Review: With Every Heartbeat by Linda Kage

with every heartbeatReviewed by Shelly

If you’ve not read any of the other installments in the Forbidden Men series, I think you’re missing out. Even if you’re not a big fan or not a fan at all of the ‘new adult’ category you’ll like this because it is romance, plain and simple. Continuing in the world of the college students who work at the Forbidden bar, shy quiet Quinn Hamilton finally gets his chance at true love. I will give you warning that if you read this book as a standalone, there are going to be moments when your frustration level will rise because these stories have overlapping characters who remain in each other’s lives.

There’s a bit of a thing about this story that threw me off, well actually I didn’t care for it, nor am I a fan of it. The thing is this, for about the first 30% of the story, Quinn has a girlfriend – Cora. You might remember her if you’ve read book 3. Cora is a manipulator, that much was very clear to this reader, but to Quinn, not so much. To Quinn’s credit, Cora is his first girlfriend, well heck, she’s also the first person he’s had sex with and for Quinn, this means a lot. He’s not some fly by night, wham bam thank you ma’am kind of guy – he cares. But unfortunately Cora really doesn’t. There’s so many ways that Cora’s ‘passive-aggressively’ controls Quinn that I felt for the guy.

For her own purpose and it’s significant, Cora convinces Zoey that she needs her help and the best way that Zoey can do that is to move in with Cora and go to the same college. Okay, that’s doable. Until we find out that Zoey’s father is a child abuser of the worst order and she’s doing herself a favor by getting away from him. But that’s not why Cora’s did what she did. Zoey comes flying into to Cora’s rescue hoping to find the best friend that she grew up with but instead she finds a stranger in Cora. However, she’s really not a stranger because people like Cora always going to look out for number 1 and it’s no one but herself. So there I went, feeling bad for Zoey who still looks at Cora as her bestie.

The dynamic between Zoey and Cora was one of my favorites in this entire series. There’s been a non-romance relationship that humanizes these characters in each book but the underlying hatred between these two made for good drama.

Going back to Quinn and Zoey, there are a couple of things that were different for me. Zoey’s 18 and very innocent, not just sexually but in general; I fault her father for that. I remember Eva in book 3 was really young (~19) too but she had a child and seemed much more mature. But I digress. After moving in with Cora, Zoey starts making friends with Quinn’s friends because Cora didn’t make any room in her schedule to spend time with Zoey. It’s through these other friends that Zoey begins to experience some societal norms (concerts, bars, etc) and she really starts to flourish. She also started falling for Cora’s boyfriend. Now, in every other circumstance I would say – heck no! That’s a big no no. But I was assured in the blurb that there’s no cheating and there wasn’t. But the time frame between Cora and Quinn breaking up and Zoey and Quinn having sex was – let’s just say less than 48 hours.

I was disappointed that Quinn and Zoey ‘hooked up’ so quickly. I was sure that there would have been some kind of a waiting period considering that Zoey was so anxious about even liking Quinn and Quinn was about to propose to Cora. But I guess this is young love and everything just happens really really fast. The good thing is that Quinn and Zoey’s relationship worked for them. Once they figured out what there were doing and the reason they were doing it, things started falling into place.

Last thing before I go, the sexual content of this is much more graphic that the other stories. I’m sure it’s going to get progressively more frank especially when that man-whore, Ten, gets his story, which by the way, I can’t wait to read. This wasn’t my favorite in the series but it’s still a good series and still fun to read.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B-/C+

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

With Every Heartbeat
by Linda Kage
Release Date: March 2, 2015

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