Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: Life on the Level (On the Verge #3) by Zoraida Córdova

Book Blurb:

Never gamble more than you can afford to lose.

River Thomas was born a wild card. Her father took one look at her and decided that his daughter would have the best poker face in the city.

But when he dies unexpectedly, River's already dangerous life is spiraling out of control. After six months without gambling—staying away from the tables where she makes and loses her fortune—she relapses, and soon must go on the run from a guy looking to settle a score.

She wants to be better, needs to be better, before she ends up like her dad. The road leads her to rehab in Sun Valley, Montana. But first, one last hurrah, and the beautiful stranger at the bar is just what the doctor ordered. She leaves before sunrise still thinking of his face. But her last hurrah with the guy of her dreams is also her counselor for the next ninety days...

Attraction, however, is too strong a lure to ignore, and soon River finds herself gambling with the one thing she never thought she would—her heart.

My Review: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: New Adult, Mystery--

River has decided to change her ways and stop her minor gambling and drinking issue, but first she has a one last fling, a night with an attractive stranger in a bar. Shockingly, River finds out that he just so happens to be her assigned counselor at the rehab facility she checked herself into. River and Hutch decide to keep their night together a secret and stay professional, but the two have a hard time staying away from each other. When danger comes to the center, Can River and Hutch keep it together?

I had wanted to read this series for a long time, so I jumped at the opportunity to read this book. This is the third book in the series, but each is a standalone based on different characters so it is not dire to read them in order. That being said, I loved River’s best friends (who are actually her family) and I can’t wait to read the books featuring them. I was pleasantly surprised by this book; I really enjoyed the depth of the characters and the plot. This was a cute romance about a flawed girl who is aware of the problems and wants to better herself not just for the other person, but for herself. I fully support that idea. Also, there was a mystery and some random danger thrown in to spice up the basic romance plot.

My biggest complaint with the story was how easily everything wrapped up. Seriously, there was multiple conflicts going on and within pages, everything was resolved in a neat little package full of unlikely coincidences. Don’t get me wrong, I like happy endings and this was one of those, but I felt like it should have taken more to get to the happy ending.

I enjoyed the progression of River’s character as someone on the run (for the most part) who hides at a rehab center in the middle of nowhere but doesn’t think she has a problem. Over the course of the book, her behaviors and crutches are revealed and she understands that she has an actual problem, just like she judges everyone else for having. I feel like there was a lot of real life crammed in this book, overcoming all sorts of addiction problems, and even at times not overcoming it.

Overall I really enjoyed this contemporary love story and can’t wait to read more from this author, be it her young adult or new adult books.

I received this title from the author in return for my honest review.

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