Series: Charleston Haven

Guest Review: Miles from Kara by Melissa West

Posted December 2, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Miles from Kara by Melissa WestReviewer: Tracy
Miles From Kara by Melissa West
Series: Charleston Haven #2
Also in this series: Pieces of Olivia
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: December 2nd 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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Kara Marcus is desperate to forget the past and move on. But she can’t escape her choices—especially when she finds herself falling in love…

Since the first day she stepped into her childhood Southern Baptist church, two truths have been engrained in Kara Marcus’s head: sex before marriage is bad and murder is a sin. And that’s why Kara can never forgive herself for what she did at the age of sixteen.

Now, as second semester of freshman year comes to a close, Kara has stood by her high school boyfriend, Ethan. But as they seem to grow further and further apart every day, Kara realizes that she has feelings for someone else: Ethan’s roommate Colt.

Suddenly, Kara’s clear-cut world shifts out of focus, and she’s torn between what her head tells her is right and what her heart is desperately pushing her to do—even if it means committing another undeniable sin...


Tracy’s review of Miles from Kara (Charleston Haven #2) by Melissa West

Kara has been dating Ethan for a pretty long time. Unfortunately she’s not really feeling it for him any longer – especially when his hot Aussie roommate is around. She knows it’s wrong and tries to stop herself from looking at Colt but she just can’t. She soon realizes that she is better friends with Ethan and breaks it off with him. He seems to pretty much feel the same so it’s relatively amiable.

Not long after that Kara finds herself with Colt as he’s staying in Charleston Haven for the summer. The pair hang out but soon can’t deny their attraction to each other any longer. Colt is such a good guy and careful with Kara. He doesn’t rush her with anything and he respects the hell out of her.

Kara spends the summer working at a non-profit clinic trying to decide if psychology is really what she wants her major to be. There she meets Maggie who is 16 and pregnant. At first Kara can’t even bring herself to look at Maggie because when Kara was 16 she too became pregnant. She had gotten an abortion against her wishes (forceful mother) and has a hard time dealing with Maggie but eventually latches on to Maggie rather than push her away. Despite everyone telling her that she’s getting too close to Maggie and too involved she seems to see Maggie as her second chance at having a baby.

The story is not only about the romance and relationship between Colt and Kara but also about Kara finding herself and dealing with the abortion that she had 3 years previously. She grows and learns about herself with the help of several different people – all people who have her best interests at heart.

I loved seeing Kara grow throughout the book. Was she stubborn and pig-headed at times? Oh, yeah, definitely. But she needed to ride that emotional rollercoaster in order to come out on the other side a better person. I also admired Colt for his clear-headedness and insight when it came to Kara. He truly saw her and could read her like a book. He was kind and patient (well, except for that one time) with her and I just adored his character (he was sexy as hell, too! :)).

We got to see Preston and Olivia in this book as well as some other characters that we met in book one of the series. I was happy to see that the friendships, fun and budding new relationships in this book. Based on what I read in this book the next one’s going to be a doozer but in the best possible way. I can’t wait.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from InterMix. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Review: Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West

Posted July 15, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Pieces of Olivia by Melissa WestReviewer: Tracy
Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West
Series: Charleston Haven #1
Also in this series: Miles From Kara
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future. But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life. She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal... that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars. Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…

Olivia is going to college. Not the college her parents would like her to go to, unfortunately, but one she feels will work best with her life. She meets her roommate Kara and Kara’s best friend, Preston, almost immediately, and they all are fast friends. Olivia is attracted to Preston but as he’s a serial dater and never stays with a girl very long she tries to steer clear.

Olivia obviously has some issues. She sees a therapist about an event that happened in her life that destroyed those she loved and she’s dealing with incredible guilt. As she tries to work through it all with her therapist she finds herself falling in love with Preston. Unfortunately they each have secrets and when those come out it may tear them all apart.

Pieces of Olivia was a very emotional story. From moment one I was invested in Olivia and what she was going through. We don’t find out the entire story until later in the book but we’re given enough hints to piece it together. It’s not a pretty picture and the times in the book that Olivia is remembering the event that changed her life, and those involved, honestly had me in tears.

While Olivia is trying to deal with her past so that she can see a future for herself, she’s falling in love with Preston. She tries not to but he’s a really great person. Ok, he wasn’t great to some girls as he never felt an emotional connection with them, but with Olivia he’s perfect. I liked their time together and how it affected both of their lives in a positive way. I could tell that there was a huge secret that Kara and Preston were keeping from Olivia. The pair had been friends for a long time so that wasn’t too unusual. When that secret came out I was surprised and a bit disappointed in Olivia’s reaction. I was happy she finally considered her actions and realized how overblown they were.

Rose is Olivia’s therapist and played a pretty big role in the book. I can’t say I cared for Rose’s therapy methods but I loved that she was always there for Olivia no matter when she called or came by.

The story is about love, friendship, loss, trust and honesty and exactly how those things affect and change our lives, for better or worse, daily. I enjoyed the story and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Melissa West