Title: Finding Me (Second Chances, #2.5)
Author: Stephanie Rose
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: May 22, 2016
I've always been lost . . . Abandoned by a father who didn't want me. Cherished by a stepfather, though I wasn’t his. Shattered by a boy who swore he loved me. But I belonged nowhere, to no one. Then I met Owen, the sweet-talking hockey player who made me love him. He gave me the courage to trust in someone besides myself. He showed me a love I longed for. When an unwanted ghost comes knocking on my door, my heartbreaking history threatens to repeat itself. But where do I turn if I lose everyone? And how do I find where I belong, when I’m still Finding Me? Finding Me is a spinoff from the Second Chances series and can be read as a standalone.
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I couldn’t quite make eye contact with Ethan since the last time I came back to the apartment with Owen before Thanksgiving break. We caught Ethan naked in the hallway—on a date and thinking they had the place to themselves for a night. I was no prude, but seeing junk not belonging to my boyfriend turned me three shades of red. I hadn't even seen Owen's, but I . . . felt it . . . a lot. On my leg, against my stomach, sometimes rubbing my back if he was holding me from behind. Why I was so bashful I couldn't say, especially since I didn’t have a cherry to pop. But it was only one guy and only one time, shortly before he shredded my heart and then stomped all over it. Even though I couldn't make my virginity grow back, I wasn’t quite ready to go there again. However, not being ready for sex had absolutely nothing to do with wanting it. Our time together always ended with a scorching kiss and groping against the nearest wall. Owen’s Southern gentility was probably wearing thin these past few weeks. “Owen? The movie starts in a half hour!” I called as I strolled down the hallway. “Hey, City. Give me a minute, practice ran late.” Owen had just stepped out of the shower and was dripping freaking wet. The V on his hips disappeared into a towel cinched around his tapered waist. Water traveled from the stray tangled locks at his neck and trickled down over his ripped chest and his abs before disappearing into the bunched up material at his waist. I licked my parched lips and tried to remember how to speak. How many damn abs did he have? Six? Eight? I was gaping at a wet, half naked Owen while the corner of the bastard's mouth turned up in a smirk. I didn't have the faculties to scowl back. My tongue didn't want to work unless it was tracing the water trails across Owen's body. “Keep looking at me like that, baby. We won't be going anywhere tonight.”
Meeting Owen + More Lucas = BLISS
Finding Me might just be my favorite book by Stephanie Rose yet. It was sweet, sexy and even though parts hurt my heart at times, I would have it no other way because it proved that true love and devotion are real no matter where they come form. Owen and Bella's story left a huge smile on my face and an almost tangible feeling of happiness in my chest.
Bella, a college freshman, is leaving for university hoping for a fresh start. Her senior year of high school wasn't easy so she's going to a school in which she can be herself without her past crushing in. Not long after arriving she runs into a hot senior hockey player (in more ways than one) who asks her to tutor him. She's a bit baffled but accepts. As they spend time together, Bella develops a bit of crush but is trying to stay away from relationships because the last one about broke her. Plus someone so popular and gorgeous would never really date her anyway so she thinks it's a moot point anyway. But when it becomes obvious that Owen is spending time with her because he actually likes her, Bella finally gives in. But dating the star of the school isn't easy especially when her past comes crawling back.
When Bella was five her biological father left her high and dry. Her step-dad, Lucas, has always treated her as his own but there's a scar that will never go away when the one person in the world that is supposed to love and support you, abandons you. She's never gotten over that and when he comes back wanting to reconnect, Bella isn't sure what to do. As time goes on and he doesn't go away, she decides that this might help her heal. Yet reality is never as good as the fantasy and she finds that out the hard way. And when reality also starts crashing in around her relationship with Owen, she finds herself drowning in both past and present hurts.
Finding Me had me giggling, swooning, and raging. With so many emotions playing out, Ms. Rose still made it obvious that Bella and Owen were made for each other. The beauty of this story is that second chances are real and so is true love. I also adored that Lucas played such a pivotal role in this story. While it was most definitely Bella and Owen's story, the addition of Lucas really helped make the story that much more complete. It is a standalone but having read Always You made this story come alive that much more. There were some parts where the miscommunication was a bit frustrating but overall, I loved this story, it's development and it's outcome.
Reviewed by Paige
★★☆ 4.5 "BLISS" Stars ☆★★
About The Author
Stephanie Rose was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and still lives there with her superhero-obsessed husband and son. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a day job in marketing, but she always has a story in her head. Her books are full of swoon-worthy men and feisty heroines. This lifelong New Yorker lives for Starbucks, book boyfriends, and 80s rock. Her voice is often mistaken for a Mob Wives trailer.
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