I love it when Allie and Kaden go hiking (some of my favorite moments happen off the trail), and it makes me want to grab my boots and go climb a mountain. I feel like this is where the two of them really connected. There were no distractions, just them and nature.

I want to be best friends with the secondary characters! They were all so wonderful and such good people. Kaden and Allie both needed those friendships, and I hope to see more of these characters in the future.

I do have one tiny issue with this book... I didn't like how Kaden's past was revealed and explained. I feel like we were given bits and pieces of information throughout the book, but then we're smothered with it at the end. I would have enjoyed it more had it felt natural instead of rushed. Allie has to deal with her issues the entire book, but we only get a few chapters of Kaden being confronted with his.

Overall, it's a captivating story that I could not read fast enough!

Side note: I loved the tattoos and the music!

25 comments:

  1. This sounds absolutely lovely Lindsi, I love characters with redeeming storylines like Kaden's, he puts on that asshole persona boy stop someone from getting too close, like Allie. The ending sounds a bit messy but what's romance without that sprinkle of dramatics. Really curious to see if you can tell it's been translated too. Absolutely brilliant review, stoked how incredibly hooking it is! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never would have known that it was translated from German had I not read that tidbit beforehand. It was a beautiful story with wonderful characters! Lovely describes it perfectly! A sprinkle of dramatics? Haha! Yes, I guess you could say that. If Kaden's story had been explained a little more, or had a slower reveal, I would have had no issues with this book.

      Thank you! If you decide to read this one, let me know!

      Delete
  2. Sounds like it wasn’t perfect but still a good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed it immensely! I just wish Kaden's issues had gotten a little more attention.

      Delete
  3. I don’t read romance only so much these days but this sounds too good! And translated from German but set in Oregon... how cute and funny is that! Great review... you convinced me ♥️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved the Oregon setting! Like I said, it makes me want to climb a mountain (or at least go hiking/camping for a few days).

      I'm glad you were convinced! This book is totally worth it. 😘

      Delete
  4. Oh, I like the sound of this one. I see that it's shown as #1 in a series... does it end of any kind of cliffhanger or does it read as a stand alone? I enjoyed your review!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the first book in a series, but I believe the other books follow different characters (which I'm super excited about). There wasn't a cliffhanger, and this could definitely be read by itself. Kaden and Allie could always have more to say, but I don't think they will be the main focus of the other books.

      I'm happy you enjoyed it! It was such an incredible story.

      Delete
    2. So glad to hear it's not a cliffhanger and that book 2 will be other people! I love catching up with old characters through later books but I don't enjoy lengthy multi-book romances in contemporary romance.
      In paranormal, UF etc., it's a case of bring it on! Can't get enough, lol.

      Delete
  5. I added this to my wish list after reading the blurb. After reading your review, I'm twitching to get my hands on it but must behave for now... I'll get my hands on it eventually, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Behave? Lol! I don't think you should keep yourself from buying this book--sooo good! I couldn't fit enough love into this review. There were so many things I left out just to keep it from getting too long.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. It is! I already want to read it again.

      Delete
  7. I'm not usually one for romance, but I've been trying to expand the types of books I read. Maybe I'll check this one out! It sounds like a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so fun! If you're going to test the romance waters, I highly recommend this one!

      Delete
  8. Roommates, great side characters, and a redemption arc - sounds great, and totally liked something I would enjoy. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I ordered a physical copy as soon as I finished reading it! I wanted to be able to see it on my shelves, lol.

      Delete
  9. Those books you keep thinking about even while not reading are the BEST! Glad you loved this! It does sound sweet and fun. It must've been since you still enjoyed it so much even though you knew the rules would fail lol. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's one of the best books I've read lately! I know you don't read too many romance books, but you can always pretend they're vampires. 😘

      Delete
  10. I had some issues with the story but overall I enjoyed it as well. I really enjoyed the secondary characters too! I'm glad you liked it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting that this was translated and glad you enjoyed it. I'm on the lookout for more books set in college, but trying to find more coming-of-age stuff than pure romance. Great review!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This could pass for a coming-of-age story. Allie has never lived on her own, and she has completely cut ties with her family when she starts college. She's trying to make it on her own without their influence, and she's trying to figure out who she is without them. I think you should try it!

      Delete
  12. This sounds like a good New Adult Romance. I do not understand how parents could never have their child come first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, I absolutely HATED Allie's parents. But the book is wonderful! 😉

      Delete

Comments are like buttons, you don't want to miss one! Please check the "notify me" box at the bottom so you don't miss my response.