Fading Out (Living Heartwood #3) by Trisha Wolfe
Love means fading out so another shines brighter.
Right clothes. Right school. Right fiancé. As a Wyndemere, Arian’s expected to abide by the rules. The most important: be perfect. But Arian’s seemingly flawless life is far from it. An embarrassing expulsion from her parents’ alma mater spirals an already unhealthy obsession out of control, exposing a dark truth.
Faced with having to attend a small private college after a stint in rehab, Arian’s just ready to coast under the radar and repair some of the wreckage, but her father’s looming control is like a vise choking off her air supply.
When a run-in with Braxton’s beloved star quarterback, Ryder Nash, puts Arian squarely in the crosshairs of his devoted teammates, the last of her controlled, orderly world unhinges. As the pranks and paybacks escalate, Arian and Ryder’s rivalry takes a passionate turn. And once Arian glimpses beneath the all-star-athlete exterior Ryder projects, she realizes he’s far more than just a jock.
As their relationship intensifies, outside forces feel the threat. Outrunning their pasts doesn’t mean history won’t repeat itself, but Ryder can’t let that happen. He’s just one Championship game away from breaking the mold. Only one moment, one choice, might change everything.
Told from both Arian's and Ryder's POV. New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
Publishes in US: February 18th 2015
Genre: NA contemp
Series? Living Heartwood #3
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Was so excited when I got the ARC email because I adore Trisha, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first two companion novels of the Living Heartwood series.
My heart went out to Arian. She has low self esteem but feels such pressure from her parents to look, act and portray herself in a certain way. Her depression and eating disorders stem from this, and it is a cycle for her, do well, feel the stress, pressure and anxiety-- purge and feel the calm and control and energy. I think that she was really well crafted and from someone who's suffered some with eating disorders and especially realizing more and more the link to anxiety, she was realistic.
I always enjoy the dual perspective and this was no exception. Ryder has some of his own issues of course, and when he sees Arian he is reminded of Alyssa, and it throws him off balance. And dang at the banter. So full of tension and they both gave it out. Hard. There was the under current of pain. Something about the other besides the obvious chemistry and physical tension triggered a defense and a loss of a filter when they are interacting.
Ryder's past was rough but he has come so far to overcome it. He is still dealing with a sick mom and the issues with his brother and the guilt and other feelings attached to Alyssa. His backstory was well done, but I appreciated the place of strength that he was at, because even though he had some things to work out and realize for himself, he needed to be strong for Ari, and to realize when she needed a bit of space and the converse when she needed someone more than she would ever admit.
I really enjoyed how some of the previous characters were worked into this one and it was natural. But the contrast with Mel and Ari, their perspective strengths and weaknesses, really complemented each other. There was a new character as well, Ari's new roomie Vee. She is a sweet and forgiving person, and it was neat that she helped Ari out in so many ways, drawing her out of her shell, and helping her to be more social. She has a crush on Gavin, one of Ryder's teammates, and that helped to put and keep her on Ari's radar, and both of them to be around the boys.
The ending was perfect and I loved the growth that I saw in Ari especially, realizing how to stand up for herself and still manage not to estrange her family. Ryder recognized many things about himself, learned to let some guilt from the past go, and made his own decisions about his future--learning that he had to make his own choices, and make sure that he was playing ball for the right reasons.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Did you ever feel pressure for upholding family name like Arian or a position like Ryder with sports?