Preservation by Rachael Wade
Series: Preservation #1
Publication Date: 2012
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Fear is sabotage's sweetest weapon. Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her.
Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can't afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else's complicated baggage. When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell's creative writing class, he is only "Mr. Campbell" to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction.
His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor. But underneath Ryan's abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can't stay away for long.
Ryan and Kate must decide who they're willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That's if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don't pummel their efforts first.
Can I start off by saying I’m totally creeped out by the whole “professor who boinks his students” thing? Even if a school doesn’t have a no-fraternization policy – which I find unlikely in this day and age – after a major scandal (which was alluded to in this book) I doubt the administration would continue to look the other way as it happened again and again.
That was just a small problem with this book, however. Neither character acted adult-like. She’s 25 and he’s 27-28, but they acted like teenagers. I didn’t buy either of their backstory’s as reasonable excuses for why they were both idiots.
Ryan Campbell was on top of the world – he’d proposed to the love of his life and had a publishing deal in the works, which would have been the realization of all his dreams. Then, on the morning of his big meeting with the pub house he forgot his wallet and came home to find his fiance screwing someone else in their laundry room – not ten minutes after he left the house.
While I can appreciate how that would upset a person, I can’t help but feel like – based on her reaction to being caught – the signs weren’t already there for him. I mean, hello, chick smirked at him when he walked in on her and another dude, then said “you shouldn’t have come back unexpectedly”. And he claimed that came out of nowhere? Once a bitch, always a bitch if you ask me….
Anyway, that was just the prologue. I guess it was supposed to show how much the sweet man Ryan was disappeared after that, but really it just made me roll my eyes. He got cheated on and had his heart broken so he made it his life’s mission to cheat on others and break their hearts? Okay…
Kate was a whole other ball of wax. Her dad ran out on her and her mom when she was ten and her mom completely checked out. She started using drugs, lost her job and their house and basically forced Kate to become the parent.
I can understand how that would effect Kate’s ability to open herself up to other people. But so little detail was given about her past – it was all just sort of mentioned – I didn’t connect with her at all. It was told in such a detached way I was detached from it as well. Little of Kate’s actual feelings are expressed. We’re meant to infer them from her actions, I think, which might have worked if this wasn’t told in the first-person from her POV.
From there things went downhill (if you can believe it). Even though Ryan was a player who cheated and screwed his students, Kate believed him when he said she was different…even though he used the same lines on her he used on everyone else. Though she bought his sudden change in personality, I didn’t. Maybe because the author didn’t do a very good job of making Kate seem like the type a person would want to change for?
Her constant hot and cold routine became tiresome after awhile and I never understood why every man she met was instantly in love with her. She was closed off and immature; that doesn’t scream “I am so amazing everyone immediately loves me” to me.
And that’s not even touching on the ridiculous plot twists the author threw in. The whole agent thing was way over the top bad and so was the scene with Ryan at the publishing house. And I won’t even talk about her quick escape to paradise or the abrupt ending…
Having said all that, I had a hard time looking away. There was something compelling about the story that made me want to keep reading. I’m going to chalk it up to morbid curiosity, but I’m giving it two stars instead of one since I read it in one sitting.
2 out of 5
I have to mention the sequel while I’m complaining about the book. It’s told from Ryan’s POV and deals with his sudden rise to fame after his novel is published. According to the blurb he struggles not to go back to his cheating, whoring ways while he’s planning his wedding to Kate. Can I just say..no. No, no, no. Like reading this book wasn’t bad enough?
I am kind of curious about book 3, however, which features Kate’s male best friend from this book, Carter. I really liked him so I may read that. Maybe. Someday.