Thursday, January 14, 2016

Because of You by RaShelle Workman

Curiosity Quills Press is touring their January Releases, and I've signed on to share my review of Because of You by RaShelle Workman!  This is a contemporary romance, focused on a couple reuniting at university, after a long and traumatic separation.

The Basics:
Because of You by RaShelle Workman
Curiosity Quills
Contemporary Romance
Published January 18, 2015
Amazon Goodreads

There's a first time for everything... and sometimes that means a first time at a second chance. 

It's been seven years since Maddie Martin's parents died. Their killer wasn't just a random stranger, but her best friends' father. Kyle Hadley. The boy she's been in love with since she was old enough to understand the emotion, the boy she promised all of her firsts to. Worst of all, Kyle's father got away with it, and Maddie hasn't seen Kyle since. 

That changes on her first day of college. Seeing Kyle again brings back all of her childhood feelings of friendship and love for him, but it also brings back the anger, sorrow, and pain she's been trying to bury because of his father. 


Kyle Hadley has no idea why Maddie quit talking to him, especially when he needed her most. But he got over it, refusing to waste his life mourning the only girl he ever loved. There are too many women, too much of life to experience to bother thinking about Maddie. Except he does. And when he sees her again, he knows it. 

But there are problems beyond Kyle and Maddie and their old feelings. The two of them are in danger and one or both might end up dead.
My Thoughts:

I really liked the blurb for Because of You. The main characters have this complicated history together, they were ripped apart at a young age, and they've not simply forgotten each other. So when they're reunited at university... sparks fly. I'm not usually into the second chance at love stories, but this one had the twist that it wasn't the relationship between the couple that went sour.

This is angst-filled new adult, with suspense flair. I was curious about the mystery side of things, and so the book definitely engaged me. I was invested in the story.

But, I had a few issues with the story itself. First, Maddie and Kyle were separated when they were ages eleven and twelve. But, there's a depth of emotion and connection that feels way, way older than that. I didn't find it wholly believable that they'd have had all these deep conversations or thoughts at such a young age, nor that they'd still be so connected after all that time apart (particularly as they were separated before those crucial teen years)

I also felt oddly uncomfortable while I was reading a lot of the book. Like I had to navigate all these ridges and sharp points and hard edges, while trying to get to the meat of the story. Does that make sense? Because of that feeling, I couldn't sink into the book.

There's plenty of well-written, steamy scenes. There's several different ways that sex is depicted or discussed in this novel, and I think that adds a degree of realism to the story. This is definitely a look at a darker, more dangerous side of university than I feel is normally present in contemporary romance/new adult books. And while I don't think that all university experiences will look like Maddie and her roommate, Gina's, I do like this as a contrast to the slightly more optimistic impressions given by other books in the same sub-genres. 

Bottom line:

Because of You has enough highs that I feel comfortable recommending it to fans of the genre, but it wasn't an entirely fun read for me. I'm interested to see what this author writes next...

3.5 stars
For fans of contemporary romance, angst, second chances at love


RaShelle Workman is the author of the popular Blood and Snow series. She loves to reinvent fairy tales readers can sink their teeth into. Her stories include vampires, werewolves, witches, aliens, and creatures of her own creation. Her books: Sleeping Roses, Exiled, Beguiled, and Dovetailed have foreign rights contracts with a Turkish publisher. RaShelle is also one of the co-founders of IndiePUBCon. Currently, she lives in Utah with her husband, three children, and their three dogs.

Visit to join RaShelle’s EXCLUSIVE mailing list and be entered to win a signed paperback copy of Blood and Snow volumes 1-4 (Special Edition). And be sure to like her Facebook page for all the latest news:

Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.

Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!

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