I just got off of a roller coaster of emotion!! This book has highs, lows and loopty-loops that will spin you in every direction. When it was done I felt like I could finally take a breath. However, it wasn’t a very long-lasting breath because I thought about this book for days afterwards.
Skye is in her first year of college, and has some…issues. She moved clear across the country to go to college with her long-term boyfriend, but he dumps her after just a week. She keeps to herself, wears baggy clothes, and turns away from most people who try to befriend her. Normally, I would just tell the chica to suck it up and move on already, but when you hear her entire story you feel nothing but compassion. It turns out her boyfriend, Sean, had been abusing her for years, both physically and mentally, and he refuses to leave her alone even though they are broken up. Needless to say, Skye is in the midst of a severe depression. Although she tries to avoid everyone, a young good-looking TA named Duke takes notice of her, as he recognizes the same feelings of helplessness surrounding her which he himself has personal experience with. He is determined to pull her out of her funk, even though he seems deeply rooted in his own. Skye must learn to trust again, Duke must learn to love again, and I must learn where her ex-boyfriend lives so that I can kick his ass!
I was warned before reading “Patch Up” that the romance between Skye and Duke was a pretty slow build, and I’m so happy that I knew ahead of time. Otherwise I probably would have been an angry panda. I usually can’t stand when I have to wait longer than half of the book before the main characters get down and dirty, but I must say that this is one of the few novels where I really didn’t mind. One of the reasons is because it was a deliciously slow build-up with so many yummy details. It was almost like an extended session of foreplay that moved the relationship along at the rate of molasses, or syrup. Ah God, now I want pancakes. Another reason I was happy these two characters didn’t seal the deal early on was because, well..they both had some serious issues to work through! Skye is trying to break free from her ex, and Duke is trying to overcome the death of his high school girlfriend which he feels was his fault. Believe it or not, I think I would have questioned their motives if they had engaged in sex earlier. Waiting until the end of the book allowed them to actually fall in love rather than just release a ridiculous amount of sexual tension.
At times, I had to remind myself not to get frustrated with the actions of the lead characters. Just when Skye would start to open up and make steps in the right direction, Duke would make a trip to his dead girlfriend’s grave-site via depression city, and move his new relationship backwards instead of forwards. In turn, this would cause Skye to lose all confidence, and she’d fall into a new wave of depression right when Duke came out of his. I was also confused that Skye became depressed after her boyfriend dumped her considering he could win a gold medal in the douche-hole Olympics. However, I realized that getting frustrated at Duke and Skye wasn’t fair considering that they were experiencing matters which were completely over my head. I have never gone through depression, nor have I been involved in an abusive relationship. When Skye talked about the ceaseless power which Sean had over her it was something that I personally couldn’t associate with, or necessarily understand. Therefore, I had to constantly say to myself that she wasn’t being flighty in regards to her feelings towards Duke because she was a ninny winny, but rather she was going through an emotional turmoil which none of us should have to go through. Now I don’t condone physical violence or anything, but I can tell you that if I were in this book I would have turned Sean’s balls into a pair of earrings which I could then sell on QVC! He was such a cotton headed ninny muggins! I also question what the hell kind of college these kids are going to. Skye’s classmates would make fun of her name, her clothes, and it just seemed like gossip central. At my college the most we would talk about before class was the 15 page paper we had to write, how much studying we had to do that would interrupt our sleeping habits, and if anybody saw last night’s episode of Lost. Man, remember that show? Such a terrible ending.
This novel was definitely pretty dark for a romance, but I must say I loved how it explored the inner workings of different relationships. From friends to family, and even lovers, whether they be dead or complete assholes. How does one move on from an abusive relationship? Is it ok to fall in love with someone new when you’ve already pledged your love to someone who is no longer with us? It was quite a journey to see both Skye and Duke overcome their past hurts in order to find happiness with each other. However, I must say that one of my favorite characters in the book was Skye’s roommate Kate. No matter how depressed Skye became, and in spite of some of the hurtful things which Skye said to her, Kate always remained by her side. I wish I could say the same of Duke, but honestly I found it rather annoying at times that he vowed to be there for her, and would then retreat when things became too difficult (again, it’s an experience related to depression that I can’t associate with, but it still frustrated me!). Kate on the other hand would give Skye her space when she needed it, but she never went away completely. In my opinion, this book reveals what it is to be a true friend.
*An ARC of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Patch Up series, book 1. I must say I am intrigued to read the other books involved in this series, especially the one involving Kate and her new beau. I have a feeling though that I’ll have to prepare myself for another emotional ride!
Should you read it: Consider yourself warned that this book has moments which are dark, violent, and rather depressing. There are scenes which will make your toes curl in delight, but it’s a far cry from the dancing butterfly and kitten endings which most romance novels try and leave you with. This one is more real and imperfect, so you might need to psych yourself up before you tackle it.
Smut Level: Never thought I’d enjoy a slow build so much. Definitely not dirty or naughty smut.
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